Review by Lord Saeba

"Just hope your friends have GBAs, because it's not made to be played alone!"

I have this game since august, and let me tell you, I've played that game a lot! Having played with friends, I was able to notice what people found good, and what people did not like.

The beginning of the game is great, you have to select your gender, race and your parents job. You have in total 32 different looking characters, 8 for each race. Races are really cool as they have their own weapons, abilities and specialties. Then the game starts and the basic of the game is to clear a stage, kill the boss and get some water in your Crystal Cage. After three stage you go back to the village and a year pass. In each stage you find some statues that give stats bonus for the stage. After the stage depending on how each player played, you get to choose one stats to boost. At the beginning of the stages they give you a special objective to accomplish (Ex: No cure, use criticals) and depending on how each player plays it give you points at the end of the stage and the player with the most points got to choose the ability first. It's really a good concept for competition.

When you play alone you have a little moogle that follow you in your adventure carrying the Crystal Cage. In multiplayer mode, one of the player must carry it. The crystal cage protect the players from the dark mist in the world. It protect a circle area and if you go out of that circle you take damage. It's a really good idea to keep the players together and to keep the screen not splited. Some may say they don't like that but after a while it will be ok. If you are only 2 players it might be boring to always carry the Crystal Cage so switch often if you want to keep your FFCC partner. The game plays well alone but it's really in multiplayer that the game shines. The fun it can bring is awesome. doing magic combo with another player, trading items, timing your attacks, etc. On the other hand, playing alone is rather repetitive and I really think not a lot of people will actually enjoy playing the game alone. Alone it's simply Hack and Slash no real strategies to win, monsters are rather easy. The more players there is, the more the enemies will be hard and that's really good. The bosses are simply the best part of the game, they are AWESOME, really cool and will make you want to remake the level just to go battle them again. They're impressive, big, and require quite a lot of strategy at 3-4 players.

GRAPHICS
The graphics of this game are simply wonderful, only Metroid Prime and Zelda: WW looks this good. Characters, scenery, little details, it's so polished. The monsters looks great also and the bosses simply rocks!!! The character design may however scare some people away since the heroes looks like 12-14 kids, potatoes and scarecrows.

SOUND
I really like the music of Crystal Chronicles but after some time I'm really tired of some of the stages songs and I really can't stand the intro music anymore. And guess what... you can't skip the intro! There is no voice acting but it's better like that. Sounds are great, but not as good as other Square-Enix titles.

GAMEPLAY
Best played in group? No, IT'S MADE TO BE PLAYED IN GROUP. Gameplay in single player is so poor, repetitive and pretty boring. In multiplayer, it's full of strategy, fun, and competition for the powerups. I cannot think of another game that is as good in the coop department as Final Fantasy: Chrystal Chronicles... well aside Zelda: Four Swords (But it's not as long)

REPLAY
Ok, it takes a while to complete depending on how many people play. It's much faster in multiplayer, since your not doing everything. I'd say multiplayer took me and my 3 friends 30 hours and singleplayer took me 50 hours since I had to do everything and most of the time I played I wanted to sleep 5 minutes after the game started. Once you finish it you will probably not touch it for a while and I really don't know what could make me play again aside some new GBA-possessing friends.

OVERALL
DON'T BUY THIS GAME IF YOU PLAN TO PLAY ALONE!!! you're gonna regret it. With a bunch of friends, it simply rocks, the first time through is a charm, after it's not as much fun. Graphics are really cool, and the ambiance is really good with the music. But keep in mind that it is NOT a normal Final Fantasy game so dont expect great story and stuff, it's pretty simple, and better that way, it's all about gameplay.

GRAPHICS: 9.5
SOUND: 7.0
GAMEPLAY: 9.5 (Multi) 5.0 (Solo)
REPLAY: 7.0 (Multi) 3.0 (Solo)
FINAL NOTE: 8.3 (Based on Multiplayer aspect because this game is made for multiplayer)


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/04/04


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