Square Enix Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time makes a lot of improvements on past games in the series, especially with its near-flawless online, wireless multiplayer.
- Plenty of things to collect, online multi-player makes great hack-and-slash fun, colourful DS graphics and good soundtrack
- Platforming elements suffer from bad camera, tedious single player hampered by brain-dead party AI, Wii version is a visual mess
For a DS title, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time sets a high bar for handheld RPG games. Lag-less action, wireless play and a mind-boggling amount of items and customisable ways to outfit your adventurer are how most online RPGs should be built. With the Wii version, you've got the same good gameplay, just cramped and, um, ugly.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time makes a lot of improvements on past games in the series, especially with its near-flawless online, wireless multiplayer. Even with a severely lacking story and graphics that don't really live up to Final Fantasy standards, the hack-and-slash RPG action is the best since the original Crystal Chronicles. Overall, Echoes of Time proves itself to be a good dungeon-crawler, despite a less than stellar Wii port and awful A.I. compensation for tedious, boring single player gameplay.
You Scratch My Back
One give-or-take aspect in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time is definitely the story. You start the game as a village warrior who has "just come of age" in time to solve the mystery of a sudden "crystal sickness" that has crippled one of your childhood pals. Venturing out into the world for the first time, your character immediately runs across the game's blatant main villain, who promises to help cure your ailing friend. Soon enough, all heck breaks loose, your village is wrecked, and you're off on a quest to save the world. Personally, I wish that Echoes of Time had directly continued the storyline of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fate, because I often had little clue what the heck was going on this game. Still, the plot is essentially just a means to send you travelling the world on various dungeon-based mission, and that's all that really matters.
Like the titles before it, Echoes of Time's gameplay sends you into fully 3D dungeons to kill monsters and loot as much as gold as your little arms can carry. The addictive part of the game comes into play when you collect enough items to start crafting your own gear, which is both fun and rewarding to see on your in-game character. It gets even better when you're playing with a group of friends, since the puzzles and enemies are best tackled with your buddies coordinating attacks and spells in unison. Echoes of Time's wireless play works incredibly well between DS and Wii machines, and even my online session didn't falter in the face of frantic boss battles. Moreover, the dungeons are clearly structured with multiple players in mind, and they're varied enough to engage teams of Crystal Chronicles players for dozens and dozens of missions.
Keep It Simple, Stupid
Even though the Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles series has always been best when played with friends, the flaws in Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time become drastically magnified both on the Wii and with only a single player in the game. Echoes of Time gives you the option to customize your own team of tagalongs, but the party A.I. is just pathetic outside of closed battles. Also, each dungeon's frustrating platforming elements (stupid camera!) are exaggerated when your A.I. partners blindly stumble face first into traps and fail to snag items and loot. Even worse, you can't give them simple commands, like "stand on this floor panel," which made me want to claw my eyes out every time I had to deal with a multi-part puzzle.
If you're going to play Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, the DS version is the better of the two by far. The colourful and crisp graphics on the small dual screens just look bad when they're blown up on the Wii, and splitting the display into two small side-by-side screens is like lemon juice on an open flesh wound. It's obvious that the DS' display options are the way to go, but Square Enix should have thought of a way to make the screens at least shift so they could be full-sized for the Wii. Then again, that probably would've made the graphics look worse.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time may have a forgettable story and serious design flaws on the Wii, but it's still a great dungeon crawler for groups of Final Fantasy devotees to get their hands on. While the online upgrade and improvements in the wireless multiplayer make it a feat to behold, just make sure to play the DS version instead of its unattractive, very unpolished console port.r
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Destiny 2: The 5 key things PC gamers need to know
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft's Phantom Dust remaster brings the cult Xbox classic to PCs, for free
- This year's Steam Summer Sale dates have already leaked
- How to play the Quake Champions open beta this weekend
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Moto G5 smartphone: full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTImplementation Engineer - NetApp DATA ONTAPWA
- FTImplementation ConsultantNSW
- FTSalesforce Marketing ConsultantNSW
- CCConsultant - Hogan Health CheckQLD
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- TPFront End .NET DeveloperQLD
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTNodeJS and AngularJS DeveloperQLD
- FTICT SpecialistNSW
- FTIT Systems EngineerQLD
- CCIT Security Risk AnalystVIC
- CCSolution Designer with PEGA experience- TelcoVIC
- FTICT Transformation Integration ManagerNSW
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- FTPHP DeveloperWA
- TPProject Manager | Applications and Project InitiationQLD
- CCState-wide Business Transition LeadQLD
- FTUrgent -Java Developer (Programmer). 3 different positionsACT
- FTCustomer Service OperatorVIC
- TPTrim Helpdesk AnalystVIC
- CCDevOps EngineerVIC
- FTHR Learning Management ExpertNSW
- FTPrincipal Consultant / Account Delivery Executive.NSW
- CCTesting Manager - Energy sectorVIC