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Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy!

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 2 - 2019

Exploring people’s minds with a giant yellow bird.

 
Anyone who has played one of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy games will recognise the Chocobo, a big yellow bird-like creature that is often used as transport in the main games. They may also be aware of the chibi Chocobo, a far cuter version of the creature that pops up in certain Final Fantasy games. It is this chibi Chocobo that is the hero of Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy!, a roguelike dungeon crawler that recently released for PS4 and Switch. However, Chocobo fans out there will realise that this isn’t the first solo outing for the chibi Chocobo, and that this game is actually a remake of an earlier title from back in the Wii days. Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy! is not completely identical to the earlier game, but it is close enough to feel familiar to any fan that has been around for a while.

 
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Fortunately, the passage of time and being released on two new formats ensures there is a whole new audience for Chocobo’s new adventure, and so it is off to the town of Lostime. The game doesn’t start in this small town, but rather with Chocobo and Cid hunting down some treasure before being transported to the town. The townsfolk seem obsessed with the idea of forgetting all of their worries, along with their loves and everything else, and it all seems a little strange until the cause becomes apparent. As the town bell rings, memories are wiped from anyone who happens to hear it. The heroic Chocobo is not going to stand for this, and discovers the ability to jump into the minds of the townsfolk, which are represented as dungeons, and unlock the memories.

 
So far as stories go, Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon is a little bit random, especially with the Human baby that hatches from an egg, but it gives the player a good reason for having loads of dungeons to explore. There are obvious benefits to hoping into all of these dungeons, such as loot and becoming more powerful, but by working through people’s minds they can offer services, such as a Blacksmith, or other aid on the adventure.

 
So players control the mighty yellow bird in the dungeons, where time remains still as long as Chocobo does. As soon as Chocobo moves, or performs an action, any enemy in the dungeon will also move or perform an action. It may be tempting to just rush through the dungeon, trying to avoid any enemies, but the chances are that this will result in the player being overwhelmed with enemies. Rather, exploring the dungeons benefits from a more tactical approach, with Chocobo moving slowly around the grid based dungeon, taking advantage of positioning and movement speed to pick off enemies one after the other, or to minimalize the chances of being ganged up upon.

 
It is not just enemies that can be found in the dungeons. Chocobo will also have to deal with various traps, not all of which are harmful, and they will be able to gather plenty of treasure, which may well remain unknown until identified. However, when it does come to enemies, the player will have to send Chocobo into battle, which will mostly mean either a simple attack or using one of the special abilities that the player has unlocked.

 
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These abilities comes from the excellent job class system found in the game. As Chocobo progresses, it will level up. However, Chocobo is also able to take on a class, and each class is levelled up individually using job points that are gathered through the course of the adventure. This means that the player can pick and choose their Chocobo build, and then level that build up to unlock new abilities. This could mean having a Chocobo knight in shining armour, or a black robed mage that casts powerful spells.

 
Chocobo doesn’t have to face the dungeons alone either. Enemies may drop buddy points that will allow the player to expand their party, with a huge number of buddies to bring along, from monsters defeated in the dungeon, to other allies. The great thing is that even the player doesn’t have to work alone, as a second player can pick up a controller and join the fun as one of these buddies.

 
Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy! is a very cute looking game, but that does not mean it will be a breeze to play. Being successful in the game will mean a hefty amount of grinding, as becoming more powerful relies on random drops and the upgrading of equipment, which has its own little system to work out. Add to this that dying in a dungeon will mean losing everything carried except for equipped items, and there will be a fair amount of luck and repetition involved to successfully progress.

 
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The appeal of the Final Fantasy theme will be enough to draw in many players, and the nostalgia really does work great. Others may be attracted by the cuteness and charm of the game, or the roguelike nature of the dungeon crawling. Either way, there is a lot to like about this remake. Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy! can feel a little dated in places, but is still an involved and entertaining dungeon crawler that has found a new audience on the PS4 and Switch. Worth checking out for dungeon crawler and Final Fantasy fans alike.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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