Chocobo GP is a genuinely loveable kart racer choked with DLC and seasonal bullshit

As verified final fantasy obsessive, I’ve always had a soft spot for that Chocobo racing, the PS1 kart tracer that’s basically a light-hearted series mashup. I was saddened when an announced Chocobo Racing revival never showed up for Nintendo 3DS even though it was announced – so I was naturally thrilled when Square Enix revealed it Chocobo GP, a new FF racing title for the Switch. But after just days of playing I’m done. I’m out.

Chocobo GP is a Great kart racer. Original. It’s not Mario Kart, of course, but I’d definitely use its core mechanics and get into this top-notch kart racer alongside things like Sega & Sonic All-Stars Racing and Crash Nitro Kart. But… for some reason this game is something like a mobile game?

I have to be clear here. Chocobo GP is a more or less full-fledged game. It’s on the “budget” end of modern pricing at $50/£40, but I consider that a full game. Why on earth does it immediately give me the ability to buy Mithril, an in-game currency, for real money? Once you launch it, it feels like one of Square Enix’s gacha-driven mobile titles like FF Brave Exvius or Record Keeper, right down to the time limits on how long you can hold currencies, login bonuses and all that stuff.

In some cases things that fans really want are locked behind this stuff. FF7’s Cloud Strife and FF8’s Squall Leonhart – beloved protagonists – are only available in their lovingly rendered chibi forms as playable characters if you purchase the game’s first Season Pass, which costs 800 mithril – just under $10.

You can earn mithril, and launch promotions mean basically anyone can sign up for Season 1 for free – but you can see where that goes in the longer term. nickels, dimes. Players are treated like an ATM.

Obviously, many of these elements are just a part of modern gaming. We now live in a post-Fortnite world where season passes and constant, ongoing updates with regular costs are the order of the day. But I was just incredibly amazed at the sheer volume of this stuff that Chocobo GP throws at you from the moment you start the game for the first time – which I think is proof that Square Enix has plans to aggressively pushing this stuff in future seasons. The intention is to get you used to it from the start, to desensitize you. It’s disgusting.


Square Enix has already started tracing part of it. There’s talk of relaxing and adjusting how much grind it takes to unlock things. Such things. But the core system feels so broken that just minor changes to the earning model will only go so far.

And so here I am; I’m out. I refuse to do it. I’ve had my share of gacha supplementation; I’ve pumped hundreds of pounds into Final Fantasy: Record Keeper over the course of my few years of playing it, and I’ve had fun with it. But something about this format feels wrong — and most importantly, misguided.

Chocobo GP isn’t something you’re likely to launch every day. It’s not something you use to kill time with your phone in bed or on the toilet. It’s a console game. Sure, this console is portable – but if I’m starting a kart racer, it’s probably because I want to play a bit of multiplayer or whatever.

I would have loved to have bought a DLC season pass for additional characters and stages across the board, but for this game to hit me with this free-to-play BS from the start, it doesn’t quite fit. It’s a misfire, and it’s a crushing shame – the core gameplay is great. Chocobo GP is a genuinely loveable kart racer choked with DLC and seasonal bullshit

Fry Electronics Team

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