It’s Final Fantasy, but not as you know it. That is, unless you played Crystal Chronicles on the GameCube, and given its wallet-knackering requirement for four GBAs and link cables, hardly anybody ever did.
On DS its prospects are slightly better, although players will need their own copy of the cart (and a DS) to get a taste of the four-player fun that makes this such an excellent party game. The aim is to explore deep into monster-filled dungeons, collecting treasure and leveling up your character until you meet a boss that requires some serious teamwork. Unlike normal Final Fantasy games, the combat is entirely real-time. You can jump to avoid attacks or grab onto flying enemies, and each player will need to find the best strategic position to make use of their special abilities. The controls take a bit of getting used to but work well enough once you’re up to speed with the game.
As great as the multiplayer is, the game is still pretty decent to play on your own. There’s a separate solo story mode, which should last a while, and you can go online to trade Moogles if you feel the need to socialise. You can dive straight into the multiplayer levels as well, and get a head start on the various time trials and other challenges for when you do manage to persuade your mates to buy a copy - which shouldn’t take too long, given the brilliance of the graphics. If only the main game supported Wi-Fi, it would be perfect.
Mar 5, 2008