Review by Lunar Light
"Changes the genre RPG forever"
FF:CC is a beautifully composed game that is apart from the regular Final Fantasy series. What sets it apart is the fact that there is no level system, and that there is no turn-based battle. Also introduced is multiplayer which i will elaborate on later. Now before you praise or haze this game, let me shed some light on this wonderful game.
Wow. That is the only word to describe the graphics to this game. While not on the level of the more recent Final Fantasy games, it pushes the Gamecube processor to the limit. Stare in awe at the graceful water. Nod in approval of the meticulous character models. Be shocked at the precision of the magical effects. Seethe in annoyance at the only thing keeping the graphics from being almost flawless: the freakin' framerate. When there are a lot of enemies on the screen, or when fighting a crazy boss, the framerate will drop very slightly. Of course this doesn't help when a boss is about to cast Thundaga, and you are running slower than a turtle, but it happens rarely, and should not ruin the feeling of the game.
* graceful animation
* decent character models
* great magic-effects
* crappy framerate at times
Tear the mute button off of your remote. That is the only way you can avoid missing the absolute enchantment of this game'sound. When you use fire magic, the combination of a mystical, magical sound fuses with a fiery, burning sound to produce a sound that sounds like fire. Also, the sounds aren't recycled when you use the next level of magic. Fire doesn't sound like Fira, and Fira doesn't sound like Firaga. The producers clearly cared about the audio quality of magic. But it doesn't stop there! When you attack an enemy, the force of the attack is clearly defined through the sound. The only sound that gets annoying is the sound made when your vehicle (which I can't recall the name of) travels through the world map. So you may want to glue your mute button back on. But overall, the sound is inviting. If you still need a good comparison, pop Metroid Prime in your GCN, and jump into poison or lava and stay there for one minute. Then you will appreciate greatly the sound of Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles.
*Magic sound isn't recycled among different levels of magic
*The sound really matches its correspondant
* Vehicle sound may get annoying, but still could be worse *points sarcastically at Metroid Prime*
The music in this game is above average to me. I take music in a game very seriously because the music spurs me on to go further in a game when it is midnight and I'm tired like I don't know what. The music matches the place you are at. Boss music is a high tempo whirlwind of notes, while dark, gloomy dungeons boast slow, scary sound tracks. The tunes are very catchy, especially the world map tune which is playing in my head right now.
*High quality profession is clearlt defined
*Music matches the environment: a blind man could imagine accurately what a dungeon looks like through the music
*The music is so good, I can't think of anything to put under "music cons"
Gameplay: Single player: 9/10 Multiplayer: 7/10
This is it. Gameplay makes or breaks a game. Final Fantasy has unique gameplay worthy of recognition. The point of the game is that you live in a town called Tipa (or whatever you choose to name it in the beginning of the game). The world is plagued by a poisonuous mist called Miasma, but it is repelled by "crystals". Small villages have small crystals, while larger cities have massive crystals. But the protective aura of these crystals doesn't last forever. They only last one year. That is where you come in. Each year, a caravan is sent out to collect myrrh from myrrh trees. Myrrh provides a year's worth of protection from deadly miasma. So each own and village and city sends out their own "Crystal Caravan" to collect myrrh. Now you may be asking," How the heck do these 'Crystal Caravanners' travel out of their towns without succumbing to the fatal effects of Miasma?" Simple. They use "Crystal Chalices", portable crystals that protect individuals from Miasma. Your adventure entails finding a dungeon, collecting keys, artifacts, and magic to boost your stats, then fight a gigantic boss and its minions to collect that precious myrrh. Then you find another dungeon, and do the same thing. Then after the third dungeon, you automatically return to your town with the myrrh, then you advance one year.
Lather, rinse, repeat. Now in order to make the game more linear, the producers thought up the Miasma Streams, which are caverns separating parts of the world map. Only caravanners with a Crystal Chalice of the Stream's corresponding element can cross.
What is different in this game is that you don't learn magic. You collect "Magicite", and set it, along with Pheonix Down, into command slots. You then use the L and R buttons to cycle through a list of actions on your command list, and use the A button to perform that function. The different magicite you get can also be fused in Single Player mode. This is called the Magic Fusion System. In your command list menu, you can fuse spells in order to get entirely new ones. For example, if you collect two fire magicites, you go to your command menu, place fire and fire next to each other, fuse them, and the final result is Fira. In multiplayer, however, there is no command menu. In order to fuse spells, you must use the Magic Pile system. Player one might charge up fire, then player two will charge up blizzard, then with the correct timing of release, you will come out with "gravity", a useful spell on flying enemies. It is very complicated at first, but soon you will be a master.
Now you know that problem in many multiplayer games, where the characters have to always be next to each other because the camera can't be everywhere at once? Well, Square Enix has brilliantly solved that problem with the Crystal Chalice. The borderline of protection is represented by a ring that also lets you know what element you are. If you travel out too far, you will start losing life, untill you die, and someone has to waste a Pheonix down on you for your stupidity.
The play-time depends on how high you want your stats to be. THIS GAME CAN GO ON FOREVER!!!!!! I think the minimum progress time is 5 years, but I'm on my eighth. And it's not like the game gets boring after a long time. There is almost always something that you haven't done. If you decide to beat the game, it might take you around seventeen hours to beat the game. But wait! You can be one of four races, so seventeen time four equals a whole lot of hackin' and slashin'. So this game will be fun time, all the time.
I wish there could be more RPGs like this. This game sets the bar for everyone else, and that bar is very high. With cutting-edge graphics, beautiful musical scores, detailed dungeons, and long-lasting play-time, this game is worth the money it took to buy it.
Final Score: 9
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/19/04
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