In order to give reviewers an idea of what they can do with crystals in the new Marvel Comics action RPG Future Fight, developer Netmarble provided special builds packed with more than $US9,000 worth of in-game currency. Just a tad bit overboard.
The highest number of blue crystals, the in-game currency that's used to enhance many of Marvel Future Fight's features, purchasable in one transaction is 5500, at a price of $US99.99. The build I was provided came with 500,000 crystals, all at once. As you can see in the GIF above, I've burned through a large chunk of it, but am I happy?
Marvel Future Fight is actually a pretty nifty game. Players for teams of three lovingly-rendered iconic Marvel heroes and villains, using them to battle through a series of original stories having to do with dimensional rifts and other odd goings on.
Along the way players collect items that can be used to upgrade their characters' equipment, gain money to enhance their skills, experience to increase their levels and character-specific Biometrics to unlock new characters and up their rank, unlocking powerful new skills.
Now it is a free-to-play game, so the sort of mechanics I normally turn my nose up at rear their ugly heads, like prohibitive skill upgrade costs, rare characters only available in random purchasable packs and the dreaded energy meter.
Despite all that it's a damn fun game. The characters look wonderful, the story is interesting, combat is quick and responsive and there are plenty of ways to upgrade characters and tailor them to your own play style.
What I'm saying is I didn't need the massive influx of in-game cash from the get-go. Ultimately it does more harm than good.
Things You Can Do With In-Game Currency In Marvel Future Fight
- Unlock every character -- every character currently available in the game is in my roster. Unlocking multiple characters grants player teams bonuses in PVP.
- Rank up every character -- the same Biometrics that unlock characters are used to advance them in ranks.
- Buy Gold -- spending crystals is the most efficient means to make gold in the game.
- Max out skills -- upgrading character skills costs gold. With enough crystals, you'll never want for gold.
- Collect ISO-8 -- special crystals used to greatly enhance character stats can be found in purchasable chests.
- Enhance ISO-8 -- like many artifacts in free-to-play games, ISO-8 can be sacrificed to increase the power of another piece. Max out two of the same pieces and combine them into a larger, more powerful piece. This costs gold, but that's easy to get.
- Continue battles -- having trouble getting through a mission? If all of your characters fall, you can revive them -- with crystals!
- Buy more PVP battles -- this is a big one. Normally players get 10 PVP attacks per day, but apply crystals and you can get many more, giving you a distinct advatage in the leaderboards.
- Purchase new costumes -- who cares, right? Wrong. Purchasable costume changes come with stat upgrades as well.
That's a lot of applications, many of which I would be blissfully unaware of had I just picked up the game and played. Now I've got more characters than I know what to do with. I won't be able to experience the joy of unlocking someone new through normal play. Plus my inventory is constantly overflowing with ISO-8 chips, which I have to combine or sell before I can go on any missions.
So now I have downloaded the game to my Android phone, sync'd to Google Plus instead of Facebook, and I've started fresh. I've got the three starting characters -- Black Widow, Iron Man and Captain America -- plus Bucky Barnes. My skills are woefully behind their capabilities. I'm nowhere near ready for PVP combat, and when I get there I'll probably get my arse seriously kicked.
But I'm having a lot more fun.
It's a little money hungry. It's a bit pay-to-win. But Marvel Future Fight is a fun free-to-play RPG/brawler that's definitely worth a try. You don't need $US9,000 worth of virtual currency to appreciate that.