Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time is a decent dungeon crawler which sadly loses its way somewhat when transformed from a DS game to a Wii title. However the prospect of owning it on the Wii is somewhat more tempting when the price is less than ten pounds! Cool Shop is currently selling it for the not-too-shabby price of £8.99, as opposed to the £11.99 offered by Gameplay who boast the next best price.
If you are tempted by this deal then you ought to act quickly as CoolShop are apparently low on stock at the moment.
Upon emerging from triumphant battle in an ancient forest, you rush headlong into your sixteenth birthday and attendant Coming of Age ceremony. After the fun and games you head home, only to discover that a girl from your village is suffering from what sounds like an ailment only the rich could catch: “crystal sickness”. No prizes for guessing who's got to head out into the wide world in search of a cure. The land outside of your village has plenty of surprises waiting for you, including the knowledge that crystals are apparently nothing more than relics of the past and no longer exist. That and the fact that keeping your AI companions alive can be as difficult as reaching the moon from a trampoline made of treacle.
If you're a fan of the main Final Fantasy series and have yet to foray into the world of Crystal Chronicles then you should be aware that this is not the same sort of deep interactive story that you are used to, more a case of hack-slash-loot-sell-upgrade-repeat. That does not prevent it from being a fun and absorbing play but unfortunately other issues do compromise its integrity severely.
Echoes of Time is a very fun game with great graphics and a very comfortable control system– for the DS. If I were judging the DS version then I would probably look upon the game far more favourably but the questionable move of making it a straight port from DS to Wii strips it of virtually all of its virtues. The fact that you get the added bonuses of a trailer for the next Crystal Chronicles title and the ability to create masks based on your Miis (which I find, quite frankly, rather freaky and horrible looking) offers little in the way of compensation. Being able to play with others on either a DS or a Wii is a lovely touch and really adds to the enjoyment of this game but that does not excuse the shoddiness of the Wii version as a standalone game.
If you are a fan of cute things then great, if you are a fan of hacking up cute things then so much the better – this may just be the game for you. But if you do own a DS then do yourself a favour and buy the handheld version.