Review by Blaze437
"A fantasy game like no other! Embark on a breathtaking quest!"
It has been a very long time since a Final Fantasy was on a Nintendo system. The games were great back then, and still are now. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is a beautiful game. Although this game isn't like the other Final Fantasy games, it sure does feel like one. I hope this review will be helpful to those that are looking for a fun game to play for awhile!
In Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, you play as a young boy/girl out to gather Myrrh for your town's crystal. A long time ago, a deadly toxic gas called Miasma, engulfed the land and choked the air. Each town is protected from this toxin by a giant crystal. The problem is, the crystal can only protect the town for one year. This is where you come in. To make the crystal continue to protect the village, you need to collect a special liquid called Myrrh. Myrrh is created from Myrrh Trees which generate a drop of myrrh every other year. To gather it, you need a Crystal Chalice which you will obtain right from the start. You go through dungeons and beat bosses to collect the liquid. After you get three drops, you can go back to your village and make the crystal shine for another year. This isn't the whole story though. If you are observant, you will notice the story unfold before you. Trust me, it's a good one. I can't say anymore since the rest of the story is a spoiler.
Yes, probably the most important part of any game. Like I mentioned before, this game isn't like other Final Fantasy games other than the familiar spells and monster names. It is a real-time action RPG in which you go around and attack things without the screen turning into a battle screen, such as in the previous Final Fantasy games. While this may sound odd, it is most essential for this type of game.
You start in a Crystal Caravan and travel around to dungeons all over the world. While in the dungeons, and if you are doing Single Player, you have a Moogle carrying your Crystal Chalice. If you are doing Multiplayer, a character will have to carry the Crystal Chalice. Since there is no crystal to protect you in dungeons, your chalice is equipped with a crystal on it. Since the crystal is so small though, you only have a short range to go before you enter the miasma. The crystal creates a ring of light in which you have to be in at all times or the miasma will gradually kill you.
I'm going to assume you are doing Single player for right now. Since your moogle is carrying the chalice, you are free to roam around while killing enemies. All you need to do is simply hit the A button to hurt an enemy. You can also attack three times in a row if you time your attacks just right. You don't have HP in this game, but don't worry, you have hearts instead. Just like the Legend of Zelda games, if you are hurt by an enemy, you will either lose a half of a heart or a whole heart. If you're unlucky and run into a strong enemy such as a Behemoth, you can lose up to four hearts! You can get more by collecting Artifacts (more on that later).
I bet this sounds boring doesn't it? Well, this is where the fun begins. In dungeons, you can pick up items called Magicite. These special spheres will allow you to create magic spells. If you have played a Final Fantasy before, you will know the spell names: Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, Life, etc. When you pick up magicite, you can use it by pressing the L or R buttons. In the upper left hand corner, you can see "Attack", "Defend", etc. If you pick up a Fire Magicite, you will then see "Fire" as you scroll through the list. You are probably saying: "What about the more powerful spells such as Firega and Blizzaga!?" Thankfully, those weren't left out of the game. You can create more powerful spells by fusing two or more spells together. Say you wanted Firega, my favorite! You would need to pick up three fire magicites. Then, go into your command list in the menu screen and put a fire magicite into three slots. Fuse the first two by pushing the A button and selecting fuse. You will then create Fira. After that, select Fira and then hit fuse. You will now have Firega! You can also create Blizzara, Blizzaga, Thundara, Thundaga, Holy, Gravity, Stop, Haste, and Slow. In multiplayer, you can create incredibly powerful spells such as Holyra, Gravira, Graviga, Hastega, Slowra, and Stopra.
After you go through the dungeons, which range from about 30 minutes to 2 hours, you can fight the boss of that dungeon. Bosses can be dangerous if you aren't careful. Fight them with everything you have! After you beat the boss, you can then get Artifacts. Artifacts are special treasures that permanently raise either Strength, Defense, or Magic. Since you don't gain experience in the game, you have to rely on these to get more powerful. Artifacts will also give you more command slots so you can create more spells, or gain hearts. After you do all of that, you just repeat; going around to each dungeon and doing the same thing again and again. It may sound repetitive but if you have an open mind, it won't be since each dungeon is different.
