Final Fantasy Explorers Crystal Surge Tutorial: A Tricky Mistress
I am no stranger to video games or the tutorials contained within them. Arguably, the tutorials are the easiest part of the game because they are meant to teach the user how to operate the game controls. The complicated issues generally come later when you are actually in game play. However, I have come across a few tutorials that have left me exasperated on more than one occasion. This time it was a game I debated on buying for more than a week: Final Fantasy Explorers for the Nintendo 3Ds.
I’m not going to write a lengthy post on this game or the tutorial, but I am going to post about it because I know I wasn’t the only one that was upset by that crystal surge test! I’m also putting up a post hoping people can find it when they need it b/c what I did find out there was less than comprehensive and sometimes down right mean. A lot of people thought if you had trouble with the quest, you must be a moron or playing the wrong kind of game. I assure you, if you have trouble with the quest it doesn’t have anything to do with that…it’s more of a lack of information provided issue.
The tutorial is made up of 3 quests to get your “license”; so, you have to do them to play the game. The first one is easy and pretty self explanatory. The second one is the Crystal Surge Exam. It tells you when you accept to get your Resonance over 100 and then hit L+R to trigger the Crystal Surge and pass your exam. Sounds simple. What it DOESN’T tell you is the number you have to hit. Getting 101 in your circle still isn’t good enough, even though it technically fulfills the quest criteria. You generally have to get that number up to 120+ and even then it seems to be a random chance to trigger the ability. Also, hitting creatures with just your weapon will not fill your meter fast enough. You have to use the Left + X Ability for your class to make the meter rise. In this instance, dash (move +B) is your friend b/c the minute you stop killing creatures your meter stops dropping. The longer you do not kill, the more your meter drops. Know what else sucks about this quest? Spawn rate on critters to kill seems kind of low and density of those critters is also a little on the gaseous side! Your best bet is to wander into the beach area where those blue looking toads are and kill stuff there because those critters take more than 1 hit to kill. The final thing the tutorial isn’t really clear about is when you can click L+R to trigger the surge. You kill stuff, get your Resonance to 120, click L+R, and nothing happens. Why? Because you do not have enough of whatever to trigger the surge. Luckily, the game will put a giant message on your screen that says click L+R when you can trigger the surge. It is not something a player can seemingly control. Nor is that bit of advice clearly outlined. Had I known this going into the quest, I would have not been as frustrated. Even after I finally passed the exam and went to “free roam” as an ability laden white mage I still hardly get the message that I can do a “crystal surge”. I had the meter over 150 the other day and it still did not let me trigger a surge.
When all is said and done, I can honestly say that I am enjoying the game. Yes, it is a tiny bit repetitive; however, I have never met an RPG type game that wasn’t a little on the repetitive side. I read a lot of complaints about how it was “too easy”. I guess you could classify it as “easy”, but when I am playing a handheld game after a long day of work I do not really want to have to work extra hard on a game. So what if my fireball takes out monsters in one hit? I don’t mind! I can only hope as I progress through the game that it will continue to give me the not too hard, not too easy game play.