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"Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII'.
Tue 21/10/08 at 20:43
Regular
"previously phuzzy."
Posts: 3,487
I’m trying to think of a good introduction to this review, but the battle theme from the game I’m attempting to review just keeps on going round my head. It’s a stupid plinky-plonky synthesizer come rock guitar effort that just won’t desert me, and the most annoying thing is that I’ve spent about 20 hours of my gaming life inflicting it upon myself. Gahhh!

{ interlude of 10 minutes }

Anyhow, that’s by the by. Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core (or ‘CC’ as I’ll call it from now on to save myself early onset of carpal tunnel) is the final scene in the play that is Final Fantasy VII. After an astonishing PS1 RPG, a visually spectacular but completely inane movie, some crazy talk about Vincent and dirges and stuff, and a mobile phone game that only Japan will ever see, Square-Enix finally gives us (supposedly) the last piece in the puzzle.

Well, if only it felt like that. An RPG-action-adventure-battler, CC is at best an eclectic bag of genres tied together by the loosest of strands of story. Taking place before the events of FFVII, CC casts you as ‘Zack’, one of the SOLDIER, er, soldiers that Cloud becomes, or metaphysically is, or might be, or something. Those who are fans of FFVII will appreciate the fact that the story is as crackpot as ever, and probably be dismayed in the knowledge that I spent the best part of an hour trying to crack it before letting it simply wash over me in mad JRPG abandon.

The game itself, taking off the PSP super-futuristic slap that Square-Enix has painted on, is a real-time turn based role-player - a little bit like FFXII in terms of battle system, but somewhat ‘faster’. Armed with your trusty blade and a wealth of magic, you can take on the story (progressing through a series of areas with somewhat-tenuous purpose) or simply pick ‘missions’ from the menu (equally tenuous purpose, pseudo-randomly generated dungeons). Materia makes a comeback too, with plenty of new spells and with a new ability to merge multiple materia and items into materia with better abilities and stronger additional effects - +3 Magic, + 4 Spirit, all that sort of thing.

Of course, the developers couldn’t let a single FF game be released without some kind of mental mechanic that totally messes things, and true to form, CC has DIGITAL MIND WAVE. Effectively a fancy-pants set of jackpot wheels, every so often the action in the game will stop completely and the screen will be taken over by a spin of the DMW. Depending on the outcome, you might get a stats boost, such as increased HP. You might get luckier and have a comrade swing by with their special attack or ability (Tseng – mega air strike, Aerith – healing). If the DMW is feeling particularly generous, you may even have a summon monster come do some epic damage. Although it seems random, the DMW is actually loosely based on your experience and number of enemies killed – this is reflected in the fact that very occasionally the DMW will deal you a level up... and in fact, the DMW is the only way to level up.

My tone thus far, you may have noticed, has been quite negative. But let me be honest for a second – I love this game. It appeals to every gaming vice that I have. I pretend to not really be bothered about graphics and fancy effects... but by god, CC is absolutely stunning. The stupidly long summons, the stop of gameflow mid-battle for the reels, the crazy over detailed HUD and menus – they’re all so damn pretty. The actual gameplay may basically be the same thing over and over again - mission, story, mission, story... ad infinitum – but it all looks so freaking good!

It’s also a great JRPG. This is a vice that I know many share with me, but that also many vehemently oppose. JRPGs are meant to be ridiculous! The spiky hair, the incomprehensible stories, the overbearing characters – it’s all part of the genre, as much as ‘cars’ are to a racing game. The fact that it’s so polished and presented in such a neat, enjoyable bundle, along with the option to not have to play 5 hours in one sitting, means it’s easily in my top 3 PSP games. Admittedly, number 3 is [blank], but that’s besides the point...

So in conclusion, if you liked Final Fantasy VII, and you didn’t like Dirge of Cerberus, and you thought Advent Children was “quite cool and I wouldn’t mind kind of playing that except with big fruit machine lucky-draw stuff instead of Barratt”, then you’ll probably enjoy Crisis Core. On the other hand, if the thought of the game cutting out for 10 seconds mid-strike to decide whether a giant dragon should come in or not to nuclear-explodify the ‘Cockitiel’ you’re fighting makes your toes curl in anger, I would not buy this game. Though of course, you would be wrong.

