Card battling is the third side of Chocobo Tales' gaming triumvirate, with well over 100 cards to collect. Every so often, you'll be faced with a boss character that challenges you to a duel. These Yu-Gi-Oh-inspired battles are familiar turn-based affairs, but the original battling system is unexpectedly interesting and tactical. Cards come in four different colors and are further separated by the creatures they summon. In a typical duel, the first player to play one of his or her three available cards before the timer counts down to zero takes the first turn, unless there is an effect like "haste" in play. Each card has attack and guard zones that determine the color of your attack, as well as what colors you will guard against. If your opponent has a yellow guard zone, a yellow attack will have no effect; if he or she has a yellow attack zone, the damage will be cut in half. Prior to playing a card, you can see the colors of your opponent's cards, so you can take an educated guess at which color you need to guard against. To make things even more interesting, you earn crystals during battle that you must spend to play certain cards.
You can also duel against others, both online and off. Finding other players via Nintendo Wi-Fi is easy, and you can either be automatically be pitted against another player, or invite someone by their DS friend code. While the game's AI is a fine opponent, human players are more challenging. You'll discover just how well rounded your deck needs to be by playing other players rather than the AI. Because the colors of the cards you play determine the colors of the crystals you earn, a good deck includes cards of all colors. This not only gives you flexibility, but also keeps your opponent on his or her toes because a hand of three colors is harder to guard against than a hand of a single color. You can play minigames and microgames with up to four others as well, though not via Wi-Fi, which is too bad. While minigames and card battles require every player to have a cartridge, microgames can be shared via download play.
The magical make-believe milieu of the minigames spills over into every aspect of the visuals. The pop-up-book style pervades the card battles, which makes watching colorful cardboard cutout unicorns and cactuars duke it out a lot of fun. The adventuring portions are bright and vibrant, but they're not as appealing as the other aspects because they are missing some of the unique fairytale mood. The sound is even better, filled with familiar Final Fantasy tunes and enchanting effects that get the tone of the minigames and battles just right.
It might look like just another kid's game, but there is a lot of quality gaming buried under the saccharine visuals. Chocobo Tales never condescends to its audience, making it an attractive choice for young and old alike. It's also a special treat for Final Fantasy fans, who will be delighted by the recognizable characters and monsters that make appearances. As long as you don't mind a few of the less likable minigames, you'll get sucked into this easygoing fable of feathered fellows.
- Similar model: $
- Set Price Alert