Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord
|Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles:
My Life as a Darklord
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord, released in Japan as Hikari to Yami no Himegimi to Sekaiseifuku no Tō: Fainaru Fantajī Kurisutaru Kuronikuru (光と闇の姫君と世界征服の塔 ファイナルファンタジー・クリスタルクロニクル?, lit. "The Princess of Light and Darkness and the Tower of World Conquest: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles"), is a tower defense video game developed and published by Square Enix for the Wii and distributed through the WiiWare download service. It is the most recently announced game in the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series.
The game follows the Darklord as she defends her mobile tower from waves of attacks as it travels across the kingdom. Unlike most tower defense games the game is played from a side view of the tower, as the player places units and traps to attempt to prevent enemies from reaching the top of the tower and the Dark Crystal kept there. The game received generally positive reviews, with critics generally praising the game's gameplay and presentation while critiquing a perceived lack of depth to the game.
In My Life as a Darklord, the player is tasked with defending their tower from waves of attacking enemies. Each level takes place in a different part of the kingdom, as the tower is mobile, and consists of multiple waves of attacks. Unlike most tower defense games, the gameplay takes place in a side-viewed tower with enemies marching through each of the tower's floors linearly, rather than through a top-down perspective of a circuitous route. The player places traps and combatants in the floors of the tower, which then cannot be removed. The level ends when the attackers have reached the Dark Crystal at the top of the tower, or when they have all been defeated.
Defeating enemies gives the player Negative Power, which can be spent in the level to place more obstacles, upgrade existing obstacles to more powerful ones, or build more floors onto the tower. Karma is earned for finishing levels, and can be spent between levels to increase the maximum size of the tower or the starting power of the units. The floors come in different varieties, and provide offensive, defensive, and supportive powers to the obstacles placed on them or the enemies walking on them. Each floor has an artifact, which if reached by the enemy is destroyed, in turn destroying all units and traps placed on that floor, removing any status effects the floor provided, and allowing the attackers to move onto the next layer. Traps and units are divided into melee, ranged, and magic categories, with the three types dealing extra damage to each other in a rock-paper-scissors manner.
Each level begins with all obstacles removed, and completing levels earns the player additional types of units and structures to build. The path that the player takes through the levels of the game is not linear; there are side paths that can earn the player additional Negative Power and units. If a level is failed, the player retains some of the Karma they had earned before being defeated. Despite being released for the Wii, there is no support for motion control with the Wii controller. There is additional downloadable content for the game, such as new items or levels. At launch time there were 14 different DLC packs, with more added later. Initial DLC packets included two Mira costumes, three new monster types, two floor types, and three items for various amounts of WiiPoints.
As the title suggests, My Life as a Darklord is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King. The protagonist, Mira, is the daughter of the Darklord, the antagonist of the previous game. She lives in a tower that she must defend from marauding adventurers by populating it with monsters and traps. You progress through the game by surviving hordes of enemies that are on adventures trying to destroy the crystal at the top of your tower.
My Life as a Darklord was revealed at the 2009 Game Developers Conference alongside fellow WiiWare title Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. It was also showcased at E3 2009. A DLC package includes costumes, abilities, and characters from Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. A free demo of the game was available on the Wiiware service from November 2009 to April 2010.
My Life as a Darklord has received generally positive reviews. IGN awarded it an 8.1 out of 10, calling it "an amusing strategy game and a standout title on WiiWare", praising the gameplay and presentation while saying that "The limitations of WiiWare are apparent". They also named it the best WiiWare of the month for July 2009. Eurogamer gave the game a 7 out of 10, praising the depth of the gameplay but complaining that without purchasing any of the downloadable content the player has "little room to really dig deep into the tempting tactical depths that the concept so clearly offers". The game currently has a rating of 71.78% on GameRankings. It also has a 73 out of 100 rating on Metacritic.
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