Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers Updated Hands-On

Being a crystal bearer sure has its perks as we use our powers to explore the vast world of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles.

Other than the quick demo at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, we haven't had a chance to really spend any quality time with Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers to see how the game actually plays. The Crystal Bearers takes place 1,000 years after the original FFCC, and this time, the gameplay focuses more on the single-player story-driven experience than on a multiplayer dungeon-crawling experience. We received a preview build and were able to start the game from scratch to get a better idea of what this Wii-exclusive action role-playing game will offer.

Instead of walking over to start a conversation, you can just bring people to you.

The story follows young Layle, a suave and cocky Clavat mercenary who has been hired by the Lilty Kingdom to escort a luxurious passenger airship. For those who aren't familiar with the FFCC world, there are four races: Lilty, Clavat, Selkie and Yuke. After the Great War, the Yuke tribe was apparently annihilated and the ruling tribe became the Lilty, who have a knack for science and technology. Another group emerged known as "crystal bearers" or beings that have been infused with rare magical powers and are feared by the public. Layle is one of them and can't seem to keep his powers in check. You'll come to rely heavily on his special skills to get around. During his escort mission at the beginning of the game, a hostile creature and minions attacked the ship, but even with Layle's talents, the enemy managed to get away. Layle was determined to find out the meaning behind the attack and get more information regarding the small green crystal he managed to snatch from his foe.

The Crystal Bearers is unlike any of the other FFCC games, except for the fact that it's set in the same world with references to the same races. The focus from what we've played seems to be on the story, which revolved around frequent cutscenes and constant interaction among the main characters. Everything felt bigger as well, with larger areas and a variety of environments to explore. Built specifically for the Wii, The Crystal Bearers is unique in terms of how it is played as an action RPG. Layle has incredible powers that can be controlled via the remote as you can point, hold the B button to lock on, wait for a lock-on gauge to fill, and then toss anyone or anything around. There are plenty of items and sheep to latch on to in your environment, and you can even shake the townsfolk around so that they drop some gil. Shaking a giant sheep around may cause it to lay a steaming patty, but there are also benefits to shaking such things as treasure chests.

Fighting enemies does not utilize the old-fashioned hack-and-slash routine; instead, Layle picks up enemies with his powers and throws them around. Or he can pick up large objects and chuck them at his enemies. In areas where there are monsters milling about, a dark vortex--known as the miasma stream--needs to be sealed to prevent more monsters from appearing. After clearing the area, you can lock on and use your powers to shut it. A helpful radar appears at the bottom of the screen when hostile creatures are in the area to let you know where they are in relation to you. This is the only time some sort of guidance onscreen will appear because when traveling from one area to the next, you need to rely more on signposts and moogles for directions. There is a ticker at the bottom of the screen that acts like a news update, giving you random information about enemies or current events. Another nice feature is that the game will autosave as you go, so you're not always forced to try to track down a save crystal.

The cactuar won't even know what hit it.

As you progress through the story, playable events will appear that trigger on-rails shooter-type sequences, which we had a chance to see at E3. It's unique and different, which is a welcome change after watching cutscenes or wandering through dungeons. These sections are fast paced, and you're graded with a score at the end. Even though the game is primarily a single-player experience, a second player can join with a Wii Remote but only to lend a hand in select areas.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers is a good-looking game, with expansive environments to explore and frequent cutscenes to keep you up to date. With all the motion controls in the game, it deviates away from the traditional hack-and-slash style and keeps you on your toes in terms of what kind of gameplay is coming up next. Look for our full review when the game is released on December 26.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

49 comments
UnitedGamerz
UnitedGamerz

This is the first game i played on the wii................ IT WAS EPICCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Braviere
Braviere

Definately not worth $50.I played the game at a friend's house over the course of three days and beat it.I clocked in 11 hours.The camera is annoying, but so is the severely limited combat.The pick up and throw mechanic gets boring very quickly.That's the only offensive power for a person that can use Gravity magic.If you pick up certain monsters, you can use their attack (only 1 attack), but this doesn't apply to all monsters (just a select few).Also, there's no map for directions whatsoever.Signposts that are spaced out at a great distance is your only hope.For replay value all there is to do is collect medals, A.K.A Achievements, that are only seen ingame so there's no point in collecting them.The minigames are all timed and don't give any rewards other than medals and materials for crafting accessories (Earrings, Amulets, Rings, and Emblems for the back of your shirt).I highly suggest renting this before you purchase or be like me and wait for the $21 pricetag.

n0isecore
n0isecore

okayyy, after 6 hours of gameplay, the game is TOTALLY AWESOME!

n0isecore
n0isecore

hMM.. i started playing this last night, the story is great so far but the battle system kinda sucks now (you can only grab enemies n throw them away) . .

redeadhater
redeadhater

NO, the game will not require the wii motion plus, according to an interview on a nintendo power magazine. A guy they interviewed said it would not require the "heightened sensitivity"

jimjayjenkins
jimjayjenkins

definitely a buy. looks like they mixed some ffXII character design, which dates back to vagrant story. this may be an awesome game.

