Review by Vashu The Stampedo
"Final Fantasy: The Unique Chronicles"
Story - 9/10
The story for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is definitely original. A deadly miasma of mist called “Shouki” has surrounded the world. Anyone/thing exposed to it for too long will be drained of life. So the people of the numerous villages found special crystals that when combined with magic mana water, or “Mirura water”, created a barrier that which the deadly mist cannot pass through. So every year, every village sends out a group of young adults to go and gather this mana water. FF:CC is the tale of one such group, and their encounters and battles along the way.
Gameplay - 9/10
The gameplay in Crystal Chronicles has aspects of numerous different RPG’s, but remains original throughout the whole experience. There’s a world map where your caravan travels from town to town, dungeon to dungeon and bridge to bridge. Most of the gameplay takes place in dungeons, where you’ll be engaged with enemies. In order to fight off the mist you carry a portable crystal around to make a safe zone. So one of the characters, or if you’re playing one player, a moogle, has to carry this crystal cage around. This is a unique aspect of the game, and contrary to popular belief, not that tedious.
The battle is like a cross between Gauntlet Legends and Chrono Cross as it’s real time. You have a normal attack such as hitting an enemy with a sword, and you can also use a charge attack where your character charges up and you get a coloured square that shows where the attack will be directed. A Lilty’s charge attack is a sort of running swipe attack that can hit twice.
Magic is extremely simple in Crystal Chronicles. In dungeons when you kill an enemy or open a chest, you might find a magic scroll/orb. You just equip said orb and ba-da-bing ba-da-boom, you can cast magic. No mana required other than the time required to charge it up. You can also combine different magic to make a more powerful spell. Two Fire spells would make Firaga, etc.
Sound/Music - 8/10
The music is true to the Final Fantasy series, it’s very fantasy related and lighthearted. It’s not the best music, but it certainly is better than listening to repetitive techno music or badly orchestrated music.
Graphics/Visuals - 10/10
Yet again, Square Enix has amazed us with incredibly detailed graphics. Wonderful cut scenes provide for some depth, and the little things just increase the experience. Tossing down the crystal cage, for example, causes the Mirura Water inside to slosh around a bit.
To close out, yes I imported the game, but once you get used to the controls and such it is easy as cake to figure out. Some of the commands, such as Fire or Blizzard can be tough for non-Japanese reading people as they have no indication what they are. Most of the menu options are simple, a memory card for saving, caravan for switching characters, journal for your adventure’s history, etc.
Overall Crystal Chronicles is different than the other Final Fantasy games, but it provides a fresh, great gaming experience.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/18/04
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