Final Fantasy: TFHoL is a spin-off title, it means, it neither belongs to the main serie, nor is connected to any of main titles. It contains its own,
distinct plot, however its genre is actually the same as the main serie's. The game introduces four new characters we can name as we wish or use their default names. Each character primarly has no assigned job class, whilst we can arbitrarily change their jobs depending on which crown we choose them to wear. The four heroes explore the colourful, marvelous world encountering on their wy many varied adventures. They have the quest they don't know about in the moment their adventure begins.
The good part
When we talk about the good features of the game, I would actually list really many of them. In my opinion the biggest plus deserves the awesome, involving plot, what is, as always, a domain of games from Square Enix. The game is fully of unexpected, interesting events we eagerly want to check out, so the game actually should never bore the player. There are many suprising turns of events that may seem enigmatic and in this way tempt the player to play more and get more involved into the gameplay.
What's more, previosuly mentioned crown-job system is a very good feature. Jobs can be achanged in a free way, depending on the situation or the taste of the player. Generally though the strategy against stronger enemies can in huge part depends on how we form our team, what kind of jobs it contains. Each crown is powerful in its individual way, we can upgrade them and let our characters learn new, more powerful techniques for the cost of gems we gain while battling enemies. It's especially impotant to rely on job classes in this game as merely levelling characters up will not lead to anything consequent. They can attain the strenght practically only reling on the job crowns. Each job, of course, lets the player using different techniques, physical, magical or anoter kind. So, if we have problems with beating certain boss, the way is not to level the characters up, only find a way how to make a good use from techniques aquired thanks to the crowns.
From these more standard features, the graphics of the game is very nice, has some cartoon-like climate, seemingly similiar to the games like Harvest Moon. The locations are colourful and have original architecture.
The music is also a really great part. Surprisingly, not composed by Nobuo Uematsu, but Naoshi Mizuta, who proven his talent in this title.
The soundtracks are so good that even after playing it's hard not to go on youtube and listen to them.
Finally the personalities of our characters are various to each other, present different characters and different point of the view for the world for each of them. They also show their change within the experienced in game events, what was done in so good way. The way the game shows the moral is also an important detail. It teaches the player to appreciate certain undoubtfully importnant values, which may seem to be underrated.
The bad part
Well, as for these thing we may not like very much in FF: TFHoL, I would begin from not very nice division for the only crown that lets us run from battles and other ones. Clasically, in FF games we can run from battles anytime we want, while in this game we can't, unless at least one charcter from our team wears Wayfarer crown. Sometimes we may forget about putting that crown and may have problems in battling.
Another thing is quite non-standard battle system based on so called Action Points. Anything we do in battle basically bases on them, whether it's a normal, melee attack or using an item, not mentioning about magic techniques, which basically demand more than one point. In the early parts of the gameplay that kind o system may seem to be especially arduous, because the points recover in a slow way (one for a turn) and we often have a need of using them. The only way to save point is to give a turn up, what is not always a decent thing. I'm personally more into the classical, know from other FF games, system, based on MP, without attack and item usage costs.
Another very not likeable thing is that we don't gain money for the battles! Not even a single cent :< Money are actually very hardly attainable during the early stages, not uncommonly the finantial situation pushes the player to sell gems, which are very useful in our characters' development.
Later in game, we can easily get money from the surplus of gems, but not when we especially need them. We can sell some not very useful items, but they aren't worthy though. It's connected to another, small, but also bad feature - through the gameplay we actually find lots of not useful, weak items we would not make much of use and can practically only sell them, while it's more uncommon to find some worthly weapons.
Under a question
There's also a part I can't assign to any of the points above. That's actually a thing what can be taken in both good and bad way. That's actually the player-enemy system, known from Final Fantasy VIII, in which the enemy's strenght depends on the strenght of the layer. So along with levelling our characters, the enemies also rise in power. It means we progressively gain more and more experience points for defeating enemies we encounter, but at the same time enemies are harder to be beaten (it's especially problematic in case of bosses) and traditional way of winning in rpg game - exping characters does not work in that game. But it's not that we have no help. It of course makes us to make a better usage of crowns and use our gems to upgrae our weapons and armoury components. If we pump them up enough, enemies will be no match for us.
Overall I woulld give that title 8/10 as the final rate and I can say I would really suggest playing it to any adventure-hungry rpg fan and NDS owner.
I'm sure you would not regret ^^