Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King Hands-On

We live the royal life in Square Enix's upcoming WiiWare game.

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Square Enix was on hand at Nintendo's recent media summit to show off its upcoming WiiWare game Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King. It's a branch off of the Crystal Chronicles family tree and casts you as a young king charged with restoring his father's kingdom. The game is, in equal measures, part management sim and part RPG. This is a far cry from the last few CC games, but it nonetheless manages to offer an engaging experience.

We had the chance to try out the game for a bit and found that multitasking and careful judgments were the order of the day. Your goal is to rebuild your kingdom by pleasing the locals, working with groups of explorers, and building structures. In your role as king, you're a supervisor who has to order minions to do work, such as to go explore the surrounding area for loot. If you're lucky, your minions will come back with something good. If not, well, time to find some more minions to send on errands. You'll also have a helper who'll pop up when summoned. One of your biggest challenges is trying to manage the public sentiment about you. If you're careful, you'll be able to be friends with the people. However, if you fail at this, then you'll have to answer to the whole population of your city.

The game makes smart use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, allowing you to poke around through the menu-driven interface smoothly. Shaking the controls will call up your faithful assistant, who's ready to help.

The visuals in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King are simple but certainly have an appeal. The game sports the same cartoony style of the other Crystal Chronicles games, including that of the recent DS release. Your evolving city is extremely pretty, although there could stand to be some variety among the natives.

Based on what we played, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King is a promising game. We're just curious to see what its price will be. Although there's plenty to like in the game, it's a basic experience that we hope won't cost an arm and a leg. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King is set to be available for download later this year for the Wii.

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