Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles - GC

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Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles - GC

Post  Mr007 on Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:46 am

[SIZE="6"]Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles - Gamecube (Released 2004)[/SIZE]

A few days ago, I posted on this very forum a thread about ''What Gamecube games should I get? I was met with a few different answers, but one seemed to stick out among them all....
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. I had heard from multiple sources that the game was rated well, but that many die-hard FF fans disliked it for its lack of a turn-based battle system. I was never a big fan of the FF series, but when I heard that it could be likened to a moe modern RPG series such as Diablo or Warcraft, I thought...Hey, its only $7.99 at my local Gamestop, why not try it?

So, I decided to walk over to the store and pick up a copy. No sooner did I get to the counter than the clerk says to me, ''Whoa! Good choice buddy, this game was awesome, especially if you have your friends with you''. I knew right then I was in for a treat.

I rushed home and as I do with most of my new Gamecube games, put it right into my little black lunchbox and started playing. I was greeted with a pleasant Secret of Mana-like title screen with very nice music. I proceeded to create my first account and started playing.

So, before I get to how the game plays, let me tell you about the story...

The world in which the game takes place is one where four ''races'' reside. The Yukes, the Selkies, the Lilties, and the Clavats. Each of these races has a particular specialty and hometown. These races were once rampant all over the globe, but alas...One day, a substance known as ''Miasma'' began to shroud the land. This substance kills anything it comes into contact with, and the only way to push back the miasma is by refueling things known as ''Crystals''. The crystals are refueled with ''Myrrh''. Myrrh is a magical substance which rejuvinates the miasma-defending powers of the Crystals. These Crystals are all over the globe, in towns where the races reside, and its up to you and the other members of your ''Caravan'' (a fancy name for a party) to find ''Myrrh Trees'' in various places and fill your magical chalice with them, and return them to the Crystals to once more ensure the safety of the world; but along the way you will face hardships such as defeating huge bosses, slaying hordes of terrible beasts, and having to defend your caravan against attackers.

.....And that would be it! My somewhat elapsed version of the story. So, now lets talk about Gameplay.

As I said before, you are part of a ''Caravan''. A Caravan is like a party, and in the Caravan there can be up to 8 different characters. However, when you enter a map, you control only one character at a time, not all of the ones you have in your Caravan.

Each character that you make is unique. They can have a unique look, a unique race, unique weapons, spells, likes and dislikes....On and on. But this plays a huge part of the Game. One of the coolest things about this title is the amount of actions you can perform. For example, as I mentioned Spells earlier, spells are performed by picking up things called ''Magicite'' which are little colored orbs which have various properties. Using the L and R buttons, you cycle through your magicite, select one, and then by holding down A you can cast a spell on a designated area. However, thats not all, you can even MIX different types of magicate to create your own unique spells! How cool is that?

Now...While I find spells and the like very cool, I shouldn't get stuck on them, so lets continue. In addition to spells, you have regular attacks. Regular attacks are performed by selecting the ''Attack'' command instead of a spell command. You simply press A once and your character attacks. You can also spam A to perform various parry-like attack maneuvers. If you hold A down, your character will charge up much like they do when casting a spell, and a casting-circle will appear. You will place the circle where you like just like you would do with a spell, and release A and your character will do a super-attack which is usually 2-4 times as powerful as a regular attack.

As you can see, FF:CC has a very advanced battle system that lets you really be free and unique with how you fight, but the best component of the system is how easy it is to use. Thats right, you know I'm talking about controls. With a lot of games, it is just horribly hard and annoying how you switch through various actions and attacks and skills...But in this game its easy. You simply tap or hold the A button to attack/cast a spell, and cycle through your spells and attacks with the L/R button. You perform actions such as speaking to people or opening treasure chests by pressing B, and you can open your options menu with the Y button. And of course, to move your character, use the control stick! Sounds simple right? Thats because it is.

Okay, now all of this sounds cool, but whats even cooler is the multiplayer system. You and up to 3 friends can engage in multiplayer combat by selecting ''Multiplayer Mode'' on the startup screen and playing exactly like you would by yourself....Except with one critical differince. You all have to use Gameboy Advance's. This is an odd feature, because on one hand its extremely cool but on the other, it is the game's one and only failing because without gameboys you can't play multiplayer (Nope, no gamecube controllers for you!).

As you might guess, if all your friends wanted to buy things from shops and such, it might get a bit hectic, so the way the Gameboy takes care of this is by displaying shop information, game maps, etc. on the Gameboy's screen! You can also play minigames using your gameboy if you find the time. This is a very nice feature, but I stated before, if you don't have a Gameboy Advance or GBA SP with Gameboy GC Link Cables, you ain't playing FFCC with anyone other than your lonesome, which is the game's only problem but a big problem indeed.

So, we've covered gameplay, multiplayer, storyline, but what about sound and graphics? Well here you go.

As for the game's musical score, all I can say is....Absolutely beautiful. Each town and map has a lovely upbeat, celtic, scary, or dramatic sound to it, and no sounds are re-used in other areas, all the music is unique for each map. The music is the best I have ever heard in any game in my entire life hands down, and if you like music, you'll love this game's score regardless of your preferred genre.

Finally we have graphics. I have to say, that even compared to Resident Evil 4, these are some of the best and most beautiful graphics I have ever seen in my entire life. Gears of War has nothing on this game. Yes, the graphics can be somewhat cartoony at times, but it is an RPG after all. However, that being said, everything is extremely detailed and has vivid and bright colors, and not a single thing is out of place. If you told me this was an Xbox 360 game, I would believe it instantly. If ever there was an argument layed forth to say that the Gamecube had next-gen graphics, this would be the example for such a statement. And putting aside the game's simple powerhouse of graphics, the game is just plain gorgeous in the way it looks. The characters can be very cute or very grotesque, and the towns can be very bright and cheery or depressing and dark, but one thing they always are, is fitting to the genre and absolutely eye popping to look at.

Time to break it down!

The Good:

- Superb Graphics

- Fantastic music

- Great storyline

- Incredibly advanced battle system but without being overwhelmingly complicated to understand.

- Great character designs and level layouts.

- Insanely fun multiplayer and single player modes with plenty of mini-games and extra features.

- Hours upon hours of gameplay and replayability.

The Bad:

- The need of Gameboy Advance game systems and their respective links really makes multiplay a hassel for anyone who does not already own these items.

Overall, this game is absolutely one of my favorite games of all time, if not THE favorite! You can't go wrong with this title whether you like turn-based strategy, FPS's, or dungeon crawlers, you'll still love this title and buying a Wii or Gamecube exclusively for this game wouldn't be a long shot in any way. Buy. This. Game.

Score: 9.5/10

Review Written by MWright967.

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