Review by wholydarknight
"Final Fantasy: Crystal Crapicle?"
Depending on what perspective you take, this game can either be a good game (from the perspective of a non-Final Fantasy fan), or a piece of crap and a complete disgrace to the title (in the case of a Final Fantasy fan). Although I am a Final Fantasy fan, I will try to look at the game from an outsider's perspective, in order to give a fair verdict.
The world is covered in a mist called Miasma, which is deadly to humans. In each village are large Crystals that protect each village from the Miasma. But in order to power the Crystals, a substance called Myrrh is required. Myrrh can be found on (duh) Myhhr trees, but in order to receive it, you must risk travelling into the Miasma and facing monsters. Therefore, each year, a caravan is sent out to gather Myrrh, protected by a chalice that carries Myrrh and casts a small protective sphere so you don't get killed by Miasma. Mog the moogle carries your chalice in Single Player, lucky for you, as you are slow and can't attack while carrying the chalice.
I was not even aware of a storyline until my third year of carravanning. The story is hardly present, and for the most part you are simply killing monsters rather than following a storyline. Basically, the game is pretty much a mindless hack-and-slash game with no substance.
The graphics of this game are incredibly good, although extremely "kiddy". The water is the most notable feature. It ripples perfectly, and delivers a crystal clear reflection. The characters are detailed and the moogles have individual hairs drawn, giving them a truly fuzzy kind of look. In the various moogle houses hidden in each dungeon, you can even paint your moogle, and even cut its hair. The graphics are 3-D and, unlike many games, are not blurry or dizzying, but are very sharp and crisp.
The soundtracks on this game were extremely annoying to me, since my kind of music is head-banging heavy rock, and this game features orchestrated pieces, but the sound on this game is crisp and clean, and very well written. They fit right in with the child-like characters. Each dungeon features its own sound, which greatly compliments its perspective area.
Gameplay and Difficulty: 8/10
Rather than a turn-based gameplay, FF:CC uses a battling system to Phantasy Star Online or Kingdom Hearts, with very crisp movement and responsive commands. Also, rather than having a certain number of hit point, your health is represented by hearts, similar to The Legend of Zelda, but with no quarter hearts. Also, instead of a certain number of MP, magic attacks, as well as focused physical attacks, take a certain charge time. The gameplay is easy to adjust to and is fun to play with.
The first three years are pleasantly easy to moderately difficult, but by year four the game picks up speed and start to punch you in the face. The drastic change between year three and year four caught me greatly by surprise, and I suffered a few deaths before I wizened up, left the dungeon, and stocked up on pheonix and some better equipment (which practically drained my once-plump wallet).
Replay Value: 1/10 to 8/10
Single Player: Piece of Crake
Even the thought of replaying this game makes me shudder. The only reason I went through all five years of it was to give a clear review. The dungeons, after three years of caravanning, become dreadfully monotonous and repetitive, and with no storyline to drive you on, what's the point?
Multiplayer: The center around which all the controversy revolves.
Multiplayer requres each player to have a GameBoy Advance, so if you don't have, go ahead and sell the game now. Although I personally haven't spent much time playing multiplayer, as I lack the GBA and must drive to my friend's house who is hardly ever home to play, I can already tell that multiplayer is the core of this game. Unlike previous Final Fantasy titles, this game centers around multiplayer play, rather than story-driven, one-player play. Multiplayer mode incorporates camaraderie, the ability to work together in the limited space provided by your chalice, and the fun of having your friends to make the experience more than simple hack-and-slash.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/08
Game Release: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (US, 02/09/04)
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