The Definitive 50 GameCube Games: #29 Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

Crystal Chronicles marked the return of Square and Final Fantasy to a Nintendo home console. Of course, the company and the series had famously abandoned Nintendo in the mid 90s for Sony and the PlayStation.

In Crystal Chronicles, you manage your own hack-n-slash adventurer, guiding him or her through a quest for the protective power of “myrrh,” a substance which powers the game’s titular crystals and in turn protects the good people of the world.

Of course, you can play alone, but Crystal Chronicles is all about the multiplayer. For that you’ll need a few friends, a few GBAs, and a few link cables.

Each player gets to manage his or her own character menu through the GameBoys without interrupting gameplay on the TV. Secret quest information is also passed along in this fashion.

Despite all the effort expended to make Crystal Chronicles connectivity’s flagship game, it’s really the well constructed action adventure and beautiful environments displayed on the main screen that make the game.

While Crystal Chronicles was a success in its own right, reviewing well and establishing its own sub-series, the work it took to play the game was ill received. It was awkward, it was expensive, and ultimately, it just never caught on.

Connectivity was supposed to be Nintendo’s answer to online, which is what its competitors were introducing around the same time. Despite its poor reception, Nintendo continued to tweak the dual-screen concept, and ultimately found great success with the idea in future hardware.