The graphics and sound in this game are truly amazing. When you look around at the scenery, you feel like you are in a living, breathing world. Everything is beautifully well done with alot of detail put into it. When you go over a swamp bridge and see the steamy water below, you can see a perfect reflection of yourself. If you stand next to a crystal, you can see your reflection being distorted by the crystals different slants. The characters may look a little cartoony but they are very well done too. The skies in the game are great too. In the town of Shella, you can see the purple skies and clouds as the sun is setting and a castle in the background. I just can't stress enough how great the graphics are. There aren't any full motion videos (FMVs), but the graphics make up for it since they almost seem like an actual movie. Perhaps you can count the ending as one; you be the judge of that.
Final Fantasy has always been known for it's great soundtrack and this game doesn't disappoint. Most of the music is happy and upbeat, while there are a few that are demonic and scary. Each place has it's own music and it fits in very well with the level. When you first start the game, there is a woman singing an actual song as you prepare for your adventure. At the end, the same woman is singing a different song. The songs may sound a little odd though since they are based on the Japanese lyrics. Obviously, English and Japanese lyrics are never going to sound the same so when she has a high pitch for the English music, it sounds odd. The only problem with music may be the overworld music. It tends to annoy you after awhile, but that is a minor flaw. All in all, this game's music is up to par with all the other Final Fantasy games.
You may have noticed that I don't have a rating for this one. Well, I haven't gotten to experience Multiplayer yet, but everyone says that it's alot better than single player. I can however, tell you some information about it. Sadly, you can't use controllers in multiplayer. You have to use Gameboy Advance systems in order to actually play the game with others. I believe that it's just a gimmick from Nintendo to make you buy everything. What you would need is: a Gamecube, a Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles game, link cables to connect your GBAs to your Gamecube (2-4 of these), and GBA systems (2-4 of these too). If you can find someone who has all of these, then I'm sure you are in for a great time.
In multiplayer, you can't fuse your own spells in the command slots. You have to tell your friends that you want to fuse a spell. If you have fire, and they have blizzard, then you would have to use the magic at the same time by putting the target rings (where you want your spell to land), on top of each other and let go at around the same time. After that, you will create Gravity. If you want Thundaga, then you have to get three people to use thunder at around the same time. If you want Holyra, then you have to have two people cast Life and Blizzard/Fire/Thunder, and two more people to cast the same thing. It can get annoying but I bet it's well worth it to have those powerful spells.
Like I mentioned earlier, a player will have to carry the crystal chalice since you don't have a moogle to do that for you. That player can't be involved in battles unless they drop the chalice. That leaves you confined to a small area so do this with extreme caution. Hopefully in the next Crystal Chronicles for the Nintendo DS, that won't be necessary.
This game isn't as long as the other Final Fantasy games, but I got 32 hours out of it. There is still alot of things that I have to do though such as collect all of the artifacts and do some sidequests. You could beat the game within 10 hours but then you would have a very hard time going against the final boss; which is surprisingly very hard.
The replayability is probably alot better than most Final Fantasy games. There are four tribes that you can be in the game and each has something special about them. That gives you at least four times to replay; which will probably be unlikely. There is also a "Challenge Mode" type of game. You can go through the game with minimum hearts, or maybe a game with no artifacts. That would make the game incredibly hard as some enemies can do five hearts of damage. So the replayability is pretty good for a Final Fantasy game.
This game is only for those with an open mind and who are willing to accept that this game isn't like the other Final Fantasy games. This game will take your breath away as you look at the graphics and will sometimes make you hum some music. To be honest, I didn't think that I would like this game that much, but since I always have an open mind, I loved it. It's one of my favorite Final Fantasy games out there. The final boss is also one of my favorites. So if you are ready to embark on a journey spanning across the world, then go on and buy the game. If you aren't sure about this game, then go ahead and rent it. Be warned though, this game may make you addicted!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/23/05
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