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Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon [WII]

TGS '07: Chocobo's Dungeon Hands-On

"We experience a day in the life of a Chocobo in Square's upcoming RPG."

TOKYO--Aside from spiky-haired Cloud, Chocobos are possibly the most recognizable mainstays of the Final Fantasy universe. They're also some of the kid-friendliest denizens in a world full of scary demigods, angry tiger-bull monsters, and thousand-eyed scum spewing abominations. So it makes perfect sense that a Square Enix RPG for the Wii would star everybody's favorite big, yellow birds.

Or, at least, one in particular. In Chocobo's Dungeon for the Wii, you play Chocobo the Chocobo, or Chocobo for short. Evidently, some dark power is stealing your friends' memories and robbing them of their identities; it's up to you to get them back. We aren't entirely sure how that will all work, since the demo we saw was entirely in Japanese, but we did manage to glean some interesting info on this upcoming game.

When the demo began, we were standing in town next to a very attentive-looking cat. We approached the cat and spoke to it, expecting the customary "meow." So you can imagine our surprise when the cat spoke to us at length, in Japenese, even. We weren't sure what it said, so we moved on, speaking to the other colorful denizens of the town (including adventurers, dogs, women, and chipmunks).

As we roamed, we came to an area of striking beauty. In the foresetting was a tall clock tower behind a crystal fountain, all flanked by art nouveau street lamps. Behind this scene rose hills speckled with colonial, European-looking structures. It was an unexpected scene of quiet beauty, and though making it probably didn't take much technological muscle, many games on more powerful systems only wish they had such subtly striking scenes.

From there we found our way to a flaming cave, which we knew was our cue to start adventuring. We entered the crevasse and found ourselves in an underground maze of monsters, rock, and lava. Right when we entered, we were able to step on a crystal and select one of three job classes: Normal, Knight, and Kitty. We suspect the last one probably has another name, but when we selected it, Chocobo put on a hat with cat ears on it. So Kitty it is, for now. A Square Enix representative told us there would be 10 different jobs, all with unique stats and abilities.

With our cat hat on, we scampered about, grabbing treasure, killing jellies, and springing traps. However, all of this used the analog stick and buttons; the normal gameplay in Chocobo's Dungeon makes no use of the motion controls. However, we were told that there are several minigames that rely entirely on motion. There will also be collectible cards you can collect throughout your adventures for a card game you can play against friends over Wi-Fi.

But back to the dungeon. After exploring through several floors, we came upon the boss, a big, fiery phoenix. We ran around trying to kick her, but evidently this wasn't the best strategy, as she easily set us ablaze. While it wasn't the most successful trip into Chocobo's Dungeon, it was certainly fun, and we can't wait to tell you more about this charming RPG for the Wii.

Posted on Sep 20, 2007