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I have played a lot of Final Fantasy games but this one has a cutesy, endearing quality that I can't really remember seeing in some previous titles. Maybe it's because of the child characters and ever fantastical world that you get to explore.
You play as one twin who has been born to a hero and a priestess. The beginning of the game involves learning how to battle, exploring part of the world and generally gaining a feel for the controls. However, it quickly changes when one night, the twins father is killed by an assassin and this is when the story really starts to develop.
Unlike most Final Fantasy titles, this one has a real-time battle system (much like the one of Final Fantasy XII) and so this makes the game a bit more fast paced. You also don't have to be stuck with the same leader of the party all the time- puzzles are solved and places explored by changing the leader and utilising their Tribe ability. Tribe abilities is an unique ability that each character has so often you have to juggle each ability depending on the scenario you're placed in.
The music is as sweet as ever and there is also the feature of voice acting- the quality of this is surprisingly good despite the small size of the DS. It was composed by Kumi Tanioka and she has definitely created her own sound for this game. It isn't as sublime as the works of Nobuo- the focus is definitely more simplistic but it works.
Unfortunately it is only a short game during one player mode but there is the option of multiplayer if you can't bear to stop playing this game :) I haven't yet tried this option so can't comment on it but leave a comment if you have!
This isn't the best Final Fantasy game by a long shot but is generally rather sweet. Like all Final Fantasy games, there are obviously some dark undertones but I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who wants something lighthearted to play!
I've been a massive Final Fantasy fan since FFVI on the SNES, and ever since I have relentlessly played every game with the Final Fantasy name on it to completion - as well as most games that have even a slight resemblance to Final Fantasy - perhaps stretching to games that have no resemblence but have either the word 'Final' or 'Fantasy' in their titles.
'Ring of Fates' on the DS is part of the Crystal Chronicles series. This means that the game has a couple of differences from your average Final Fantasy game - 1) It's focused a bit more towards younger players, and has more of a 'cutesy' appearance and 2) The combat is real time, rather than turn based.
Point 1 - I am perfectly happy with the 'cutesy' look. In fact, when FFVIII came out I recall being slightly disappointed that the game had taken a slightly more 'grown up' appearance, a departure from the simplistic balloon-headed characters of old. For such a fast-paced game, the plot is surprisingly deep, in typical Final Fantasy style, and is full of twists and turns (I won't spoil it...).However, Ring of Fates is a different kettle of fish to your average Final Fantasy game, because...
... Point 2 - The combat is real time, and hooray, it's loads of fun! Now, I love turn based combat, but it's nice to have a bit of action in your RPGs sometimes (see my Silver review for a cool retro action RPG on the PC). This game has a fast pace and provides shedloads of fun.
The multiplayer mode is plenty of fun. Set in a slightly different reality to the single player story, whilst in single player the player must control preset storyline characters, in multiplayer a new unique character can be created and developed. There are plenty of surprises in the multiplayer mode, and once single player has been beaten (which to be honest, shouldn't take too long), there are still a good few hours left in multiplayer. You can even play multiplayer on your own - although this may seem a bit lonely and sad, it does mean you can develop your character a bit if you need to catch up with friends.
The controls are fairly cool and intuitive. Top screen is action and bottom screen is a touch-controlled inventory / skills / status etc. This is quite handy, as inventory management could have been very cumbersome in real time combat with only one screen available. The right trigger button actually swaps the screens around, allowing the player to control the action with the stylus. This is especially handy in chaotic battles.
Graphics are great. I always get a bit excited about 3D games on handheld consoles - just makes me think back to my first experience with a Gameboy, and how amazed I was that the graphics were better than the graphics on my green-screened Amstrad PC. Player / monster models are cute and nicely crafted, and appearance actually changes depending on the armour you're wearing. Spell effects are pretty much awesome, too.
The music is of course brilliant. Beautiful tunes, Final Fantasy games always seem to have at least one piece of music that nearly brings a tear to my eye!
So, this game is good. I can see how some would be turned off - it's a little bit cutesy, and perhaps a bit short. But you MUST try the multiplayer if you haven't already, it's a blast! I would recommend that if you like the sound of this game, you definitely give it a go.
This game is one of those that you just cant leave alone for two seconds without breaking out in sweats and feeling nauseas. I actually bought it to play on the plane when i went on holiday. needless to say it didnt last that long.
It didn't last long at all actually. that was the only problem. One second i was playing for the life of me and thinking i must almost be halfway through now... the next the credits were rolling down the screen and i was just like... "WHAT?!?!"
Until that point i loved it though. It had everything you would expect in a final fantasy game, albeit a like kiddified on the DS.
You play as one of two twins born to a local hero and a crystal priestess. When they are together they seem to ave this unimagineable power that can manipulate the world to their liking. unfortunately the corrupt priest at the head of the temple seeks a similar power for himself and chooses to worship the evil moon, instead of the pure earth.
