(Available for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android Phones, iPhone)
(Nintendo Switch version used for review)
One game Sqaure-Enix has been hyping for ages is their remaster of the Gamecube classic Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles a multiplayer dungeon crawler spinoff title that allowed you to team up with up to 3 friends using gameby Advances and link cables connected to the Gamecube. Crystal Chronicles has become a cult classic and is often considered one of the best Gamecube games for it’s gameplay as well as it’s throwback to classic final fantay tropes and designs and spawned a further franchise with further games on the Wii and DS which didn’t recapture the magic. This game has been kicked around the release schedule quite a bit being initially revealed during the September 2018 Nintendo Direct with rather vague release of 2019 but was moved about a lot until a concrete release date was finally given earlier this year for August and in all honesty I was looking so forward to playing this game. This has been one of the most anticipated release of the year espically considering Mulitplayer is drastically improved with crossplay online multiplayer added to multiplayer meaning players with the Switch, PS4 and mobile versions can play with one another regardless of which console which I’m going to comment on later on. It was so hard to do the multiplayer without all of your friends having their own Gameboy advances and link cables so to have the online multiplayer means more people can experience the multiplayer aspect of the game. Crystal Chronicles is a spinoff franchise which brings in classic final fantasy iconography, mainly from the first 6 main series games with a bit of 9, which involves you taking a caravan to refill your villages crystal to save it from being consumed from toxic air known as miasma. You can play with up to 4 players online with crossplay between all systems with no offline multiplayer.
- Graphics: this game really has cleaned up well for this generation and I hope it convince Nintendo that GameCube era games can look good in this generation.
- Dungeon and character design: Crystal Chronicles has one of the most unique world design and art style and create several amazing dungeons to explore, they tend to be pretty quick especially in multiplayer but they are enjoyable to explore
- Gameplay: it’s pretty much got the great mechanics from the GameCube game and it controls pretty well
- Added content: I’m glad the game added content for veteran players for their post-game
- Soundtrack: it’s seriously good and I would say it’s up there with some of the best Final Fantasy soundtracks
- Multiplayer mechanics: now online multiplayer attempts to recreate the GameCube experience and to a certain extent it does but it also has some big lag issues which make it work worse especially if you play crossplay with people on other systems and if you decide to play with random people it’s way more easier especially if you’re the host though I still ran into lag doing it and we cannot communicate with each other very well at all . However playing with friends is another story
- Actually playing the online multiplayer with friends: me and 3 of my friends attempted to test the online multiplayer and it was a nightmare. For a start we couldn’t do all the dungeons together based on where we were on the overworld map or how much we had progressed and there was only one dungeon. Now the cross play did work since one of us played the PS4 version and other 3 were on the Switch but the didn’t sync up too well. we tried so many times with different hosts and different dungeons but only one dungeon we tried would work and essentially we were blocked from playing with each other until we played more by ourselves. As a result this game is damn near impossible to play in a group setting which would have good communication (because there’s no voice chat) which was what I was most looking forward to about the game. we made series of stream on YouTube 9it was a series because of internet trouble sorry about that) and it shows our live frustration so well about how much we were looking forward to having a co-op game with each other only to be thwarted and could only do one dungeon
- Single player: its really lonely and boring and to a certain extent mandatory to join certain dungeons with friends which is idiotic
- Cutscenes trigger way too often: there were tons of these and they always trigger at the worst moment and it actually hindered us joining each other in dungeons
- You can’t leave a dungeon once you’ve started: this is idiotic but once you start a dungeon you have to finish it the only way to exit if you don’t want to finish or join someone else’s game is to shut down the game or kill yourself which is surprisingly hard if you’ve help on to some phoenix downs. Please let me quit the game when I want to for crying out loud
- No local multiplayer: I really think they should’ve had offline co-op to fix the multiplayer issues which would make the game way more enjoyable
I really wish this game was better. it looks great remastered and has a cool world and mythology to back up some cool gameplay but it’s not very fun playing single player and by screwing up the multiplayer, the main drawing point, square-Enix have taken one of the best GameCube games and made it worse and at points unplayable with friends. It’s for that reason I cannot say this game is worth it until it has a major overhaul
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