Game Review: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers
Genre: Action RPG
Developer: Square Enix
Available Platforms: Wii
Players: 2 (Co-Op is only available in special areas)
Website: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
In this game you start out 1,000 years after the events in the original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. The Great War saw the destruction of the Yuke Tribe, and now the Lilty Tribe holds dominance over the other two remaining Tribes, the Clavat and the Selkie. Hiding among the tribes are a very rare group of people called the Crystal Bearers, whose magic has been banned from use because of fear and misunderstanding from the public.
Layle is one such Crystal Bearer. He and his friend Keiss are hired mercenaries that are currently escorting the Lilty’s airship Alexis back to the Lilty Kingdom. Almost back to their destination, after a very uneventful and yet again boring job, the Alexis is attacked by a group of monsters. Layle jumps off the escort craft and uses his powers to rid most of the beasts from the sky.
After landing on the deck of the Alexis, Layle and the High Commander of the Lilty Army are joined by a very unlikely adversary, a member of the extinct Yuke Tribe. This marks the beginning of Layle’s journey, which could affect the very fate of the world.
You play as Layle, a very strong willed boy who seems to have trouble following him wherever he goes. You will travel the land trying to find the mysterious Yuke, what she is doing with the crystal shards and where she came from.
It really is a mystery right from the beginning. You have no history going into the game, and if I hadn’t read the instruction booklet I would have been completely lost. It’s only further into the game that you start to get the history and things start coming together. It might not be a problem for some, but I for one like to at least know some detail, like who I am, why I have powers and so on.
It’s very easy to maneuver though the game to each of your destinations. The controls are nice and smooth, simple enough for a kid to play if they wanted. With the Wiimote you use your gravitational magic to do things such as pick up treasure, move people around, read signposts and letters. (Truthfully, it was quite fun to throw random people around!)
Fighting is the same, the nunchuk is what lets you run around and you use your gravitational magic to throw around your enemies. You do not get any other weapons besides this magic, and it doesn’t evolve during the game. The only way to kill your enemies is to pick them up and throw them around enough times to kill them, or throw things at them, like rocks or barrels.
If you can stay on track then you’ve mastered a good part of the game, since there is not a lot of direction and it is easy to get lost. You could spend quite some time running around trying to figure out what you’re trying to do. Every so often you do have cute little moogle named Stiltzkin that will tell you where to go, with one small problem. He’s vague. Very vague. “Take that rope and go to the highest point.” Wait, what? What rope? The highest point of what?
There is only one character to play, you will not have any other people added to your group. Actually you won’t have many people to interact with at all. About 1 out of 50 people walking around will talk to you (it’s easy to find them, they have a little speech bubble above their head). Everyone else will just knock into you, follow you around or run away.
You do have a few main characters that befriend you, Keiss being one of them. There is also a very annoying female character, Belle, that you just can’t seem to get rid of. I was excited though to see Cid added into all the craziness, it’s just not Final Fantasy without him.
The background is about the same when it comes to interaction. No doors to open and explore, you can’t stay over at an inn to recharge health, and so many places you can see, but can’t get to.
The overall storyline is well-thought out and easy to follow. It’s not your typical Final Fantasy, but it can hold it’s own. The game actually starts to speed up and get better about halfway through, so if you can hold out, it’s well worth it. It’s only about a 9 hour game straight-through, though you can expand it out a bit with the extras it has if you wanted.
What I do like about the game is the simpleness of it. Being the kind of person that loves RPG’s, and wants to get everyone into the Final Fantasy series, I think that this would be a fantastic game for kids. Also a great game for a parent to play with their child seeing as how the only time you get co-op mode is in battle (and you can only use Layle’s magic, you don’t get another person) and normally battles are what kids have the hardest time with.
The one thing that I was really not fond of was your full control over the camera angles. It will do nothing on it’s own and leaves you to constantly manipulate the D-pad in order to see, which is especially irritating during battles. Seeing as how this game was in the works for around 4 years, I wish they would have put more focus into the camera system.
Not a bad game in itself, but definitely geared more towards kids/teens. If you like playing games for the sake of playing, I would recommend the game just for a bit of fun. If you are a hard core Final Fantasy fan, you will appreciate the overall story, but might be disappointed if it doesn’t live up to your expectations.