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Review: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King

by May 2, 2012

First things first, instead of the obnoxiously long title “Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King” for the purposes of this review it will be referred to as “My Life as a King”

Now that that’s out of the way let’s get to the review

My Life as a King is a follow up to the Gamecube’s Crystal Chronicles and finds a roaming swarm of citizens in need of a home. That task is given to the lead character that you play in the game because it’s the son of the missing king. The opening of the game starts with a spot selected to build the city and from there it’s your job to make the best city possible.

What? Aren’t all kings 4 years old?

Creating a thriving city will have you focusing on the game’s two main genres, management simulation and RPG.

On the management simulation side you’ll need to create houses for your townspeople to live in and once you do that a family will move in. From there you’ll need to build shops and other buildings but you can’t do it right off the bat, this is where the RPG elements come in. In every household you’ll find children who line up in front of the castle every day and offer their services to fight and explore for the king. Here you’ll “hire” adventurers and send them to the many locations outside of your city’s wall, each time they successfully explore an area or defeat that area’s boss you’ll gain another structure to build in town. I don’t remember a single game where you know the families of every single adventurer you have in the game.

In order to send your adventurers out to explore you need to create a behest, you do this by first putting a bulletin board somewhere in your city and then each morning you can add a new behest to that board with one behest per board. When you start the game you only get 1 area to post behests but as your city grows you have more areas for posting.

This is a very “hands off” RPG, you won’t be doing any of the fighting. Instead the adventurers in your city will go to whatever bulletin board they feel like going to and then it’s up to you. Look at their level and see if they can tackle it. If they’re strong enough you can pick “make us proud!” and hope for the best. In the case of lower ranking adventurers you can just tell them to gain EXP or not even try. Once that’s done you can check on their progress through the day and the next morning you go through a list of adventurers and who did what. If an adventurer completed a quest they will receive a medal that will add to one of their abilities, this is up to you. If a warrior completes a quest maybe you want to choose “strength” for a medal to raise their strength but if a mage completes one maybe intelligence would be a better option.

The other way that you can influence your adventurers is to build schools and shops to allow them to learn more skills and get better weapons. Playing on the harder difficulties will require your leveling up the shops and schools so your adventurers can perform at their peak.

It’s a form of near instant gratification to see if your orders were carried out fully and by whom.

Time passes in the game in a matter of minutes so each day, from creating the behest to assigning adventurers to waiting for them to return won’t take long at all. It’s a form of near instant gratification to see if your orders were carried out fully and by whom. When your city gets larger and you have 2 or 3 behests going you may find that you’ll be told to call it a day and go to bed before your adventurers get back from their journeys. This is a minor quibble but I would have liked the option of seeing adventurers through until they made it back. Later on in the game you gain the ability to make shrines to pray to increase everyone’s abilities and this could be very helpful for teams of adventurers who might be fighting a difficult boss, if you have to go to bed before they meet the boss they’re on their own.

The only thing that seems to drag is that you have to talk to the people in your city to help raise morale, while this sounds like a good idea the need to go around to every single person in the city with a certain balloon over their head gets old quick. Thankfully you can just mash the A button until it’s over and move to the next person.

That leads me to the controls. Overall they’re fine but since it’s a Wii game there’s a need for motion and when you move the Wiimote you summon your helper Chime, this isn’t a big deal but when you move your arm in just about any way you’ll call Chime. You can also call Chime by pressing the pause button so thankfully motions aren’t required for this game.  Other then that the controls fit the game well with no issues.

Once your city becomes a bustling metropolis you’ll find there’s some slowdown when a lot is happening on the screen at the same time. This is an annoyance but it’s not game breaking because you’ll never have anything detrimental happen during slowdown. Other then that the game looks great and performs well.

The sound is lacking, not from voice work being absent but because it has a very minimal sound palette. Many motions and actions we normally expect to make a sound are eerily silent.

On the other hand the music for the game is amazingly well done. The theme and tempo for different situations fit perfectly and help certain events have more of an impact.

On the DLC front there’s a ton waiting to be purchased but here’s the rub. The DLC must be applied before you start a new game so if you play a few hours and decide you want “so and so” add on you’re stuck restarting your game.

WHY IT COULD BE HELPFUL FOR ANXIETY

  • Days pass quickly allowing instant gratification for game decisions
  • Simple addictive gameplay
  • Story and characters are lighthearted

WHY IT COULD BE UNHELPFUL FOR ANXIETY

  • Later on during the grinding of your adventurers there’s not much in the way of distraction

WHY YOU SHOULD BE PLAYING THIS

I think that My Life as a King is worth a look for anyone, the only problem is that the Wiiware demo section is woefully lacking. At 15 dollars there is a lot of bang to the buck here but there’s also a ton of DLC that adds to the game but isn’t needed to really get your money’s worth. That being said the whole “get our DLC now or never” when it comes to starting a new game, I don’t know, makes me feel like the user’s time is being held hostage. I really enjoy this game and find it incredibly relaxing and I think most others would too.

This review was based on the Wii version that was provided by the reviewer.

Overview
Release Date

May 12, 2008

Digital or Retail

Digital

Platform

Wii

Developer

Square Enix

Publisher

Square Enix

Badges
AwardsConsistently good games from developer
Positives

Addictive gameplay, fun spin on RPG formula

Negatives

Slowdown in some spots, underwhelming sound

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Graphics
7.0
Gameplay
9.0
Story
7.0
Sound
6.0
7.0
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