Starring as the familiar Chocobo of Final Fantasy lore, Chocobo Tales has you running about rescuing friends trapped in the pages of books scattered all around the island you call home. Each book (a Final Fantasy remix of familliar fairy tales), contains a mini game with different requirements to fulfill (under a certain time threshold, distance, etc). That in turn, triggers certain events or rewards you with bonus items or cards. Other games, deemed "micro games" will also earn you cards to add to a pool from which decks are made. These decks are played out during certain mid-boss or boss level encounters.
The very suitable paper cut-out theme reminds me of Paper Mario on the GameCube, (and whets my appetite for Super Paper Mario out soon), and coming off of Wario: Master of Disguise, I was a little mini-gamed out, but you know, I persevered.
The mini game collection itself is pretty amusing and only near the end do you start to feel like you're playing the same game, only dressed in different clothes. Fairly minor quibble.
Now, not being able to skip some game intros is vastly annoying. They're not terribly long, but when you're trying to hit a certain point requirement, all you want to do is try again as quickly as possible.
Chocobo Tales is about 20 hours if you're gunning for 100% completion. I have yet to test multi player options, but I can see how some of these games would provide much hilarity.
If you suffer from mini-game fatigue, Chocobo Tales isn't for you. However, this is an amusing and playful mix of Trading Card Game, mini-game, and RPG, that Square Enix has done a nice job of baking all together. The saccharine cuteness might make your teeth ache, but beyond the initial hit of sugar lies an engrossing and challenging game.