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Nintendo DS Game Review

Final Fantasy
Crystal Chronicles
Echoes of Time


Format: Nintendo DS
Square Enix
RRP: £29.99
5 060121 824638
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 27 March 2009

A triumphant return from a monster-infested forest marks the completion of the 16-year-old hero’s coming-of-age ceremony. However, the hero's joy is short-lived as a young village girl is found to be afflicted by a mysterious illness known as "crystal sickness." Determined to obtain the cure, the hero steps out of the secluded village for the first time, only to discover a world in which crystals are merely artifacts of the past and no longer exist...

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time enables Wii and DS users to play side by side for the first time. This gaming connectivity allows players on both Nintendo platforms to journey together into the world of the Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles series.

At the start of the game you have four different races to choose from: Clavats, Lilties, Selkies and Yukes, as well as the option to play as a female or male character. Each of the different races has their advantages and disadvantages.

Clavats are your average characters, as they don’t really excel or hinder in anything; Lilties are your heavy hitters, which rely on getting close and mashing away at opponents, but they have a low magic rating; Selkies are your long rangers which have low stats but succeed in staying out of trouble - the double jump, which is unique to this character, helps with getting away; and Yukes are your heavy mages but also your weak units which need protecting.

At the beginning of the game you only have one character under your control, but as you progress you will soon be able to hire recruits which you can then use in battle. While you can only use four people in a battle, you can make a roster, in order to create a more balanced team, and then choose a certain team depending on each scenario.

When you first hire a character they have there own costume, but as you start buying and equipping them with better armour you soon realise that the character changes with each piece of armour or weapon that you give them. At the beginning they start off quite boring but as you start to progress through the game you start to see some amazing armour and some cool weapons.

Also at the start of the game you can choose from six different spells, but when you get all four people in your team you can start to stack the spells to increase their power or even create new spells. To stack the spells you have to cast the spell, move it to where you want and then lock it with the L button. Then you have to swap characters and repeat. Each time you do this the spell increases.

In most dungeons in the game there are many puzzles that have to be worked out. At first they are extremely easy, but as you progresses they become more challenging, some of which get very annoyed very quickly because you can see what to do but your characters wont do what you want them to.

Fights in the game aren’t that taxing, and mainly involve button mashing the attack button and waiting for your enemies to die. Sometimes you find that the enemies are a bit too much for you to handle but you soon realise that you don’t have good enough armor and once you have that the enemies are back to being easy once again.

The only real taxing enemies are the bosses, but they can be handled with ease when you have four people in your team with the best armour available at the time. It also helps if you can find the bosses weak spot - which is normally extremely easy to figure out.

The one thing that Final Fantasy games always succeeds in doing is proving interesting and exciting cut scene which always seem to impress. Echoes of Time is no exception. Each character has their own voice, with their lips synched up with each word. The graphics on the cut scenes are not as impressive as they could be but still enough to make you enjoy each one when they arrive.

Echoes of Time is a fairly fun RPG for the DS and has some cool features but, as far as the story goes, it's not enjoyable as most of the other Final Fantasy games out there - and can get quite boring after a while; with predictable outcomes and the fact that most gamers will be able to guess who the main evil boss is within the first cut scene.


Carl Simpson

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