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.
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.
Today is a very special day on Nintendo's Virtual Console, as Bubble Bobble has been released to the awaiting masses.
I can't tell you the fond memories I have of playing Bubble Bobble with my brother, mostly because he told me over Christmas that he does not/will not authorize the use of his likeness for use on the Internet. So Instead, I'll tell you about the fond memories I have of playing Bubble Bobble with my imaginary brother whose name happens to be Red No. 5.
Red No. 5 and I played Bubble Bobble so much that Red No. 5's cockatiel learned the theme song. So that when the game was on or off, it would sing that catchy little ditty. Over and over again. Through all 112 levels. and again through the next 112.
Years later, I would program my first polytonal cell phone to play the Bubble Bobble theme whenever Red No. 5 would call. And When I showed it to my sister, she screamed and told me, "Stop. Don't play that song! Oh! That song!" The she fell to the floor and started shaking and a flood of water wooshed from the sky and swept her out of the frame and set her at the top of the screen. Talk about surreal. Then she ate the last Zen-chan and all our leftover bubbles became pickles. It was awesome.
Anyway, Red No. 5 and I had a great time playing Bubble Bobble as kids. We played it a lot. He was pretty good at it, and I think it was more than just because he played with the NES advantage. That kid played with power.
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