TheFreakyManga
TheFreakyManga

WOW!:):):):):):):):):):):):):):D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

leesil9
leesil9

I am going to get this game.

linkman83
linkman83

Anyone know if this game is going to utilize the Wii-Motion Plus?

Gammet25
Gammet25

Yay another final fantasy game for the wii, Sounds fantastic hope it is

vegetaali
vegetaali

I realy want to buy a Wii for this game.

rafibob
rafibob

am i need wii motion plus? or something ??

ASK_Story
ASK_Story

I never could get into the past Crystal Chronicles games but this one looks cool because of the single-player focus. It's supposed to be sort of like Zelda without all the puzzles...I'm looking forward to it!

Squirrelatwar
Squirrelatwar

Meh...looks ok. More powers besides throwing stuff would be much better.

Supabul
Supabul

WOW a FF game that is actually trying something different, and for the better

cloud_1_3_5
cloud_1_3_5

Looking better and better! Any news on a European release date?

Ianoren
Ianoren

I'll wait till the reviews but if its even decent then Im getting this game

dantespower
dantespower

mmmmmmm not what I could spec for a Final Fantasy game, WII games suck now and always will, that's the reason why I think that Final Fantasy should never make games for this console

ijoinedtotellU
ijoinedtotellU

Umm, you cant be a selkie in this game, you have to be the main character... its only IN the crystal chronicles universe (not even same like timeframe), doesnt even play like the gamecube one

dee200
dee200

i dont giva a damn how do game is if its a crystal cronicle im playing since when i played my first one on game cube i loved it im a selkiet user tha and it look like a single 1 person party game

dee200
dee200

lol itll be so funy if this game werent good as people think it is.

Sarukah
Sarukah

@DeadEndPanda: Thanks for saying what Famitsu had to say about it, now I'm looking forward to this even *more*.

Criceto
Criceto

Weren't the DS versions similarly story/interaction based also, whereas the gamecube version was dungeon crawling/chalice lugging? Also did I miss something because the yukes were the scientific race, and the lilties were the acorn headed warriors who could care less for science.

IXIWhistIXI
IXIWhistIXI

Wait...wait...a crystals FF game might be ... good? I don't know how to deal with this...there has not been one good crystals game since it started off on the gameboy. I don't know what to do now.

DeadEndPanda
DeadEndPanda

the only reason i play RPG's is for the story, and thats also why i prefer JRPG's , famitsu said "The way the story develops, along with the unique characters and world setting, is brilliant. There are lots of little details to everything." so its clearly a day 1 buy for me

Nova_Mongoose
Nova_Mongoose

finally an awesome looking 3d party Wii exclusive. Haven't seen that since NMH

Sarukah
Sarukah

Dang I can't freaking wait for this game; I even pre-ordered it a month ago. This game looks like its full of much needed fun.

hydn631
hydn631

I may get it, i loved the original final fantasy crystal chronicles and i hope they follow the same formula they did with that.

Chernnunos
Chernnunos

well all you kids getting money for christmas can run out and buy this :)

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

i wonder if after you get through all the on-rails parts, you unlock some sort of extra mode on the title screen where you can access them all to play (alone or with a friend) for better scores and maybe some new stuff? that would certainly make the game even more interesting.

itsTolkien_time
itsTolkien_time

The release date may be to pick up on people who receive things they don't want for Christmas, then go return them over the next 2 days. That could actually be a good market. Or it could be for children who receive money for Christmas, and want to spend it on something.

Ashcroft00
Ashcroft00

The logic of releasing this game on the day after Christmas escapes me. I'm afraid that the poor choice of release date will result in a lot of people overlooking what might be a great game. Honestly, the Crystal Chronicles games to date have been kind of a mixed bag. Childish themes and dialogue have detracted from the better elements of the games and I'm hoping that this new installment on the Wii takes the series in a different direction. It's nice to see that we'll have this game and FF XIII within a three month period.

lex_in_the_moon
lex_in_the_moon

It's a shame about the launch date, I might not get it right away then... Looks really unique, I just hope there's a little more to the gameplay than just picking up and throwing things,.

Naruchu
Naruchu

i wont be surprised if this game gets wii game of the year and damn i wanted this for christmas

Dualmask
Dualmask

I'm thinking this game might be tight. Hopefully it won't be too short on content, depth or side quests. I believe a single-player-only game must be lengthy to be worthwhile...so sick of 4-hour action marathons at full retail price.

BigNalive
BigNalive

The cactuar won't even know what hit it. I laughed

slickvic1990
slickvic1990

kind of a weird launch date, but still looks pretty good. im optimistic about this game