Forum > Gaming Discussion > FFCC: The Crystal Bearers (Wii) Reviews coming in - from 5.5 to 8/10
FFCC: The Crystal Bearers (Wii) Reviews coming in - from 5.5 to 8/10
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Tue, 16 Feb 2010 11:53:48


Eurogamer review:

I have to admit I didn't 'get' Crystal Chronicles at first. I dismissed it as simplistic and unchallenging, a hollow game of point and click. It needs to be played with to get the most from it - doing otherwise is like buying an awesome LEGO castle, assembling it once and then gluing it together to sit on your shelf forever - something only the most imagination-poor children would ever consider.

Don't buy this expecting an epic RPG, and consider keeping someone under the age of 12 at hand to help you justify the twee nature of the game as a whole. But there's something here which is notably absent in any number of lushly produced and scintillatingly scripted games: a real sense of fun and discovery.

7/10

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Tue, 16 Mar 2010 21:38:05

Yeah so played two hours of this game. Picked up it at half price on a whim along with Muramasa. 

At first I was like Leo, I mean you're on this ride not knowing WTF is going on, being thrust from one gameplay situation to the next. It's a game of many disparate concepts. 

I really don't know where to start on this game. Erm, lets start with the graphics, really excellent, lovely art, solid engine, nice lighting. I like playing this game just for the way it looks, really excellent production values here. There are a few muddy textures here and there and conversely some really highly detailed ones too. 

The music is so up and down its unbelievable. When it needs to be great, cutscenes for instance, it's great. Epic, swashbuckling stuff. Otherwise its like a random jukebox churning out horrendous tunes, we're talking Irish  fiddles, country ragtime, bizaare rock and terrible blues. And in some areas the music switches too frequently between relatively small stretches of land. 

The voice acting is bad, like baaaaaaaaad like Tales of Symphonia on GC and there is no japanese option. Story is okay, the cutscenes are done with aplomb and has a lightheartedness about it. 

Now to the design, why design a lovely looking city/town, populate it with tons of NPCs and then not let you talk and interact with them? Where are the puzzles?

So, imagine this, take an area in Zelda, make it so you can't talk to anyone and have no puzzles to do. So at its heart you are basically running about. 

Oh and take away any kind of map. So you are map-less too. Imagine it. 

Very strange design decision there. So the controls are okay, should and could be vastly better and thus make the game much, much better, but they are not horrendous or even bad. The camera has one button centering and d-pad manipulation but it doesn't autofollow and it doesn't lock on to enemies. 

The game is practically dying for Silent Hill Shattered Memories controls, using IR in the third person in a similar vein to a FPS. 

The physics manipulation, its not elebits, hell its not even psi-ops. Any thought of nuanced physics controls are just out the window. At first I was doing moves slowly and getting a little frustrated with them. Then I realised that you just swing, be rough and brutal with it. When that clicks suddenly you find the game a lot snappier and more instant. 

You can point at an object, but then in general you then just swish the controller in one of four directions and its pretty lame. You can however use the wii remote like the half life 2 gravity gun, sucking an object towards you and pinpoint aiming to shoot it back out. 

The game has quite snappy platforming. It's not quite auto platforming, but the game has a sort of auto lock jump which means that it can intelligently know where you want to jump and does it when you just press a button. 

Battles are generally throw stuff around, I've avoided most of it because you can, no need to fight when you don't need to. 

It probably sounds horrible so far, but its actually quite pleasent. It's not brilliant and should be a hell of a lot better, but its fun-ish. 

I would recommend a rental or hobo grab. If the experience keeps up I would end up giving it a 7.0-7.5 I guess. 




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Tue, 16 Mar 2010 23:04:57
I thought fighting is fun after I got the hang of it, learning the enemies' weaknesses (some are better off with sideways waggles, others vertical, etc) and trying to find new reactions and stuff, or enemies that can be used as weapons, it all works decently, except for that first boss where you need to look waaaay high for his last weak point and with those camera controls it just doesn't work well. But I found it fun trying to beat the enemies within the time limit to get the extra health bonus, I imagine that becomes useful in later boss fights. I don't actively chase to gather them all or something though, if I get a time over I just continue on my business and try in the next infested area rather than wait for the enemies to respawn and try again. Perhaps I'm used to not having auto-follow camera from playing so much Monster Hunter though, heh, though it feels weirder and wrong in CC with the cursor control, it would have been so fluid if they made the cursor control the camera as in an FPS... I haven't played it much, it's not my copy. And yes, it looks GREAT, it's a shame it wasn't a more traditional game, I'm sure it would have impressed many people with its style, but they had to go all experimental on it. Maybe they'll refine a potential sequel...
Edited: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 23:09:33
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 10:34:58

