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Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon [WII]







The cute, the bad and the moogle

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Very Easy
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Guilty pleasure"

Summary

Chocobo's Dungeon is a lighthearted adventure with a plot revolving around a treasure-hunting cute little chocobo and his partner, Cid.

Vintage roguelike dungeon crawling with a turn battle system, a very straight forward combat system makes it simple and enjoyable.

On the down side, enemies are not much of a challenge early in the game, especially in the first floors of a dungeon.

There are no original songs. Except maybe the main title. The voice acting is certainly one of the worst I've ever came across, and, last but not least, moogle Hero X, the most annoying character ever to grace a Final Fantasy Fables series, is the one to instruct you through all tutorials.

On the up side, there are special dungeons in which you will be imposed limitations (such as not being able to carry items or armor into them, having only one kind of attack), combining different gear (saddles and talons) also makes it all the more fun, and contrary to almost all RPG characters, Chocobo has to eat to keep his strength. The cuteness of the game is undeniable. If you shake the Wiimote you get a reaction from Chocobo. Every time you attack, Chocobo makes a cute chirping noise, which can be slightly annoying after 40 hours into the game. Your character can also interact with parts of the environment: swimming in the pond, sliding the slide, riding the see-saw, sip tea at a the cafe. There are also mini-games, little side quests such as fishing and collecting romantic phrases.

The Job system is an interesting way for character level up (different outfits, different abilities and special attacks) but to evolve each job requires a lot of patience, because the game soon turns out to be very, very repetitive as you go through the same dungeons over and over to level them up.

All in all, it's an easy, light, fun and cute game. Boring at times, true, but it grows on you.





Don't judge it by it's cover, if you want a challenging game then I'd highly recommend this game.

7.5

Great

Summary

-Good-
Challenging
Good variety of items throughout the game
Plenty of different "jobs" giving great variety to the game

-Bad-
A lot of the game requires luck
Not much exploration possible

When i first got this game i thought it would be some prissy child's game, i dreaded when i turned it on and discovered i played as a bird (a Chocobo for all those FF fans that would bash me for that) but apparently this isn't the first of it's kind in it's spin-off series, that being said i can't exactly compare it to the others as i haven't played them.
However i was quickly surprised at how much i was enjoying the game, it's style of turn based RPG is something I've never seen before so it was pretty unique, yet within time the game becomes extremely difficult, it makes Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn on hard seem like a piece of cake.
The game requires a good amount of skill and thinking, in time you'll be making your own little strategies with whatever job you chose on how to descend further into the dungeon, sadly however you'll die a lot of the time due to bad luck which is a bit of a shame.
The game has a pretty good amount of variety in regards of "jobs" which is pretty much your class, you can change at the start of any dungeon and each individual job levels up the more you use it.
One thing that kinda disappointed me was the lack of exploration, the only places you'll ever be visiting is a tiny farm and a town, that's it. Everywhere else will be a dungeon usually in someones mind or one of the 4 dungeons hidden within town.
The boss battles are pretty challenging but it seems to be harder to get to the actual boss rather than defeating the boss.

GRAPHICS: 8/10
For the Wii, they were pretty nice.
MUSIC: 7/10
Nothing amazing but it wasn't annoying to listen to.
CONTROLS: 10/10
I never once had a problem with the controls, I did play with the classic controller but even if you were to use the Wiimote it doesn't use the sensor in the game so they should work just as fine.
GAMEPLAY: 7/10
Pretty fun and was nice to see something from the typical turn based RPG
STORY: 4/10
Story was pretty ordinary, know matter how serious the story is i just can't take is serious when I'm playing as a freakin bird, sometimes i wanted to cry at how lame it looked when characters told Chocobo he is the only one who can save the world etc etc etc. The cut scenes are pretty bad as well, the characters mouth wont stop moving even if they have finished their dialogue also there was an action filled cut scene at one point which was totally lame, it was so stereotypical with someone taking a dive to protect someone else, the bad guy did a stereotypical evil laugh for way too long.

Overall this is a fun and challenging game, however i would not recommend this for kids, the only chance they have of finishing the game is completely relied on VERY good luck.




It's not a regular Final Fantasy game but it's more then what you would expect...

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Solid"

Summary

Ahh Chocobo! Where would we be without you?! How would have gotten across Midgar Desert if it weren't for you? How would we have powered our boats if it weren't for your running hamster wheel?
How would we have won all those races without you? Sure you may look just like an ostrich with yellow feathers, and a bigger brain but we still love you with all our Final Fantasy hearts!

