We don’t know everything about Nintendo’s new Switch console yet, but a first look trailer has given us a taste of what the system is capable of. Imaginations are already racing with the possibilities in store for Nintendo fans everywhere, and the world is endlessly curious as to what new titles the Switch will bring.
Though we likely won’t know the launch lineup until January at the earliest, the wide range of titles available on Nintendo’s popular virtual console store are already begging to be played in a portable format. We have yet to see Gamecube games officially on sale in Nintendo’s e-Shop, and now is a better time than any to see these classics return. Not only do these games deserve to be experienced in a new format and by a new generation of players, some could be revolutionized by the Switch.
And no game deserves a second chance like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles.
Crystal Chronicles was a beloved spin-off, one with an incredible soundtrack, colorful visuals, a dark yet beautiful world, and RPG elements that were entirely unique for the time, such as your character having an extended family to correspond with via moogle mail. With four races to choose from, cooperative multiplayer, customization options, and plenty of locations to explore, the game’s relatively simple combat is easy to overlook even by today’s standards.
Much like The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Crystal Chronicles utilized the Gameboy Advance Gamecube link cables to enable its multiplayer component, where four players could work together as a caravan to collect crystal myrrh for their village. The Gameboy Advance would replace the Gamecube controller, allowing each member of the caravan to have their own character screen to look at. Accessing inventories, checking stats, and writing letters to family members at the home village – it never interfered with the action on the television.Currently the only official way to enjoy Crystal Chronicles multiplayer.
While this was a cool idea (and an interesting predecessor to what the Wii U’s Gamepad would later try to accomplish), the GBA was hardly comfortable to play on for multiple hours, and assembling four of them along with four connector cables was a hassle that left many people unable to experience the game at its fullest potential. I recall attempting to put together a caravan of my own, only to realize that two of my friends’ Gameboys had broken buttons and cracked screens, making it a nearly impossible endeavor. While there was a tight single player mode to try, the game was clearly built to be played with friends.
Enter the Switch.
Crystal Chronicles’ multi-screen format would translate perfectly to the Switch. Rather than having to round up four friends who already have GBAs of their own — along with four connector cables, a Gamecube, a copy of the game, and then a TV to plug it all into — the Switch is essentially an all in one package. If four players want to get together, they simply each need a Switch. With each controller potentially splitting into two, you may even need just two Switch owners. Depending on the price point of the console, this would make multiplayer game nights a cinch.
The game can be played anywhere – sitting in a circle, with each screen in front of each player, or with one Switch hooked up to a television. You can play on a road trip, or all around your college campus. The flexibility of the system means players are no longer tethered to the living room. Each participant would likely have to own their own copy of Crystal Chronicles, but if the multiplayer were to work with only one copy, it’d be a wonderfully convenient way to share the experiences the game has to offer with friends.
Though a visual update wouldn’t hurt, Gamecube games like Crystal Chronicles have a distinct style that still look good today. Remastered or not, I’ll take the game however it comes so long as the core experience is intact. Everyone deserves to play in this title’s breathtaking world, and a more streamlined multiplayer experience would make that so much easier. The Switch has the power to breath new life into forgotten classics, and we can only hope Nintendo will take advantage of that.
This post was originally written by Alec Cudmore.