Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles : The Crystal Bearers

A year and a day after the game was released I finally beat Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles : The Crystal Bearers (FFCC : TCB).  A lifetime ago when I was single and could stay up as late as I wanted my roommates and I would often play the original Gamecube FFCC until the wee hours of the morning.  One time in particular I had to call in sick to work the next day because I had stayed up a little too late and was barely able to walk.

FFCC:TCB eliminates all of the things I loved about the Crystal Chronicle series and creates a different kind of game that falls short of being great.  All previous FFCC titles have been multiplayer so I was quite surprised to find that this game is essentially a single player adventure.  The four races in the FFCC universe (Clavat, Selkie, Lilty and Yuke) are all present, however in this game it appears that the Lilties have wiped out the Yukes in some great war, so Yukes make a pretty minimal appearance.  The differences between the Selkies and Clavats seem to have been blurred to the point that the only noticeable difference I could see is that the Selkies are much, much skankier than the Clavats.  Lilties have been given a much wider variety of appearances than in the past (4 – 5 different forms) several of which could be mistaken for a Clavat.

The game makes good use of the Wii motion control.  The main character, Layle, is a crystal bearer with the magical ability of telekinesis.  You exercise his power by locking on to objects by pointing at them with the Wii remote.  You battle enemies, interact with the environment, navigate mazes and shake down pedestrians for their spare change using this mechanic.  This mechanic is simple, but fun.

The rest of game play is dominated by mini-games that occur infrequently.  Some of the mini-games are fun but many are not.  Almost all of them can be completed without any skill whatsoever and won’t interfere with your enjoyment of the rest of the title.

There are RPG elements to this game where you can acquire equipment and enhancements to power up your character but I never really needed to get involved in doing any of that.  I was plenty powerful without buffing up any.

I enjoyed playing the game, but somewhat bland level design, an unevenly paced story and poorly implemented inventory system really kept this game from being great.  If they had bothered to put in a bit more spit and polish before release this could have been a real winner.

Pros
* Simple, fun gameplay.
* Achievement System for added replayability.

Cons
* Could have been done better.

Is it fun: Yes
Score: 6/10
Length:  12 hours
System: Wii
Genre: Action / Adventure
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