Currently Playing: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core (PSP)

Zack

I played Final Fantasy VII during the PSOne days, but I tasted only a little of it on the console. I did manage to play more of it on the PC version, and even though I wasn’t that impressed with the visuals because of the cutscenes were made for the TV and the PC pixelates them because of the higher resolution, I enjoyed playing FF7. I saw Advent Children too, a better movie because it ties nicely as Final Fantasy movie than Spirits Within. Too bad I missed Dirge of Cerberus and Before Crisis, but from what I hear, it seems like I didn’t miss much. Now Final Fantasy has Crisis Core, this tells the story of Zack, a character which is regularly mentioned in FF7 but you really doesn’t get to play. He plays a big part of the FF7 story line and this is where it clears up how and why things have happened.

I was worried that Square Enix seems like it’s milking everything on FF7, since it was their most popular game in history. Some may argue that FF6 is better (which I do think is true), but since companies are driven by money no one can deny that FF7 brought JRPG to the world. It’s been a long time since a lot of people were waiting for a remake of FF7, since Square Enix is known to make a lot of remakes and re-releases. People have been asking when the proper FF7 remake will will be made. After seeing the Advent Children movie and the PS3 Final Fantasy 7 demo, a lot more people got excited asking “WHEN??????” So far no remakes, only sequels and prequels have been released; there has been Before Crisis, released for the mobile phone, Dirge of Cerberus for the PS2 and Advent Children for the DVD, and now Crisis Core (not in any particular order).

Angeal, Sephiroth, Genesis

I started the game with a bit of hesitation, not knowing what to expect, but the intro drew me, it reminded me of how Advent Children was such a beauty to look at, not just because of the visual style, but it also reminds you of what you have already seen in FF7 and Advent Children. Even listening to the music is wonderful to listen to because it’s inspired from the original FF7 game. The voice acting in the game is very good, not as good as Metal Gear or No More Heroes, but still it’s one of the better ones.

Zack and Cloud

As the gameplay starts, you do see that this is an action RPG, similar to Kingdom Hearts if your familiar with it. You can move around freely but your actions are a bit limited. You can’t do any button mashing as God of War lets you, but you have to time yourself and let the action work before making another command. Pressing frantically will cancel a previous action if it’s on standby. You won’t be able to control 2 or more characters, you’ll stick with Zack throughout the game, so don’t expect any help from team mates if you’re hoping for it. You can move around by using the analog stick or the d-pad, i like this because i personally hate using the analog stick; I keep on worrying that I may damage the darn thing. The controls to using magic and items are used by pressing an action key, the default is to attack, but other options are accessible by pressing L or R buttons to choose.

One strange thing I saw in this gameplay is the 3 faces and 3 numbers of characters on the upper left. It reminds me of looking at a slot machine. You don’t have any control over it, at first I did have some control but realized that pressing any buttons won’t do any good except damage my PSP. This feature actually triggers limit breaks and summons. It was a strange feeling to add this feature that you don’t really get to control. I was used to playing FF7 and calling out summons at your own leisure, you know how important this is at the end of the original FF7. This time around, you have to wait for it to trigger. The numbers will also affect you, if you get three 7’s you get a chance to level up. If you’re lucky you can even level up twice in one mission, with certain combinations, your equipped materia can also level up. The slot machine concept seems strange because you don’t control anything on it, it just keeps on spinning and stopping, and you keep on hoping. The “hoping” part is what seemed to work in this favor. As I said, you seem like you are watching a slot machine, and each time you see that 2 images have matched, you get excited to see if you get the chance to see a limit break or even a summon.

Slot Machine... uh sorry, it\'s called DMW

This slot machine feature is also helped by how many times you have been with a certain character, although it won’t change the game much because you are driven in a linear story line. The more you meet with the characters, the more chances that limit breaks can happen, and you can also buy materia which can give a better chance to using a limit break. The materia you equip won’t trigger it but it can you can expect the limit break to happen sooner than later.

Attacks are slightly random, but expect it 80% to happen in certain areas. It’s unlikely not to not happen, but it does sometimes. You’ll recognize these areas in enclosed spaces because they are wider than the usual walkway. Open areas are hard to determine so it feels random at times.

The story is very linear, it actually goes directly to the main essence rather than doing a round and about as with the original FF7. I personally enjoyed this because I liked being able to attach to the main character, understanding him more and what he was going through. The cut scenes will drive this game in its heart, the quality is outstanding and it’s presented in ways you know Square Enix does best. My only problem with this is that you can’t skip through them. Watching long cutscenes once is great, but after that moment going straight to a boss fight is not my cup of tea. I would have been okay if I’m sure that I’m going to finish it, but if I die regularly, watching the cutscenes for several minutes over and over is killing some of my enjoyment.

Enemy

You can do other missions though, if you’re a bit tired of the main story, which there are tons of them to spend your time on. Trust me that it will take you hours just to finish them all. The missions are accessible from the save point, by pressing the menu and status screen. These feel a bit off, but it’s good fun for leveling up, looking for treasures or just killing some time. Don’t overlook this since these missions can actually get you some important items. My problem with this is that you don’t see much, you get tired looking at caves, mountains, plains and more. You play maps over and over and over again and again and again that it gets really tiring to look at. Even though you are given objectives, the common thing you have to do is find the boss of the level and put an end to its misery.

Aerith

What really worked for this game? The entire feeling of this game really reminds you of Final Fantasy VII; the music, the characters, the story, the summons and so much more. This is one game that did so many things right that wrong. I don’t like the missions, but I can enjoy it once in a while, I don’t like watching long cutscenes when I already seen it 10 times already. Other than that, the game drew me more than what I expected. It’s a fun game, and if you’d think that things are over when done, some gamers would love to see to complete the entire game and what abilities or items they can gather because there are so many that you can’t figure everything out in one try unless you look at a walkthrough.

I enjoyed every minute of this game, even with their faults. This is one PSP game that I can recommend getting without any hesitation. It’s a worthy part of a wonderful story. Play this game and FF7 and watch Advent, you’ll feel like this has been a planned epic trilogy all this time.

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