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Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Review

May 4, 2008

Final Fantasy VII was and is still a phenomenon in the gaming world. Since its release in 1997 it is regarded as one of the greatest games of all time. Now, a little over 10 years later the story continues in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for the Playstation Portable

Story

Crisis Core takes place in the 6 years leading up to the original game. The main character is Zack Fair, a SOLDIER 2nd class who is trying to rise the ranks to become a SOLDIER 1st class like his friend Angeal. In the original game Zack was only referenced in flashbacks and was never a big character, however his story is fully explored in this prequel. As i said the story takes place during the 6 years leading up to the original, in this time frame Zack will meet many of the faces that have become iconic, including, Aerith, the Turks, Cloud and of course Sephiroth. Even though he becomes the character of focus in Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is a very minor character in this game. Zack is extremely hyper and always looking to show off. His mentor Angeal (the original owner of the Buster Sword btw) is the opposite, cool collective and smart. Even knowing Zacks eventually fate, it does not spoil or ruin the story at all. The story rivals that of other normal Final Fantasy Games and certain moments can generate genuine emotion in the player.
Gameplay

The gameplay, the ONLY thing that is wrong with this game. The game controls very much like the original Kingdom Hearts(which makes sense because it is the KH team working on this). Its an action RPG, you attack, use a menu to use items and spells and you win the battle. There are no problems with that but the new system used in the game called the DMW (Digital Mind Wave) has some serious setbacks. In Crisis Core, unlike most (meaning ALL) Rpgs does not use an experience system. Rather it uses the DMW. Before I go into leveling let me explain the DMW.

The DMW controls basically everything in battle, it can give you power ups, start a limit break, cast a summon or level you up. Its basically a 3 wheeled roulette wheel that continually spins during battle. As you meet story characters they are added to the DMW. Certain number combinations will create powers up and when the first and last wheels contain the same person, the DMW takes full screen. When this happens if the middle wheel is the same person, a limit break occurs, the strength being dictated by the numbers. In this form if a 777 is made, no matter if all the people match you will level up. This system of leveling ruins the gameplay. With leveling now a random occurrence battles are meaningless.

To even make the system worse, most battles can be finished before the first person lines up! I have no problem with the difficulty of the game but being forced to enter these random battles that offer no chance of leveling makes it a waste of time. There are missions Zack can go on that eventually give him new summons to use, but because you don’t gain exp for spending the time of going through them, most people won’t touch it.

Graphics/Audio

The game is gorgeous. It looks like a late addition to the Playstation 2, looking better than games such as Kingdom Hearts 2. The cutscenes are even more impressive showing a high amount of detail, especially int he summons. The summons animations are reinvented but stay true to the original creating some nice nostalgia.

The audio in this game is top notch. The music is fantastic, the voice overs top notch and the sound effects iconic. At the end of missions the old victory theme is played and i swear every time i half expected the exp screen from FFVII to pop up even though I knew it wouldn’t
Conclusion

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a great game. Its story is epic, production values top notch and is a lot of fun. The sum of the game make up for the horrible gameplay issues the DMW creates. If you own a PsP this is a great game to add to your collection.

Great

Great

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