Updated (Mon 24th Aug, 2020 10:20 BST): More details about Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition continue to surface ahead of its release next week.
As spotted by Siliconera, the official website for the game has a small but significant disclaimer at the bottom. In short, online multiplayer matchmaking is region-locked. Ouch!
In online multiplayer mode, a player will only be matched with others in the region specific to player’s software.
Due to the phrasing it's currently not clear whether this region-locking is specific to multiplayer as a whole, or exclusive to the matchmaking system; if the latter is true it's possible that playing with faraway friends through the invite system may not have the same restrictions.
The same section of this page also notes how players will obviously need a paid subscription to Nintendo Switch Online or PlayStation Plus if they wish to participate in online multiplayer:
Online multiplayer mode requires an internet connection and either: Nintendo Switch - free registration to a Nintendo account and a paid subscription to “Nintendo Switch Online” service; or PlayStation 4 - free registration to PlayStation Network and a paid subscription to PlayStation Plus.
Just yesterday, we found out some new details about the matchmaking and how friend codes would work. What do you think about all of this? Tell us down below.
When the headline said "paid subscription," I thought it meant an additional fee on top of Nintendo Switch Online, MMO style.
Obviously it requires NSO, lol
Wow, there’s so many caveats to this game’s multiplayer that it would literally be easier to connect a GBA link cable like the old days.
@graysoncharles Don't worry, the game isn't out yet. I'm sure they'll think of more ways to deterr you.
Trying to play FFCC online with friends be like
This is insane, it's like they're trying to get me to not buy this. Buddy pass is cool, but no good if I can't play with my brother on a different continent
region locking should no longer be a dang thing in 2020 lol
This is just turning into one big joke. Everyone just might as well buy the original.
Welp, the servers are going to be ghost towns in a month. If they were world wide it wouldn't be too big a problem, but UK only gamers? They'll likely to move onto something else soon after.....
Being a member of NSO to play online makes sense (it's still not ideal). Region locking it...not so much.
Do we know if account swiching could change which region it pairs you with? That could sidestep the entire issue.
Yikes! This is an off-putting choice. Well I at least hope they got rid of the miasma ring.
Almost feels like they should have just rebuilt it from the ground up, if keeping the original code intact would cause this many problems down the line.
@AngelFox Nope, someone still has to be the chalice carrier. It's the exact same experience as the GC original, just with more post-game content.
Splatoon 2 was the same. I had a Euro one and a friend had the US one, we could never online play together which was crap. But we found out 2 years ago about this issue
Is the Gamecube version have multiplayer option ?
Region locking they're going with region locking they must not want me to buy this game.
What a complete dumpster fire this turned out to be...
Lol Square Enix making something convoluted
Okay.. I'm out. I loved the GC original, but I am going to skip this now.
also please get rid of the character limit it's annoying as heck
...I pre-ordered the physical version that's only sold in Japan... Does this mean I have to cancel?
@DarkLloyd : Neither should in-game purchases or paid online multiplayer, but here we are.
That's wonderful, I have to save money and they gave me enough reasons to do it.
@KayFiOS You'll be restricted to japanese players as the article implies... better safe than sorry.
They could at least be clear as to what constitutes a region... is it based on the region of the game version or the country of one's NNID? For example, the Australian version will almost certainly be the European version/cartridge.
Dat ***** click bait...gawd I hate this website sometimes.
I've updated the tagline.
Second FF remake they butcher this year.
looks like a hard pass for me apparently square doesnt want my money if they cant stop making bad decisions.
Yeah, I'll stick with FFXIV, WoW, and PSO2 for my online rpg with friend experiences.
@PcTV I thought FFVII remake was amazing, the only bit I really didn't like was the journey to the 2nd reactor. That bit was tres long, but the rest was a great combo of nostalgia and new.
They really put me off FFCC when they scrapped local multiplayer when they'd previously suggested it had been added.
This is going to be unpopular
I wouldn't even know which version to buy. Hard pass now.
most people play final fantasy for the single player experience , cant care less about multi or coop
Region locked multiplayer killed Triforce Heroes for me (you could argue other things should have, but this was the stick that broke the camel’s back). While I don’t mind matchmaking that prioritises local connections for a smoother service, actually banning anyone beyond your continent kind of destroys the purpose of ‘the internet’ in the first place.
I don’t believe in the concept of a ‘hard pass’ (a pass is simply a pass, no matter how edgy you try to make it), and I can’t say I was committed to buying the game in the first place, but this is... off-putting and disappointing.
So many poor decisions with this title
@Hadooken84 That's not correct, only the Splatfests are mostly region locked. You can play with friends from all over the world.
