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Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles - Ring of Fates (DS) artwork

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles - Ring of Fates (DS) review


"One time, I had a girlfriend. "



One time, I had a girlfriend.

Together, we would laugh at the hated characters living among our nerdosphere. Star Wars was treated to a Jar Jar Binks hate-fest. Metal Gear Solid received the Raiden treatment. Even the fairy Navi of Zelda fame was unable to escape our scrutinizing eyes.

But then she did the unspeakable. She recommended I play Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates. Sheer words cannot express my disdain at the horror that befell my ears no five minutes into RoF.

One of the game's major characters, a Yuke (wizard -like race) named Alhanalem performed his first audial offense of what would eventually come to last the entire game:

"That is an effort most comic-AL!"

You see, he has this odd habit of ending nearly all of his phrases with words ending in "al," then emphasizing the al on the end to the point of sheer annoyance. This is coupled by the fact that RoF has voice acting that sounds like it was ripped straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon, and Alhanalem's character is no exception. None of the supporting cast fare any better: you have a onion midget "Lilty" named Meeth that ends everything she says in "ie" in an attempt to sound sickeningly cute, but in the end, she only accomplishes the sickening half. On top of that, the two main protagonists, Yuri and Chelinka, are do-gooders without personality who are attempting to save their world from an evil priest who wants to destroy the world because, uh, he doesn't like it, I guess.

Thankfully, the rest of the game fares much better, for the most part. Once one of the additional characters joins your party, you can switch between them with a simple tap of the touch screen to utilize their various abilities. Yuri is the swordsman/tank of the group, while Alhanalem serves as a mage. Meeth even fits a role because she's on pot thanks to her magical urns that she can summon to roll along the ground and cross sloped ravines with ease, one of the limited varities of puzzles you'll find in this hack n' slash. You'll also face such mindwarpers as "Hit the switch," "Shoot the target with a bow," and "stand on the switches that you have to hold down with blocks." With impossible to solve puzzles like this, it's a wonder you'll ever make it to the boss of a dungeon!

Oops, I forgot one: "Cast a certain spell on the switch." Unlike the previous Crystal Chronicles for Nintendo's less fortunate system, the magicite you receive can be retained between dungeons... Which is good, considering each magicite allows you one use of its respective spell. In an admittedly innovative move, spells can be cast on top one another by other party members, creating a more powerful spell. If Yuri and his foul-tongued ally Alhanalem combine their Fire spells, they'll instead create a Fira, dealing even more damage than they normally would have.

Sadly, it doesn't see much use since the best way to kill the monsters is with Yuri's fast-hitting sword combo, so with the exception of certain physically resistant monsters (fucking slimes!) and the occasional restorative spell, your magicite will collect dust until it's time to solve a puzzle with it.

Furthermore, the story mode only lasts a scant 10 or so hours, but thankfully there's a multiplayer mode where you can create your own character and roam through the dungeons you explored in story mode. You can even play with friends who own a copy of the game and form a party with them!

...Too bad I don't have any friends, so I couldn't check this mode out much further.

Either way, with a short story mode, the same hack n' slash action you've seen countless other times, and horrible voice acting (that can thankfully be turned off), it made me wonder why my girlfriend recommended this lesson in mediocrity to me in the first place.

So I dumped her.

Rating: 6/10

espiga's avatar
Community review by espiga (July 15, 2008)

Espiga likes big butts, and cannot lie.

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