Review by papereddy
"Don't think twice about getting it if you enjoy exploring!"
I was very skeptical when I heard that the game was only fun when it was played in its somewhat expensive multiplayer; however, after playing both single player and multiplayer versions of the game, I was, without a doubt, amazed at the overall experience this game offered.
Story (10/10): It starts out simple, you are a hero sent to gather drops of mana water in order to replenish the power of crystals that protect towns from a mysterious haze called miasma. Although the haze does not affect monsters nor moogles, it does affect your tribe. However, As you progress though the game, you will learn more about miasma, and get involved in a new quest to not only stop it from infecting the people in your town, but also to get rid of it for good.
Graphics (10/10): The graphics in this game are, in my opinion, the very best the Gamecube has ever seen. Crystal clear waters, jaw-dropping landscapes, high-detailed characters and objects, fantastic magic and lighting effects, and everything else you would expect from a Final Fantasy game.
Music and Sound (9.5/10): Although I don't like the music in the world map, everything else has a great feel to it. Towns have that relaxed type of music, along with crisp sounds of people going about their lives. The dungeons, which are the places you will spend most of your time at, are accompanied with great tunes. Although the music doesn't change when you are close to an enemy, all of the sounds go perfectly well with it: goblins and other enemies yelling their battle cries, sword slashes, staffs casting magic, magic attacks each its different sounds, etc. Overall, I was very pleased with this aspect of the game, which was, as a matter of fact, the thing that worried me the most.
Gameplay/Replay (10/10 or 9/10): You will spend most of your time in dungeons seeking mana water; however, another big part of the game is to explore and interact with your surroundings. Once you finish a dungeon you can go back to it as many times as you like and explore hidden areas, collect useful items, or just search artifacts that will upgrade your stats so become much more stronger and well-balanced. Take a break from the dungeons to explore the many roads, visit towns to buy better weapons, armor, take part in quests, or just talk to its residents.
As you probably know, Crystal Chronicles gives you the option of playing alone or in a team, here is my take on it. Multiplayer is a one of kind experience. Being out in the dungeons with your trusted companions, attacking enemies with your weapons, covering someone who is getting their health replenished, making sure that everyone is under the protecting on the crystal, etc, are few of things that you must be good at in order to succeed as a team. Although it might be a bit tough a first because everyone will want to do their own thing, it becomes a great experience that will keep your friends coming back for more. Now, single-player, here is where many people have bashed it to the ground. This game mode more challenging than multiplayer because you will be facing all of the hardships alone. You will have a moogle that carries the crystal for you and sometimes cast spells to help you out but thats all there is to it. You must figure out everything on your own, manage your plan of attack well, and do everything else yourself. While multiplayer is great for frays and heading straight into battle, in single-player, you must take time to not only complete the dungeon, but to go back to it and seek out artifacts and items that will aid your character in his/her quest. As I said before, many people dislike single-player becuase it too challenging at times; however, think it is pretty well done and filled with just as much fun and replayability as multiplayer.
Aside from the main game, you have the option to play mini-games or customize your moogle( I love when games include these type of things) some games are for multiplayer but others can downloaded to your GBA as well; whatever the case maybe, they are pretty fun.
Presentation (10/10? thats not good enough, it was OUTSTANDING!!): The title/load screens, as well as the game select screens are pretty basic, yet nicely done. Once you start a new game, however, you will see why I said the presentation was outstanding. To make the long story short, the introductory movie was simply amazing! the graphics, animation, camera views, music and lyrics, everything was jaw-dropping. This is, without my slightest doubt, the best intro I have seen!(and yes, I have seen the ones in FFX and FFX-2)
My Take: Crystal Chronicles is a great game filled with a gigantic amount of action and exploration; combine those two things with a jaw-dropping graphics, great sounds and music, and a unique storyline and you have amazing game that will keep you coming back for more!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/13/04
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