Saturday, December 04, 2010

Video game number three hundred and forty six: Final Fantasy Fables Chocobo Tales

Video game review number three hundred and forty six in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Final Fantasy Fables Chocobo Tales".

This year, Final Fantasy 13 was released on the PS3 and Xbox 360. It was a huge deal in gaming, and even though I was participating in a challenge where I needed to find 365 different games to play, I ignored that particular one on purpose. I am simply not a fan of role playing games and although I didn't know for sure, I suspected I was pre-destined to hate it. For some reason, I thought "Chocobo Tales" might be more of a casual experience...(and it is), but not quite casual enough as far as I'm concerned.

While the game is filled with minigames (a plus!) you must venture through a story mode to unlock all of them (a minus). All this walking is slow and tedious, and basically just adds a lot of space in between the times that you're actually playing games. I suppose I'd categorize this as a role playing game for the younger crowd. It's easy to understand and it has lots of humor, but at it's core, it's still a "search the map for trinkets and then repeat again, forever" kind of game.

My friend Rachel let me borrow this game, and I see from the save screen that she's got 6 hours into it. Instead of starting a new save, I decided to be "Suzanne", who had zero hours into the game. I played for about an hour and in that time, I managed to unlock about four of the mini games.

Since walking around the maps talking to random people is not generally something I enjoy, I'll review the minigames instead.

First, there were the turtle races. You use the stylus to steer your turtle up a winding hill, trying to watch out for falling boulders. If one is about to hit you, you're supposed to lift the stylus from the screen, which puts your turtle into "guard" mode. It's surprisingly challenging for a turtle game.

There was a minesweeper sort of game, where you click on squares in a box full of bombs trying to make your way through a maze. There's no guessing involved, they give you an arrow with the number spaces you need to move on it, and you just have to quickly count and move there. So long as you can count arrows, you can win...the only question is "how fast"?

My favorite minigame was the turtle sliding game. You start out as this turtle on a hill, and the thing slides down the hill, going faster and faster until it falls off a cliff. All you have to do is tap to stop it, and your goal is to stop as close to the cliff as possible without going over. I think this is similar to a game from the Price is Right. I don't know how Rachel did it, but she has a score that has her guy basically hanging off the edge. I couldn't beat it, though I got fairly close.

Overall Score? 5.5/10. The game has a lot of humor and the story itself seems interesting enough (if you're into RPGs). It reminded me a tiny bit of Zelda, which I loved....with some mini-games thrown in for good measure. The big difference was that it felt much slower, and I felt like I was walking from place to place WAY too much. Without fast travel, I just couldn't get into it. Realistically, I can't imagine a scenario where I'd spend a ton of time with this, but I won't recommend that you don't...if you like this sort of game. It's actually kind of fun.

1 comment:

Rach said...

Yeah, I agree, I wish it didn't take so long to get to the different mini-games. I think I stopped playing this one when I got to one I couldn't figure out how to unlock. And clearly my mom (Suzanne) put it in her ds, walking around for a minute, and then immediately took it out, lol. :) If you want to play more of the mini-games, feel free to play on my profile.