Review by rond556

Reviewed: 02/13/04

Yet another make over that Final Fantasy can use

I was really excited about Nintendo and Squaresoft getting back together, especially to hear that they were making ANOTHER FINAL FANTASY TACTICS!!!!! But on top of that, they were making another side game for the Gamecube called Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. While my interest was aimed much toward the sequel of one of one of my favorite games of all time, I also thought that this side game showed promise as well. So that made four Final Fantasy games being planned for release at the time, Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles.....something that has NEVER happened before.

Later, my heart was broken once I played Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and I HATED it....luckily I enjoyed Final Fantasy XI enough to forgive the newly formed SquareEnix. Then Final Fantasy X-2 came out, and that was fun and all, giving Final Fantasy the long needed makeover it needed. NOW we got this action/RPG that many claim not to be a ''real'' Final Fantasy (mostly jealous PS2 fanboys looking for an excuse NOT to buy it) but I think that this the best out of the four released, or at least tied for first with FFXI, another game met with hate due to the monthly fee from babies who refuse to work two hours at minimum wage to pay it.

ANYWAY, I have fallen in love with this game. I have not had this much fun with a multiplayer adventure game since......the legendary......Secret of Mana. My friends and I have already put in plenty of hours into this game, and we are not stopping anytime soon. There is nothing more fun than a straight night of FF:CC with your friends....(now I need to get a girlfriend to play it with and I am all set)

The story is kind of shallow. You are a part of a caravan searching the world for trees that drive away the poisonous air. Nothing to fancy, but its decent. Ignorant people also gripe about a ''lack of character'' create you own character which doesn't allow you to do that.

Anyway, the graphics in this game are.......great. They aren't awesome like Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy X, but they are cute, nice, and relaxing. Plus the character models are also very well detailed (the female Selkies are hotties), and the environments are also very nice, and the towns are cool.....the game is just presented beautifully, and the music is top notch also. Not of this hard rock music you find in the more modern Final Fantasy games (not that it's bad), this game sounds like Lord of the Rings and is a nice relaxing alternative to the other stuff.

Gameplaywise, this is not your average Final Fantasy. This is a multiplayer action/RPG like Secret of Mana. You run around pressing buttons to slash at your enemies, so it is not line fighting that everybody is accustomed to. But it's fun and never gets boring. Combat is great, boss fights are fun and strategic. Magic-casting is cool and takes a lot of skill to learn. You need to charge up while enemies are on the verge of attacking you, and then target them MANUALLY, something some Final Fantasy players have NEVER DONE! You also need to carry this damn bucket around which forces you to stay within this bubble while poisonous air all around you floats around just waiting to kill you. On one player, you don't need to carry it, but two of you has to.

And you get to create your own character which is always cool. You can choose from 2 sexes, 4 races, and 4 costumes that gives you 32 models you can choose from. And they all look cool. After that you get to choose the job of their parents which determines what kind of items they will make you if you want them to make you something. (CLAVATS PWNZ j00!)

The leveling up is also different. One thing this game also is a dungeon crawler, and at the bottom of every dungeon is a boss who drops an artifact which allows you to gain stat points, cast new spells, and other stuffs. It's different, but it is still an RPG. Also as you are dungeon crawling, you can pick up temporary artifacts which temporarily teach you spells and boost your stats, but you lose them when you leave the dungeon.

There is also a bunch of side stuff. Your family sends you letters asking for stuff, and if you send them what they want, they like you better. You can name your own village which you can come back to and visit. You can make weapons, accessories, armor, and all that goodness by collecting stuff.......yup, there are a lot of extra gimmicks to help up the replay value.

Of course one can't review this game without saying ''HEY! You can use your GBA as a controller'' Well, you can, and you use it as a menu screen which really comes in handy when playing multiplayer. If you want to play alone, and still use the GBA, that's cool to (I actually recommend that) You have to play multiplayer by yourself though....confusing? Play it and find out. And people also whine about how expensive it is.....well you shouldn't be stupid enough NOT to own a GBA. I own a GBA and a GBA-SP and I pay attention to special deals and got a FREE cable link, so I paid absolutely NOTHING extra to play this game.

Things I don't like about this game? Well, the graphics are so awesome, but they pull the camera up WAY to high taking you away from the environments that you want to experience up close. The GBA can be a bit confusing and takes a while to learn as well.........and of course there is that damn bucket, but it's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. The only thing wrong is that when you put it down to fight an enemy, he usually gets an extra hit in. Combat never gets old like people make it out to do, but combos can be a bit annoying.

So overall, I haven't had this much fun playing with friends since Contra and Secret of Mana. This and Mario Kart have now become the definitive multiplayer games for the GCN. Be sure to pick this up, even if you are an anti FF moron....this might be the new look even YOU might like.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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