This week Sega’s first DSiWare game will launch in Japan. Phantasy Star Zero Mini gives players a taste of the DS game with an area to explore and a dragon boss waiting at the end. Slay the boss and you get a score which can be shown on the game’s leaderboards. Phantasy Star Zero Mini has 3D graphics, wireless play, and the neat visual chat system — all of which were part of the retail game.
The level in Phantasy Star Zero Mini, Glacea Ravine, and the boss are also from the full game, something clearly mentioned on the game’s product page. If you have Phantasy Star Zero there isn’t any reason to get Phantasy Star Zero Mini. The DSiWare version is really designed for people who don’t own Phantasy Star Zero.
Sega will sell Phantasy Star Zero Mini for 200 DSiWare Points ($2 / 200 yen). Considering the 5,040 yen price of Phantasy Star Zero, the diced up DSiWare game will be 4% of the final game.
What do you think of the situation? Is Phantasy Star Zero Mini a glorified paid demo? Is $2 a reasonable amount for a sample of a Nintendo DS game? Nintendo of Japan introduced a similar system by breaking down re-releasing stripped down “chotto” or “express” versions of their Touch Generations games like Planet Puzzle League and Clubhouse games.