1UP writes: The original Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, which debuted four years ago on GameCube, remains one of that system's excellent unsung role-playing games. More Secret of Mana than Final Fantasy thanks to its cooperative multiplayer action, the prototype Crystal Chronicles offered many delights, from its sparkling character and visual designs to its mellifluous orchestral score to the simple-but-fun cooperative melee-and-magic combat. It had cool cut-scenes with peripheral characters and side quests, a charming letter-writing system that deepened your investment in your customized character, and it offered a tangible sense of progression and passing time thanks to the seasonal celebrations that signaled each game year's end.
The downside was that Crystal Chronicles had a horrible inventory system, unreasonably fussy hardware requirements for multiplayer play (which meant that most people played through solo), and -- in perhaps the its biggest shortcoming -- forced at least one player to carry a protective chalice around, which turned the game into something it shouldn't have been: work. Ring of Fates on the DS takes advantage of the system's inherent wireless technology to all but eliminate the GameCube version's multiplayer shortcomings, and it streamlines the game itself as well.