Review by GCNszmm
"Final Fantasy: N Style"
It's been more than a decade for Nintendo fans since they've seen the release of a new Final Fantasy game on a Nintendo system. Nintendo fans have long looked upon the Platystation and felt the need to feel that Square magic once more with releases of games such as Final Fantasy VII, Xenogears, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy X, and the soon to be released Final Fantasy XII. It was quite a shock for gamers all over when they heard of Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles; the return of Square games to a Nintendo home console. Playstation gamers felt taken back. Most couldn't believe that the name ''Final Fantasy'' would appear away from the Playstation name. Gamecube gamers rejoiced. Finally, Square would be making a return. Xbox gamers felt left out, since they got no Square love what so ever. No one really knew what to make of Crystal Chronicles, and soon speculation started. When the details of the game started to finally get out, no one was sure how to make of it. Connectivity to the GBA was required for multiplayer? Character creation? Lack of story? Finally, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is out, and it is a triumphent return of Final Fantasy back to Nintendo consoles.
Beautiful. When Kazenone first plays, you can see how much detail was put into this game. Square had no experience with the Gamecube and they were able to pull off some great graphics in about a year. The thirty two character models are quite a splendor to look at, even if you really can't see them all that clearly. The art direction is wonderful; the game crawls with originality. The water is some of the best in any game, and from Belle River Path one can see just how much detail Square put into the water. Square must have had fun with the textures: They're amazing.
The graphics aren't without their flaws, however. Some of the characters look a bit off in their design, and some of the levels are somewhat bland. Don't let these little things fool you: The game is eye candy.
Most of the work has been put into the Multiplayer. Although the single player is still great, it doesn't have the amazing feel of the multiplayer. The game can still be enjoyed very much in single player, but to truly experience Crystal Chronicles, one has to play Multiplayer.
Even with two people, Multiplayer is some of the most fun you will ever have with your friends. This is the game to get your parents into video games. This will turn them. Fighting over the chalice (or trying not to get it), seeing who can get the most items, and playing games of who can kill the most monsters are just some of the fun you'll have in Crystal Chronicles.
The interaction with your family really adds more depth to the game. It makes the character seem more like you, and it adds are sense of accomplishment to know your parents are enjoying your letters. It's like you really are with the Crystal Caravan.
Mini games are just fun. Racing cows leads to hours of enjoyments, and the caravan racing game can make some very fun nights.
The story is there. It really it. You have to dig for it, though. This is not a Xenosaga story. It's not a game of biblical proportions pitting you against the Universe. The story is very well developed for what it is. The way you see other caravans and other small details really adds to the theme of memories throughout the game.
The chalice is one of the only things wrong with the gameplay. It's a novel idea, but it doesn't come with out flaws. The chalice slows people down, and during boss fights, and can be the reason that you loose. You'll drop it to fight, and then the boss will block the screen and you can't get back into the circle. It's annoying, but it can be overlooked.
There is no voice acting, but there is the Irish Lady that says something about the dungeon at the beginning of each level. It's quite nice, and you'll learn to love her. Kazenone was traslated quite nicely into english, and makes a great opening song. The music in the levels and the world map is nice but it's nothing that you'll remember (You'll be humming Kazenone for a while, however).
There's just so much there. From collecting all the artifacts, to the minigames, to experiencing the game with your friends over and over again, you'll be playing Crystal Chronicles for a long time.
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is the first Final Fantasy game on a Nintendo home console in over a decade, and it's one of the best games in a long time.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/11/04
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