Agnates said:
I thought fighting is fun after I got the hang of it, learning the enemies' weaknesses (some are better off with sideways waggles, others vertical, etc) and trying to find new reactions and stuff, or enemies that can be used as weapons, it all works decently, except for that first boss where you need to look waaaay high for his last weak point and with those camera controls it just doesn't work well. But I found it fun trying to beat the enemies within the time limit to get the extra health bonus, I imagine that becomes useful in later boss fights. I don't actively chase to gather them all or something though, if I get a time over I just continue on my business and try in the next infested area rather than wait for the enemies to respawn and try again. Perhaps I'm used to not having auto-follow camera from playing so much Monster Hunter though, heh, though it feels weirder and wrong in CC with the cursor control, it would have been so fluid if they made the cursor control the camera as in an FPS... I haven't played it much, it's not my copy. And yes, it looks GREAT, it's a shame it wasn't a more traditional game, I'm sure it would have impressed many people with its style, but they had to go all experimental on it. Maybe they'll refine a potential sequel...

 Yeah the controls, begging for a FPS style. What's more messed up is the first person view. You hold Z to go first person and then instead of using IR or the stick to look around, you use the d-pad? How weird does that feel? 

They could easily take the environments from this game, re-work the controls and physics into something more fun, add in some sidequests and actual people to talk through, add in some puzzles and have something great here. Instead its got a few great ideas that just aren't executed well enough. Quite linear so far too, its not open world, its like zelda I suppose but it feels more linear. I am only a couple of hours in though, just hit the vineyard. 

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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 17:12:23

Okay, 4 and a half hours into this game. 

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I try these games so don't have to folks. I'm pretty sure I'm selling this on ebay.  

It has its pleasures and its worth a rental at least. I loved the train section, it plays this mischevious music and has you eluding guards. Very fun. And the whole beach bikini section was hilarious. Otherwise the more I play the more I feel its missed potential and series of misjudged design decisions. 

Get off a chocobo and it runs off into the distance. Imagine getting off Epona in Zelda and having her run for the hills with no way to recall her? Then there is no map. The frustration aimed towards this game is in part to do with this, you can spend long stretches getting lost looking a moogle to guide you. 

Dragon boss fight was all right, but why have the hit point so high up and then have you manually trying to move the camera there?

The dialogue is sometimes terrible, the voice acting painful. 

This game has got great production values and great cutscene direction. But horrible music clashing with great fantasy tunes. It's car crash gaming, not horrible, mildly entertaining but just so not "there."

I probably enjoyed Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings more. That seems more coherent, and that is just weird. 

The core gameplay here is just not fun, the main mechanic of pointing to a manipulating objects is just nowhere near as good as it needs to be, not accurate enough, not nuanced enough, not fast enough, not satisfying enough. They would have been better off throwing in some melee or ranged combat via IR. 

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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 17:15:20

gamingeek said:

Get off a chocobo and it runs off into the distance. Imagine getting off Epona in Zelda and having her run for the hills with no way to recall her?

LOL

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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:12:55

gamingeek said:

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I try these games so don't have to folks.

Hey! That's --MY-- job! I'M disposable income guy!
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:25:41

phantom_leo said:

gamingeek said:

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I try these games so don't have to folks.

Hey! That's --MY-- job! I'M disposable income guy!

You need to complete Shattered Memories, until you've seen the ending, you have no idea.

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Thu, 18 Mar 2010 16:27:25

Played some more, I'm about 8 hrs in. Starting to enjoy it. It's not great but it is fun. 

The whole snow section and temple was great fun, the boss too and the chocobo flight/run chase was awesome. 

Then there were some cool ass cutscenes and then they went and ruined the good run by having you run into the screen automatically in some weird ass on rails section. 

Then some more trekking, the world is as big as zelda, no doubt and I would explore if there was a map, since there isn't I really have no inclination to wander about and get lost for a couple of chests. 

I played the james bond tuxedo part. Absolutely-frigging-hilarious dancing and cutscenes. This game is fun, but stupid and despite looking sometimes gorgeous just too mish mash to be good. 

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Thu, 18 Mar 2010 17:19:38

Now I'm in a prison facing robots. And... one hit deaths have been introduced?!

WTH? Little help?

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Sun, 21 Mar 2010 16:20:24


So one hits deaths after a virtually painless fighting experience where you can just avoid most battles. This is not good. They stick you in a room with three death robots and a flying auto gun too.

And you get one hit deaths.

I was on the brink of giving up before I realised that you only have to destroy one of these death robots. It took about 40 minutes to pass.

I've sort of made my peace with this game. It's quite enjoyable. Sure it has its flaws, no map, a camera that is fine for exploring, inadequate for battling. But they only force you to battle on three occasions so far and only once has it been anywhere near game breaking.

The music is sometimes sublime, sometimes horrendous. But the game has a fun vibe about it, great cutscenes, some grin moments, some funny and touching moments. And it does a great job of empowering you with super power like abilities.

Like the way you can bounce about environments jumping and hookshotting.

And being a dick in this game is fun. See a bucket of water? Pick it up with telekinesis and drop it on someones head. See someone sitting on a bench? Remove the bench. Grinning

Grab a balloon and it acts like grabbing a chicken in zelda for a slow mo descent.

