Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles
Wow. This game really knocked me out. So just in case you haven’t heard about it yet here is the hook. The world is poisoned so your party has to carry around this magic bucket that creates a protective bubble for you to fight inside of. One person in the group has to carry this bucket around. While carrying the bucket however they cannot attack. This leads to some extremely fun cooperative game play. For example I was entrusted with the bucket the first time I played with Kiko and a couple other guys. It was my responsibility to make sure that everyone was in the bubble and that the bubble was always in the right position for them to attack creatures. This became quite difficult when we encountered the first boss. I had to stay very close to the boss in order to keep the bubble around him but this meant he was beating the shit out of me. They had to keep me healed while fighting the boss. At times I would put the bucket down and attack but a bucket on the ground is dangerous. The Boss will happily kick your bucket and if you’re not ready to move with that bubble you’ll get caught outside and start taking damage. Now it is possible for members of your party to kick the buck small distances to sort of keep it in position.
Each character has a magical attack and these attacks can be combined in various ways to perform more powerful attacks. Other spells like cure can also be combined to juice them up a little. The combination of controlling the bucket and trying to coordinate spells had us all yelling at each other in a matter of minutes. You had to announce when you were in position to cast your spell so that the other players could try and get in position. I had picked up a life spell which meant I could bring people back from the dead. This meant that I should not be allowed to die. So they were all constantly watching my health to make sure I stayed alive. You always had to be aware of the bucket and how it related to the monsters around you. The one player who could see the map on their GBA had to make sure you were all moving in the right direction. I could go on and on. Crystal Chronicles was so good I went back the next day and played it again. It was easily my favorite game of the show.
Full Spectrum Warrior
I’ll let Tycho talk about this one on Wednesday. Needless to say I was really surprised buy how fucking awesome it was. I had never even heard of it going into the show.
Kiko and I hit this booth early as we were both interested to check out Nokia’s new handheld. Immediately upon picking one up, we each made a face like we tasted bile. It just feels terrible in your hands. The buttons are placed too close together and there are too many of them. I didn’t know which of the hojillion buttons I had to push just to start the game. Once Tony Hawk started I made another face. The screen is super washed out and it’s oriented in a really strange way. We both put them down after only a few minutes and left the booth in a hurry to go wash our hands. That night Pork and Tycho told us they really enjoyed their experience with the handheld so Kiko and I made it a point to go back the next day and give it another try. After our second encounter with the foul beasts we were still unimpressed. As a game system it fails because of its awkward design and poor screen. I mean you have to turn your phone off and remove the battery in order to change the game. That is stupid. The buttons while good for a phone suck for a handheld. They are placed way to close together and you end up hitting multiple buttons far too often. The pad felt cheap and the screen looked really washed out. It fails as a phone because of its odd size and shape. It just isn’t comfortable. When Tycho told me it was going to cost $300 I actually laughed out loud. I almost feel bad for Nokia. The N-Gage is going to fail miserably. They may sell a few to cell phone customers who like the gimmick of playing games on their phone but they will never be able to sell it to actual gamers. They have also taken a page out of Blockbusters book and decided to insult me with their advertising.