It has been a long time, too long for some, like EGM that announced this game to be cancelled. They were wrong and i am happy, awsome. Anyway, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearer is well alive, and no, i won´t write that title again in this article. Square-Enix was so kind to include a new video-trailer on the disc of the Wii-Version of the latest Crystal Chronicles-game, Echoes of Time.
The trailer starts out rather weird and annoying, mostly due to the bad music, at least bad for a trailer. It´s later on when the “real” trailer starts and we get to see various scenes within the game. And really, the Crystal Chronicles-series finally evolves beyond the nice party-game towards a series that can stand equally next to the main line Final Fantasy-games.
To be honest, The Crystal Bearer is the only Square Enix-game i´m excited about. Of course the game uses a famous name, but in itself it is something completely new. The visuals are great, trumping any other 3rd-party game for the Wii. The design is neither overly cute nor realistic. Instead it´s in the middle, which gives a feeling of a modern FF9. The shown locations look beautiful and creative, most interesting though is the gameplay. It´s too early to give a final judgement, but from what can be seen so far, the game makes great use of the Wii´s features. The main character, Layle, has telecinetic abilities, maybe making use of the Gravitas-magic spell, and throws enemies and all kind of stuff around. He also actives switches from the distance. The potential is there for making a great combat system.
Instead of throwing another bunch of emo-characters towards the player, we finally get a strong, confident protagnist, likeable from the very beginning. Two seemingly bad guys are shown, though it´s unknown if they´re the ultimate bad guys of the game. Looking at Crystal Chronicles-history, probably not.
I´m personally super excited for this game, as it´s less an RPG and more a action-adventure. That means a greater sense of interactivity and less cutscene-watching. It also helps that the main character´s abilities appear to be awsome. With Monster Hunter 3, Dragon Quest 10 and now The Crystal Bearer, the Wii´s lineup looks better than ever before. Now bring Fragile and Tales of Symphonia 2 over to Europe and all is fine.