With the recent launch of WiiWare the highest profile title came also came with the highest price. However after spending a good deal of time playing it I can say that it is well worth it. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life As A King was made by Square Enix specifically for the WiiWare service. However, this is not your ordinary Final Fantasy adventure. In fact, it is the complete opposite of the standard Final Fantasy formula. In traditional Final Fantasy titles you are always trying to save the world and you are always doing quests for someone. For this game you are the one giving out the quests to your subjects and then they are the ones who go out and make sure they get done. You play the game as King Leo and you are tasked with rebuilding a kingdom that your father once presided over. You will accomplish this by first building houses for the citizens of your city to live in. As you build more houses your city will become more populated. Once that starts to happen you can start hiring adventurers, which will be the people you will send out to complete objectives, such as take down the boss creature in Goblin Cave.
As you can see, this title is more of an management/city-building game than it is an RPG. Now you do have to keep track of the stats of your adventurers, however, that is a small part of the game. You need to make sure that your citizens are happy with the job you are doing. You will go around every day and talk to them and if they are unhappy they will tell you and offer a suggestion. One guy said it would be great if I built a park for everyone to relax in, so once I had enough money and materials to do so, I did just that. When you perform tasks that your citizens like or if someone returns successfully from one of the missions you sent him on then the whole town’s morale goes up. As the morale goes up people are friendlier to one another and the town is generally more productive and friendly. The way that you would go about issuing tasks is that every morning you will post something on the town’s message board. All of the adventurers you have hired will show up and look at what is posted. You can then go up to each one of them and decide whether to send them on the quest, tell them to take the day off, tell them not to worry about the quest but still go out and gain experience and things of that nature. Certain people will also handle certain situations differently. You might have one guy that is really strong and is great in battle so you would want to send him to take out a boss. Maybe someone is really good at exploring so you can send them to explore unchartered territory. As the days go by your town’s economy starts to pick up as you start to build more houses and shops for your citizens using the materials they had gathered from previous missions. Once you have a weapons shop you can also go in there and spend money on researching more powerful weapons.
While all of this can be fun to do if you really get into it, it can get rather repetitive. You are basically doing the same thing every day, with maybe some minor tweaks here or there. Your citizens will basically have the same daily routines and will generally tell you the same thing whenever you speak to them. There is absolutely no voice acting, no facial animations or anything of that nature. This also happens to be one of those titles where if you just sit down and play for a little bit you might get bored. You really want to invest some time into it and once you do you will see it paying off. As you go farther in to the game and more storyline plots are revealed to you the game does get much better. However the pace of this game is fairly slow if you you are the type of person who does not enjoy those games, you might not like this title either. This title is a lot more about thinking and strategy than it is about how fast your reflexes are. This Final Fantasy title also ushers in another first for the Wii system with downloadable content. There are quite a few items that you can spend your Wii points on ranging from different outfits and different buildings all the way to different dungeons as well. Hopefully future titles on the Wii will start having additional content for fans to purchase as well as soon as Nintendo fixes the storage issue with the Wii.
Overall I enjoyed My Life As A King. It is by no means the prettiest game out there but it can be a lot of fun and is surprisingly deep. You are always looking forward to the next day so that you can use the materials gathered from the previous day to build more shops and housing for your citizens. If you don’t mind the repetitive nature of some of the tasks then I would definitely say this title is worth your 1500 Wii Points. If you are a Final Fantasy fan then you will also be happy to see things such as Moogles show up in your city to lend a helping hand. This is a great start for Nintendo’s new WiiWare service and I can’t wait to see what comes up next.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network