Many Facebook games pass me by day in, day out. I prefer it that way. I think the website did something recently to hide the thousand and one status updates pertaining to Farmville cows and one’s desperate plea for wood (::snerk::), which I’m eternally grateful for because you can only see so many of those before you begin to worry, not only about your sanity, but that of your friend’s. And when I did play a few Facebook games, such as Farmville and Pet Society, rarely did I ever choose to tell my friends about my latest in-game accomplishments. It’s not my style. I mean, I don’t do it with Fallout: New Vegas, rushing over to my laptop to alert everyone online that I completed the High Times quest and they should “like” this. No one cares.
And so it takes something special to get me into a Facebook game these days. Most are often click-spammers, lacking depth and forcing social interaction left and right. Thus, I was shocked to learn that Square Enix released two games for Facebook this week, both related to their Final Fantasy series: Knights of the Crystals and Chocobo’s Crystal Tower. I did not glance too long at the former title as it is very much a Mafia Wars sort of game, but the latter hooked me with its chocobo raising and RPGness.
I mean, the most fun I actually had in Final Fantasy VII was raising, breeding, and racing chocobos to obtain that ultimate summon spell hidden on a tiny island that only a special chocobo could get to. Took many long hours, as well as a strategy guide, but I did finally get it. And I ended up growing pretty attached to my giant magical birds, too.
So, in Chocobo’s Crystal Tower, which is currently in beta status, you raise chocobos on a ranch. You feed them, brush them, adorn them with adorable outfits, and, when they are old enough, send them off to a local tower to battle enemies, collect treasure, and gain experience. You can also breed your chocobo with other players’ birds. Everything takes time, which is fine, and you can spend your earned gil on decorations for your ranch, food, or special outfit items. The game also supports Achievements. It’s simple fun, with a cutesy art style and classic soundtrack; it’s biggest selling point is, naturally, hearing that instantly recognizable kweh! from your chocobo. Warms my heart every single time.
The game does a decent job of explaining most of its important parts to the player during the tutorial, but it’s a bit slow going, especially since none of my friends are playing it with me, and there’s some horrible load times as you switch between menus. I even got locked up on a loading screen and had to refresh out. Also, my current chocobo star Tiktok recently came back from a dungeon missing all of his gear (French hat, shirt, rubber boats), and I have no idea what happened or how to find out. Love throwing gil down the drain. We’ll see how long this one keeps me hooked…
BONUS QUESTION: How do you pronounce chocobo? Is it cho-co-bow or choc-oboe? Tara and I say it differently.