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Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates - Tokyo Game Show Impression

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
Platform:
Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: 08.23.2007 (Japan)






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Among the plethora of Final Fantasy spin-offs was the Crystal Chronicles series, which places a heavy emphasis on multiplayer gameplay and action elements. Despite a sequel to the original GameCube title being announced almost three years ago, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates finally came to be for the DS this year. Actually, out of all the titles I played it was the "oldest" one, having been released in Japan on August 23, 2007. If multiplayer action games with an FF twist are your thing, this is your ticket, and the DS was a good choice for a platform.

"If multiplayer action games with an FF twist are your thing, this is your ticket..."

The booth was specifically set up so TGS attendees could play in multiplayer mode, complete with a staff member acting as a guide/cheerleader (which made for a good portion of the fun, honestly.) My personal class of choice was the black mage, although the usual array of FF classes was available as well. To allow even the densest of players to succeed in the demo, we had our characters extremely maxed out to take on several quests, which masqueraded as boss scenarios.

Most of the gameplay action takes place on the top screen, while players use the stylus to control the character on the bottom screen to select spells or techniques as needed. Spells specifically run on an orb system, meaning you have a specific amount of times to use the spell until the orb runs out of power. These can be collected through the course of the game, but it requires a little management. Teamwork is a necessity too, as even our party had to deal with bosses that could easily take out characters and as such required a White Mage's quick handiwork. I still remember our SE staffer yelling "E-re-i-su!", which was hilarious.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates is planned for a Spring 2008 release in North America, and by the looks of things this will be a cool multiplayer title to try, provided you can get a group of friends going. There is a single player mode available, but there was no way to try that at the show. With the huge userbase of the DS and the console's capabilities (plus the ability to interface with the Wii console and trade Moogles, of all things), this has the potential to be even more successful than the original GameCube title. Final verdict: it looks pretty cool to me.



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