Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers


Adriaan den Ouden

Free fall
Free-falling without a parachute, armed with a giant machine gun, blasting giant birds out of the sky. Now THAT'S a super-hero!

One thing that emerged from E3 this year was a new logo for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, making use of a rather bombastic font that nobody was quite sure what to make of. After seeing the opening segments of the game, however, it entirely makes sense and even seems appropriate.

The opening sequence of the game is about as over-the-top ridiculous as you could possibly imagine. The main character, Layle, throws out a few cocky one-liners, pulls out a machine gun that's bigger than he is, blasts a garuda out of the sky, throws it over his shoulder, poses, and then leaps off of his airship. At that point, Mac, who was playing at the time, had to blast garudas away as Layle went into freefall towards an air cruise ship beneath him.

If this weren't enough, the next cutscene showed a crazy battle between Layle and an antagonist named Goldenrod while hard rock music played in the background. After Goldenrod escaped, Mac took control of the ship, trying to steer it through a trench without hitting the walls, a task he was really not very good at. Once that segment was finally over, Layle proclaims that he's "about to hit the brakes" before deliberately smashing the ship into a statue. It skids to a halt right in front of the gates to their destination city.

Layle and Goldenrod
Layle and Goldenrod go head to head.

This is where the game opened up a bit, and we watched Mac have some fun with the physics engine. Layle has the power to manipulate gravity, and he can use his power to grab pretty much any object in the world, even people, and toss them around like rag dolls. This section lead to chasing down a thieving ferret, and then another cutscene at which point I took over controls.

The final sequence of the demo involved a chocobo-driven wagon being chased by chocobo-mounted knights. While the wagon was driven along a set track by an NPC, I had to grab the oncoming knights with my gravity powers and toss them into the air to keep them from following me. If they got too close, it started a sword fight which was simply resolved by shaking the wiimote. The whole thing was very frantic and surprisingly difficult, as actually getting a grip on the enemies while the wagon moved along the path wasn't easy. It finally ended with the whole wagon plunging off a cliff. Layle saves the NPC and chocobo with his gravity powers, but is unable to stop his own fall, plunging into the ground, at which point the screen goes black and the demo ends.

The one word that can quite easily describe everything we saw of Crystal Bearers is simply this: cheese. The game is about as cheesy as any comic book hero, and happily revels in it. The scenes and gameplay we witnessed were extremely enjoyable to watch and play through, and the controls seemed to be quite intuitive, although the placement of the sensor bar on the demonstration console did make it a bit difficult to aim properly. I was quite impressed with what I saw and am eager to try out the finished product.

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