I'm not sure if you got the right idea, but I really like chocobos. The first time I saw one was in Final Fantasy VII. Of course at that time I thought that they were stupid and unoriginal, but just like for all the flaws in all Final Fantasy games I just let it slide.

So, if I am not mistaken, this is the 3rd or the 4th Chocobo game, but the first one for the Wii, and how does it hold up?
Well, it's a nice little game. While playing through it, my opinion was going up and down all the time. I called the game : cute, boring, repetitive, unoriginal, original, sweet, lame,... but in the end when I look back at it, It was a solid dungeon crawling game which I don't regret playing.

Let's start with the story. Since it is about a chocobo you won't expect much from it because it's... well... kid friendly. Chocobo along with his partner Cid the treasure hunter, accidentally stumbles into a town called Lostime, where people seem to like forgetting things. Every time a clock tower rings it's bells people forget more and more things, and they LIKE IT... really LIKE IT... (I think they even sing about it) Because chocobo doesn't seem to be affected by the bells, he decides to do the only logical thing... stop the clock-tower from ringing it's bells and help people restore their lost memories. He does so by entering people's minds and occasionally climbing (down) a tall tower. Luckily every single mind is a dungeon which has it's memories stored somewhere deep down, and it's up to chocobo to find and restore them. As in all my reviews, I don't like to spoil anything because you might want to play this game yourself. Let me just finish by saying that the story is very predictable and really cutesy-wutsy... for kids in other words.

Now as for the game-play, it couldn't be more different then the story. With the kind of kid friendly story, you'd expect the game-play to be really easy and simple. Well, it is kinda easy and simple for me, but I don't see a lot of 10-12 year old's getting it.
Anyway, chocobo travels through dungeons in a turn based style (you move once and then your enemy moves once). It's simple to learn but there's a lot of planning involved so I'm not sure, though, I could be wrong, that 12 year old's can really learn how to play these dungeons very well.
While crawling through dungeons chocobo uses his talon kick as a main attack. Chocobo can also learn a few jobs, which are basically classes you have in early Final Fantasy games such as: Knight, White and Black Mage, Thief as well as some stronger classes like Dark Knight (Cecil from FFIV) and Dragoon (Kain FFIV). You can level up chocobo by killing monsters and gaining experience and you can also collect job points to power up your job's abilities and gain job levels. It's a simple formula that works well and is addictive.
Every dungeon consists of several floors and at the last floor there is either a boss, a prize or both.
You can also equip chocobo with talons and saddles to boost his attributes a bit. You find different types of armor in different dungeons and some of them have special traits as well. Not only can you get better armor but you can also combine them and upgrade them at the blacksmith's. Instead of mana chocobo has crystals. Every time chocobo uses an ability it drains 1 or more crystals depending on how strong an ability is and to recharge it all you do is walk, attack or get attacked. HP is the same as in any game, you lose it all and you die and get sent out of the dungeon, meaning you have to start all over
, oh and you lose all the items you collected, except for your equipment. This would be a huge flaw, but fortunately every 10 levels into a dungeon you get a check point so you can start from that level instead from the beginning. Chocobo also has a hunger percentage bar because he gets hungry from all the dungeon exploring. Fortunately you can eat some greens to lower his hunger.
So as you can tell, this is a nicely planned out dungeon crawler game. The only problem is that it gets really repetitive really fast, but if you are determined to beat the game or simply like to raise all the job levels to the maximum you won't have any problems playing through it.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, you can also collect cards in the game which you can use to play a final fantasy card game thingy but I haven't had the patience to do so. The card game makes no sense to me and is extremely boring. There's no skill involved, it's just pressing buttons faster then your opponent. Ok, maybe it's not that bad, but it's really not appealing to me. But the game thinks it's awesome. Not only that, the game will often award you with rare cards for very hard achievements and even has online play so you can battle your friends.
I also found out that the game is a port of a DS game, I'm assuming that the DS version is a bit better.

