My Thoughts On Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

17 Jul

I dug through my garage recently and found something rather interesting: my old Nintendo Gamecube. For those of you who don’t know, this was one of Nintendo’s most popular game systems of all time (it came just before the Wii). My Gamecube was a bit dirty, but I had a Wii to play Gamecube games on so why did I need it anyway, right? Well, to be able to save your game on those Gamecube games one must have a Gamecube memory card. So when I found the Gamecube with both cards in tact, I got quite excited. Soon after finding the cards I ordered an old game I used to love over eBay. Now one thing I’ve noticed about most of these old games I used to play is that they’re never as good as I remember them. However, the game I ordered has proven me wrong. In fact it has proven me very wrong. The game I ordered is better than I remember it being. This game was Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles.

Let me start with the opening. You start a new game, and then one of the most beautiful opening scenes you may ever see in a game plays out. You can find it on YouTube, but let me make this known: it’s not the same on a tiny computer screen. And when I had it going on my big, flat screen TV, that has HD picture and a BOSE surround sound system, holy crap did it look and sound incredible. It was like a dream, only it was actually happening right in front of me.

And then there’s the first moments of the actual game. Now I must warn people that if you don’t like walls of text you will not like this game. Because even though they’re few and far between, when they show up they are long. There’s a lot of reading to do in the game, especially at the beginning. But if you endure it, you’ll find the game is well worth however much you paid for it (I got it for $23 on eBay. It is still, to this day, worth $40 to me).

In the beginning you get to create your caravan (more on that later), which can be up to eight characters. The four “tribes”, which I think we should just call races in this game since two of them aren’t even human, are unique in design and all have very aesthetic characteristics. There’s the Clavats who are essentially your generic humans with cool armor and swords, the Selkies who are basically your hot humans with little clothing on (although I think the males look a bit too much like women), the Lilties who I swear to God must be some of the most badass “little people” I’ve ever seen (they’re essentially the beardless dwarves of this game), and then there are the Yukes. I don’t really know what to say about the Yukes since they’re the more mysterious race. You never get to see their faces because they’re always wearing helmets, their bodies are covered in fur, and that’s about all I know about them. They’re very mysterious.

After creating your caravan you get to learn the story of the game. Okay, so the world is covered with this stuff called Miasma, a dark energy that slowly kills anyone who is among the four main races. All other creatures are either immune to it or have become one with it and turned into evil monsters that you’ll fight throughout the game. How the four main races defend themselves from the Miasma is with the power of the crystals. Every town in the game has a giant crystal that shields the people from Miasma. These crystals are powered by a resource that they need again once every year, called myrrh. To find this myrrh, crystal caravans must travel into Miasma covered lands and recover the myrrh from myrrh trees. To get to these trees without being taken out by the Miasma, the people in the caravans bring along a crystal chalice that not only holds a small crystal to protect these people, but carries myrrh for them as well. And lastly, each  myrrh tree is defended by an evil boss monster, which is usually at least four times your size (or in a Lilty’s case, eight times).

That’s a brief version of the plot. Remember, even after all these years I still haven’t beaten it, so expect other surprises throughout the game. Before I get into a few more good things, I want to talk about the only thing that I feel is a flaw in the game: the multiplayer. Now I’ve heard that a lot of people had fun with multiplayer in this game and that’s good for them. However, I think that the developers tried way too hard to “innovate” with this system. To play with friends you actually have to go out and buy multiple Gameboy Advanced systems (the handheld before the DS) and Gamecube connecters for each of these Gameboys and use these friggin’ things as your controllers. The excuse for this is that everybody has to have their own personal menu, but you’re telling me I have to go out and buy multiple handhelds just so I can play one game with my friends? I don’t think so.

Anyhow, that’s my one complaint. Other than that, the game is great. One thing that I forgot to mention earlier is that each race has an advantage in combat that the others don’t: Clavats have good defense, Lilties have good offense, Selkies are really fast runners, and Yukes are good with magic. And that’s my way of segwaying into combat. The combat in Crystal Chronicles is unique to Final Fantasy. It isn’t turn-based, it’s real-time combat that requires you to actually be strategic on the spot. You can’t just spam the attack button the whoe time. You have to be ready to quickly alternate between using regular attacks, to firing off spells, to using items, to targeting special attacks, etc. If you don’t like thinking, this isn’t the game for you. Crystal Chronicles requires you to actually think about what you’re doing, not just sit there button mashing all day.

After collecting three drops of myrrh you’ll return home and celebrate your victory, which is always cool to watch. The game’s art style makes it cool just looking at the characters. And while we’re on the subject of art I should mention that the music in this game is superb. Every time you go somewhere you know you’re going to get music that fits the environment, the characters, etc. Especially the boss fight music, I really love that track specifically. It’s great.

Overall this is a great game, and at this point in time it is worth double what you’ll probably pay for it. Crystal Chronicles is charming, powerful, and if you own a Wii and a Gamecube controller (and a memory card) you should definitely pick it up.

3 Responses to “My Thoughts On Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles”

  1. internet roulette July 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Irgend ne Ahnung wie sehr das verallgemeinerbar ist?

  2. roulette strategy July 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Great idea, but will this work over the long run?

  3. fantasy swords July 22, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    Fantasy has really amazed human minds since time and memorial. We like to imagine how things would be if men could fly or if there were really dragons and knights in silvery armor suits that slays dragons. These things is what makes it so interesting that to some they even collect things that is related to their fantasies like swords and armors. fantasy swords

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