Wii Review: Final Fantasy Fables – Chocobo’s Dungeon

Can a Chocobo change the outcome of this review?

In the town of Lostime, memories are fluttering away with every toll of the local clock tower’s bell. If things go on like this, the residents won’t know their beaks from their bills! But who’s got the pluck to peck up their missing memories, and save them from a fate worse than forgetfulness? Chocobo, that’s who! With cute characters, great graphics and user-friendly controls, Chocobo’s Dungeon is fully-fledged FINAL FANTASY® fun for all the family!

Final Fantasy clearly is a franchise with its highs and lows. From great games like FF7 to bad ones like Dirge of Cerberus, it has mostly been good though and still remains the overall favourite RPG series on the market today. Here comes another spin-off in the form of Chocobo’s Dungeon, a basic RPG that is focused more on being cute than fun.

The story is very simple and somewhat disappointing for older FF fans that are used to the hardcore characters like Cloud. This is definitely one more for the kids than your standard RPG fan, essentially the game can be played with the Wii Remote held upwards, sideways or you can attach the Classic Controller and play it that way too. It seems pretty odd that a Wii game has no motion support of any kind other than the mini-games.

The object of the game is simple, you enter people’s minds which then turn out to be dungeons of their own and find their lost memories. The layout of the dungeon changes each time like in other mystery dungeon games but the layout can still be repetitive as you must descend down each floor to the boss fight, enemies are poorly detailed and combat is far too simple to be enjoyed. If that wasn’t enough, the dungeons have invisible traps so you need to keep kicking around you so you don’t step on them.

The game only has 4 main areas, which is rather disappointing. The only real places to go are the dungeons in people’s minds and a few others that are more challenging. To make things easier, you can keep walking around to gather your HP back…which is just ridiculous but will probably make the game easier to complete for those younger gamers. The dungeons wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t all have the same horrible background colour, it just looks awful. The presentation of the game just isn’t on par with other Final Fantasy titles, I know it’s the Wii and it can only do so much, but I have seen better looking games on the last gen platforms.

As in other Final Fantasy titles, you can customize your character from a range of different jobs, each of which have unique special abilities and outfits to try out. It does help add to what is a rather limited game and at 20-30 hours, you’ll want to get all you can out of it. Having said that, the gameplay can become increasingly repetitive shortly and it’s hard to tell if gamers will play it all the way through or not. It’s hard to tell who would even get the game as it’s far too repetitive for kids and too cute for adults. Also it doesn’t add anything to the main story of Final Fantasy, so it seems a bit redundant as a result.

Voice-acting is simply atrocious and lip syncing is just as bad, you’ll notice they haven’t even bothered with it as you will see characters lips moving when they are finished talking. It seems like a back step when compared to other Square-Enix RPG’s.

The Verdict

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon is for all purposes, a poor and repetitive game. It has some good ideas and a good game lies in the middle of it, but the nature of it won’t allow it to flow. It’s just not enough to please any FF fan.