What if you lived in a world where time was lost and forgetting is a blessing? This is what the denizens of the aptly named Lostime are experiencing in Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon. Another installment of the Mystery Dungeon saga that started back on the original PlayStation. The game play, music, and graphics are amazing. The story is complex enough that veteran gamers be pleased.
The story begins with Cid and his sidekick, Chocobo in the Tower in the Sands. Cid has been looking for a crystal most of his life known only as “Timeless Power” and it seems they've found it. Little do they know that Irma and Volg beat them to it and all four of them ended up being transported to Memoria's main village, Lostime, a place where the citizens have no memory of their past. Every time the bell tolls, they forget what they were doing and even their names. It's when these first memories are taken and Chocobo meets Rafaello that his adventure into the depths of the villager's memory begins.
Every time you enter a dungeon, the layout changes and you have to search for the way through again. This adds a bit of challenge because you cannot use memorization to get you through each dungeon. Also, you have hunger and health to worry about. When your hunger percentage reaches zero, your health points begin draining with every step that you take. The fights are turn based and mostly one to one turn ratio until you get into later dungeons and this helps you take a moment to strategize what the best move is. Did I mention the job system? At the beginning of each dungeon and right before the boss room, you get to choose which job you take for the entire dungeon. You earn jobs through beating dungeons and some are hidden in other areas of the game. There are also optional dungeons with specific rules such as, Chocobo only has 1 HP or his hunger level is 0. This adds even more depth and challenge to the game play
The songs are all remixes of familiar tunes from other Final Fantasy games. They're new enough to bring emotion to the areas of the game. They've taken music from the original all the way to Final Fantasy XI. The graphics cater to gamers who like their games to border on the more cute side along with the voices. I tended to find the early voice acting a bit annoying, but luckily most of the voice overs at that point are easily skipped without compromising the story.
All in all, while some of the voice acting can be annoying, the story is complex enough to capture the hardcore gamer. The game play is difficult enough to challenge even the most hardcore gamer and the familiar music will make any Final Fantasy fan feel at home. This is a worthy addition to any library, fan and non-fan alike.
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