previews\ May 18, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles - GC - Preview

E3 2003 - Hands On

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles marks the first Final Fantasy game to hit a Nintendo console since the SNES days.  Not actually an entry into the series, Crystal Chronicles will focus primarily on multiplayer gameplay and GBA connectivity.  Details on the storyline are very scant, but from what I heard the story will follow a group of individuals as they try to save the world from a growing evil force trying to take control of crystals with the power to conquer the world.

Crystal Chronicles is an action RPG, and the combat system feels a lot like Secret of Mana.  The fighting takes place in real time, and you have the ability to attack your enemy and perform a variety of combos.  You can either attack your enemy or cast a spell on them.  In order to cast a spell, you first need to charge it up and then move a reticle over your intended target and cast.  Charging up a spell can be a little tough, as enemies are also attacking in real time.  Also, when your onscreen character dies in battle, you’ll still be able to walk around as a ghost until some one revives you with a phoenix down.

The game made great use of GBA connectivity.  A Game Boy Advance can be used as a controller for the game, and the screen periodically displays helpful information.  By pressing select on the GBA, you can access your items menu and your character will go on automatic computer control until you’re done.  Also, you can use the GBA to transmit personal messages to your teammates.

While some people hoping for a more traditional Final Fantasy game might be disappointed by the action RPG elements in Crystal Chronicles, the multiplayer elements are really fun and should make the game worth playing for two or more people.  Crystal Chronicles hits this fall.

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