Published Saturday January 9th, 2010
Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers
Publisher: Square Enix
ESRB Rating: T, for Teen
Yes, most of us are on pins and needles awaiting the more-anticipated “Final Fantasy XIII” release in March on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
For Wii players, the wait is easier thanks to the release of “The Crystal Bearers,” another in the Crystal Chronicles story line. It should keep their appetites whetted while the others wait not so patiently. “Bearers” won’t blow fans away or keep them playing at all hours of the night, but it’s a solid installment that most will likely enjoy.
Although it’s under the banner of the Crystal Chronicles name, this game doesn’t have strong ties to previous titles. For one thing, the game takes place 1,000 years after the original and the dots are not entirely connected from one to the next. This allows new gamers to dive in without feeling behind the curve, and gives longtime fans a chance to get excited about some new characters, primarily the one you play as, Layle.
Square Enix has always delivered a fascinating story, and Layle’s is no different. Soon enough, you are off to save the world. The cut scenes and dialogue push forward a tale that will make you pay attention to its twists and turns. However, often the combat and RPG elements fail to measure up.
Layle is telekinetic, and so a majority of the fighting involves throwing enemies around like dolls, which is fun for the first hour or so but wears on your patience (and arm joints) after that. Toss in the fact that there is no map to guide you from one place to another (traveling takes up a large portion of your gaming experience) and you begin to wonder what you are supposed to be doing.
Again, fans may love this installment and newbies can use this as a worthy launching pad into the “Final Fantasy” universe, but more-experienced gamers may be left scratching their heads and further drumming their fingers awaiting the “Final Fantasy XIII” release date.