Their journey to save the world begins in their little village one night when the corrupt priest sends his greatest assasin to capture the femole twin who controls the powers of the crystal. Their father died in an attempt to protect them and the assasin then places them, and all of their friends, in a amnesiac state. They finally break free and set out on a quest to avenge their father, save theirs friends and protect the earth.
The main difference between this and most other final fantasies is that it is a real time rpg and not turn based in any way. by that i mean you run around hacking and slashing or blasting enemies in a much faster pace.
You're also not restricted to playing as just one lead character like in others, instead you can switch between any of your characters at will, each one being a completely different experience to play. for example one has sword attacks, another long range bow attacks, another magic and one even rolls around in a giant pot to hit enemies.
Like i said before i absolutely loved this game and couldn't stop playing from beginning to end. Unfortunately that didn't turn out to be as long as you'd expect which is the only down side to this game. hopefully the next ff on the ds will be much longer
Man, this game is off the hook! I have never been into games like this, but this game is like crack cocaine... It is very addictive and you feel as if you're getting somewhere every time you play. The graphics are some of the best on the DS and the sound FX are top. I would definatly recommend this game to all and sundry. The only gripe I had was the control mechanism takes a little getting used to, but overall you keep coming back for more, and thats the main thing in my opinion. To sum it up, you don't feel cheated out of your 20 quid or so with this one.
Crystal Chronicles is a spinoff of Square Enix's infamous Final Fantasy (FF) series and Rings of Fate is this spinoff's first outing on the DS. It proves to be a good title for the portable console, proving itself to be more accomplished than the Gamecube's Crystal Chronicles. It is still not on the same level as the best of Final Fantasy and I feel that FFXII: Revenant Wings remains the top choice for FF fans on the DS.
The opening sequence is stunning with a rapidly shifting camera angle, and it's appropriately dramatic. The animations unfold smoothly and there is no lag or jaggedness. The game uses a similar 3D engine to FFIII and everything is well-rendered with some attention to detail.
The game employs a vast palette of bright colours which look vibrant. The visual effects, such as those for different spells and weapons equipped, are great as well. The characters are detailed but are too 'adorable' for a final fantasy. While everything does flow smoothly and the visual experience is good, my quibble is that the graphics do not always 'feel' natural and look slightly synthetic at times.
The soundtrack is unmistakably Final Fantasy and provides the perfect backdrop for the events of the games. It is one of the better ones on the DS but of course can't match that of FFIV (slated for DS release next month). Still, it's dramatic and evocative and can inspire emotions in the player.
There is also a surprising amount of voice acting which does add to the game's experience. While the voice acting is actually quite good and the voices are appropriate to the characters, the main characters end up being voiced by children which does not feel exactly right for a Final Fantasy!
In the Ring of Fates, you play as a pair of young twins, Yuri and Chalinka, gifted with mysterious powers which allow them to harness the powers of certain crystals. Unfortunately, there is evil afoot in the land and the twins are drawn into a poignant journey of mystery and discovery. Along their way, the twins meet loyal friends, helpful shopkeepers and treacherous villains.
There is nothing unique about the game's storyline but its strength is instead in its simplistic but robust plot and strong, well-presented characters. While the story is engaging and definitely has charm, do not expect it to rival that of the top Final Fantasy games.
The game is really a dungeon crawler at heart that plays like modern action-RPG. Basically, you work your way through 'dungeons' slaughtering any and all enemies that you encounter, levelling up your characters and looting any treasure you might come across. This may not sound exciting but it does actually make for some tense and fun-filled gameplay.
Your characters can take the roles of melee attackers, ranged attackers and mages which does deliver a varied combat experience. The combat system is slightly different this time around. You use the D-pad to control movement, A to attack, B to jump, Y to pick things up and X to cast spells and use items. You choose your characters using the stylus and then issue orders to them which are executed in due time.
The spells system can take a long time to master since you actually have to aim the spells by manipulating a circular target on the screen. You also have to master the timing of your spells so that you can stack them and land combos.
There are lots of items and treasures to hunt and the addition of 'tribal' abilities 9activated using shoulder buttons) which have different effects, which can be dealing damage to enemies or providing support to allies (for example, Yuri's ability allow you to launch a powerful melee attack)
The AI of your allies can sometimes be rather frustrating as they sometimes take too long to move between different places or do not defend themselves as well when vulnerable.
The game has a lengthy single player campaign with an intriguing plot that should keep you engaged for quite a long time. There is also a local multiplayer mode with its own special missions which is a nice plus. This splits the screens into two to accommodate four players, but does lead to lags and slow downs but still proves to be quite fun. The lack of an online multiplayer is disappointing and would have pulled the score up further.
In conclusion, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Rings of Fate is a good effort by Square Enix that marks the debut of the Crystal Chronicles series on the DS. The game delivers an interesting and exciting gameplay experience supplemented by good graphics and voice acting which makes it one of the better games out on the DS.