One of the most damning elements of mobile gaming is its endless monetization. Games are sold that then nickel-and-dime you for this and that, and even if you’re strong enough to resist buying anything, the very presence of such things is enough to make you start to lose hope for gaming in general. The previous two Tales of Illyria games had no such garbage included in them, and that was really something that helped them to stand out among the trash heaps that are the app stores. The third game, on the other hand, includes microtransactions, and while these may not be necessary to finish the game, their presence—along with the ability to create a character where before you played as a fixed character—undermines a great deal of what made the last two games so good.
Maybe the microtransactions are a good business decision, and character creation is something I’ve seen some fans request, but fans rarely have good ideas (there’s a reason “fan service” is synonymous with “cringe-inducing content”) and IAP stuff really grates at my nerves. In fact, if the first game had utilized the same business model as the third, I’d have never picked it up and stumbled onto the series. That said, the base game is apparently going to go free to play at some point in the future, and there’s just enough amusing stuff to find to be worth a positive review, especially since that amusing stuff will eventually be entirely free. I’ll make no secret of the fact that this is by far my least favorite entry in the series, though, and I can’t help but feel that what’s here is a pale imitation of previous games.