@Anti-Matter yes. Couch co op. But only if everyone has a GBA and a special cable. I still have 2 GBAs and enough cables, so I am going to hunt down some more GBAs and play the original instead.
@Ultrasmiles That's like making that argument with the Four Swords/Triforce Heroes games because they're Zelda games.
Way to ensure I won't buy the game.[/fan]
Satire aside, way to cement the fact that I'll be buying this as a single player game first and foremost. As has been my case with the majority of Final Fantasy titles, to be fair (I even solo what actual MMOs I play, to every extent I can manage).
So if we want to play co-op at home we have to have 2 switches, two copies of the game and two NSO subs? What a joke.
News update from the future: Square-Enix is disappointed with low sales figures for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered. Says future games in the franchise are unlikely unless sales pick up.
I was looking forward to playing online with some of my friends over in Europe. I'll vote with my wallet and refuse to buy until they allow worldwide online multiplayer.
They lost me with online only anyways.
I'll likely still get it, due to my friends plans to play it... but man these are some really strange and bad decisions.
i'll stick with the gamecube version.
Square Enix can burn in the pits of hell...
I don't get these stupid decisions. Miss the old days when video game companies tried to give you the best that was achievable at the time. Now they always come up with excuses for why certain mundane options (like online play with anyone in the world) are not possible.
Wow way to knee cap the game right out of the gate Square.
Having never played the original, is it a game you can still play in single player, or are you "encouraged" to play multiplayer?
Eh.. I'll probably skip it then.
@Andee The game doesn't work in single player, in my opinion. The whole idea of the story is you go on an adventure with a caravan. That whole vibe is killed if you go alone.
@Daniel36 yeah, I've heard it's dangerous to go alone
Well shiet, Me and my brother were gonna get this and play together but since hes been stationed in south korea I dont know if a vpn is enough to bypass this
wasn't this announced in like 2018?
It appears they're trying to match the complexity of playing multiplayer on the Gamecube original with its multiple GBAs and cables.
If that's they're goal, they're totally winning!
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
The Switch is Region Free,
And this game should be too.
@Rexenoboy another will involve them baffled why people didn’t love it.
So does it mean that getting a physical copy from Japan render it useless if you live outside of the country?
@DarkLloyd welcome to Nintendo!
What an odd decision. I'm okay with there being no local co-op as most of my family has Switchs. But, the region locking is a bizarre choice for those who work internationally and can't play with their family online.
Just a bizarre, bizarre choice.
@SpaceKaren From what I can tell this also applies to the PS4 version. So is this also a "welcome to Sony"? What does any of this decision have to do with Nintendo? Nintendo has never region-locked the online portion of their games this entire generation. In fact, Nintendo has not even region-locked a game this entire generation even their digital games. This is clearly a Square Enix thing.
Dual failure, the online sub was the crux of the issue with not having local WiFi and same system multiplayer. So that elevates it to a triple failure. Fumbling a fairly mediocre game like this is pretty pathetic from Square. With proper care to the battle system and keeping the local multiplayer, this would have been at least been worth a look.
Queue the fake outrage
@Ultrasmiles crystal chronicles is a mutliplayer game.
Considering the Japanese physical release won't support English and the online-only multiplayer is region locked, yeah I'd cancel your preorder.
Everything about this release is a farce
@Magician Yeah, the Play Asia page said it wasn't region locked, and it was my first time pre-ordering from there too. I think from now on, I'll buy games that are already out from there, after doing the necessary research.
I’m out with the region lock. Too many overseas friends.
@Grandiajet They somehow made it more inconvenient than the GCN original.
It feels like this game is being sent out to tank.
@Andee If you'd like a good vibe of how the general gameplay feels in single player (I'm going off of the GCN original, of course I haven't played this version), download the demo for Oninaki and try that.
It's playable alone, but is relatively simple with little variation on the core gameplay of running around wacking things. It would have been great for local co-op where the simple gameplay lends well to being supplementary entertainment to the time you spend with friends on the same couch, but for me at least, playing silently with friends or strangers a thousand miles away doesn't have the same appeal.
@KayFiOS I've ordered the physical game from Japan too and unfortunately after this news I have just cancelled my order.. To save yourself from any further disappointment I would get the digital version
Everybody who wants local multiplayer, I'm genuinely curious how you would implement it?
Local multiplayer only worked on the GameCube because the GBA link cable gave every single player a second, personalized screen. They can't do that on a PS4 or a switch, right? So the game would need significant changes.
As for the rest, it's better than nothing. I guess I should count myself lucky, since the people I want to play with are also in North America.
