JPN - March 25, 2008
USA - May 12, 2008
EUR - May 20, 2008
My Life As King, set in the world of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, isn’t like any other Final Fantasy game you’ve ever played. It’s not an RPG, you aren’t fighting anyone or anything, and you never even get to leave your town. Instead of being an RPG, My Life as King is a real time strategy game and city builder. It definitely pushes the boundaries of WiiWare and while different, is fun and addicting.
The game takes place in the world of Crystal Chronicles, after Crystal Chronicles. You play as King Leo (Leo is the default name), the son of King Epitav. Epitav lost his kingdom prior to this game, and now it’s up to Leo to resettle the kingdom and rebuild it using his Architek power, which allows him to create biuldings. The story is intriguing and interesting, like most Final Fantasy games. While the story isn’t paramount in the game, you won’t be disappointed if you pay attention to it.
Like I said, this game is a city builder and RTS. It’s your job to rebuild your father’s kingdom and you do this by building new buildings, such as houses, shops and bakeries. Building a building costs you elementite though, and that doesn’t grow on trees. To get elementite, you issue behests (quests) for adventurers to explore nearby areas. Not only do you get elementite, but this advances the story. It’s your job to hire adventurers, send them on behests, or make them earn experience. Some places you can build in town, like weapons or armor shops or training facilities, benefit your adventurers. There are several classes you can assign your adventurers too, as well as other races from Crystal Chronicles who will visit your town. In addition to managing adventurers and building, it’s your job to keep the spirits of your townsfolk up by talking to them and building shops they like. You can even assign holidays in the game, when no work will be done.
The game is extremely addicting and you’ll find yourself spending more time playing it than you planned. Although at times it does get boring and the game feels confined, since you’re stuck in your town. For WiiWare though, the game delivers a lot of great gameplay, and anything more would be a full fledged game. So if you’re expecting something expansive, this probably isn’t the game for you. But if you want something fun to play when you get bored, My Life as King delivers.
My Life As King is pretty nice looking. The visual style is great and is done beautifully. The game is pretty detailed too. The only downside is that character’s don’t have the best facial expressions and some animations don’t look smooth and realistic (like running). But once again, it’s WiiWare. Graphics might not be top notch, but they’re above average.
The music in My Life As King sounds great. Although after playing for hours (as will happen when you get addicted) it might get old. There isn’t any voice acting, but the game doesn’t suffer from lack of it.
Replay Value (9/10)
This game thrives from it’s replay value. You can play for hours on end, managing your little town and working on restoring it to its former glory. But if that gets stale, as it will eventually, you can purchase downloadable content to make the game fresh again. You can purchase dungeons, new races, extra clothing options and new buildings. Although some things, like the clothing, really isn’t worth it to most people, the dungeons and races are. Even without paying for extra content, the game will keep you addicted for days. And although it might get boring, you’ll eventually come back and find it just as fun as before. Also, the game offers a New Game Plus feature, so once you finish the game, you can start a new game using the adventurers you had before.
My Life As King offers various difficulty levels so the challenge is really up to you. Playing on the normal difficulty isn’t too challenging. The only thing that poses a challenge is managing your time (since you’re playing as a kid, you have a bedtime) and leveling up your adventurers so that they’re ready for the behests. In higher difficulties, the behests are harder, so this becomes more of a challenge. But whether or not you choose to let it get more difficult is up to you.
The game is pretty easygoing, and the frustration is kept at a minimum. The only thing that’s really frustrating is commissioning behests. If your town has two bulletin boards (where you post the behests), allowing you to issue two different behests, the adventurer you want to take on behest A might go to the bulletin board of behest B. Also, it seems like adventurers spend a lot of time getting ready to go on their mission, visiting the shops and training centers, and so by the time they actually leave to go do what you sent them out to do, they don’t have a lot of time left in the day to do it. But, these things are only mildly frustrating. No blood pressure increase to be had from My Life As King.
My Life As King will cost you 1500 Wii Points, so that means it costs $15. It’s one of the most expensive WiiWare titles currently out (World of Goo is also 1500 Wii Points). But, it’s completely worth it. Although the downloadable content makes the game more expensive if you choose to go that route, even the base game is well worth the price. You won’t find many games quite as expansive as My Life As King for $15 (unless they’re on sale or something).
My Life As King is caught somewhere between WiiWare and a full fledged game. I could easily see Square Enix making this more expansive and being able to put it out as an actual Wii game. For $15 you won’t be disappointed. My Life As King will keep you addicted for days on end and with the option to buy more content, this isn’t the kind of WiiWare title you’ll play once and forget about. It pushes the boundaries of WiiWare and is exactly what WiiWare needs more of. If you like simulation games or city builders, then definitely buy this. If you’re a Final Fantasy fan, and the idea of something that strays from the norm appeals to you, go ahead and download it too.