Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Destructoid review: FF Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time

2:00 PM on 04.11.2009 // Jim Sterling

The Crystal Chronicles series of games has never really seemed to catch on, despite having the prestigious Final Fantasy name attached to it. That might have something to do with them rarely being very good. Not exactly terrible, but not great by any stretch of the imagination.

The controls are dodgy, the platforming action messy at best, and the blend of RPG sensibilities with real-time action awkward. Luckily, Echoes of Time has done absolutely nothing to fix those problems, and in fact seems willing to make them worse than ever before. 

If you were expecting a glowing review, you've obviously never played a Crystal Chronicles game. Come with us as we review Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes on Time.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time (Wii, DS [reviewed])
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Released: March 24, 2009

For what it's worth, the game's story revolves around stopping an evil German Librarian who has shattered your village's Crystal, causing most of your friends to disappear. While he talks of some great incoming tragedy that will strike the planet, you must collect pieces of the shattered crystal and restore order. The story is light and unfortunately lacks characters as memorable as those in Rings of Fate. However, the game is more customizable this time around, allowing you to choose from one of the series' four races and create your own character. 

The title attempts to capitalize on the Monster Hunter craze that is still captivating Japan, putting the focus on four-player multiplayer and quests that can be completed at leisure. You can switch between single-player and multiplayer at any save point, but it's highly recommended that you don't bother unless you're going to play locally. The online mode, at least in the DS version, is utterly pathetic. The platforming action, already hampered by a number of control and camera issues, is made impossible by lag, as characters respond to commands whole seconds after input. While the developers are to be commended for allowing online interaction between the DS and Wii versions of the game, such commendation is meaningless when the interaction simply doesn't work

You can choose to create some AI companions, but really ... don't bother. AI has never been in a Crystal Chronicles developer's vocabulary, and you might as well just go it alone if you can't get any local players to join you. The main quest is mainly focused on making you play through the same areas multiple times, and coincidentally, so are the rather shallow sub quests. 

The worst aspect of Echoes of Time is that it threatens to be enjoyable so often. I have a soft spot for Crystal Chronicles games, and the character customization, equipment leveling, spellcasting and cute artistic style are all present and can often be fun to play with. Unfortunately, for every positive aspect of the game, there is also a negative that severely hampers any fun that could be had. It's hard to stay mad at some games. It's impossible to stay forgiving of this one. 

Most of the game is spent in its dungeons, short enough to suit a portable game, but long enough to be demoralizing if you die inside them and have to start from the last save point. Simplistic combat and equally simplistic platforming are the meat of the gameplay, but both of them are incredibly flawed, mostly marred by issues that plagued the last game. First of all, platforming with an isometric camera angle is just ... stupid. I would use a more eloquent word to describe it, but such an exercise in awful gameplay design deserves no such word. It's fucking stupid, and it needs to stop. It's difficult to judge jumps, especially the trajectory of swinging ropes. It's not fun in the least, and for a game sold in 2009, it's absolutely appalling that we're stuck with a mid-nineties camera. The fact that it's a DS game is no excuse. The fact it's also a Wii game is just disgusting. 

As far as combat goes, it's just as rough and sloppy as last time. The magic system has been improved, replacing the rubbish Magicite system with a more traditional MP meter, but aside from that, it's the same lack of targeting and random button mashing as before. Also, please don't release a portable game with no pause function. Getting trapped in a menu while being beaten to death by an enemy is not my idea of a good time. 

I stuck with Echoes of Time as long as I was able to because, like I said, there is fun to be had somewhere. However, the game's unquestionable commitment to being terrible fights you every step of the way, and each time I started to get into the game, another problem, usually one that Square Enix should have fixed from prior games, rears its ugly head. Messy and chaotic combat, characters not picking up the right objects because is clustered and cluttered, platforming disasters that we've not seen since the N64 era. It's all there for the taking in Echoes of Time, and frankly, it's not worth your time, or my time, to see through to its grisly conclusion. 

