Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Review
Fans of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles know what to expect from the recently released remastered version of the game, and Square Enix is bringing even more content to delve into. The already colourful visuals of the original Crystal Chronicles have been improved drastically for today’s tech and it looks more beautiful than ever on the PS4. Character voiceovers make the already immersive world of Crystal Chronicles even more mesmerizing. Final Fantasy fans who aren’t sure what to expect from Crystal Chronicles will be welcomed by action RPG combat, a unique profession system, and various tribes who come together to form the best Caravan the town of Tipa has ever seen. Final Fantasy fans will be familiar with enemies such as Bombs, Cactuars, Hedgehogs, Gremlins, while Crystal Chronicles presents a familiar but fresh take on classic enemies from the franchise history. Just like many other Final Fantasy adventures, the Moogle plays a big role, but in this adventure, the Moogle is more integral to the gaming experience than ever.
When Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles initially released for the Nintendo GameCube back in 2004, it was a fresh take on the series. It brought vibrant and colourful visuals, new character roles, and a storybook-style overworld with action-based combat rather than the turn-based combat I was familiar with. Multiplayer was achieved by linking Gameboy Advance handhelds to the GameCube using the GBA link cable. This was a unique but difficult method to get a bunch of friends together for some couch co-op, but that system is simplified in today’s remastered Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and it is sure to make playing through the game with buddies a lot easier, making Crystal Chronicles Remastered a great modern Final Fantasy to play with friends. Crossplay makes playing Crystal Chronicles with your friends even easier, bridging the gap between mobile, Nintendo Switch, and PS4.
Beautiful Visuals Fully Updated for Current-Gen Consoles
Combat in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles follows an action-heavy format and was one of the first Final Fantasy titles to really delve into the action combat when it initially released. Depending on what tribe you choose, the gear you start with will vary, but you can blacksmith better gear as you progress through the Caravan campaign. Dodging is important to the combat as enemies will show their attacking patterns, making it easy to come up with a strategy tailored for each enemy you encounter. Some enemies are best handled by charging a magical attack and moving the circular cursor to their area to light them on fire or bend reality around them. Spell Fusion is now possible with Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered, bringing more possibilities to the battlefield. Other enemies are more easily thwarted with a fast series of attacks, especially when you flank the larger and slower enemies. Charging melee attacks will trade a fast volley of blows for one strong hit, important for the enemies that know how to defend themselves. When Crystal Chronicles initially released, this was a difficult system to master due to the drastic differences from other Final Fantasy titles at the time, but in today’s world, it’s easy to see that the combat system was ahead of its time. Just like the turn-based Final Fantasy titles, enemies have their weaknesses and it’s more important than ever to know what they are when you’re delving through a long dungeon.
The Caravan campaign of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles sets you out to gather drops of myrrh to cleanse the Crystal protecting Tipa. There are several dungeons along the way that vary in size and show off various landscapes such as a lush fungal forest, a bayside to fish the day away in, and a dark cave illuminated by Bombs. Each area has a unique character to it, except for dark cataclysmic areas that link one map to the next. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has always done a great job showing a new perspective on classic Final Fantasy locations, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered fills these areas with more life than ever.
Family Trades and Tribes Encourage Replayability
During my playthrough of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered, I played as a Yukes Merchant, and regretted not making my family trade Blacksmithing or Fisherman but creating a new character and delving into the world of Crystal Chronicles is easier than making a new save in traditional Final Fantasy RPG’s. Blacksmiths are more proficient at crafting specific weapons and armor and is essential for solo players, while fishermen will get free fish annually and Farmers get free wheat annually. The merchant isn’t a great solo family trade because it takes a while to reap the rewards of the role. Eventually, you gain access to discounts and access to better items as a Merchant, but just like every other role, it’s dependent on relationship levels. These relationship levels are integral to the Crystal Chronicles experience and it is a unique way to make the towns throughout the game more like communities than other Final Fantasy titles.
While I was unable to experience the revamped multiplayer of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered, I know I’ll be delving into it once some of my friends get into the action-RPG. It was fun to get friends together for some Crystal Chronicles multiplayer on the Nintendo GameCube, but the simplified multiplayer of today and the crossplay functionality will make it easier to get friends together for some dungeon delving. Alongside the locations of the original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles are some challenging new high-difficulty dungeons for friends to explore together or for brave solo players to try to conquer.
The improved graphics take an already beautiful game and smooths out all of the aging issues that became noticeable since its original release seventeen years ago. The various family trades and tribes in Crystal Chronicles Remastered brings an element of replayability to this Final Fantasy title for new and old fans. The epic Caravan campaign is more enjoyable than ever on current-gen consoles, and fans of the original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles should definitely check out the freshly remastered version.
***PS4 code provided by the publisher***
- Revamped Multiplayer
- Added content
- Brilliantly updated visuals
- Innovative combat
- Not made for solo play
- Some lifeless locations
- Very little intro