On the day after Christmas, when gamers hit the stores en masse to exchange ill-advised gifts for the things they really wanted, Square Enix is hoping to catch their eyes with a rarely spotted creature: an anticipated new release in the last week of the year. The publisher today announced that Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers will go on sale in North America on December 26.
Final Fantasy fans have been looking forward to The Crystal Bearers for years. The title was first announced in May of 2006, half a year before the Wii first went on sale. At the time, the game's director, Toshiyiki Itahuna, promised it would be a "daring fusion of graphics and style that is full of life while still maintaining the basic role-playing game tradition."
Although it takes place in the same universe as the original Crystal Chronicles, the Crystal Bearers picks up the story 1,000 years down the line and trades in the multiplayer-focused action for on-rails shooting segments with third-person action. The game will still allow some multiplayer fun, as a second player with an extra Wii Remote can lend limited assistance.
While Square Enix's role-playing franchise has made appearances on the Wii before, The Crystal Bearers has been dubbed by the publisher as the "first major Final Fantasy experience for the Wii." Apparently not qualifying as "major" releases were Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, and the downloadable offerings Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord.
For more on The Crystal Bearers, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.