Fun, but has it's faults.

User Rating: 7.5 | Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time DS
I'm having quite a lot of mixed views of what I think of this game. I know this isn't the basic Final Fantasy-type game, so that's not the part that's obscuring my views. It's just mostly stuff I can't put my finger on until it's time to write a review, then it all falls out. ¤Warning¤ This may or may not contain certain story spoilers.

¤ Story ~ Basically you start the story as a young adult in a small village somewhere (one could hope it's the land of Ivalice, but nothing is ever mentioned), and it's time to do your coming of age ceremony. You make your way through the forest near your home to defeat a boss to complete your coming of age ceremony. After this, one of the child residents of your village comes down with what's knows as "Crystal Sickness". It's then your time to shine, to make your way out of the village for the first time into the world arround you to find the cure for the child. You finally come across a strange old man cooped up in a library who will give you the antidote, in return for you to do something strange for him. And from there the plot twists drastically so I won't really spoil anymore of it for those reading.... For now.

¤ Gameplay ~ I'll give it to you straight, it is a little more difficult when trying to this entire game without some aid from the AI, but then again I'm not giving the AI any credit whatsoever because they're basically useless except for the fact they're a nice distraction (I mean fodder) for the monsters so I could come up behind them and beat it senseless. And as for anything else you wanted the AI to do, forget it. They would randomly only cure themselves, would never in their life cure you on their own, and apparently didn't know it was ok to jump when jumping was necessary. So you will always need to R1 drag their bodies around. Their one good plus was if you casted a spell towards an enemy, chances are good they would do the same, resulting in stacked magic spells like -ga/ra/ja spells (Blizzaga, Thundara, Curaja) . But if luck were to be bad that day and you died, you'd have to immediately switch to one of the AI characters to manually raise you.

But other then the atrocious AI issues, gameplay was a breeze. Spells are easy to cast and stack. Enemies were decently easy and bosses weren't difficult in the least to beat. You will notice some interesting lag issues though, with a lot of enemies entering an area you are and you're equipped with 3 other people or AI.

Playing online using Nintendo Wi-Fi and regular wireless connection seemed to be a breaze and seamless. Communication wasn't at it's best, seeing as all you had was a preset group of sentences. Would have been a whole lot better if giving a mini keypad option, but that's just me. Saddened to say I haven't gotten a chance to try a connection between my DS and someone's Wii.

If you're a patient person, and really love to farm for items you need, this game might be for you. You will constantly be running out of GOOD materials you need to have your armor custom made. Granted you could wait til you beat the next dungeon so you could purchase your armor from the armor shop but what's the fun in that? Besides there are a few scrolls to be found out in the dungeons that will never make it to the item shop like the Red Mage outfit. So be sure to enter dungeons again for a second or even third playthough because treasure chests that once held just loot or gil will sometimes contain scrolls instead. Also sometimes re-entering a dungeon once it's complete will also help you find post-signs for unlocking the silly little mini quests you have an option to do.

The mini quests are a fun little side thing you can do if you feel like it. And sometimes when you win, nice little goodies will be the reward. Rescue cows from aliens, or beat your online buddy senseless. It's all in good fun. If you're a 100% item/quest nut, make sure you have friends who own this game, because you cannot access all the mini quests because probably at least half of them are VS. or Co-op.

¤ Graphics/Music ~ When I first head that this game was being release both on the Nintendo DS(i) and Wii, I was reletively excited that I could purchase it for the Wii since it's in sore need of attention. Then I find out later that the Wii version is basically a port of the DS version. Needless to say, without a blink of an eye, I purchased it for my DS instead. I have seen better graphics come out of Square Enix before, and I didn't want to experience something pixely on my 42" lol. The graphics made for the DS were somewhat decent, if not often misleading. The only real big problem I had was either I have horrible depth perception, or Square Enix likes a good joke now and then. Having to decipher if I need to jump a certain way to hit a platform meant for a lot of interesting falls to my characters impending doom. Also a lot of choice words under my breath. And to be super honest, I didn't pay too much attention to the music of this game. Only one that really sticks to mind is the music inside of the town where you spend a lot of time making materials and having armor crafted.

¤ All in all this wasn't a bad game. Nor was it a 10. I'd call it more of a filler game, one that you might buy to wittle away some time while you wait around for something you've reserved. SE did up the ante some giving it multiplayer online abilities. Now that I've beaten it once, I can go back and play it on harder modes to get the rest of my missing items.