Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition is here and it’s been almost 20 years since the original video game launched on the Nintendo GameCube. Crystal Chronicles was a departure from what Final Fantasy fans were used to, and these changes spurred a loyal following of the title.
Square Enix announced last year that the game would be remastered on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. And, now it’s here! Let’s take a look and see how Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition stacks up to the original.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
Developer: The Game Designers Studio
Publisher: Square Enix
Genre: Action role-playing
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer (1-4 players)
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
A tale of young adventurers who journey to protect their home
If you’ve never played Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, let me tell you a little bit about the game’s story. The World of Crystal Chronicles has been engulfed by a poisonous gas. Traveling groups huddle around protection crystals, which provide a safe place to live. However, these crystals require power to operate.
In Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition, you assume the role of a member of a travelling caravan, choosing between one of four tribes. Your goal is to the world around you and obtain myrrh, which will power the protection crystal and rid the world of the poisonous gas.
Your group sets off on an epic adventure to find the sources of the poison, and end it forever. Along the way, you meet many unique and interesting characters, each with their own backstory that will ultimately come full circle at the game’s conclusion. One of Crystal Chronicles finer moments is in its storytelling, which is superb throughout.
Non traditional Final Fantasy gameplay
In between walking around the over world, exploring various towns, camps, and dungeons, players will work to fill their chalice with myrrh to protect their own city. As each year passes, the enemies you face at each destination gets more difficult. As a result, this provides the game with an excellent learning and difficulty curve that will even allow novice players an opportunity to enjoy.
Combat in Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition is not what you would expect from a traditional Final Fantasy game. As you progress through the various explorable areas, you have to carry your crystal chalice with you as it is your ring of protection. Staying inside this ring is necessary but at the same time can be annoying. For example, when playing alone, this barrier becomes incredibly taxing. You need the crystal chalice down to fight or pick up items. Only to pick it up again to move further into the world.
All battle sequences happen in real time, and when you finish a battle, you don’t get experience points like traditional RPGs. Instead, you earn artifacts and new spells, which will help you progress through the game. And, allow you to take on tougher and tougher dungeons. Furthermore, artifacts allow you to improve your stat points at the end of each dungeon.
High-difficulty dungeons and loads of new weapons
Let’s stay with dungeons for a moment, as this is one of the biggest additions to Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition. With harder difficulties than the original, even long time veterans of the original game will find something brand new to challenge them here.
Adding to the new dungeons are loads of new weapons and outfits to customize your characters in. There are also the Mimics, which allows you to look like classic Final Fantasy characters—in combat only. These are available via DLC, but can also be found in game.
Updated visuals and sound
The audio and visuals have received an overhaul. Although, to be honest, it isn’t anything to write home about. However, the improved textures and updated HD visuals give Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition a much cleaner look this time around.
Moreover, the game’s soundtrack has been improved, and includes voiceover work for all the characters, in all situations. These updates here are easily the most impressive of the new features in the game.
Online multiplayer with cross-platform support
Unfortunately, multiplayer, one of the biggest and most promised features of Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition is a bit of a let down. The ability to play multiplayer locally would have been fantastic, but unfortunately you can only play multiplayer online. With that being said, Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition does give you the option of linking up with random folks online when entering a dungeon. Though, the game failed to provide me with a party more often than not.
On the other hand, the game supports cross play and cross saves, which means if your friends do happen to own different versions of Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition you can play together. Having cross saves is also a real benefit, especially since I can see many folks having a console version and mobile version of the game.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition has a story that begs to be unravelled
Through the first few hours of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition, longtime fans of the series will have enough new things to see and enjoy in this game. However, once you get into the grind of travelling, fighting, more travelling and more fighting—gameplay can get tedious. While we hope games from our past live up to our expectations, they rarely do, and for those looking for a nostalgic trip, you might be a tad bit disappointed.
However, if you have not played Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles before, there is lots here to explore and enjoy. It will not just be the additions to Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition that are new. A brand new story begging to be unravelled is enough to keep most players engaged throughout.
+ Overhauled audio and visuals
+ Fun, simplistic story for those new to the game or Final Fantasy
+ New, more difficult dungeons and bosses
– No local multiplayer
– Simplistic for RPG veterans
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES REMASTERED EDITION
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.5/5