Out now on PSP
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Tue 21/10/08 at 20:43
Regular
"previously phuzzy."
Posts: 3,487
I’m trying to think of a good introduction to this review, but the battle theme from the game I’m attempting to review just keeps on going round my head. It’s a stupid plinky-plonky synthesizer come rock guitar effort that just won’t desert me, and the most annoying thing is that I’ve spent about 20 hours of my gaming life inflicting it upon myself. Gahhh!

{ interlude of 10 minutes }

Anyhow, that’s by the by. Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core (or ‘CC’ as I’ll call it from now on to save myself early onset of carpal tunnel) is the final scene in the play that is Final Fantasy VII. After an astonishing PS1 RPG, a visually spectacular but completely inane movie, some crazy talk about Vincent and dirges and stuff, and a mobile phone game that only Japan will ever see, Square-Enix finally gives us (supposedly) the last piece in the puzzle.

Well, if only it felt like that. An RPG-action-adventure-battler, CC is at best an eclectic bag of genres tied together by the loosest of strands of story. Taking place before the events of FFVII, CC casts you as ‘Zack’, one of the SOLDIER, er, soldiers that Cloud becomes, or metaphysically is, or might be, or something. Those who are fans of FFVII will appreciate the fact that the story is as crackpot as ever, and probably be dismayed in the knowledge that I spent the best part of an hour trying to crack it before letting it simply wash over me in mad JRPG abandon.

The game itself, taking off the PSP super-futuristic slap that Square-Enix has painted on, is a real-time turn based role-player - a little bit like FFXII in terms of battle system, but somewhat ‘faster’. Armed with your trusty blade and a wealth of magic, you can take on the story (progressing through a series of areas with somewhat-tenuous purpose) or simply pick ‘missions’ from the menu (equally tenuous purpose, pseudo-randomly generated dungeons). Materia makes a comeback too, with plenty of new spells and with a new ability to merge multiple materia and items into materia with better abilities and stronger additional effects - +3 Magic, + 4 Spirit, all that sort of thing.

Of course, the developers couldn’t let a single FF game be released without some kind of mental mechanic that totally messes things, and true to form, CC has DIGITAL MIND WAVE. Effectively a fancy-pants set of jackpot wheels, every so often the action in the game will stop completely and the screen will be taken over by a spin of the DMW. Depending on the outcome, you might get a stats boost, such as increased HP. You might get luckier and have a comrade swing by with their special attack or ability (Tseng – mega air strike, Aerith – healing). If the DMW is feeling particularly generous, you may even have a summon monster come do some epic damage. Although it seems random, the DMW is actually loosely based on your experience and number of enemies killed – this is reflected in the fact that very occasionally the DMW will deal you a level up... and in fact, the DMW is the only way to level up.

My tone thus far, you may have noticed, has been quite negative. But let me be honest for a second – I love this game. It appeals to every gaming vice that I have. I pretend to not really be bothered about graphics and fancy effects... but by god, CC is absolutely stunning. The stupidly long summons, the stop of gameflow mid-battle for the reels, the crazy over detailed HUD and menus – they’re all so damn pretty. The actual gameplay may basically be the same thing over and over again - mission, story, mission, story... ad infinitum – but it all looks so freaking good!

It’s also a great JRPG. This is a vice that I know many share with me, but that also many vehemently oppose. JRPGs are meant to be ridiculous! The spiky hair, the incomprehensible stories, the overbearing characters – it’s all part of the genre, as much as ‘cars’ are to a racing game. The fact that it’s so polished and presented in such a neat, enjoyable bundle, along with the option to not have to play 5 hours in one sitting, means it’s easily in my top 3 PSP games. Admittedly, number 3 is [blank], but that’s besides the point...

So in conclusion, if you liked Final Fantasy VII, and you didn’t like Dirge of Cerberus, and you thought Advent Children was “quite cool and I wouldn’t mind kind of playing that except with big fruit machine lucky-draw stuff instead of Barratt”, then you’ll probably enjoy Crisis Core. On the other hand, if the thought of the game cutting out for 10 seconds mid-strike to decide whether a giant dragon should come in or not to nuclear-explodify the ‘Cockitiel’ you’re fighting makes your toes curl in anger, I would not buy this game. Though of course, you would be wrong.

Out now on PSP

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