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My So-called Life as King

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King [homepage] the first piece of WiiWare to suck $15 out of my pocket and turn it into largely useless bits of data on my Nintendo console is a worthy investment, really.
Serve Fahtzburgh, or die.

I mean, I only bought it yesterday, and with the ability to give my imaginary town a name that tickles and delights my inner 12-year-old, the $15 was well spent. Lets talk about the whole concept, though? Ok?

First and foremost, My Life as A King is an RPG that dismisses PG part of the conceit. You play a roll in this game, and the game part that you're used to -- you know the adventuring and plodding through random battles to raise your stats -- is played by the game. That sentence is confusing but accurate.

As the monarch, the loan player character commissions "party members" to adventure on his behalf. Those characters run off stage and have statistically determined adventures based entirely on their numeric condition. Then they come back to the town and you read about them in the newspaper in the morning. Reading through the battle logs, which play out nearly exactly like every other RPG you've ever played, is as close to turn-based combat you get in My Life as a King.

And that's fine. But it makes you wonder if you've ever really played an RPG at all. Think about that the next time you're three sheets into Final Fantasy XII. Are you playing the game, or is the game playing you?

Once you've wrapped your head around that one, understand this: if you don't want to be the king, you're playing the wrong game. This is a game about land-use management, resource tracking, and clicking the damn talking penguin when you're trying to catch a runaway adventurer. If you don't find the City of Celebration, Fla., deeply fascinating, this is probably not the game for you.

It has that damn "one more time" quality however, that makes it a prime time-sucker. Since yesterday's results are only given at the start on the day, players are easily sucked into another quick day's worth of game-time. And So on.