E3 hands on: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicals: The Crystal Bearers


One thing the Wii has been lacking is a big name Final Fantasy game – sure we had Echos of Time, but a Wii port of a DS title hardly counts.  Square is delivering this year with Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers – and don’t let the Chronicals franchise name fool you – this is no co-operative multiplayer title.
The player takes on the role of Layle, a headstrong lad with a crystal cheek, marking him a “crystal bearer,” an outcast of a society that fears those with great magical prowess.  As Layle you can left, move, and throw objects with a telekinesis like magic powers by selecting the item with the IR pointer, picking it up, and flicking the Wii remote in the direction you want to throw the item.  These powers can be used both in and out of battle.

Apart from other Crystal Chronicle games I’ve played, Crystal Bearers seems to focus on the single player experience – don’t expect to be hooking up with friends and exploring dungeons, this is a single player experience that simply takes place in the Crystal Chronicles universe.

The E3 demo was a bit limited – I had the opportunity to look around town, use my powers to save a fluffy little pet, and toss around some city guards.  The build I played only demoed some on rails chase scene battles, but the presenter on hand assured me the final game would have open world battles as seen in the game’s trailer.
The graphics looked a bit rougher than what we’ve seen in the game’s trailer, defiantly below what we’ve seen the Wii do in the past.  The graphics might be a little sharper by the time the final product comes around, but graphics may have taken a hit in favor of creating a larger playable world.  Hopefully official screenshots will be representative of how the final build looks.

In the end, Crystal Bearers seems to be shaping up to be a fun fantasy action game, but it’s not going to blow you away.  It’s a Square-Enix epic through and through, albeit a little unpolished looking.