|System: Wii (WiiWare)||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: May 12, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Certain games have an uncanny ability to entrance unwary gamers into obsession. Games like Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and pretty much any game with the word "Tycoon" in the title challenge gamers to use their heads and develop the world around them. Whether it is farming or building roller coasters, something about being able to manage what might seem to be job-like tasks seems to fixate players. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King is one such title. < /p>
This title, available on Nintendo's new WiiWare downloadable game service, allows you to step into the shoes of the young son of an exiled king. You return to your homeland to find there is nothing left, save for your old castle and a giant crystal in the center of town. Fortunately for you the crystal has magical powers that it bestows on you. The crystal speaks to you and tells you that you have a power that allows you to build structures out of your memory by combining the crystal element with your own will. Your chief duty as the ruler (and creator) of this kingdom, is to create structures for this town.
You use this power initially to build a few houses, and as you build resident return to the once-empty kingdom to live in their newly recreated homes. But you soon run out of the crystal element you need for the construction. You learn that you can find more of this element by exploring nearby caves and fighting dungeon bosses. But there's one problem: you're the king! You can't simply leave you're duties to go out questing! Luckily for you, the citizens enjoying their newly created homes provide you with their youth to train as adventurers. It will be up to you to assign daily quests and tasks to these adventuring classes.
The two main focuses of the game really rely on your ability to do two basic things: civic planning and team management. You have a fairly large area initially to work with, but as you unlock more types of structures, like large houses, emporiums, parks, and guilds, you will see that you will have to plan very carefully to get the most efficient use out of the land that you have. You will also have to manage an ever-growing team of adventurers. You will be able to gain more adventurers as you build more homes and entice more people move back to your village. This means you will have a major discrepancy in the levels of your adventurers, and you will have to plan different missions for lower level adventurers as well as higher level ones. Adventurers will also not be able to go out every day, as they will lose motivation based on their success with previous missions. They will also become tired after a while, so you will have to keep an eye on each one individually.
In addition to these two main focuses of the game (you will be building and going out on adventures every day), you also have the broader task of increasing the morale of your kingdom. You can make people happy by talking to them, building places for them to shop and eat, and creating parks. It is important to keep your citizens happy because they will provide you with morale orbs after they reach a certain happiness point. And these orbs can be traded in at your castle to increase the value and productivity of your land.