Review by thadarkman78
"SquareEnix's return to Nintendo comes with success."
Hello, as no stranger to the world of Final Fantasies having played everyone but FF X-2, I can proudly say that Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (herein known as FF:CC), like Final Fantasy XI, has broken major grounds. The concept of an action RPG has come into the world of Final Fantasies, many traditionalists think of that as barbaric and insane, while many people like myself enjoy the aspect of the action RPG. To top of off, FF:CC brings us the capability of multi player, another leap and bound for the realm of Final Fantasy. Well, stream in all those new ideas and what not, here is how I think the game is:
This is no question, I am fully convinced that this game deserves a 10/10, I truly fell in love with these graphics the minute I set my eyes on the graphics. Now let's take note into this, this isn't the Playstation 2 or X-Box, this is the Gamecube, the system that isn't know for its graphics but its ''gameplay''. FF:CC though, boasts impressive and vivid graphics for any person whether he/she be a X-Box or Playstation 2 owner to appreciate it. I love the way water looks like, impressively real, the monster design and character design looks very appealing and detailed, and the design of the terrain and spell casting has once again risen up to the occasion with breath-taking graphics. Like I said, there is no question, for a system not based on graphics, you have to admit, these are some pretty nice graphics.
The sound/music of this game was pretty well done. I enjoyed hearing the opening song of the game (too bad I don't know who sung it), it was very catchy and appealing. I also enjoy listening to the sound animations for weapons and magic. They were done very nicely. One major drawback though in my opinion was the fact that the only voiceover in the whole game is of a narrator that helps guide you through the game. That was a disappointment, but not enough to still think the sounds/music of the game are bad. Definitely worthy.
Now the controls, well we have some problems here. It get's a little tricky, this being an Action RPG. We have to use the L and R buttons for switching between attack, defense, etc..., which gets a little annoying at time personally. I always end up pressing the L button when I need to press the R button and vice-versa. Also, pressing B to pickup and drop everything while in stages is quite annoying too, because I am used to pressing A to do actions, I end up pressing A and I attack, slowing me down and getting me frustrated along the way (yes, I get frustrated easily). But it still is fairly easy to control, the downsides aren't enough for me to loathe the controls, I think it is fairly decent. Just has a few drawbacks.
I like the story, it is very unique and very cool. Basically, you have the world where four races, Clavets, Lilties, Yukes, and Selkies. They were all living in harmony and peace until recently when this evil mist known as Miasma spread throughout the world, destroying anything that walked into it. Fortunately, the people of the world kept the Miasma at bay by the use of giant crystals in the center of each town helped by the power of Myrrh, which is a substance found on a Myrrh tree. You are the caravan, a group which is protected by a Crystal Chalice and must journey once a year to different parts of the region to collect three droplets of Myrrh to replenish the giant crystal for one more year. I like the story, but the only drawback is the fact that there is another game that has a similar story to it, some of you might have heard this game, called ''Legend of Legaia''. The story is pretty similar, but since I liked the story line in that game, I guess I like it here too.
I am simply in heaven with this gameplay, I love every last minute of it. As I mentioned in the beginning, FF:CC brings to the world of Final Fantasies a new type of battle system that has been appearing in many recent RPG's, this battle system is called the Action Battle System. It is very very different from your traditional Final Fantasy, it requires you to attack and use magic and more all in an active realm, that is, it isn't turn by turn, while you are attacking, defending, etc..., your enemy is also doing something, and thus it is all an active realm, there is no wait time or turn by turn basis, it is all dependent on what you do or don't do. Now this is a system I enjoy, it isn't boring, you are always in the action, never sitting there with your finger constantly on the A button or whatever it is, you are always moving around, switching spells, defending, etc..., makes the game more challenging too. Some traditionalists might see this as crazy, I for one think it is awesome, you have to actually think and work hard to win the battle, not just by pressing the A button 50 times.
Also introduced is the ability of multi player, that is up to 4 people playing simultaneously helping to recover that myrrh. Some may think that is blasphemy, that doesn't happen in Final Fantasy! Well on a side note, Final Fantasy XI already did that. But besides that, it is an amazing feature, it promotes team work and it brings in fun, come on, wouldn't you rather play with your friends then just sit there beating the game 39 times by yourself? I certainly would like to, and that is why it is a great feature.
Difficulty: (1 being easy, 10 being hard) 8/10 on single player, 5/10 on multi player
Now you come up to me and say ''What the, a Final Fantasy hard?'' Oh yea, it is pretty hard. Why you say? because of the action system, it is very hard in the beginning to get used to dodging and attacking and fleeing and casting, it makes it extremely hard to get used to. Once you get used to it, it get's easier, but it is still no walk in the park. The thing that makes it easier though is the use of multi player, having up to four people helps a lot, with multiple people doing damage, it makes things go quicker and it is easier, much easier. But the game still is pretty hard, the hardest Final Fantasy yet.
Now here is my problem, as much as I have been praising this game, I am a little disappointed with a couple of things in this game. The first thing I am a little disappointed with is the fact that their storyline is very similar to another game, which I mentioned before. It is a nice storyline, but it would be nice if it could be original, not similar to another game.
The other thing I am very disappointed in is the fact that this game heavily relies on multi player. Sure, it is awesome that you have multi player capability, but the fact is by making it so you can only have one character fighting in single player mode really leaves us with little choice but to eventually play multi player. That was a bad idea in my opinion, it takes away almost everything Final Fantasy was based on, the ability of good single player fun. (yes, the exception is Final Fantasy XI, but that is an MMORPG, that doesn't need single player support.) It really is very hard to get by in the game without an extra player, and that I thought was really bad.
SquareEnix's return to Nintendo was a success, FF:CC was a brilliant game. It featured new ideas, like multi player capability and an Action RPG system, combined with great graphics and good difficulty makes this a fun and challenging game to play. My recommendation on buying or selling is if you are a hardcore traditionalist and aren't the action RPG kind of person, rent it, I think you will come to enjoy it. If you love Action RPG's, I suggest you buy it, I don't think you will have any problems with this game.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/11/04
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