Introduction to RPGs with Professor Chocobo
Gather round ye children for a tale of a mythical beast,
A small and yellow Chocobo, to say the very least.
He started out a footnote in Final Fantasy,
But greater fame and fortune seemed to be his destiny.
As the story grows and grows, from Fantasies Two through Eight,
Our dearest Chocobo got a racer that
wasn't very great.
Now at last he's in an RPG his very own,
With patience read the rest to discover all that's shown.
But alas, dear friends, I'm sad to say it only seems fit,
That in the end a game like this is such a piece of...
Chocobo, the cloyingly cute bird of the Final Fantasy world, has entered the
role-playing fray on his very own in the guise of Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon
Chocobo and his little buddy Mog are in search of treasure. Well, at least the
money-grubbin' Mogster is… all Chocobo wants is a little snack. During the search
for their personal ideas of wealth, the duo enter a mysterious dungeon. As they
fend for their lives, they will encounter friends such as Shiroma, the white mage,
and Cid, the inventor. Perhaps, eventually, they will find out what the true treasure
is a randomized RPG game. Every time you visit the dungeon, it changes,
revealing new terrain and treasures. The goal is to keep progressing deeper into
the depths of the dungeon by way of staircases. The randomization can sometimes
place you right next to the stairs or set you a fair distance away. This can lead
to some problems: one time, the randomizer engine constructed a single 9 square
room with the stairs in the center - not the most difficult of dungeons. When
you die in a dungeon, no matter where you are, you will lose all your possessions
and be cast outside, forced to start all over.
The gameplay is fairly straightforward. You go into the dungeon and die repeatedly
until you level up to the point where you are strong enough to make it through
the entire dungeon. After braving your way to the last floor and beating whatever
boss is at the end, you'll encounter some dorky event that will whisk you away
to the next part of the story… and the next dungeon to conquer, starting the process
over. Repetitious would be an understatement.
While you do actively control the kicking of your little chocobo friend, the
game is still turn-based. Walk up to an enemy and slash him a good one. He'll
smack you back. You to him, him to you - back and forth until one goes down for
the count. Beneath most enemies are little meters similar to the active battle
meters of the Final Fantasy
games. When that meter is filled, the enemy
will cast its spell.
Magic for your Chocobo is managed through a collection of magic books. This
will look familiar to Final Fantasy
players with fire, ice, and quake themed
spells that increase with power the more you use them. Unlike the physical attacks,
the magic is still menu based.
some dungeons, a second character will accompany you; either a computer or another
player can control this character. Don't expect too much out of your companion
if it's under computer control. Most of the time it will try to lend a hand, but
in general it has a tendency to be erratic.
The 2-player human controlled option, although innovative, isn't fully fleshed
out. Not only is the second player limited to basic attacks, but in order to access
second player spells, you must switch player 2 back to 'auto.' Having to circumvent
the system like this demonstrates how the 2 player mode is lacking. I think they
just forgot to finish it.
As for the graphics, the characters are pre-rendered sprites with noticeably
rough edges. The backgrounds have no mark of style, generally showcasing a retro
low res look, or the repetition of the same old dungeon scheme. On the other hand,
between most major events there's a well done CG video. If only the actual game
looked so good. Frankly, this game would've been better with the Saga Frontier
storybook graphic style.
Sounds are rehashed mixes of the classic Chocobo song. Damn, I'm tired of
that tune. Mediocre and time-tested, nothing stuck out as new or memorable in
the audio department. The sounds are familiar little yelps, cries, and slaps.
Same old, same old.
This is a game that most adults can only play for half an hour at a time,
each just another attempt to get through the dungeon. If you can't, just save
and come back to that dungeon when you're stronger. This is really a game for
little kids. Few adults will like the lack of focus and the ability to eventually
succeed just by doing it over and over again. However, even a role-playing game
marketed at a younger audience deserves a good story. Sadly, there is none here.
This could have been a better game. Many of the right elements are here, and
the random dungeons up the replay value. However, the lack of depth and no real
story to inspire you weaken its fun tremendously. Final Fantasy
out there, please
don't feel obligated to buy this title because of its
indirect relation to your favorite long running series.