Apr 01 2010
By: PapaWarlock PlayStation MVP 11259 posts
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Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

0 replies 118 views Edited Apr 1, 2010

Game Title: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

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Genre: Action Role Playing Game
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Platform: PlayStation Portable
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ESRB Rating: Teen
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Developer: Square-Enix
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Publisher: Square-Enix
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Release Date:  March 25, 2008
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Overall Score: 8/10 

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Review Author:   PapaWarlock

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In March of 2008, Square-Enix released Crisis Core, the direct prequel to FFVII. This prequel can be played with no prior FFVII knowledge, but VII should be played either before or after for the full story. Most will tell you to play VII first then Crisis Core, but I say the opposite.

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Graphics: 8.8/10

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    Without a doubt, this is one of the best looking PSP games out there in any genre. The CGI cutscenes are nearly movie quality (look at Advent Children for an idea.). The opening sequence, the "fight" between Sephiroth & Genesis, the scenes with Aerith (just to name a few of the scenes) are all gorgeous and amazing.

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Gameplay: 6.8/10

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    This was my major gripe with Crisis Core. It is an Action RPG, which itself is fine. Depending on the Materia you equip, you could line up 1 of (up to) 8 different actions from basic attack, item use or different spells & abilities. This is done by tapping the L or R shoulder button and hitting X to execute. The 'computerized" voice announcing the beginning and the end of each combat sequence quickly became annoying.

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    The leveling system was replaced with an automated & fully randomized DMW (Digital Mind Wave). This system acts like a slot machine, with 3 slots and a series of random numbers. If 3 matching character pictures (Genesis, Sephiroth, Cloud, Cactaur, Bahamut, etc...) are shown then Zack will perform the associated Limit Break. If you also get 777 Zack levels up. If they come out as any other combination, then you can sometimes get beneficial boosts like no MP cost or invincibility. If Mog is summoned, one of your equipped Materia would level up. Again, all completely random with no input from the player. This system got extremely annoying especially when I was trying to obtain one of the items that could only be obtained with 100% DMW completion.

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    Crisis Core has very limited exploring and a fairly linear progression of story and play. There are no mini-games to speak of, but by the end stage of the game, you had a total of 300 missions you could complete for items/materia. Most missions become unlockable as you compete the preceding one (1-1-1, 1-1-2, 2-2-4, etc...) Because there is no exploration, no towns, all shopping is done at the save points. A few of the store "access codes" are given via main story line, most however are obtained via Missions.

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    Materia fusion was a new concept introduced in Crisis Core and it could be fun. Once you were able to mix materia and items you could get some very powerful bonuses. (999% mp or hp, +100 str, vit, etc..) It was fun but most materia ended up being fodder for fusion and not really worth much beyond the stat boosts you could get.

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Story: 8/10

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    Crisis Core explores the questions that many players of FFVII had. Who was Aerith's 1st boyfriend? What led to Cloud's memory problems? Why did Sephiroth go from hero to villain? FFVII touched only briefly on these topics, but Crisis Core answers those questions much better.

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    The friendships of Angeal & Zack; Zack & Aerith; Genesis, Sephiroth & Angeal, and the impact they had on the story was done well and helped make the story of Crisis Core feel complete.

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Final Thoughts:

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    For a PSP only RPG, Crisis Core does a pretty good job of providing a good experience. The biggest flaw was the combat/leveling system. While I am a gamer who appreciates both the old school turn based combat & action combat, I felt they could have done a better job on it. I think the fully random nature of the leveling is brought the game down.

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     The linear progression was a good fit for this game. The story was very good. If you are a fan of FFVII, then you owe it to yourself to pick up the rest of the story. But if linear games or lack of control over leveling bother you, then this game will be a chore to complete.

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Please Note: The views expressed in this message are the views of the review author, who is in no way affiliated with SCEA or PlayStation.com.

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