Monday, August 23, 2010

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon

Final Fantasy, a name that holds perhaps more responsibility for quality then any other franchise, It helped secure the PS2's place as the dominant console of its generation, and before that helped RPG fans find there new home on Nintendo consoles. Since the main series departure from Nintendo consoles Final Fantasy titles spin off titles have been average at best. Is the latest Wii exclusive any different? Lets find out!

Gameplay (5.5 out of 10)
What is an RPG without its gameplay elements? Well its nothing, Chocobo's Dungeon takes what was there in the past Chocobo titles (On the PS1 and NDS) and builds upon them, its overtly dumbed down so that if this is your first RPG ever you wont have a problem with leveling up and equipping items, it may not be enough for hard RPG fans, but there is enough in your hands that you should be able to enjoy it. Pick items up by stepping over them and equipped them (Three equip spaces ,one for ATK, DEF and other special items) via the menu system, basic stuff.When it comes to leveling up the player has utterly nothing to do with it, you fight, get EXP points, level up, rinse and repeat.

The battle engine is again fairly basic, you walk around randomly generated dungeons (In the same fashion you have in past Chocobo games) while trying to get to the level floor with a wide arrange of enemy's in your way, you attack by facing an enemy and pressing attack, very basic but some
strategy does come into play, like when your out numbered and you walk down a thing hall so that you can fight enemy's one on one. The only thing that brings the battle system back from being overtly basic to the point its boring is the fact you have special moves, more of which you learn along the way and the ability you use items (Which is expected as its an RPG). The battle system is basic, but it gets the job done.

The story is actually quite a lot better then I thought it would be and surprised me quite a bit. To paint a basic picture while Cid is trying to get a gem in a sand castle him and his partner chocobo ( guessed it Chocobo, what a great writing team over at Square Enix) who you control
are sucked into a vortex and end up in a far away land where people hear a bell that rings, and there memories are lost. Cid falls victim to said bell, a girl comes and says she will try to help you, then a baby is randomly born from a egg, the baby has the ability to go into peoples minds and open a portal to it so that we, Chocobo, can enter peoples minds (AKA Randomly generated dungeons mentioned before) get the memories back and go on with the story.... Amazing stuff, maybe not, but its better then Squares last outing on the Wii, That abortion of a Dragons Quest game.

Sound (9.5 out of 10)
The sound in Chocobo's Dungeon is really awesome, we have a remix of past Final Fantasy tracks that have been beefed up, slowed down and some that sound nothing like the originals but still rock, the music, as it is in most Square Enix titles is well above par. Now before I popped the game into the Wii there was one thing I was not sure about, would it have full speech? Dragon Quest had speech, but it was utterly horrible and only really during cut scenes, Chocobo's Dungeon has speech for pretty much all important parts of the game with some of the less important town folks and so on appearing in text (Much like was done in FFXII). Overall the sound is on par with a 'real' Final Fantasy, compared to there last outing on the Wii, sound has taken a massive leap forward.

Graphics (6 of 10)
Now this bugs me to tears, why does every developer decide the Wii has to have some cartoony look to it other then going for realistic due to the systems power, Im sick of the bull**** japanese cartoony looking graphics that keep getting shoveled onto the Wii, they could have easily made the game look like Final Fantasy X, but they didnt! That being said, the graphics do suite the game (I know you love how much I contradict myself, well I do too) they do them well, but there is nothing overtly special about them, look at the screenshots, I don't have much else to say about them really.

Replay Value (6 out of 10)
Now some people will say, random dungeons, sounds like an RPG I can play again once I have finished it, but the question that needs to be asked is, why would you really want to play it through again, the dungeons and battle system are not fun enough to really deserve a replay, the story while better than I expected and presented better than I expected hardly deserves a retelling. Im giving it a 6 just for the random dungeons and if you wanted to play it through again it would be differant, but the whole game is made of random dungeons, so it wouldnt feel that fresh or new.

Overall (6.75 out of 10)
While Chocobo's Dungeon is slightly lackluster for a game bearing the Final Fantasy name, can we expect anything more? Not really. The game is a step in the right direction for the Chocobo series, and the Wii is so deprived of RPG titles that Wii owners like myself owe it to themselves to pick up anything they can get. If you like RPG's pick it up when you find it for a cheap price, I got it for again $40 USD when my uncle posted it over to me, not really worth the 40 bucks, but it was worth a play through. Find it cheap and give it a play. It doesn't hold up to a numbered Final Fantasy game, but as far as spin offs go, its a pretty decent little game.

No comments:

Post a Comment