More Bird than Brain

Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy! is a remastered version of the Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon game which was released back on the Nintendo Wii. As the title suggests the protagonist is everyone’s favourite yellow bird from the Final Fantasy series and even though it’s a spin-off it features plenty of fan service. It is a challenging but cute rogue-like dungeon crawler with a very cute story even though the premise is quite scary. A strange bell tower makes everyone forget things and it is up to Chocobo to enter peoples minds along with a small child who can just happen to float, slightly crazy but it’s your typical JRPG nonsense that it doesn’t even matter, it’s so easy to get absorbed into the games slightly crazy goings-on as it is the gameplay itself.

Bird Brain

The game, for the most part, takes place in peoples minds or labyrinths which is formed of peoples memories, as Chocobo invades peoples memories and finishes the dungeon, the memories of that person will be restored and all is good in the world until the bell rings and someone else loses their memories. The game takes a pretty Linear approach with Chapters progressing the story, there is some allowance in being able to do things in order as you wish but the game does follow a story and does have an end goal.

Cute to Boot

Our yellow friend’s main form of attack is his feet, by kicking enemies to their demise you will find yourself running through dungeons quite quickly early on; while its Chocobo’s main form of attack he will have access to more jobs later on thus giving Chocobo access to many variations of attacks. The dungeons where Chocobo explored are all randomly generated, Chocobo walks around on a Grid where if he takes a step so will enemies, this is also the same for when he attacks, casts a spell or uses an item and the game is rife with all these things. Because of how quick everything happens it’s quite easy to find yourself in a slightly overwhelmed situation even when you think you are doing well, the game has traps at every corner, most are unhidden and you won’t know they are there until its too late, many enemies in one room and being in the wrong place can spell disaster so planning ahead is key.

Loot can be found almost everywhere and it’s only ever too tempting to pick it up only to find you don’t have all that inventory space like you do in main series Final Fantasy games so the best thing is Don’t! Micromanaging everything while you’re in a dungeon is essential to survival and you must take care not to go hungry, let your buddy die or run out of healing items when you need them most. Not all traps are bad though as some can restore your hunger or heal you but most are plain annoying especially the one that stops you in place and you are forced to wait it out. A lot of the items you find will have no identity until they are appraised outside of dungeons which doesn’t help if you are running on fumes, while you can use these unidentified drinks there’s always a risk, you can hope you are using a Hi-Potion and not a drink that will poison you.

Talon Principle

Talons are Chocobos choice of weapon while he uses Saddles to defend himself, there are no other weapons regardless of what Job you choose for Chocobo, starting out as a Freelancer Chocobo will soon have access to most well-known Jobs from the franchise, you can be a Warrior, Black Mage, White Mage and even though they have individual levels its ultimately Chocobos level that determines his strength, levelling Jobs separately just means Chocobo becomes more efficient in that Job and he has more skills available. Job points are acquired upon defeating enemies and will allow you to level your current job, another type of point enemies will drop are Buddy points. These allow you to bring a buddy monster along with you on your travels, for example, defeat enough Tonberries and you can have one in your party, gaining more Buddy points means you can bring the stronger version of those monsters and there are plenty to befriend including Cactuars, Ahrimans, Sahagins and so on. Your buddy will stay right next to you and will only use special attacks on your command so they are very reliable if you have a friend or sibling and a second controller they can play as the Buddy making for a very fun co-op couch game.

There is plenty of charm outside of dungeon crawling such as Fishing and Growing Plants, optional they may be but can help cushion the difficulty that Chocobo’s Dungeon can bring. There is post-game content for the most hardcore of players that have very strict restrictions on them including a 100-floor dungeon.

The presentation of Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Everybuddy is superb, while it’s cutesy graphics are not a huge bonus they do hold the game well and its style is sure to attract fans and newcomers. Speaking of newcomers I would even go as far to say this is a good starting place for anyone wanting to get into the Final Fantasy series as it has all the charm and fan service you could want. The music is one of the biggest standouts for me as it contains many amazing original tracks but also an assortment of remixes from past Final Fantasy games, great ones too, the first time I heard the music at the farm to be greeted with a rendition of the farm music from Final Fantasy VII was a sheer delight.

A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by Square Enix