Thursday, November 13, 2008

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates

Crystal Chronicles introduced some interesting ideas in terms of multiplayer role-playing, and Ring of Fates looks intent on continuing this. Gamers can decide how well it does this when the game is released in a couple of months.

When Crystal Chronicles first appeared on the Gamecube, it got quite a bit of praise for incorporating multiplayer gameplay into a Final Fantasy game, not to mention it was pretty neat to see the series make an appearance on a Nintendo console after a lengthy hiatus. Now Crystal Chronicles is about to get itself a new instalment, but this time on the DS, all while centering on something called the Ring of Fates.

Like its predecessor, Ring of Fates will support up to four players in multiplayer mode, as well as sporting the option to go it alone in single player. In the event one decides to play with some friends, everyone involved votes on a group leader, and then they get down to business.

While going through multiplayer, there will be five classes to choose from: Warriors, Archers, White Mages, Black Mages, and a support class. Warriors are the melee fighters for up close combat, while archers rain arrows from a distance, and black mages bombard enemies with arcane attacks. All the while, white mages take care of healing. The support class appears to fill a micromanagement role where it creates special orbs that magic users need in order to cast their spells.

Generally, the action will take place on the DS' top screen, while players issue commands and sort through menus via the touch screen. However, it is possible to swap the screens, allowing players to attack enemies simply by poking them with their stylus pen. Going this route is also expected to open the door to special combo attacks.

Single player mode will follow the adventures of twins Yuri and Chelinka as they unearth the mysteries of a red crystal. Along the way they will meet new characters like Meeth, the spell caster Alhanalem, a lad named Gnash, and the twins' father, Ratov.

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