Thursday, June 26, 2008

Review: My Life as King

I haven't bought a lot of video games lately, mainly due to rising costs elsewhere in my life. Moving across the country ain't cheap, I'm slowly discovering. Still, after hearing the praise this game received from others, I thought I'd give Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as King a try.

This game is one of the new Wii Ware titles, downloadable games attracting a bit more attention than the ports from earlier times Nintendo offered previously.

This title has a lot of the themes you'd find familiar in a Final Fantasy game: White and Black Mages, Thieves and Warriors, buying armor and weapons and potions (Oh my!), etc. The catch is that a lot of that stuff is now out of your hands.

Think of it as a blend of SimCity (or The Sims, depending on your preferred flavor) and a traditional Final Fantasy game. You're the king of this developing nation. You use your magic to summon buildings (and thus people) into the city. From each home you bring in, you can recruit an adventurer. These adventurers can be trained into other classes, and will go forth from your city each day to earn experience and fight monsters. You can issue royal edicts to tell them where to go and what to do, too, in order to prosper your realm.

When your adventurers and other citizens start needing amenities in their city, you build those as well: Weapon and Armor shops, Bakeries, Taverns . . . a great assortment of buildings and features to better your city and help it prosper.

You don't just run around building all day, either. You can chat up your citizens, which increases morale in the city. When you've increased morale to certain levels, you can spend the "excess" and advance your city. Alternatively, you can use your magic with the morale to really help your citizens, allowing bonuses for your adventurers as they go out or helping your citizens get along with their friends and family better.

Though this might sound rather complicated, the game is, at its heart, a fairly simple strategy/sim game. Despite the mediocre review given to it by Gamespot, I was quite taken with it. I lost a lot of hours to Maxis games in the past, so this game's appeal was striking.

I would recommend this game heartily to anyone who either 1) likes fantasy, or 2) likes Sim games. If you like both, then why haven't you downloaded it yet?

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