Update: The article originally said that players would need to purchase multiple copies of the game to play online, but Square has announced that the game’s free Lite Version/pseudo demo will allow you to match make with players who have the full game. This text has been updated in the original story, seen below:
Somehow, in the transition from being a local co-op driven multiplayer game on the GameCube to modern platforms in 2020, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has lost that local co-op along the way.
Square-Enix confirmed that the Remastered Edition of the game will only support online multiplayer when it launches next month, citing “development reasons,” according to translations of the tweet from the game’s Japanese Twitter account.
It has been confirmed that Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered does not offer offline/local multiplayer due to development reasons. https://t.co/YoSZ0UMvI2
— Robert Sephazon (@Sephazon) July 15, 2020
This complicates a lot of things, because now, the game that you used to be able to play up to four players with one copy and system, now requires you to have one system per player. Does this help you with social distancing? Sure. Now you’re more or less obligated to stay far away from your friends if you play with them, but now what was once a simple (er…relatively speaking), couch co-op game is now more complicated than it used to be for…development reasons.
Here’s the full tweet translated through Twitter:
“As we have introduced in official broadcasts, this product does not support offline multiplayer. Folded hands
For development reasons, it is necessary to select either offline or online, so we selected online multiplayer so that more people can play.”
Ultimately, if you have to choose between online and offline play, which apparently Square did, online is probably the smarter way to go, as it will give the game a longer life in online communities, and will require people to buy more copies to play. But it’s a shame that a game that had some features in its original release 17 years ago has lost them now. On the positive side, the game will feature cross-platform play when it launches on August 27, allowing anyone to play together whether they’re on Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Switch.
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While this will be frustrating for some, it’s still better than how the original game approached multiplayer, specifically because it required Game Boy Advance systems to play with multiple people instead of just letting everyone use the GameCube controllers. Leave it to Square-Enix to make things that should have been simple very complicated.
In other Final Fantasy news, Final Fantasy VII Remake launched on PlayStation 4 back in April, which means the clock started ticking down for its apparent year-long exclusivity on Sony’s system. We don’t know yet if it’s coming to Xbox One, but there’s reason to believe that Cloud’s remade (but actually stealth sequel) adventure will be coming to PC, based on some fine print on one of the game’s trailers. If you’ve already played it, be sure to check out some of our in-depth coverage of the game, including our write-ups on the Honey Bee Inn as a queer space in the game’s world and how Final Fantasy XIII paved the way for the game’s best parts.