As far as the graphics go, this is one of the better representations of 3D graphics you'll get on the DS. It looks as good as polygons will get on the handheld system, and the designs are are cute and affable as always. Bear in mind that the game looks the same on the Wii as the DS. Yes, it really comes to something when an apparently current-generation home console is sharing graphics with the DS, but there you go. The music is catchy and the sound effects and voices are all pretty good. The presentation is the best part of the game. It's a shame that the bits that make it a game are absolutely rubbish. 

I really want to like Echoes of Time, I truly do. However, you'd need the patience of a saint and the mind of a fish in order to stomach the piles of garbage that cover what could have been a really nice portable adventure. Sequels are supposed to build upon the flaws of the last game while maximing the good points. Somehow, Square managed to reverse that formula, giving us Echoes of Time

Avoid it. The few glimmers of enjoyable action simply aren't worth the hassle.

Score: 4.0 -- Below Average (4s have some high points, but they soon give way to glaring faults. Not the worst games, but are difficult to recommend.)

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
If you haven't played Tales from the Borderlands yet, GO BUY IT! By far the funniest game I have ever played, and the characters and narrative are incredibly well written. Very few memes unlike BL2 by the way.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Played all of Life is Strange today in one sitting. Bloody hell. You should all play it. Only game this year to make me cry. Bravo developers. Possibly the most valuable thing I've ever bought for £10.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, got farther than ever in Wasteland 2. This is my third playthrough-once thru beta, once through the orig version, now on Directors cut. Worth the restart, and it speaks highly of the game that I like it enough to do this. DAMONTA HERE I COME!
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
GUYS HELP I KEEP BUYING MORE AMIIBO. Today it was Little Mac, since he went back up on Gamestop's website. I probably would have gotten Captain Falcon as well if I wasn't already running a little short on cash.
BigDoniel avatarBigDoniel
50 hours in and I can safely say that Xenoblade is the best JRPG I've played in years. Should hopefully be finished in time for X too!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
One job down on day I should have off, now for the other job.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I beat Murasaki Baby on PS Vita. Easy 100% trophy. That ending theme tho.
TheGwailo avatarTheGwailo
I have 34 games in my Steam queue alone, 4 on xbone, and a handful on handhelds. I have 3 days to make a dent. Time's up, let's do this!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: To make up for yesterday, I decided to ask a second Community Question today. Have you taken advantage of any Black Friday deals today? If so, what did you purchase? Feel free to share pictures of your spoils, if you have any.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Some Black Friday artwork arrived today ! [img][/img]
Lawman avatarLawman
Black Friday is getting to me. All these games I kinda, maybe want that are at anywhere between respectable and deep discounts, but I'm not sure if I want to bite. I'm wondering if Godzilla's worth $12? After checking review scores, I'm not sure.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Mission complete![IMG][/IMG]
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Black Friday slowly seems to creep its way onto Continental Europe, but I'm not complaining! I managed to get my grubby little paws on a new physical copy of The Wonderful 101 for €20! Thanks, America!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Since I missed yesterday, I am going to do something a little different today. Are there any questions you would like to ask me for a change? If so, please feel free. I may add a second Community Question later today, as well.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Isn't PES 2016 Free-to-Play model just the demo with extra crap thrown in?
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Damn Gumo, you cold as fuck. [img][/img]
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
While partially responsible for one of the biggest jokes in the metal, Cold Lake by Celtic Frost, Curt Bryant is doing the soundtrack to the game Slain!. I'm digging the shitty garage band vibe.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
How is the Lightening thread STILL GETTING COMMENTS!?!?!? P.S. I am trying to make Chex Mix, but we lost my special recipe I custom designed. sucks man.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Got a deal on a Surface Pro 3 model that I wanted. Now I just need a deal on a PS TV in Canada and I'm golden.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you in the UK, don't have a PS4 and don't mind buying used/display goods there's a few reconditioned PS4 (12 month warranty) on amazon for £199.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -