The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
And you thought Dirge of Cerberus was stupid! The Crystal Bearers is
the worst game I have played that bears the once sacred Final Fantasy
name. Despite the series’ reputation, don’t believe for a second there
is anything remotely role-playing about Crystal Bearers; it is a
generic action game through and through, with a few Final Fantasy
monsters tossed in to lure unsuspecting fans.
I had high hopes
going into this game. I wasn’t a big fan of the previous Crystal
Chronicles entries, but I thought that moving away from the co-op
centered gameplay toward a single-player, story-driven experience would
put Crystal Bearers in territory where Square Enix has more expertise.
Instead, players get a mishmash of awful mechanics delivered alongside
a predictable and obvious story.
The worst of it comes in combat,
where players are tasked with targeting objects and enemies and
flinging them around using telekinetic powers. Thanks to the
imprecision in registering motions, you can never count on your actions
being interpreted properly. When I managed to grab a rock and throw it
at the enemy I intended, it felt more like luck than skill. Rather than
wrestle with this problem, the development team just decided to make
everything painfully easy, removing the challenge altogether. This also
holds true during occasional minigame breaks, where you do things like
fly airships and surf down tunnels. You can’t fail these events, but
the game keeps track of your times so you can (ugh) go back and try to
beat your score.
I wish I could say that the story makes the
suffering worthwhile, but that would be a dirty lie. After a cool
introductory sequence, things go downhill immediately. Players will
have the whole plot figured out light years before the moronic main
character, and every member of the supporting cast got on my nerves.
The dialogue is particularly heinous, with stilted and wooden exchanges
that make you wince every time anyone opens their mouth.
credit, Crystal Bearers hits its target graphical style dead on, with
cool character designs and a world that fuses fantasy and technology in
visually interesting ways. Unfortunately, you would actually have to
play the game to enjoy the art, and that is something I just can’t
recommend to anyone.
Email the author Joe Juba, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.