The graphics and music. A lot of people have praised the music in this game, saying that it plays old school final fantasy themes. Well, yes, it has a few themes that you might recognize, like the Training Area theme from FF8 (fake gasp)
or the original final fantasy theme that we hear in EVERY SINGLE final fantasy game (another fake gasp). So as you can tell, I'm not that impressed with the music in this game. I mean, sure they were done fine, but they could have picked better themes. (why not something from FFVII or FFX?).
The graphics are bright and colorful. Chocobo looks cute and so does everything else in the game. In fact, the game constantly has to point out just how cute chocobo is, by having characters tell him that, by doing extreme close ups of chocobo and just by doing some random things. For example, there is a small pond right outside the town and the only purpose for it is so chocobo can jump in and swim one lap around just so you could melt in it's cuteness. WE GET IT!!! CHOCOBO IS CUTE!!! CAN WE GO BACK TO THE GAME?!!!
Voice acting is a mixed bag. There is absolutely zero lip synching but the voices themselves sound decent. The characters have great voices except all of them sound like quotes from the movie Twilight! (not depressive, just unrehearsed :) )

And that's my review of Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon. It's a nice little game for kids and hard core Final Fantasy fans, if you are neither of them, you probably won't enjoy it much. I enjoyed it but I don't think I would replay it...





Excellent game, addictive gameplay and nostalgic music will invite FF Fanboys around the world to explore this world.

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Grows on you"

Summary

I have to admit, I was quite skeptical about this game.
It has been a long time since I played a game from Square that I enjoyed as much as the classic FF's (3-10).

I bought the game and immediately thought of an old Digimon game for the PS1 where every step taken in a dungeon is counted as 1 turn and all monsters in the dungeon can move the moment you perform an action as well as a little bit of Final Fantasy Tactics with the grid system, which brings me to the first section of my review.

~Gameplay~

The gameplay consists of a turn based battle system in where every action you perform counts as 1 turn, for instance if you use a potion, that counts as a turn and any monster in the dungeon can perform 1 action (even if not in sight).

Chocobo ventures through the dungeon defeating monsters and descending lower into the dungeon as the conquest continues.
The lower you are in a dungeon, the more difficult the monsters you encounter will be.

~Combat System~

When facing a monster, Chocobo will either have to fight or run away. The action is real time, turn based. As bizzare as this sounds, it works.

When chocobo is stationary, so is the world.
As chocobo moves, so does the world around him.
In an encounter you can perform different abilities, spells and of course use items which after selected, will perform the small animation of chocobo doing that action, as well as damage inflicted or cured.

Chocobo Dungeon has a rather fun job system which is not too distant from Final Fantasy tactics which requires you to use a specific job and gain Job Point to unlock new abilities.
This ranges from Black Mage right up to Knight, Lancer and White Mage.

There are many Jobs available and they do succeed in keeping the gameplay fresh.

In Chocobo Dungeon, Summons are obtained by completing a dungeon in which there is a summon within. It's really that simple, it is a bit of a pity because more could have been done to emphasize the power of these magical beings.

After completing such a dungeon, you will receive an item which is only usable once, this item will summon the respective summon creature and once used, you will have to spend 20 minutes completing that very same dungeon again for the 30 second summon ability.

~Story~

I am not going to talk about the actual story, but rather how I found the story.

The story is slow progressing, sometimes dragging on a little too long until a major part of the game opens up. I often felt as if the game was hiding its story from me, right up until the near end.

That is not to say the story itself is bad, only that the rate in which the story reveals itself is rather uneven.

~Graphics~

The graphics are rather good for a Wii game and the style of the graphics has some real undeniable charm to it. The graphics are very much a mesh up of Anime and Cartoon 3D Style with a hint of cuteness. Many of the classic Final Fantasy styles become very prevalent, especially with the job classes.
The spell special effects are short but very cute, as are the summons.

~Characters~

The characters in chocobo dungeon are spineless.
Yes, spineless. The characters all act immature and have no idea how to react in a mature manner about any given topic.
This is a real shame because the game really deserves better.

At one point in the game, every 3 seconds you would hear a 16 year old girl say in the most annoying pretentious voice "Rafaello" "Rafaello?""Rafaello!""Rafaello...""Rafaello!!"
It proceeded to the point where I locked my door in the event that anyone may have walked in and listened to the 5 year old screaming in my ears, it would have been embarrassing.

The voice acting is HORRIBLE. It's by far the worst voice acting I have EVER heard. It makes me wonder why they put it in at all, the game would have been better with just text.

The characters treat the player like it is his/her first time ever picking up a controller. It often feels insulting to the player when the gameplay is this advanced, yet the characters and voice acting treat you like a 5 year old.

