The Crystal Chronicles series has been placating Nintendo gamers since its 2003 GameCube debut in what was a delicate patching up of differences between Nintendo and the then-named Squaresoft. In the past six years it has found homes across various Nintendo platforms in even more varied guises, from multiplayer action RPG to building sim to tactical strategy game.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers continues to explore new territory for the sub-series, while simultaneously returning to more conventional pastures in narrative structure. The story takes place 1000 years after the events of the GameCube game, in a more technology-driven modern age where the use of magic has been limited to a select few known as the Crystal Bearers. The four races that populated the original series return for The Crystal Bearers, where protagonist Layle plays a significant role in the science-driven Liltians struggle for control over the compliant Clavats and Selkies following the magical Yukes apparent extinction.
Following a protracted three year development period, The Crystal Bearers has moved away from the multiplayer-focused nature of the GameCube and DS iterations and evolved into the more typically epic style we have come to expect from the main Final Fantasy series. Producer and Scenario Writer Akitoshi Kawazu – a man with Final Fantasy running through his veins since the series debuted in 1987 – explains the shift in focus to the single player experience: “A more dramatic adventure demanded one central character. As the Wii experience often takes place in the lounge, family members can get involved to help you, though they can also be a nuisance.”
Similar to a handful of other Wii games, only one player can control the protagonist, though spectators can pick up an additional Wii remote and lend a helping (or not as the case may be) hand. Layle’s crystal-bearing abilities give him telekinetic powers that allow you to manipulate a variety of on-screen objects from background items to monsters and NPCs. Couch buddies can therefore be drawn upon to aid you by throwing projectiles at monsters in more challenging sections, or obstructing Layle if they are feeling more mischievous.