Ok so due to this game having what may be the longest name in the history of games, I will be calling Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles: My Life As the King… Final Fantasy WiiWare (or FFWW). The original title so long in fact that if you tried to shorten it to acronym form it is still longer than 2 or 3 words. The naming of this game was completely ridiculous and someone needs to go to the Squinix developers and smack them upside the head.
Onto the game. The game is fairly simple in premisis. It is essentially a city building game taking place in the Final Fantasy world. So instead of building a modern city like you do in SimCity, you are building a castle city as in the mideival times which actually is quite a nice change of pace for the genre. There doesn’t actually seem to be many similar sims and I think it is a fresh perspective. On top of that, by making you the king (or mayor) in a more real way than say SimCity (where you are more god than mayor), it makes the game feel more involved I think. And I also like being down on the street level, actually exploring the town instead of up from above (don’t get me wrong, I love simcity but this is a great change to the genre).
In order to build your cities, you need to hire adventurers and send them out to get crystals in order to build more buildings. These new buildings enable you to hire new types of adventurers, upgrade their equipment and abilities, and thus allow them to go out and get more crystals from harder dungeons. And thus the loop continuously repeats itself.
In between all this, they intersperse some random storylines to keep your interest in the game. I am currently in day 60, have academies to all 4 adventurer types, and have one adventurer who is almost 20. I have also found, that though you may have high level characters running around, you still are still dependent on equipment fairly hard. That level 19 warrior, can’t tackle a level 10 boss because I only have level 15 weapons (which seems really odd, you think it’d be able to work well that way but no) and i need to go back to a level 2 dungeon to get more material to research higher level weapons. This is actually a fairly good way to keep using those old dungeons in the game and gives you more stuff to do as well.
I do enjoy the game quite a bit and I can get sucked into it really easily. I’ve always enjoyed city builders and like I’ve said multiple times earlier, this game really brings a fresh look at this genre. I really like what they’ve done with it and they have made it really fun to sit and play. Not only that they’ve made it really easy to just put it down whenever. You don’t have to save ever in the game, it saves at the end of the day automatically and it continues at the previous save point when you leave the game.
My negative to the game besides the name of it is the look of it. I don’t particularly enjoy that all the characters in the game look like 5 year olds. While I don’t mind having 5 year old characters, I don’t like that ALL of them are 5.It makes me kind of sad to think that all these children are running around without parents apparently and have to fight off monsters by themselves in order to survive.
The graphics are really great otherwise, and it is obvious that Square really concentrated on this aspect of the game. It looks like a complete game that could have been put in retail chains. And this kind of leads to another downfall, and that is the price. at $15 it is really expensive, and I fully believe that at least $5 is going straight to graphics. The game itself is really just a $10 game being sold at $15 because they put so much money into graphics, which is their choice I suppose. I think it is unfortunate because while I do believe this game will sell well, it would have sold better and would have undoubtably been a must have game on WiiWare. As it stands I think only city building gamers and Final Fantasy gamers will really partake in this game. Which I really think many others could get into it.
The downloadble content they have for the game is a nice extra too. I haven’t bought any but I could see a potential of putting some extra credits into some. In particular I think the dungeon pack (11 dungeons for $3) seems somewhat valuable. Many don’t seem worth the money (like 1 costume for $1 or a new race for $3). I could see the costumes being more worth it at maybe 5-10 new costumes at $1, but even that would be a stretch. The only benefit I could see putting in money towards the new races is that I do get bored looking at dozens of humans running around and it may be interesting to see another race every now and then. But again this is mostly cosmetic (each race is supposed to have bonuses for particular classes too but I can overall live without this). I think these things aren’t really worth the money right now.
Still, this is a pretty good game. Definitely a great start to the WiiWare service and really showcases the potential of this service in nearly every way (except online, but honestly I don’t think there is a way to add online content to this game).