In FFCC:MLaaK, you take on the role of the king in a new land. From the looks of things, it appears to be a sort-of sequel to FFCC for the gamecube. (It’s on my list to play through) You enter the kingdom with Chime and Hugh Yurg as assistants. Soon, you have helpful moogles and a penguin to guide you. As in FFCC, there is a crystal in the center of town which used to hold off a deadly miasma that had gripped the planet. The miasma is now gone, making the crystals merely decorative now. This crystal can apparently speak and grants you the power of Architek, which allows you to rebuild the kingdom from your memories.
The gameplay is reminiscent of simcity and warcraft 1-3, minus the exploring and fighting. You rebuild you city using elemantite as a resource. Each house built allows you recruit one adventurer. These adventurers explore the dungeons as you command and return with elemantite and gil. The gil is used for upgrades to your shops and training halls, allowing your adventurers to purchase better items, skills and spells. You build houses, shops, training halls and parks.
To command these adventurers, you post behests of what you want them to do and they choose which they would like to do, or ignore you and do their own thing. While the adventurers are out, you can wander your city, building structures and talking to the citizens. Talking to the citizens, while not required, builds morale, allowing the game days to last longer into the night and gets you side quests for your adventurers. They also tell you when they would like new buildings, which the moogles can draw up plans for.
This does get rather repetitive, but with the amount of things to manage, you can keep busy for the whole game day and for the strategy gamer, this is quite addictive. I found myself glued to the game over the labor day weekend and was provided with enough variety to keep me playing.
The graphics look like reused models from FFCC (at least the character models), which isn’t a bad thing as it keeps that FF feel to the game. Slowdowns and framerate drops are frequent, especially with a lot of buildings and characters in frame. There could definitely have been more optimization here, but overall, it isn’t so bad as to draw you out of the game. The graphics are nicely done, and suit the game well.
The sound is short clips, with nice background music. There is no spoken dialog, but it is not needed. Overall the sound is well done and good quality.
All of the cutscenes are done in game, which keeps the size of the game down and a consistent feel throughout.
As the first big name game on wiiware, Square-Enix had some high expectations to live up to with this game. I would say those expectations have been easily met, as this is a solid game, well worth the 1500 wii points ($15). S-E has added DLC (for a small fee for each) in the form of additional dungeons, different citizen races and buildings (which I’m told can be unlocked by playing well) and outfits for yourself and Chime. If you haven’t played a wiiware title yet, this is a great introduction. Just about all gamers will find a fun and addictive game here.