Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time -REVIEW (DS)

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Square Enix brings us the latest chapter to the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles franchise with Echoes Of Time. This action-RPG game is filled with numerous dungeon explorations; puzzle solving, monster slashing and spell casting, that anyone will find themselves returning to play this addictive game. It’s a very simple and fun game to play with many opportunities to gain experience and improve your stats.

The Pros & Cons

The real highlight to this game is the multiplayer mode which gives you the ability to play up to 4 players through local or Wi-Fi connections. This solid multiplayer mode allows friends to join in the quest at anytime during game play. Joining a game is no longer restricted to the loading screen. You can join forces with your friends as you combine strengths and forge through to the next level. Each player gains valuable experience and retains all the loot that they have acquired in the level. You can also create your own friends with a built-in AI. Their characteristics however are limited and are based on preset parameters (i.e.: “just follow me”, “do the best you can”, etc.)

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In this entry, the story begins with a strange and mysterious cut scene that evolves later on in the game. After choosing your character’s gender and race, thus begins your journey on the eve of your 16th birthday and must perform a right or passage ceremony in the quiet village. After you have proven your worth and gain a crystal, one of your fellow villagers gets struck with a sickness. You are sent on a quest to find a cure and must reveal the true power of the crystals. The game has a Zelda feel to it but with a much more simple storyline. The story however, does take a back seat to the action and puzzles and does not really evolve a whole lot beyond the cut scenes.

The dungeons are filled with monsters and puzzles to overcome in order to get to the level boss awaiting you. As you level-up, you gain new abilities and spells and you become more powerful. This is necessary to beat the bosses at the end of the level. There are 6 castings spells in this game; thunder, fire, blizzard, cure, raise, and clear. Spells can be combined to slay more damage onto your opponent. After each boss you’re awarded a new piece of the puzzle which takes you onto the next dungeon with a new set of the battles and puzzles to solve. On the downside, you will eventually find yourself returning to the same dungeons repeating the same moves to get through to the next piece of the puzzle which becomes repetitive and boring at times making the game not as fun to play. This is far too often seen in the action-adventure titles of today.

The multiplayer mode is also a lot of fun to play. You can join your friends in co-op battles to get through the levels at a quicker pace. You must choose first who will be the host player and anyone can join the game thereafter. You can also battle each other in a race to collect the most loot. Upon returning to the village you can then trade in your loot to purchase better weapons.

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Here’s the Deal

This dungeon crawler is quite addictive and frequently keeps you coming back to beat another level. It’s a fun and enjoyable game to play with a many rewarding moments combined with a solid multiplayer mode, this has all the elements of a great game.

Despite the repetitive and sometimes annoying puzzle solving, Echoes of Time is still a worthwhile addition to your portable gaming library and is sure to appeal to many action/RPG fans alike. Score 8.5/10 AL L.

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~ by consolecreatures on April 26, 2009.

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