Review: Final Fantasy CC: My Life As A King
Posted 07 Jun 2008 at 18:54 by Stephen Thomson
|"Slowly as the kingdom expands, there's more and more to do. Not only will you need to focus on getting elementite and money for the kingdom, you need to keep its occupants morale high as well by adding some shops, making sure your adventurers have sufficient storage for things such as weapons and armour and if you can spare some, being the tight-fisted git you are, you can even donate money to that store to fund the owner and to upgrade his stock."|
It's time to enter a realm where you are a 10-year old king with no residents in your empty kingdom. Can things get any worse? Well no, since you have the help of a giant crystal to make buildings for you. It's time to make your own land. Chances are that by now, you know whether or not you want My Life as a King, and if you did want it, you've already got it downloaded and played some of it since it launched back in May. So this review is mostly for the nay sayers to give the game a chance and for the folk that don't know if they want it or not due to the amount of points it costs. [Which is a lot. - Ed]
I have to admit, at first I really had my doubts about this game, thinking it was just another cheap building simulator, and the cost of the game really didn't help. Though a few days into the game I can see just how wrong I was. Behind creating your own town, the game shows its depth the further you advance. As each day passes, things you have done in the past, whether it's building shops or homes or recruiting adventures, you want to change resulting in a town revamp, and the further in the game it is, the harder it is to do. You don't really have to, but it's not uncommon wanting to change things about a bit, just like when you do change things, you won't see it as a chore or being boring, you still get enjoyment out of it.
So the Young King arrives at his realm to re-create a kingdom with his two companions, all who arrive after a long journey with no fatigue and no food, and come across a giant blue crystal that uses a substance known as elementite to create buildings and transport its people to the growing kingdom. But alas, it soon runs out and without any elementite the town can't grow. But the young citizens of your kingdom jump to your aid and become adventurers to search and get more elementite to help out the king. Now each building has enough space for 2 people, normally a parent and the child, the child will volunteer for a job, and the adult will roam the town. The first adventurer will come back triumphant with pocketfuls of elementite for you, but the next day you need to do more as well as naming your Kingdom and having the turnip-loving Moogle Brothers arriving to aid you in your quest to rebuild your Kingdom (which, by the way, was destroyed back in the GameCube to GBA link-up title, Crystal Chronicles).
You will have a sort of bulletin board, in which adventurers will go to each day to say what behest needs to be done. A behest is what you order your gullible adventurers to do, whether it's exploring a dungeon, fighting a boss or looking for flowers (you pansy). Once an adventurer defeats a dungeon's boss, you will reward him with a medal which will allow you to raise that persons stats, along with the adventurer gaining experienced and eventually levelling up to take on the harder dungeons.
To get your buildings built up with the power that the crystal gave you, you need to ring for help from Chime (your own personal Waylon Smithers) to decide what building it is you want to create while standing on a green pad, position the building and... BAM! You're done. Though this early in game with no dungeons cleared, you will have a limited amount of buildings to choose from. Also, you'll be cheekily introduced to a penguin named Pavlov who will be the go to guy when you want to find out details on adventurers and how they're doing, information on peoples homes along with some more facts, but where's the fun in telling you everything.
Slowly as the kingdom expands, there's more and more to do. Not only will you need to focus on getting elementite and money for the kingdom, you need to keep its occupants morale high as well by adding some shops, making sure your adventurers have sufficient storage for things such as weapons and armour and if you can spare some, being the tight-fisted git you are, you can even donate money to that store to fund the owner and to upgrade his stock. Then on top of that you need to make sure you still build homes to get more occupants, since you need their money to improve all the stores and allow holidays for the kingdom and also hire more adventurers. A lot to keep on top off, all doable of course. So once you do each dungeon boss, you normally either get a new building like a black mage school and a training hall, or you can get a building limit to increase the amount of... buildings.
When you increase the number of adventurers thanks to the guild, you can take on more town folk, more specifically, different races from the Crystal Chronicles universe. Each new race will have different attributes to make them more unique in their skills. One race will be good as warriors, one will be good as thieves and the other race excelling in magic and becoming good black or white mages, so it's best to keep a balance in what adventurers you have and make sure you try and donate money evenly, unless you have a grudge against thieves or something. In that case, you can donate all your money to every other shop and you can bask in the glory of getting messages at the top right of your screen saying the race you begrudge has been wiped out. Then for your evil laugh.
With all the dungeon exploration done with and morning reports from Chime regarding what behests were completed and how much gil and elementite you gained and lost the previous day, a King must keep his people happy and keep their morale high by talking to his subjects. Once those ever handy adventurers have run away on an epic, erm, adventure, and any buildings that need to be built are done, it's good to speak to the people, and in doing so, your morale gauge slowly fills up from making the townsfolk happy. Once your gauge has filled up, the orb(s) under it will always fill up which allows you to do one of two things. You can either choose to give Chime the orb to help get the kingdom more known and get a bigger and better name, or you can choose to use it there and then so the little King begins emitting stars. Now's the time to talk to the village folk, but what's so different? This time once you talk to villagers, they become more friendly with the other townsfolk which makes them keep their house lights on, allowing you to stay up later to do more things around the kingdom (which helps since the days seem pretty short).
The visuals, like LostWinds, are better than most Wii games out on shop shelves, already making many third-party attempts at making a game look even worse. As for the music in My Life as a King, there are a few melodies, but they don't stand out too much. The tune which plays at night may remind you of Super Mario Galaxy, though. There's also a story in My Life as a King which advances with each chapter you do, beginning with monsters planning to attack you. Though as someone states, monsters planning things out isn't entirely normal since they never usually have a strategy at all. This is soon followed by the Dark Lord appearing who looks strikingly similar to someone that everyone knows...
Overall it's a surprisingly deep game and will last you several hours before you complete it, especially if you do every dungeon that the game has to offer. You might even find yourself replaying the game to do things a bit differently such as creating a totally new Kingdom or changing your adventurers with the different races and adventurer type. Is all of this worth 1,500 points? Yes, assuming you like these kind of games, but remember, it's not just a sim-like game where you create some buildings and that's it, there's a whole lot more too. Gamers who don't normally give these types of games a chance should, and if there are folk reading this who are unsure, watch some videos. If you like the look of it, get it.
As for the downloadable content, is it really worth it? Some things are. The other 3 races are worth getting and add some extra depth because of the skills they excel in, and it certainly will make the game better, but do you want to pay that much for extras? Though if you decide to get it all, it'll cost you as much as a retail Wii game. With games like My Life as a King and LostWinds on WiiWare, it's clearly going to be a good service and is off to a great start. It also show that indies can do much better games than most third-parties (mentioning no names). A real treat.
N-Europe Final Verdict
A great title that really shows what WiiWare can do. The game is addictive and lasts for hours on end, and nice looking graphics. It's a worthy title to download, though most potential customers will have it already.
Graphically 'pwns' most thirdparty Wii titles
Lasts for hours
Might take some time to get into