|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Square Enix||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Mar. 24, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1; 2-4 online||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As you can see, this game is full of awesome features! However, as mentioned previously, it is plagued by two problems that make it often unplayable on Wii: the graphics and controls. For starters, the graphics were made for the DS. As such, Wii players will have to suffer with a dual screen presentation that is quite disconcerting. Additionally, the lowest common denominator principle was put into place in order to make the game compatible between Wii and DS. Consequently, despite the vibrant colors, this is one jaggy title, devoid of details and polish.
As bad as the graphics are, they almost seem pleasant when compared to the nearly broken Wii controls. Though the controls are directly aped from FFCC: Ring of Fates, they are appallingly implemented on the Wii. In fact, the use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in Echoes of Time is the worst Ive ever seen. Using melee via the A button and laying down magic with C is awkward though passable, but trying to platform is an utter sham. Thats because the analog stick on the Nunchuk is poorly configured and thus terribly inaccurate. Also, jump commands often never register. These problems are exponentially worsened when you hop online with friends. Once you add the slight amount of lag to the mix, jumping from platform to platform becomes an absolute nightmare. Truly, I had to use my gaming partner, Amanda Kondolojy (who was using a DS, thank goodness) to get through all jumping sequences. She would have to pick up my character and proceed to jump from platform to platform just to allow us to advance. The fact that the piggyback jumping mechanic was allowed to occur tells me that the devs knew about the problem and left it in as a work around. To me, thats inexcusable. Considering the amount of platforming to be found in the game, the game is practically ruined whilst online.
Another thing that really bugged me was the inability to efficiently quit out of multiplayer parties. If you get stuck with the wrong bunch, good luck trying to get away from them in a timely fashion the reset button will be your best friend. And thats another thing; why cant I change the options within the game? There is no in-game options menu, and it is impossible to get to the title screen once you fire the game up. Again, the reset button on your Wii is the only resort. That is a terrible oversight by the devs. Also mediocre is the poor and repetitive musical effort. Again, Im sure everything sounds fine on the DS, but it all comes off as amateurish on the Wii.
There are a number of other features the game sports (like scratch cards, A.I. settings, status ailments, and hero chronicles), but Ive gone on far too long already. The take away from this entire review should be to avoid this game like the plague when it comes to the Wii. I wouldnt be surprised if this game was a ton of fun on DS, but it is a doomed effort on the handhelds big brother.
CCC Editor / News Director