Getting this on switch, a handheld, (combined with a free version that has 13 dungeons) totally fixes the local multiplayer issue for me. It should be a major quality of life improvement over playing local multiplayer on GameCube. Even if it's true that the free version can't access the final boss.
Just when I think they can't dig this hole any deeper...WOW.
@burninmylight You perfectly described what made this game work so well. Couldn't have given a better explanation.
Glad I got ToM(despite its easy difficulty), its better than anything they released this year.
Is this a digital-only title? I can't find a SINGLE article that gives a definitive answer to this.
@Mhayes111387 yes, its digital only in the west. theres a japanese retail version
This is all very bizarre. It would actually be a bustling online game (I think) if the didn't keep knee-capping it.
@PhilMyth you mean, like basically every single country in Europe, as every country has it's own language? Oh poor UK!
So, the article doesn't mention if cross region play is possible with friend codes. The sentence on the website says "matchmaking", so I think this restriction is about playing with random people rather then friends. I guess we need to wait until the game is published to really know how it works...
@Bustacap That is HIGHLY unfortunate. I refuse to buy digital-only games so it will be a HARD pass for me. Was really looking forward to this but I'm not paying full-retail price for a port that I can't even own physically.
A multiplayer game that you can't play multiplayer locally nor with anyone outside your own region. SquareEnix is poised for a runaway success!
@Andee The game is great in single player, I only had 1 friend from school I played with and he didn't live near me so we could only hang to play once or twice so I always enjoyed to play the game by myself for that reason and many others, I've replayed this game countless times and never had an issue beating it. I understand being annoyed at the region lock decision, but I knew from the start this game wasn't gonna have local multiplayer because of how it worked on the gamecube so that one wasn't an issue for me and everyone that played this game before should've seen that coming.
@Frontiersmann The only reason players originally needed their own screens was so that the game didn't need to be paused all the time while players sifted through personal menus to sort inventories, command lists, etc. At 480p with a 4:3 aspect ratio, there really wasn't any space on the the TV screen for these menus to be displayed without interfering with other players' view of the gameplay. Now at 1080p with a 16:9 aspect ratio, there is more than enough space to squeeze a menu overlay in each corner without significantly overlapping the original 4:3 view of the game. The menus are very simplistic as they were originally designed for clear viewing on a tiny, unlit GBA screen, and this is all the GBA was used for, no gameplay or navigation took place on them, only menus.
Wow this just keeps getting better and better. What is this, 2020?
Haha this is a nightmare. Reminds me of when I bought the Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fate game on DS.
The store was selling the US version, because DS games weren’t region-locked... except the multiplayer. Took me hours to figure out why I couldn’t play with my friend.
LOL, great job, SquEnix. I wasn’t going to buy it since I read the news about no local coop anyways.
At this point I'm expecting a NordVPN ad to show up on the start-up screen like on youtube.
Region lock, wasnt that something that belongs in a museum?
in the future you cant play this game anymore from your collection, if the servers shutdown?
Or collect it from other regions from ebay.
Nice job square-enix.
@PALversusNTSC sure you can, the game itself is region free and its single player
@Dazzle Well I disagree on the looks. I personally love the look and feel of this game. It's not a Final Fantasy game though. The only thing it has in common is Moogles. Nothing else is even close to the epic scope of any of the mainline Final Fantasy games.
Really the only reason I can think of why they gave it this name was brand recognition.
I agree with you on your other point though. For a game that was known for its difficulty of getting multiple players together, they seem hellbent on making it just as difficult now.
I am really interested in what news will reach us next. It seems like every time we think it can't get any worse they come out with something new to go even lower.
IDK why everybody thinks this is such a hassle. The region lock is stupid, sure, but the rest is kinda whatever.
@PhilMyth Ah yes, because English is such a foreign language to us from the continent. I'm sorry you can't play with your American "cousins", but maybe it's time to remember, that you are European, too and since we share a common, several thousand years old history, I sure hope the bond between us is stronger than our differences.
@Blizzia Well, it isn't whatever. This game should've had couch and local co op. I think this game will tank horrendously because of this ommission, which could be the death of a franchise which I really wanted to re-emerge.
A remaster of My Life as a King with additional features would've been awesome, for example.
@Daniel36 Both features seem to be pretty hard and annoying to pull off on Switch, and using online instead seems logical considering we're in 2020.
If the franchise dies because of minor inconveniences, it wasn't that good to begin with. Harsh truths.
My favorite franchise nearly died once, it made changes that the "old fans" very vocally didn't agree with (well, part of them, I liked the changes) and skyrocketed in popularity and also became better.
