Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition aims to bring you and several online buddies together for some straightforward monster thumping. This time, it won’t require you all possess a whole other handheld console, which is a nice touch. Even nicer is its ease of playing across different platforms, allowing you to play with all sorts of people rather than just your friends who had a GBA (which was REQUIRED to play multiplayer in the original). If you’re interested in what looks like a light MMO, this might be up your alley.
A few videos sent by Square Enix were sent along to CGM in order for us to discern the look and feel of the game. Through this, you could see the visual improvement in the character creation screen, which offered a handful of races (which offered classes built around defense, physical offense, magic use, and ranged attacks), as well as some jobs that the videos offered no further explanation of. You could pick from a handful of pre-selected styles to put together, so it’s not the most robust system, but it allows for some customization.
Further videos showed Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition’s single- and multiplayer modes at work. In the single player, one character moved throughout the familiar dungeon of River Belle Path. If you played the original GameCube title, you’ll see that everything seems to have been recaptured just as it was years ago, only things look a fair bit sharper. That said, things still look a bit blocky, but that seems to be more a result of the game’s visual style than a limitation. This game is built to play on mobile devices as well as console, though, so if you’re on your PS4, you may want to temper your visual expectations.
The player moved throughout the map, using a regular and charged physical attack to clobber goblins and hostile woodland creatures. You could pick up magic stones the enemy would drop to give yourself new spells to equip, allowing for some customization as you played. This also seemed to make things a bit more interesting than a simple back and forth between enemies where you used the same attack, over and over again, while moving aside to dodge. It looked a bit too easy and basic here, but this is a very early area. Also, the video showed a boss that seemed a bit more involved in what the player would need to do, so more complex tasks seem to eventually come your way.
Multiplayer seemed far more interesting, with multiple players all carrying out various actions and working together. The first area still didn’t seem terribly complicated, but the combat looked more interesting with all of the players doing various things. Specific racial abilities don’t seem terribly important, allowing for players to make up parties of whoever they want, which can be a benefit or a drawback depending on what you think of it.
You can gain some benefits from clever spellcasting with your characters if you want to see some advantage to working together. Spells cast in close timing with one another can stack to create more powerful magics, encouraging you to communicate and work together. Single players can use this as well, as they have a Moogle partner who periodically flings spells you can partner with (and you can combine spells in your menus for stronger stuff, too).
Positioning was a vital element of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition, as the game features a chalice you need to lug around to keep your party safe. A miasma floods the world, and this chalice protects you from it within a certain radius. This means that players will need to keep moving the chalice in combat to stay effective and avoid damage (you die quickly in the miasma). Tactically, this seems like it could be an interesting challenge, but it also seems like it would get old fast if you always have to carry this thing. In single-player, at least a Moogle lugs it around for you.
If you’re looking for a straightforward action RPG that you can play with friends across multiple devices, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition looks like it will offer some good times. Fans of the original will likely be delighted that they can play it with others so much easier than they used to be able to. From these preview videos, I’m not sure how compelling the game’s simple action play will be, or how annoying the chalice carrying will get for whoever gets stuck with it. You’ll definitely want to grab the free Lite version (contains 3 dungeons) to see how you feel about it when it releases this August.