Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is a cult classic, but it was infamously obtuse. It required such a specialized combination of hardware that building a full squad required a hefty investment from each player. For the Remastered version, coming next month to PS4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices, Square Enix is taking a remarkably more accessible approach, even by modern standards.
The original Crystal Chronicles was built around multiplayer. Though you could complete it as a single-player experience, the story centered around a caravan protected by a band of warriors from different magical races, each with their own combat specialty. But that multiplayer relied on a GameCube link cable, connected to up to four GameBoy Advance systems. The conceit allowed each player to have their own personalized menu, but the requirement made the sticker price remarkably high. If your friends didn’t happen to already own a GBA, they needed to buy one to join in.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered, on the other hand, looks to make a full 180 on that barrier-laden design philosophy. The advent of connected consoles and smartphones makes it easy for players to connect and retain their own individual menus like any other online game. Rather than lock players into a single console with a very narrow control scheme, it features cross-play so that players can join up regardless of platform preference.