There is stupid stuff that is just funny. You're on a tram for instance and a crazy old grandma just starts running up and down the aisle, knocking everyone down like bowling balls. You get pissed and just pick her up and throw her into a window.

Sometimes for no reason they throw balls or pumpkins down inclines at you. One time I grabbed one and shot it back up the hill, only to see it realistically roll back down the hill at me.

I can agree with reviews that say its a game you have to experiment with. There is a zelda sized world here - sans dungeons - and you can explore to mess about but there is no real motive to do so outside of getting chest after chest of cash and word items to make accersories which boost stats.

So far, I would give this game a 7.5, as despite its many flaws and inconsistencies, there is fun to be had here once you get past them.

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Sun, 21 Mar 2010 17:09:01
Is it one hit deaths or is it because you didn't do any other battles so you didn't get the health upgrades?
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Mon, 22 Mar 2010 13:48:44

Agnates said:
Is it one hit deaths or is it because you didn't do any other battles so you didn't get the health upgrades?

 This I'm not sure of. 

Anyway I completed Crystal Bearers on Sunday, clocked in at 10 hrs. Very flawed but quite fun in the end, there is a lot of other stuff to do and experiment with so I will be going back. Overall give it a 7.5


I really think that SE should not drop the concept and style of the game, as this game is like the original Red Steel, with some control and gameplay tweaks you could really have something good here.


The end boss was awesome, like Andross at the end of Starfox. 

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Mon, 22 Mar 2010 13:59:33

I took some more pics. Outside of the Metroid Prime games I think this game has my most favourite art style in a game. One thing I noticed though is that the pic captures are actually, strangely less detailed than it looks on screen. 

The game definitely has the best costumes and outfits I have ever seen in any game. 





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Spoiler pic: http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/9297/ffcctcb100321202548.jpg

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Edited: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:46:34

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Mon, 22 Mar 2010 14:21:52
Nice, spoilers. Can I guess he's a final boss then, gone all evil red? Great... Game can certainly look gorgeous in places, shame for the camera issues more than anything else. They should do an International version like they do for the Final Fantasy games where they address many of the issues and stuff. Since a sequel is unlikely. Love the details and texturing and everything, most devs try to tell us Wii can barely do N64 textures with flat colors everywhere but games like Prime and this show you can have loads of details and multiple textures and subtle effects like the specular mapping thrown in for a really good end result, with the whole world streaming too. Also, all games should let you take screenshots, either as in the Endless Ocean photographs or as in this game's instant snapshot taking. So awesome. I'd show pics but I only have a few from the beginning and they're SD.
Edited: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 14:26:12
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Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:00:20

Agnates said:
Nice, spoilers. Can I guess he's a final boss then, gone all evil red? Great... Game can certainly look gorgeous in places, shame for the camera issues more than anything else. They should do an International version like they do for the Final Fantasy games where they address many of the issues and stuff. Since a sequel is unlikely. Love the details and texturing and everything, most devs try to tell us Wii can barely do N64 textures with flat colors everywhere but games like Prime and this show you can have loads of details and multiple textures and subtle effects like the specular mapping thrown in for a really good end result, with the whole world streaming too. Also, all games should let you take screenshots, either as in the Endless Ocean photographs or as in this game's instant snapshot taking. So awesome. I'd show pics but I only have a few from the beginning and they're SD.

 Well, its not really a spoiler. You learn a couple of hours in. You think I should delete the pic? I got the impression no one here cared about the game anyway?

Oh yeah I forgot to mention that, the game streams so you never see a load screen, like Silent Hill does too. 

The lighting in this game is great, but there is one scene with Layle and Goldenrod running a long a corridor where the lighting is so good I felt like I was looking at a game on a higher end system. 

If I had to break down what needs improving it would be:

Camera and controls. 

I put these two together because individually they are fine, but they work independently when they need to work together. In a couple of battles the monster you want to beat is offscreen whilst you try to grab the item you want, then rotate the camera back. Its cumbersome and finnicky. Use IR FPS controls to do this. 

Physics

This can again be married into the controls. Use IR like elebits for physics not vague waggle gesturing. 

Combat

Throwing things around is fun, but a sword or gun would also be cool to mix things up. 

Puzzles

Could we please have some? Yes, pack those glorious looking environments with things to do. 

A Map

Yes, I think the Crystal Chronicles teams should learn to include a map in their home console games for christs sake. 

Be judicious

Choose carefully what event/mini-games work and what ones don't and cut the far. 

Incentive

Making a large world is pretty useless when there is no incentive to explore it. Incentives please, collectables, side quests etc, rewards. 

Voice acting

Yeah, better voice acting please. 

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Tue, 23 Mar 2010 04:30:17
Can you put it on Japanese voice acting?

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Tue, 23 Mar 2010 10:18:28

I desparately searched for the option to no avail. Sad

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Wed, 24 Mar 2010 03:38:49
Do'h. Sad

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