Review by DeckardCain

"Different taste than the usual FF games, but is it a good tase or bad?"

The Final Fantasy series has gone to Nintendo's Game Cube, and made the game Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles to go with it. Many fans would buy the game without hesitation, but if your new to the series, you may want to get some background on the game before deciding whether to buy, rent, or stay away from the game. Did Square make a success in this game, or did they fail to impress their fans of the final fantasy series?

First off, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is an Action RPG game. You choose to create a character from these groups known as Clavats, Selkies, Yukes, and Lilties. You also get to pick out your Family's specialty - Fisherman, Miller, Farmer, Rancher, Merchant, Blacksmith, Tailor, and Alchemist. You can pretty much customize your character's name, sex, their group/type, and their family specialties. Each of the groups have different appearances for characters you make, also. After creating your character, your able to "Set Out" or make even more characters! You can make up to eight characters total.

The story to many people seem kind of boring, but it is indeed, important storyline. It seems that somehow a substance or something called "Miasma" effects all humans and eventually kills them overtime. You and you character are Caravaners who collect Myrrh, a powerful type of liquid or some sort that can prevent Miasma from effecting people. However, this Myrrh drops from a tree, and these special trees only drops Myrrh every couple years. Every year, you must collect three drops of Myrrh from trees spread throughout the world to help save your village from dying of this foul disease of Miasma. Along the way you fight many creatures and monsters to collect the drops of Myrrh. Also, at the end of each area with a Myrrh Tree is a boss that you must defeat in order to receive the drop of Myrrh. After collecting three drops, you save your village for one whole year. Unfortunately, after you return to your town with the Myrrh, the fast forward to the part where you have to set out to collect Myrrh again, which is kind of a downer. But you have to continue collecting Myrrh every year.. Very boring, but vital to beating the game. It is different than most Final Fantasy game stories.

Let's move on to the gameplay. You can journey around the world on the world map, and go to various places such as your hometown, or even go to the Mushroom Forest to find a Myrrh Tree. If you go to a town, you can talk to people to gain some information, forge equipment, buy materials, and much more. A journey to a Myrrh Tree is where all the fighting is. You can set your command list with skills and set items too. You automatically begin with Attack, and Defend. Those are basic commands. After killing a monster, they drop items. They can drop practically anything such as a Stone of Thunder to add to your command list, or Plume of Phoenix Down to revive you when you are killed. Continuing on through the end of the level, you will fight a boss. After defeating the boss of the given level, you'll get a drop of Myrrh, and also gain Bonus points to help your character's Stats. You then select an Artifact to raise your stat points. If your familiar with other Final Fantasy games, you can tell that the leveling system is almost completely different. Also, after every event you go through, and I mean EVERY event you go through, you'll record some notes on your diary that you can read. Thus, you can read the past as much as you want and remember your journey around the world, collecting Myrrh, meeting new people, getting into certain messes, and so on. Multiplayer gameplay require a Game boy Advance and a cord to connect it to the Gamecube in order to play. You'll need to spend extra cash to purchase those items. Multiplayer will allow you and friends to play together. You can play mini-games in the moogle house. Multiplayer can be much more fun, no fun at all, same as one player, annoying, etc. But generally Multiplayer is much fun than playing alone. You quest together, fight together, you do everything together basically.

Now the graphics on this game is pretty much the same as all Nintendo games. Average. No special touches on anything, yet there are no bad spots on the graphics as well. FFCC graphics goes back down level of FF9, except FFCC is slightly better in the background terrains and such. The characters in the game wear clothes in the old times, such as leather armor and bandannas and such. And the background is more detailed than the characters. Water looks fairly realistic giving an outstanding reflection of you running beside the water, not to mention the smooth touches on the grass and ground. Monsters and creatures didn't seem to be detailed much as the terrain of levels. Moogles were the most detailed of all the characters, considering there were probably over a 1000 hairs of fur on the moogles to see, as well as their antenna with a red ball on top of it. But overall, it becomes the average graphics as always for Nintendo. But compared to the FF series, this is under average by a long shot.

The music seemed to be entertaining in each and every area you go to. You can hear the flutes and such playing with great talent. The music was just magnificent and nicely put together. I would have to say the music on this game is better than most, if not, all FF games ever created. No joke, some of these musics are incredible. Also the sound effects were decent with the hack and slash sounds going off, and you could also hear the sounds from the water flowing as if it were a beach with waves coming towards you every few seconds. You also could hear birds chirping and singing and such in some areas. I would say this is the best part of the game, mainly because of the great music.

The Controls are a little more complex for normal Game Cube games. A button attacks, while holding charges up an attack. B Picks up items and such, X tells your Moogle to pick up your Chalice (The big jug that holds Myrrh), Y does nothing really, L and R rotate your commands, control stick and control pad move your character around, and that pretty much sums it up. If you ask me it is hard to get used to, but I guess others manage just fine. You can edit the controls probably in the Option menu to help better yourself in the game controls.

The Difficulty in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is fairly easy, but is pretty annoying to get higher stat points. You have to defeat a boss and obtain an artifact to increase your stats permanently. This takes at least ten minutes or more time to raise one of your stats up. It is completely different from the rest of the Final Fantasy games. Some monsters are weak, while other monsters are overpowered and can destroy you in seconds. In fact, some monsters are even stronger than bosses! It's hard to believe but they do a much better job at dealing damage than some bosses do. Questing through each year is not too difficulty though. If your new to the game, this is tough. If your experienced, then it's a piece of cake. Simple as that.

The time to complete this game depends on your skill level and how much time you spend playing games. I would say for an average player the minimum time would be one week. But if you play only two hours or so a day, it can take about a month or longer. Replayability? I don't think there is much to replay much for. Maybe make a different character, but that is it. Not too many sidequests to complete either. The game could of definitely had more sidequests to spice it up a little. Very early in the game it gets Repetitive fast. You end up doing the same thing each year, until you find out what you need to do to beat the game.

Square Enix tried to make something different, but was it a failed attempt, or did they really succeed? It is up to you to decide. Should you buy this game right away? Should you rent it to test it out? Or will you keep it off your mind and not bother doing anything? It is your choice, but I recommend buying the game if your a FF fan or interested in RPG Action games. If you don't have a clue about what this FF series is, or you are not really interested in RPG Action games, then go buy something else you've been waiting for.

Story - 7 out of 10
Game Play - 9 out of 10
Graphics - 7 out of 10
Music & Sound - 9 out of 10
Difficulty - 6 out of 10
Time & Replay - 6 out of 10
Final Score - 7.25 out of 10


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/28/05


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