‘ll be honest with you, folks–you know I always am, but this time I have to be particularly blunt about what I’m saying. I always get a little freaked out whenever I hear about an RPG for Nintendo‘s Wii. There’s just something so very…not right…about the idea. See, an RPG, in the commonly meant sense of the term, involves a huge production and graphical overload and a story that goes on and on for days or even weeks. And when you think of the kind of systems that can handle such a venture, “the Wii” is generally about as far down the list as, say, “Colecovision”.
But even I can be wrong–savor the flavor, kids, because this doesn’t happen very often. I tried Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time and got a pretty good surprise out of it.
As for the plot…wow. On RPG Cliche Day–okay, on a young man’s sixteenth birthday, he oversleeps, gets up late and dashes off to his Coming Of Age Ceremony. Yes, they even CALL it the Coming Of Age Ceremony. I’m both amazed and horrified. Anyway, after completing said ceremony, he returns to the village to discover that his best friend’s little sister has contracted some kind of mysterious illness that resembles nothing so much as radiation sickness. No, really. And it gets better. So now, on his sixteenth birthday, the boy has to violate the laws of his village and actually LEAVE to go find medicine to heal the “crystal sickness”.
Yeah, you heard all of that right. An opening jam packed with cliches leads to a little girl getting radiation sickness that, if she survives it, will actually mutate her into being a super-strong entity with rapid healing powers, which turns out to be the exact same disease the hero had, and then the hero will actually break the law to go fetch medicine but no one seems to care about the legal issues here at ALL.
This may well be the most predictable and yet the most ridiculous game plotline I’ve ever heard. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen so many tropes in one place, only to be followed up by a ridiculous series of plot holes sufficiently large to drive a herd of chocobo through.
And yet, the game play isn’t half bad. You’ll get some mini-games in the middle of this full-blown series of adventures, and there’s plenty of variety to be had here. Sure, it’s all a bit cookie-cutter and plain vanilla, but there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it. It’s a fairly fun game, and with a little bit of excitement.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time isn’t exactly the greatest game ever, but it’s a far cry from the worst, too. There’s reason enough to give it a try that it’ll make at least a decent rental, even if it won’t wind up taking over your life. If you’ve got a yen for RPGs and a decent tolerance for half-baked plotlines, you’ll probably have a good time with this one.