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Apr 19, 2008

Review: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Square Enix
Available for the PSP

North American Final Fantasy fans experienced one giant moment of pure happiness on March 24, when Square Enix finally released Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, the long awaited sequel game to possibly the best role-playing game ever made, Final Fantasy VII. Even I experienced a magical tingle as I sat watching Crisis Core’s start menu cinematic and held my breathe as I beheld the now gorgeous looking Sephiroth, Cloud and Aeris in their newly remodelled skins.

Crisis Core: FF VII, a prequel to the events in FF VII, allows us to look into events of Soldier, the war with Wutai and the Shinra Corporation before the events of FFVII but this time we see the story though the eyes of a soldier named Zack, whom we have come to know only bits and pieces about.

The new combat system is still turn based but its much faster paced now, almost like you're playing a button masher and now Zack has a series of wheels called DMW determining his levelling up and limit breaks, based on Soldier points. Zack‘s actions are controlled by the player, while his companions' attacks are dealt out by the DMW. I found it frustrating to control items and magic spells with the new system, but without the fast pace system, I doubt Zack‘s lack of team element would work.

The controls were a little frustrating when it came to switching between attacks, magic spells and items, but it could be just me and my lack of time with my PSP. The DMW system though it seems random, actually deals out actions in a good amount of time, even though I would have preferred the old limit break and level up system from FFVII.

Missions come through the game either from the storyline or through the menu system, which allows you to go on side missions to gain experience or items. Each missions isn’t too long between save points either that it doesn’t make it hard for gamer to play it while on their lunch or on the bus.

The cinematic scenes in Crisis Core are comparable to the movie, FFVII: Advent Children graphics, but the game play scenes are more like Kingdom hearts graphics. The music is stellar, but when you're dealing with FFVII music how can it not be and the new heavy rock music that’s been added in , I find fits the game theme well. The sound effects have been ported over from the original FFVII which just add to the pulling of this fanboy's heart strings, but the voice that intros every battle in the game is bloody annoying -- she’s like the computer on the Enterprise but more annoying.

I can't help but be disappointed by the new confusing combat system and by the total lack of team battles, but honestly my fanboy love for FFVII can't let me put this game down, just for the very fact that I want to play through the storyline and all the great cinematics and music. Call out me for my fanboyism, but I will defend Crisis Core against the critics and say that's it’s a good game. Well worth the purchase and maybe even a PSP purchase, but that could be pushing it.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Buy it!

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