Charming, addictive, and nothing at all like the Crystal Chronicles or anything Final Fantasy we've ever seen before.

User Rating: 9 | Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Chiisana Ousama to Yakusoku no Kuni WII
Right then, here we go. FFCC: My Life as a King is all about building a town and in order to do that - you need materials, or resources rather. There's only one in this game and that's a crystal called elementite, hence the "Chrystal Chronicles" in the name :) So you need to gather these in order to expand your town, but since you're the king and your adversaries would rather not see you head out into the wilderness - you're gonna have to let someone else gather the crystals for you: adventurers. Every house in the game generates a family consisting of two people: a parent and its child (more like teenager), and every "child" is a potential adventurer that would just _love_ to work for you! Anyone who wants to become an adventurer will line up in front of the castle doors and remains there until you either employ them or reach the cap of how many adventurers that you may have working for you - a cap that can be raised at the Guild Hall for a fee (I currently have 16 adventurers). Before hiring someone you can check out his or her profile to see what stats they have etc.

Now that you've got one or more adventurers to do your bidding, you can start exploring the outskirts of the realm where forests, plains, deserts etc can be found. Most of it are dungeons though ^_^ Either way, every place will let you gather a number of elementite until depleted, after which you'll have to search for more elsewhere and there are _plenty_ of places to go (more and more becomes available as you play the game and some can even be purchased, such as the Dungeon Pack I got for 300p which unlocked like 10 new locations). You do this by posting a so called "Behest" but I'd much rather call it a request or Quest, but that's probably just because I haven't ever heard of the word before :P Anyway, so you post a request for your adventurers to go somewhere on the map and it could be _anywhere_ of the places that you know of, even if some would mean certain death because just like the skillfulness of your adventurers are measured in levels - so is the difficulty for each location. So sending a level 5 Warrior into a lvl 9 dungeon would probably not do you (your kingdom rather) nor him/her any good. And only one request can be made for each Bulletin Board that your town has, and you start out with one - meaning that your adventurers cannot visit more than one location at a time. Or rather - _do your bidding at_ one place at a time. Because if your adventurers are heading towards cave 7 (they've actually got nifty names in-game so don't worry about that) but will first need to go through desert 3, forest 1 and both cave 5 _and_ 6 in order to reach that location, then they will do just that. So yeah there's always a chance (though it's very slim) of an adventurer failing to reach the location where you wanted him or her to go do your bidding.

So what are those "biddings" then? Well that depends, if the location has only just been discovered then you're only able to send someone in to "Explore" it. That's a really good thing 'cause each location has this "Exploration Meter" which gradually fills up as send people in to explore the place. Sometimes you can even post a request to explore a given location by _not_ going there - but instead asking around about it in the town! So that's a safe way of filling up that meter enough for you to find out where the boss lies. This is bidding #2: kill the boss. Doing so often unlocks something such as blueprints for a new building and more locations to explore, and it's also needed in order to advance the story - _if_ the location that had the boss was tied to the storyline and you can easily tell this because that place will be marked by a tick on the map.
Other biddings/quests include searching for materials needed to e.g. bring better weapons or armor to the store, and even research magic (this is an assumption though, based on what I've seen while exploring). You can always easily tell which location offers what materials, the monsters that dwell there, and any special rewards such as buildings. You can also tell whether or not the source of crystals has been depleted yet or not. It's all on the map.
Oh, and _you_ decide who goes where. When a behest has been posted - people hired by you will show up in front of that particular bulletin board in town and await your orders. So depending on class, level, stats and mood you may choose which adventurer is up for the task and who's not. Apart from saying "Aye, go quest!" you may also tell them to simply go out and level up some more (at which point they'll just head to any location that is on par with their level) _or_ even go home and get some rest. Because they need to rest in-between missions, and you can tell when by the smiley-face above each character: if it's showing a blue, sad-looking face then he or she would do better resting for a day rather than getting overexerted. But hey you're the king so it's up to you to decide. Completing a behest will allow you to award that character with a medal which boosts one of the six characteristics (the usual Str, Int, Wis etc) unless it's a Special Medal - which'll give extra traits such as "will never get tired" or "will sometimes receive a discount at the Weapon Shop. Special Medals are given to you by families that are happy enough with how things are generally going with your town (though boosting morale and paying them a visit every now and then helps the most).
Another thing that can be posted on the board is recruiting adventurers to change their class into something else, once you've got the building necessary to unlock the class. Again - you pick who's suitable for the job change and who's not.

Right, so you've sent out an adventurer to do whatever at some dungeon. He or she will eventually make it back, "dead" or alive. It seems that people can't die in the game - they just get "wiped out" as the game refers to it. I'd rather call it "_knocked_ out" because that's what happens; they reach 0 health and are instantly transported back to their house where they'll stay for a few days unless you pay them a visit, which'll sorta boost their spirit and make them come back the next day. Those who make it back alive will wander through the city straight to the castle and get paid for their services. Yes, this means that each and every adventurer can be seen running around the town, both _before_ setting out for an adventure _and_ afterwards - should they return safely (wounded or not). And that's a pretty neat thing :) Once given orders they'll begin by stopping by at the shops in town to see if there's anything in there that they like (including their "headquarter" for learning new abilities) and then take to the road through one of the town's many gates. This is also where they'll come back later and again - emoticons will tell you how things went (a sad face for fleeing in battle or gold coins when things went well and now they're off to receive their payment, for example). While _outside_ adventuring, small notes will show up in the upper right corner of the screen telling you whenever a character reaches a destination, if he or she is forced to flee from battle, has encountered a boss etc. So you're always aware of what's going on outside the castle walls.
Once you're far enough into the game and are able to build a Tavern, you can form groups/parties in order to overcome the more dangerous monsters (such as Behemoth) and not to mention bosses.
Every adventure can be studied in detail by reading the Adventurer Report, which tells you where the person went (including the shops and whether or not they purchased anything in there), any monsters he or she encountered, the outcome of each battle (turn by turn if you wish), and any gold, items and/or elementite found.