(I'm talking about Fire Emblem).
If the game is good, I don't think the omission of couch and local co op will have much of an effect.
The region lock, however, might have an effect.
This remaster is on the works for years and with each news we get it seems worse than the original version. No integration with GBA using nintendo online app and that seems to invalidate local co-op wich was the whole point. What happens when the servers eventually shut down with this region lock ? Oh i know squenix will try to rip it off again maybe.
@Blizzia Sorry but I really fail to see how couch co op would be difficult to pull off in a game that originally already has it.
And how is a game bad if it doesn't work without multiplayer when it specifically was made for it? That's like saying soccer is bad because you can't play it alone. The whole point of the game was to play it in multiplayer.
They simply made a lot of bad decisions on this one.
The more I hear about this game and it’s baffling design decisions, the happier I am to keep my money for a different game.
@Tasuki Yep! For me l don't think l will even bother to play any of it.
Gonna have to pass on this too. The lack of local multi is a bad decision. As another user said, the extra resolution and screen space would've made it very possible to have the menus available onscreen.
I don't care what year it is, online is not automatically preferable to local multiplayer. I would've loved to play FFCC with my kids and in-laws in a same-room adventure (with only one $300 game system required), but that's not going to happen now thanks to these limitations.
@Daniel36 I always considered the Crystal Chronicle games more like the Ivalice Games. They are rather removed from the main numbered entries (excluding XII) in combat, feel and design, but are solid FF entries.
I really like the dungeon crawling design of the Crystal Chronicle games and hope we see a modern sequel to them. If this game does well I don't see why Square Enix wouldn't do it. But, I get the vibe based on the odd decisions made with development and marketing it might just do modestly well. People will still buy it, but Square Enix has a habit of not making sequels to just modest success... Still waiting on Last Remnant 2, A new Mana game (I'm not talking remakes), a Terranigma follow-up and a new Chrono... :/
@Clouvas not 100% true although you are close. In multiplayer each player was assigned with a feature that was unique to their game boy each time they went into a dungeon. One player had a map, another player had a compass, another player had radar for treasure chests, etc. Also the Chocobo racing mini game.
@Grandiajet you don't need two copies of the game, only the host needs the game, the other player can use the trial version for free, as long as they play with a host that owns the full game, they can play through the whole thing together. If you're using switch, you'll need Switch Online though... same goes for needing Playstation's subscription for online... only the mobile versions won't be tied to a subscription.
Wow, what a smart move. Do exactly what no game does anymore because it hinders the ability to play with friends across the world. What was their thought process behind this?
@alexybubble No. It reads the software code not the profile.
@Hadooken84 Stop lying. Splatoon 2 multiplayer was NOT region locked. It was only region locked during Splatfest. (Some Splatfest was worldwide and was not region locked)
@Wexter I really enjoy the dungeon crawling design of FFCC and the game was fun in both single and multiplayer, I mostly played it in single player because I could only could hang out with my friend like twice a month or so, and scheduling with other friends and stuff in my subsequent playthroughs was a pain so I've never had any issues with the single player mode, and I love this game too much to not buy it.
Sucks about the decisions they're making though, I really wanted this to do well so I could get a true sequel to this game using the same type of gameplay.
@Frontiersmann This is honestly the first I've heard of this gameplay element. Of all the times I've played this game with friends I don't think we ever bothered to look at the map, and I was pretty sure we all got the same information. The remaster has added a minimap, which I personally think is a bit of an improvement, although if it's overly detailed then that could detract from the sense of exploration. A shared minimap that is always visible does make repeat visits to some of the later levels less of a chore though, especially for 100% runs.
I've also heard the argument that each player's level goal, such as "don't heal yourself" or "defeat enemies with focus attacks" was something that players could keep secret from each other, so as to compete for points at the end of the level and therefore first pick of the dropped artifacts. Doing so, however, is very counterproductive, as the best artifact sets can drop only if the players have collectively accumulated enough points.
I think these minor elements could be sacrificed for the sake of an enjoyable local coop experience on a shared screen without taking much away from the game. In fact, I doubt most people would have noticed. As for the racing minigame, (which IIRC featured caravans drawn by those fantasy oxen with the funny names, not chocobos) I think that could easily be rendered in splitscreen but it's more likely the minigame would be dropped completely or replaced with something else, since it's certainly the most dated looking part of the game and was just an inconsequential piece of side content.
