There's no denying it! The silence is officially over for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers. Famitsu managed to get yet another update on the game in its latest issue, complete with commentary from producer Akitoshi Kawazu and director Toshiyuki Itahan.
The major point of note in this update is the first info on a new character, a Selkie male named Keiss. Having earned the trust of army leaders, Keiss takes up a job guarding the Alexis II air ship, a symbol of peace.
Keiss and main character Layle are work partners. They're partnership is just part of the story, though. You don't actually form parties in Crystal Bearers, so you don't directly control Keiss.
Outside of the Keiss and the characters introduced in the original unveiling of the game a couple of weeks back, we can apparently look forward to one additional primary character, a female Selkie who may have the hots for Layle.
In addition to the new character, the magazine introduces a couple of new gameplay systems: Playable Events and Demon Reaction.
Playable events allow you to interact with the game during event scenes, shaking the Wiimote or pointing at particular areas of the screen. Some of these scenes have to be successfully cleared in order to progress, but in general the story will proceed regardless of your success.
One example of a Playable Event has Layle falling through the sky. Demons fall towards him, and you have to aim the Wiimote to shoot them.
The Demon Reaction system is something that we've already seen in the teaser video clips at the teaser site. The demons of the Crystal Bearers world have their own AI and movement patterns. If you let them be, they'll interact amongst themselves. The enemies react to one-another, and to Layle's attacks, in various ways, with Kawazu noting that the game includes a considerable number of patterns.
Crystal Bearers is still without a final release date, but it's certainly reassuring to see it get so much coverage of late. The wait to play will hopefully not be too long.
There's an example of a Playable Event in the trailer, with a "shake the remote" symbol during a chocobo chase (around 2:02). Glad it sounds like in-context actions and not the usual "random button minigame QTE during fights" bullshit and it looks like it will be wisely applied since it's mostly related to unlocking a different scene. Shooting monsters in the air with the rifle is also included in these, cool.
The Demon Reactions we've seen in some of the videos are already so funny. Can't wait to goof around with the monsters.
HQ scans are out from the new Famitsu. Selkie dude is officially called Keiss (as we saw in the IGN article too). A few new screens with him and the artwork that was on Jump (with legs now!), I think he looks pretty cool.
Layle is levitating a parasol in one screen. I'm trying to keep my expectations low on how many objects he will be able to interact with, I wonder how far they're going to go with it.
The fact that there are two screens with a saddled chocobo hanging out with monsters and no Layle around makes me happy. It will be sweet if your chocobo works somehow like the horse from Oblivion (instead of disintegrating/running away if you dismount).
Lyle seems to be a major PITA to work with. Awesome video. Site's nice too. I like the music.
The only thing that bothers me a tiny bit is the huge leg protector thing the Selkie is sporting - makes his unarmored upper torso look off in comparison. Exaggerating: It gives the guy a pea shape. And that is never a good thing. He either needs to tone down his armament ( ), or buy a matching piece of upper body armor ( ).
Other than that: Sign me up for the hype train, please. Music sounds nice, Protagonist seems to be a real bastard, gameplay mechanics seem awesome too. Will watch with bated breath.
The Prologue vid looks awesome, this is looking like it's shaping up to be a very solid FF title. Plus the main character actually awesome for once, it's been a long time since that happened, last time was Zidane IMO.