Review by FoxDemon

"Square's Crystals get a TEN! I actually gave a TEN!!!"

What could possibly be better than getting a GameCube exclusive game AND it being Final Fantasy? Getting a GC exclusive Final Fantasy game that kicks ass! Yes we are talking a killer breakthrough in Final Fantasy. They switch from Turn Based Combat to Real Time Strategy, and the switch rocks!

Story: 9/10
The story is simple. You are a character from one of four tribes of people all struggling to survive in your world due to the constant threat of a gas called Miasma which slowly drains the life out of you until you die. To prevent the Miasma from hurting people, you need crystals. The crystals repel the Miasma and keep the people safe. Every year caravanners set out and try to obtain myrrh from myrrh trees, a key ingredient in restoring the powers of the Crystals. Now it's your turn to set out on that mission. Protect your tribe from suffication in the best Final Fantasy game Nintendo has ever had on their systems!

Gameplay: 10/10
The Real Time Strategy made me a little nervous when I first bought the game, and took a little while to get used to (I had trouble with the first boss, but eventually you get the hang of the game). Each dungeon has its own stones called Magicite. Magicite is basically your ticket to unlimited magic. Magicite comes in 6 different forms, and once you pick 2 up that are related, you can ''Fuse'' them to form new, more powerful magic (like ''Gravity''). The concept of Magicite is very cool because now you don't need to worry about your MP, you focus on which Magicite stones you have. At the end of a level you lose all your Magicite stones. In each level there are also artifacts. When you are in a level each player has their own ''Bonus'' objective displayed on their Game Boy. This should be kept secret from the other caravanners. When a boss is killed, each person is awarded points based on how many times they completed this objective (E.G. Picking up Money). Whoever has the most gets first pick at an artifact that becomes usable for the rest of the game. So while you want to work as a team there is a little competition amongst your caravan. While you travel in the game you need to bring a crystal with you, which one of you must carry (or trade off). Since there is no experience points in this game, a person carrying a crystal isn't necessarily going to become a ''weaker'' character. The new battle system is very intriguing. You can quick attack with a tap of the A button, combo attack with repeated quick taps, strong aimed attack by holding in A, or you can use Magicite by holding in the A button to power up the magic and then aiming the magic at a target. At first this seems stupid, but it is very fun, give it a chance! I give this game a 10 for gameplay because it never gets old.

Sound: 8/10
Sorry guys, gotta do a bit better with the sound. I have nothing against it, but I've heard better music on the GBA (but in all honesty the 2 points are deducted for the horrible, unskippable song at the beginning of the game, man she sings like Cher!!!)

Graphics: 9/10
These graphics look like a mix of FF9 and FF10. You get the overhead view so most of the time it isn't an in-depth look of the world, but the way they designed this game was beautiful.

Replayability: HIGH
You will play this one over and over and over and... well you get the point play it until the Nintendo gods hear your prayers and ask Square for the rights to another GameCube exclusive FF game.

Overall: 10/10
A few complaints aren't enough to make me miss out on this great game. You will seriously love this game no matter what anyone else tells you if you liked other FF games, go buy it. Don't even rent it (unless you are poor and cant afford it), BUY THIS GAME!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/11/04

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