~Audio~

The game boasts some amazing background music, especially for the dungeons. You will most likely find yourself tapping your foot to the beat of the music. (I know I did)
The BGM is mostly classic Final fantasy themes from many previous major releases. If you enjoyed those games, the music will add a hit of nostalgia.

~Verdict~

Gameplay - 8.5/10
Story - 7.0/10
Audio - 9.5/10
Characters - 4.0/10

This game is enjoyable, it will grow on you like a vine around a fence. While there are a few problems with this game, mostly from bad character development and horrifying voice acting; the overall experience will pull you in, this game is addictive and definitely underrated; for all the wrong reasons. If you're looking for something new in the RPG genre, get yourself this game. You won't regret it.




Anyone who has played a Final Fantasy game in their lives must have heard of the name Chocobo. A big yellow chicken-bird...

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Almost, but not quite"

Summary

Anyone who has played a Final Fantasy game in their lives must have heard of the name Chocobo. A big yellow chicken-bird which has been one of Final Fantasy's biggest mascots for years and made its first appearance on Final Fantasy II on the NES back in 1988 in Japan. Since then Chocobo has had a few spin-off titles from Racing to Dungeon-Crawling, this is the first Chocobo spin-off game to be released for the Nintendo Wii.

Main story takes place where Chocobo and Cid are Treasure Hunters and looking for treasure. They find a Timeless Power gem to power his Airship, Cid and his partner Chocobo ended up being sucked into a vortex and end up in the quaint town of Lostime within the island of Memoria, which disappeared from the rest of the world fifty years ago. In the centre of the town of Lostime, they see the clock tower which rings known as the Bell of Oblivion every time it rings it makes everyone lose their memories.
Chocobo makes a new friend named Shirma, along the way they find an egg which hatched a young boy named Raffaello who is able to create a labyrinth of memories. It's up to Chocobo to recover the lost memories of the townspeople and reveal Raffaello's past and future.

Gameplay: You can either use the Wii mote controller or the classic Wii game controller of your choice which you can switch to at any time during the game. If you own a Wii Mote controller you can play upright or play it sideways. You're using the directional pad to move, A to attack, the - button to go to display menu and use any of your items or skills. When going through each dungeon you can choose what Job and each of them of their own abilities. You can chose from White Mage, Black Mage, Knight or Dragoon as you progress you'll unlock more jobs which do become useful from time to time.

Each floor on any Dungeon will be filled with all sorts of stuff from monsters, items and traps. Each step you take you can easily trigger a trap which can appear at any time which can either make you weak or heals you up or not being able to move. While attacking enemies you'll be tapping A to attack and will do damage to your enemies, each battle you'll earn EXP to level up and EXP points for whatever job you are equipped with, near the end of each floor after floor 10 you'll be thrown into a boss fight.

But however if you die in any dungeon you'll lose all of your items that you are carrying around with, this can be really annoying if you are carrying lots of healing items or you find a rare item you can't claim them back if you die. You'll be sent back to the town, but you can stock you items in a bank and also be able to purchase items or upgrade your weapons and armour. There are also mini-games to play and Pop-up card battle duels which you can play online against other Wii gamers using the Wi-Fi connection.

Graphics and Sound: Most Final Fantasy games have some of the best graphics and visuals for its character animation, art and rich environments. Chocobo Dungeon does the same thing, the characters are cute and charming and its environments are quite impressive from Shirma farm to the small town. But its Dungeon maps aren't that impressive, it's just the same background for each floor you go through, but it has a different map filled with all sorts of traps and enemies. There aren't really any camera issues since the game is viewing from above when it comes to crawling through each dungeon.

The only thing I really hated about this game was its voicing which is just really bad and cheesy, there is no option to changing it to Japanese it would have been nice if you could change it at any time because it is weak to listen to. If you're a Final Fantasy lover like I am, it has a great soundtrack with memorable themes and battle music from various Final Fantasy games being remixed; and its theme music "Door Crawl" by Ai Kawashima makes the game more interesting to play and listen too.

Overall: It can take you around 20 hours or more depending on the number of side-quests and collecting items at the same time. Despite its difficulty rating and awful voice acting, it can still be a fun game to play on your Wii but however this felt more like a fan-service game for its Final Fantasy fans out there. It would have been nice if Square Enix made this game more fun using the Wii mote controller like other Nintendo product games, but then again this is an RPG style game.
7.0

Great
7.6