Chocobo’s Dungeon Review

So, we bought Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon recently. I love it. It’s not only a roguelike — which is surprising enough — but a decent one. Decent here meaning close to NetHack.

Pros/Similarities:

  • Turn-based grid dungeon crawling
  • Items that can be given +X or -X, or be cursed
  • Random items that you have to identify
  • Hidden traps, complete with fake stairs
  • Hunger
  • Collars of Regeneration
  • Scrolls
  • Classes (with the added bonus of being able to choose a class per dungeon)

Cons/Dissimilarities:

  • Too many cutscenes
  • Too easy — death isn’t terrible
  • Not near the complexity of most roguelikes — set of actions is relatively straightforward
  • Dungeons are short enough that you don’t feel very isolated — just wait until you’re out of the dungeon and you can insta-identify your items
  • Not ASCII based

There’s some mini-game based on cards that I haven’t messed around with. That also has a Wi-Fi tie-in, where you can play online with your triply-verified-really-aren’t-rapists friends.

It does have one nice RPG innovation: you needn’t fear investing in your equipment (giving it +1 bonuses) because when you find a better stock weapon, you can fuse your old weapon onto your new one, keeping the benefits of both. Pretty nice way of never making your equipment obsolete.