@Frontiersmann The Switch has a local Ad-hoc function, which games like Super Smash Bros Ultimate and God Eater 3 take advantage of. I knew that split screen wasn't going to be an option, and everyone I want to play with has a Switch and lives in my region. However, the fact that I have to worry about how my bandwidth will handle two Switches whenever my partner and I want to play together or four Switches if we have friends over is going to be annoying. Since they expect everyone to have their own Switch console, a local Ad-hoc mode should have been a no-brainer.
@OorWullie yea it was splatfest
@doomgal relax, it was splatfest. Other regions had different competitions and doesn’t show up on other region games, depending on the user region setting
@Hadooken84 yup. Splatfest was like once a month, so even though those events were region locked, most of the time it was region free. Hope no hard feelings. Cheers.
@Wexter Yeah, I can see that comparison. The Ivalice ones were very different too indeed.
I am guessing you mean Terranigma, right? Well, before we get to a sequel, I think America deserves to finally be able to play the original first. It was never released in the US.
Which is really strange, because it is a GREAT game. One of my all time faves. Would love the ability to replay it.
Lack of local multiplayer isn't a big lost. Most games today are played online anyways. The fact that the game is region locked is small downer. I won't be able to play the game with my AUS buddies...
@Shade_Koopa I am glad it's not a big loss for you, but for me (and many with me) it is.
I've heard plenty of people mention the whole pandemic as a reason why local co-op would be a no-go anyways, but maaaaaaany of us were younglins when we played this game for the first time and now have kids in the gaming age that we would REALLY like to experience this game with together.
And sure, Square Enix wants this game to appeal to a new audience, and of course it's good that they are implementing online and crossplay, but they are really dismissing a pretty large returning audience for which the most important element of this game was the couch, so to speak.
What a disgrace. SE is absolutely terrible at online. For FFXI, it's somewhat excusable because that game is 20 years old, but they had this insane convoluted online account system where you had to manage online subscription separate from the actual FFXI game launcher. There was some half-baked card game built into that eco system called tetra master or something nobody ever played.
Saddest part is they basically repeated this mistake with FFXIV. At the beginning you literally couldn't pay for an online subscription with money. You had to go to a separate account management website completely separate from the game launcher, log in and buy "crysta" their magic crystal currency. Then you could pay your monthly subscription fee with "crysta".
I’m still going to get it because I’ve been wanting to replay it since I was 14 years old.
But man.. they are making this really complicated for no good reason. It still works for me because I literally have no friends who like this sort of game. But I can see where this is a huge inconvenience for others.
@Daniel36 Yeah my phone autocorrected to weird goobly goop on that one! But, yeah it would be nice to see Terranigma get a proper release or just be put on the SNES App. There is already a completed English translation when it came out in the PAL regions... But, this is Square Enix so I'm just used to seeing games that are not Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts get forgotten about.
Like seriously how hard would it be to just get stuff like Xenogears, Chrono Trigger or Chrono Cross on the PS4 or Switch? In fact when was the last time any of those games got a re-release? I'm guessing PS3 and the Wii... dang that was a long time ago. :/
After pre-ordering the JP physical version and living in the UK, the region lock in multiplayer doesn't bother me too much. My friends weren't going to buy it anyway, so I'm guessing they just need to create JP PSN accounts and download the demo from there. Even if they did want to buy it, they could just get the JP version too. What I really want to know is if the JP version has an English language option, can't find it stated anywhere, taking a real punt on that.
@Wexter Well, neither Xenogears nor Chrono Cross have ever seen a rerelease.
Chrono Trigger was released on the Virtual Console, yes, and before that on PS1 and DS, which were enhanced editions with some added animated cutscenes. Possibly on mobile too, but yeah... those releases don't count.
@Daniel36 I guess the PSOne Classic line for PS3 doesn't really count as a re-release? Either way I know Nintendo get's dunked on a lot for not providing a lot of their classics on newer platforms... but, Square Enix is the worst as so many PSOne, SNES, NES, PS2, GBA and PSP games get ignored... They are one of the worst Japanese companies at making their back catalog available. They've gotten better with the Mana Collection and Romancing SaGa, but where is Ogre Battle, Illusions of Gaia, ActRaiser, Drakenguard (Nier I consider separate), Front Mission, Legacy of Kain... so many awesome franchises either forgotten or neglected by Square Enix.
They've us a solid with Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, but so many awesome titles they could just drop, but just don't.
@Wexter Wasn't aware of those rereleases. So CC and XG were released on PS3 huh? Cool cool.
Well, my friends and I live across multiple countries so this game is off our options list for multiplayer.
@Sabrewing That stinks.. it's a shame we can't get the moogle to carry it. I hated being stuck with it.
@Wargoose wait, wait, wait.....no local multiplayer?
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