Phew, ok so that's how adventuring goes. Now onto building your town and I'll _try_ to keep this short, although I'm not very at that ^_^' As explained, the elementite gathered by your adventurers makes the world go round. Money (gold) doesn't, funny enough. Gold (or tithe) is "only" for funding your stores to provide better items, spells, abilities, posting behests (aye requesting help is not free, but not very expensive either), raising the cap for the number of adventurers that you may hire, and raising their payment. Phew, I think I got it all covered. Main point anyway was to tell you that gold isn't spent on building stuff but everything around it. And the gold that your adventurers earn by killing monsters is _theirs_ to keep and then spend in shops or on doing stuff (like betting in the Gaming Hall), so they're not your main source of income - their _parents_ are! Yeah because if you wanna live within the city walls then you've gotta pay taxes, so each citizen generates an amount of tithe every passing day and that's where _you_ as a king get _your_ gold from.

Oh and speaking of time passing and days - there's a clock-thingy in the upper left corner which tells you what time of the day it is and the in-game sun moves accordingly to this, as does the sky (turning reddish towards the end of the day and then gets darker and darker) :) You're only allowed to stay up for so long so once the clock's "hand" points at "ZzZ", it's bedtime for the king and you won't be able to get anything more done until tomorrow (which can be frustrating at times but that's just all part of the city planning - how to best spend your time).
The amount of time that you're able to stay up can be prolonged by raising the town's overall morale; as the people gets closer to their families, they'll leave the lights on longer allowing you to stay up later. Yeah that's how it works :lol: Again, making this can also earn you Special Medals as mentioned earlier.

Back to city building and management. Your town is _really_ really _big_ with plenty of room for you to build on. Can't just point and click though, dropping buildings wherever you see fit. You have to stay to the areas that have a green, shimmering light (on the ground) - telling you that it's ok to place a building here. No need to worry though as there's plenty of them and that way you can't really make any mistakes like accidentally cornering yourself or another building, making something inaccessible :) So you walk onto one of them shimmering lights, shake your Wiimote and up comes Chime: your closest adversary (yeah that's her name) who helps you build and demolish. Then you just pick a building from the list, rotate as you see fit and place it down - assuming you have enough crystals for it and that there's enough free space where you're standing. The size of each building is either 1x1 squares or 1x2, 2x2 etc so planning is easily done. Every building can then be entered - be it a house, shop, headquarter or whatever, but you don't get to walk around freely in it. Instead, you'll be greeted up-close by the one living there (or running the place), with a nice little background drop suitable to the type of building, and a number of options. Depending on what type of building it is, interaction changes. Inside a resident you'll be able to see who are living there, what their relations are, and the profile of any adventurer(s), while shops and headquarters allow you to fund them for new items or abilities and look into what items are available for purchase or a list of members. You can also enter the castle to view the latest Adventurer Reports, Financial Report (how much tithe and elementite spent and earned at the end of last day), purchase extra content (also available at the main menu), view special medals, and make the town prosper and grow by using "morale spheres" to develop the realm. You gain these spheres from gathering enough Morale; there's a meter in the upper left corner (along with your current number of gold and crystals) which fills up every time you talk to a citizen that has something to say - represented by a green smiley face above their head - or whenever a behest is completed and even when citizens are chatting with one another (they too occasionally wanders the streets, purchasing bread or going in-between shops and stopping to chat with other citizens). Once the meter fills up, you'll get a morale sphere and apart from using these to develop the realm - they may also be used to temporarily boost the overall morale of the town. Naturally, good things come out of this; talking to an character before he or she sets out on adventure will give a boost to one random characteristic, and you'll also earn more money from taxes at the end of the day as the people of your town decides to chip in a little more than usual (yeah they'll tip you lol). A really quick way of filling up the meter is by declaring a Holiday; this boosts the amount of morale gathered from each conversation and gives everyone the day off - meaning more people wandering the streets to talk to! But it's also quite expensive to arrange so it's not like you'll be doing this every day - especially since it means that there won't be any adventuring made during that day, with everyone having the day off.
Another thing that temporarily boosts the morale is whenever someone completes a behest, so you'll want to talk to as many people as possible whenever that happens before going to bed.

There, that's pretty much everything this game has to offer in detail. And I'm loving just about everything about it; the game is rich, has depth, and is highly (even dangerously) addictive. If I was to complain about something then it'd be the little bugs that I've come across such as how I am unable to view any battles on the report from last time I played the game, or how a monster's health sometimes gets f*cked up - either loosing too much damage or won't die despite falling down to 0. And of course, it would've been nice with some sort of multiplayer such as visiting another player's town or being able to trade characters. But all that doesn't really matter because My Life as a King is simply a superb enough game as it is and Square Enix has once again handed us a top notch experience that really _anyone_ can enjoy and is _well_ worth the money - and they've managed to do that with a 40MB cap. Well done.

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