TGS 2008: Chocobo to Mahou no Ehon: Majo to Shoujo to 5nin no Yuusha Hands-On

We have no idea what the title means, but as long as it involves chocobos, it's all good.

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TOKYO--Square Enix provided Nintendo DS stations at the Tokyo Game Show where we could play as a helpful yellow bird. We had watched a trailer earlier where we saw a rather large white bird steering a boat. Without much of an explanation, we saw a chocobo get sucked into a book. It was difficult to tell what was happening exactly, but we automatically knew that anything involving a chocobo would be full of charm. It looked like this would be another cute DS game targeting a younger audience.

After watching the trailer, we sat down and got some hands-on time with the game, attempting to get as far as we could without being able to understand much. The initial scene began with a white bird steering a small ship, most likely talking to itself. All of a sudden, our feathered friend popped out of the crate behind the white bird. We were then attacked by a flying fish of some sort that threw forks (more like tridents) down at us. Using the touch screen, we moved back and forth out of the way of falling silverware. We eventually got away, and together, the two birds headed toward an island in the middle of the sea. The island had a bizarre but elaborate-looking structure. Once we got there, we were greeted by a Moogle who cheerfully led us into the tower.

Inside the tower we met Cid, a young man with out-of-control hair. It seems he had fallen ill because he's sitting in his lavish bed and refused to get up. After the dialogue between the Moogle and Cid, we were free to leave the tower to roam the island. We didn't get to venture too far, but we did get a good look at the locals who come in a variety of well-groomed oversized birds. We wandered over to an apple tree and entered into a minigame to collect apples. Using the stylus, we moved a basket back and forth to catch the falling fruit. It seems like your job is to play minigames and be as helpful as possible.

The pencil-drawn art style stood out considerably because the maps, character designs, and locations looked fantastic. What also stood out was the music. The soundtrack seems to be a compilation of some of the greatest tunes from the Final Fantasy library. We heard the castle theme from the original Final Fantasy while on the ship, and Palom's theme from Final Fantasy IV started to play when we met the Moogle. Ronfaure from Final Fantasy XI also played in the background when we wandered around the island.

You can never have enough chocobos, so we'll be watching this game closely and trying to find out what this game has to offer. Chocobo to Mahou no Ehon will be released on December 11 in Japan.

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