Review: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII is essentially one of, if not the most, spoken of RPG game of all time, and has spawned spin-offs, movies, countless debates and conversations in message forums. So now, after eleven years and subsequent releases, Final Fantasy diehards have a game far beyond anyone’s expectations. Crisis Core ends up becoming what one might consider a prototype game from SquareEnix, with some completely new features and ideas that might have normally been left out of a traditional Final Fantasy game. Alas, that makes Crisis Core stands both above and apart from other RPGs on the market and up to Final Fantasy VII itself.

Crisis Core takes place a few years before the events of Final Fantasy VII. The main protagonist is Zack Fair, a 2nd Class member of SOLDIER, Shinra‘s elite fighting squad. FFVII fanatics may remember Zack from select scenes in the PSOne classic, but they were very barren and nobody really knew what the guy was like; he only had about one line in the entire game. I won’t go into any specifics, but just know the game is all about the adventures of Zack Fair as he makes his way up the SOLDIER ranks while meeting a lot of memorable characters along the way including Professor Hojo, Cloud, Aerith, and of course the coolest villain ever; Sephiroth.

The game is an action RPG through and through, but what sets it apart is that the battle system is not necessarily in real time, nor is it necessarily turn-based. The fighting style is similar to that of the Kingdom Hearts series, where if you press the attack button, Zack will charge and deliver swipes with his blade. Overall, the combat is really simplistic as you can cycle through various commands, such as using items or magic just by using the left and right shoulder buttons, and they’d all be used with the X button as well.

Initially, you will probably have a smooth sail in the beginning of the game, as you’ll easily eliminate herds of enemies with a single button, but not long enough; the game will throw at you a bunch of tough challenges that you will have to tamper with your battle strategy. But no need to fear, the Digital Mind Wave or DMW is here. The DMW system tracks Zack’s emotions of certain characters you meet in the game, and it automatically uses some of the points gained in battle to keep the slots moving, and when the left and right slots match, you’re taken to an additional screen to take a look at which pictures and numbers the middle slot stops at. When all three slots have the same character, Zack will perform a special move that corresponds to that character. However, when certain numbers match up in the slots, you level up a certain battle tool, whether that is your material (magic) or even Zack himself.

Aside from the main story, in save points you can take part in optional SOLDIER missions. They’re divided into separate categories and difficulties, which flash out in order to immediately tell the player what to expect. Essentially, these are all dungeon-crawler type missions, where the main point is to get from Point A to Point B, and kill the main monster. When you finish each mission, you’re awarded a particular item or materia, which make your journey a whole lot easier, especially since you won’t have too many opportunities to level up or find rare material in the main storyline All the missions are pretty short (about 15 minutes each), so the game is certainly playable when you’re on the go or if you want to play in bunches.

Visually, this game is stunning for the PSP hardware. After years of being told what the PSP can do, it’s refreshing to begin seeing not only technically good games but also great looking ones. The game is generously packed with glorious FMV cut-scenes that go above and beyond any competition to be found on a handheld, or even on consoles. The soundtrack remains breathtaking throughout, as even the battle-tested standards of the series get fresh and innovative updates and remixes of the original songs. Although the surprisingly deep writing makes saying the lines easier, the sheer quality of the voice actors is exquisite and quite enjoyable too.

The game however has it flaws and they are big ones. The lack of explorations really hits major points, which is quite unusual for a Final Fantasy game. The repetitive and unimaginative missions are also another shortcoming that might turn off some gamers and disregard it completely. Nevertheless, the sheer enjoyment the game has to offer is still enormous, making it one of the best game spin-offs ever made.

Returning to Midgar has never been so nostalgic, and Crisis Core intricately woven those fond memories in a tight package bundled with a tremendous fan service love. Crisis Core is what every Final Fantasy VII fan has been clamoring for; from opening to close, every note in this game plays well, and anyone that owns a PSP, even if not a fan of RPGs or Final Fantasy, should give Crisis Core a chance.

Overall Score

8.8 out of 10

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13 responses to this post.

  1. i sold my psp a year ago, although i’m really not into such games.

    Reply

  2. Damn I want to be playing this type of game but it would take too much time from my mornings!

    Reply

  3. n____________n looks great!!!!!!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Sushi on May 31, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I know this is really really really really really really shocking but I have finished every FF game out there except FFVII =P So until I do this will have to wait =D

    Reply

  5. Posted by G on June 1, 2008 at 1:08 am

    First It is amazing I am trying to get the Limited FFVII psp Edition.

    And you are tagged.

    Reply

  6. Need to get a new memory stick to play this lol heard it explains lots of thing that were left hanging in FF7 like why a certain someone thought he was someone else and shit

    Reply

  7. Posted by Disturbed Stranger on June 1, 2008 at 7:35 am

    I am getting that… definitely

    Reply

  8. I love the new header! I reallly reallly like it…

    Reply

  9. @KWT23

    So, can I assume you are a Nintendo DS fan?

    @Marzouq

    Actually, it’s not that long and doesn’t take from you too much commitment like the rest of FF games.

    @Vixen

    It looks and plays great.

    @Sushi

    Okay, I’m not gonna freak out. As a matter of fact, I’m gonna be calm and not let your decision of not playing one of the greatest game ever made get to me. However, here are some guidelines:

    – Go to Rihab, and search high and low for Final Fantasy VII. If no luck, try amazon or eBay. If that didn’t work either, I’ll lend you the game.

    – Buy yourself a guide or download a walkthrough from GameFAQS.com.

    – Supply yourself with Sneakers bars, Coffee beans, and restaurants delivery menus because that’s what you will be inhaling for the rest of the weeks.

    – Take a one month vacation, and close the door and don’t let anyone disturb you.

    – And finally, enjoy the most influential, modern RPG ever made, and prepare to laugh, angry, and cry.

    @G.

    Wow, really? Best of luck on finding one though. I believe they were sold out even in Japan.

    @TAT

    Oh, it will sure answer lots of questions, especially when it deals with Sephiroth and Cloud.

    @Disturbed Stranger

    That’s awesome. Please, tell me if you liked it or not 🙂

    @Sunshine

    In that case, I’ll try keeping it for a longer period just for you. It’s just I get bored of my header quickly so that’s why I frequently change it.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Sushi on June 3, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    LOOOOOOOOOOL!!!! i loved your comment!!!

    I already have it! No worries I’m packing it with me for vacation enshallah =)

    Reply

  11. Don’t you think RPGs from the 90’s are better than those made today? And the proof is that most of today’s RPG games are a continue to yesterday’s RPGs.

    Reply

  12. @Sushi

    That’s nice to hear.

    Hey, how about both you and I play the game at the same time? What I mean is that whenever you decide to play the game, tell me so I can join you and play the game as well. That way, we can share our experiences and exchanges tips and reflections.

    @M.

    That is so true. I still hold my memories of playing Final Fantasy (PS 1 and SNES games), Chrono Cross & Trigger, Xenogears, and Wild Arm in my heart. Absolutely, the best time to be an RPG gamer.

    Reply

  13. Posted by jacob gordon on January 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    i played tons of games but this game rocks

    Reply

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