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“Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King” review

With the recent release of Wiiware for Nintendo’s next gen system, casual microtransaction cost games are available on all three next-gen platforms. The latest FFCC entry is a rather interesting venture. Throughout the course of the game once you start it (I’m on day 95 currently) there is no direct action whatsoever. The gameplay is reminiscent of PS2 game Dark Cloud where you are charged with building towns and personally exploring the world around you. However the only character you have control over is the King, whose only duty around the town you build is to select the placement of buildings and the micromanagement of town resources and economy. NPCs are hired to travel and explore in your stead and you never actually see the dungeons and areas that are discovered. Your town starts off as a blank canvas, with the castle being the original focal point of the town where the King and his three advisors rest nightly. Once you place your first house in the area. An adventurer from that house will line up in front of the castle and look for work. Later on you can assign them jobs with in-town behests (quests posted on a town bulletin board for adventurers to volunteer for). Thus far Warrior, Thief, White Mage, and Black Mage are the only jobs available, which are unlocked by placing buildings that are quested through the aforementioned behests. Placing additional buildings increase population limit, raise morale (which act as sort of EXP for the town), or generally make the adventurers lives easier by allowing them to buy better equipment or form parties so they can more easily explore dungeons and defeat their bosses.

Despite being such a small game, there is quite a bit to do. Each day you have a limited time to handle business among the townsfolk, you have to constantly talk to your townspeople to raise morale and are personally responsible for the quality of adventuring of your adventurers (You fund the research of better weapons, armor, abilities, etc).

For those who enjoy the Crystal Chronicles branch of Final Fantasy things are very familiar. The races used in previous iterations are present; Clevats, Lilties, Selkies and Yukes. Although you have to actually purchase the other races with your Wii points. The cutesy style is still ever present and the thematic elements seem tailored to young children as Ring of Fates was. Interestingly enough, you never see a single monster, except of course, the main antagonist (Yes, there is a story). The day to day routine however can get pretty redundant and sometimes your adventurers’ ineptitude can be rather frustrating if your goal was to level them up. Story elements come up very sporadically but what can you expect from a game that seems to be meant for casual gaming?

FFCC: My Life as a King is what it is: A $15 1500 point game, and although the additional content you can purchase can be a little pricey, they are not necessary. You get what you pay for and depending on what you’re looking for this might actually be a good game if you’re looking for something to kill time with. If you’re looking for the action RPG game this isn’t it, wait for The Crystal Bearers.


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