I believe when most people think of Final Fantasy games they have fond memories of the epic stories told through beautiful cinematic cut scenes, and of leveling up characters in unique ways and equipping them with new and unique gear. So when I received Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers for review I was extremely excited to get down to the RPG elements of the game. Unfortunately, there is next to no RPG elements in this game, and for that reason I could not even put it in the genre of RPG. This is basically an action adventure game with the ability to craft tiny boosts to your singular ability.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers starts out good, making you look like a serious bad guy, and then turns into a “where do I go now?” adventure game. The worst part is the game lacks a waypoint system or a true map. Basically what you do get is a map of the entire world with a hand pointing down at the general location in the world that you should be going to. No direction as to where to go or how to get there. This usually requires you to run around for awhile until you stumble down the path you are supposed to take. This is the formula that you will be following for most of the game. Now if you want you can spend time searching for items and working on crafting the only 3 equipable items in the game. That will take a fair bit of time. The main character can equip 1 amulet, 1 ring, and 1 earring. All these do are increase one of the following stats: Attack, Defense, Focus, Range, or Luck. I know our character sounds like a woman wearing all that jewelry… come to think of it he kinda looks like one with his long hair and glitter on his face. But enough about that, onto the details regarding the combat experience.
Combat… well… I guess you can call it that. What should have been combat ends up being more like a game of keep away where you also need to pick things up and throw them at enemies like you are an angry wife throwing things at your husband. Then again at least most wives also know how to swing a weapon, this game’s main character sure can’t. This will be the only way of attacking throughout the whole game… So if you like the concept of being a track running version of Donkey Kong then this game is for you. Otherwise, the monotonous combat will probably be the last straw.
As for the controls in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, they border on the edge of horrible. Most of the time the controls are decent enough that you can stand them. But dealing with the camera view is by far the worst aspect of the controls. They stay static as you move which causes you to constantly micro manage your camera. Other then that the controls are very simple. It is impossible to miss a jump in this game and even if you do manage to fall somehow, your character will simply grip himself back up from where you fell. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers really caters more to people who have never played a video game in their entire life. Many of these features will have hardcore gamers bored to tears without the lack of a real challenge present.
The “multiplayer” aspect only occurs at certain moments throughout the game and they tend to only last for roughly 30 seconds at most. However, it does make me think of an interesting situation. As a child stares at the TV screen waiting for his chance to play, he holds the wiimote tightly in his hands. Finally, a scene opens up where he can shine. He shoots at a few flying objects and then when the scene ends he solemnly begins waiting again for his next few seconds of game time which won’t be around for most likely another few hours. I mean seriously… who is going to sit around and watch a game for hours just so they can play a 30 second mini game?
Now I have to say, the graphics are one of the better features of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers. The character models are generally pretty detailed and so are a lot of the creatures. The terrain textures seem to suffer from a heavy amount of pixelation however. The music in this game is horrible, most of the time the music consists of a repeating section of music that grinds on your ear drums as you play. The music feels very out of place in a lot of areas in the game. The sounds in the game are average with nothing really to write home about. The one most appreciated aspect of the game is the fact that voice recording was done for the cut scenes and except for a few notable spots the lips sync pretty well with the voices and the voice acting sounds good as well. The Crystal Bearers weighs in at about 25 hours of gameplay and really lacks any replay value.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers has a few good points to it but it really feels more like an adventure title then an RPG game. If you pick up this game because you are a fan of RPG games or Final Fantasy games you most likely will be very disappointed. This game could have been great with some sort of level up system and melee weapons and armor customization, but instead it falls flat and is mostly unpolished.
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