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December 2, 2015

Demo Review 31: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life As A Darklord

For this game, only the Wiimote is required. Oh, this looks girly, with hearts everywhere. Even a heart-shaped fortress? Oh my… Is this young girl the “Darklord” the title refers to? Sigh, let’s get this over with. This Darklord wannabe is willing to fight heroes, and everything takes place in her tower. You can use “negative energy” to build floors in the tower (max. 5 at first). Each floor has a trap that instantly attacks any hero that steps in; however, the hero can then attack that trap and move on to the next floor. When a trap is destroyed, the whole floor is destroyed and you need to build a new one on top of the heroes’ location. The heroes come in waves, and this game plays a bit like a reverse Tower Defense game.

…well, Tower Defense it is, except you’re the bad guy, your tower is under attack, so you have to defend it… I think I lost my comparison somewhere in there.

The second level introduces goblins to be placed on every floor, to attack the heroes. It also introduces a table of types; this game has enemies of five types, three of which form a triangle where each is strong against a second and weak against a third (not unlike Grass-Fire-Water from Pokémon), a type that deals the same damage to anything regardless of type, and a last type that doesn’t attack and only heals heroes. You can place up to three enemies on the same floor, but be wary of adventurers burning the steps, as a hero will move right to the next floor if there’s already a battle going on in a floor. Pesky adventurers, can’t even help each other! The second level also introduces Black Mages, another hero class. Well, this IS a Final Fantasy game after all…

The third level introduces the last concepts for this demo; you can buy upgrades for your monsters, to make them more powerful and durable against the heroes, and you can also create support-type floors that will help your forces. In fact, you can even upgrade your tower so that it can have more then 5 floors. This level also introduces a Level 7 hero as the boss, a hero that can use a spell called Slow to make your monsters attack less often. See, both monsters and heroes in this game have a bar that refills after they’ve attacked; and when it’s full, they attack and it empties itself. This defines the attack speed of each character. Spells like Slow will make said bars take more time to refill, causing your goblins to attack less often when they’re hit by the spell. Other status effects such as Haste, Paralyze, Poison and Bravery exist, but we won’t see them here.

By the way, this demo ends after five levels, making it one of the longest demos I’ve played for Demo Reviews. It’s an enjoyable game, but there’s a lot of things to learn before you can be any good at it. Instead of being a straightforward RPG like the main Final Fantasy titles, this is more like a strategy game with an RPG premise. Every human character that appears in the cutscenes is a girl, and they look like adults drawn in a chibi style to resemble kids. That’s really weird. The human adventurers who enter the Darklord’s tower also look like kids… Oh well. The five levels available in the demo still allow the player to test every feature, and that’s exactly what a demo should do, right?

If that’s just what you’d like to try, go ahead.