Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon

Roguelikes are not games for children. The randomly-generated dungeon-crawler, first conceived when videogames were written in DOS, displayed in ASCII and measured in bytes, is one of gaming's most cranky and unforgiving propositions. Chances are you'll start off all bright-eyed and confident, sword in hand and satchel stuffed with potions and hope. But fifty floors later, when you've exhausted all of your supplies to make it to the final boss, only to be punched in the neck by a fat goblin and unceremoniously kicked back to town, losing all of your items and money en route, you're going to need some epic swears that are beyond the range of those of school age.

Roguelikes are not games for children. So dressing one up in bright, primary colours and making the protagonist a doe-eyed, kweh-ing custard-yellow chicken is a bit like asking Stephen Hawking to lecture a children's party on theoretical physics while dressed as Bugs Bunny: one way or another, kids are going to end up in tears.

It's not the first time Square-Enix has sent their cutesy mascot into a Dante-esque hellhole. This is, in fact, the third Roguelike Chocobo has starred in, the first two games released for the first PlayStation (only one of which made it to America and none of which came to Europe). This title follows the template and tone of the previous games, an unexpected resurrection for Square-Enix that, despite its mismatching of childish presentation with sadistic mechanics, provides a solid and engaging experience.

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Chocobo's Dungeon gets US release date

Chocobo's Dungeon gets US release date

Squenix keeping quiet about Europe.

Square Enix has told us there's no European date for Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon yet.

That's despite the fact the Wii-exclusive has been confirmed for release in the US on 8th July.

Chocobo's Dungeon: Toki Wasure No Meikyuu (The Dungeon of Forgotten Time), as you might know it, has been out in Japan since December. It's a Rogue-like dungeon crawler where you, as Chocobo, have to search for the lost memories of the people of Ville.

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Square-Enix Party 2007

Last Remnant and Chocobo's Dungeon unveiled.

There was a time when the Final Fantasy brand was reassuringly focused. Each new sequential release was appropriately numbered and sought little more than to better the previous game's scope and technical achievements. The setting and characters changed but the rules never did: Final Fantasy, as with most long-running Japanese products, was a series of incremental evolutions, and both developer and fans knew what to expect of one another.