Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Review by: yoshirulez!The Core of Final Fantasy VII
If you've played a videogame, chances are you've heard of Final Fantasy. If you've played a Final Fantasy game, chances are you've heard of the infamous Final Fantasy VII, a rather dark entry into the series. But what got overlooked by a lot of people nostalgiac for Final Fantasy VII was it's prequel on the PSP, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, which is quite unfortunate as it was, in my opinion, the most powerful in the FF7 arc. Telling the tale of Zack Fair and his life amongst the military group SOLDIER, as well as the backstory of Cloud Strife, our main focus of the Final Fantasy VII series. Well, for the most part.. Nevertheless, this game will give you the unexplained history that you've desired since your first dive into Final Fantasy 7 when you were just a wee lad. But be warned, the series takes a slightly different turn for this entry. Here's how it goes..
Graphics: 7/10. The PSP might have had a small screen, but it still looked quite well on it. Moreover you could really see how outstanding the graphics were if you hooked the PSP up to a TV, since it upscales the resolution to around 2X native resolution. At that point it looks like a PS2 game, but on a handheld. Square Enix is known for their quality, and it's really evident in this game when you see the animations for the models. It looks wonderful to the point where you start to question exactly what is possible on a PSP. The model detail is very thorough, and the textures are quite stunning. It's rather magical to experience Midgar and various other places in the third dimension, as opposed to the prerendered images that were used in the original Final Fantasy 7. The lighting effects draw the atmosphere perfectly and it's an overall job well done on Squenix's part.
Sound: 8/10. The composer for this, Nobuo Uematsu, is known for his amazing work on several other Final Fantasy games. However, his work takes a surprising turn with this game, as a lot of the battle music is reminiscent of Metal, and as such it might not be for everyone. The rest of his works in this game revolve primarily around Piano or most commonly acoustic guitar, and that usually appeals to most crowds, so there is something for you most likely. Personally I prefer everything except the battle themes, but it's worth going through the battles to get to what I truly want. All in all the music fits good with the atmosphere it nearly any situation. The many renditions of the Crisis Core theme, which includes titles such as "Successor", "Dreams and Pride", "Burden of Truth", "Under the Apple Tree", "Scars of Friendship" and so on are probably the main attraction for those not interested in the metal, similarly to how Undertale fans enjoy the leitmotif in the many songs. Oh, and the explosion sound effects are cool.
Addictiveness: 6/10. While this game is great and all, a lot of people aren't too big of a fan of it because they went in looking for a turn-based or Active Time Battle system. What they got was a more or less Action-RPG styled game, and a lot of people were turned off by that. Similarly to why they dislike Kingdom Hearts, they got something different than what they were expecting and that resulted in a lot of hate towards the game. And even people who liked the game, such as myself, found it difficult to keep playing due to the repititious battle system. Even if there's something left to be desired of it, it's still decent. If you like Action-RPGs, if you like the story or atmosphere, you can expect this game to keep your attention for a fair amount of time. Even people who have never played Final Fantasy 7 or an Action-RPG should at least try it for the sake of the touching story. Speaking of which..
Story: 9/10. "My friend, do you fly away now? to a world that abhors you and I? All that awaits you is a somber morrow, no matter where the winds may blow". Now, some may think "What did he just say?" and others might say "..Okay, I'm interested now." because of how enticing that little bit was. Throughout the game you'll hear various verses from a poem known as "LOVELESS", which give very subtle hints as to what the plot is. Your interest will grow as you slowly discover the truth behind the project and the antagonist's devilish plans, be them shortsighted or not. The game expands upon the hero known as Zack Fair as he investigates the disappearance of a First Class SOLDIER Operative, which is where we're introduced to the enigma known as Genesis Rhapsodos. Soon after, Zack's best friend Angeal goes missing as well. Feeling abandoned, Zack must look into the disappearance further, only to discover some things that would change his friendship forever, as well as uncover things that would be better left forgotten..
Depth: 6/10. Although the game is fairly long, it's strictly linear and doesn't offer much outside of that. There are some missions you can do, but aside from that there's not much. Nevertheless, the length of the game and the addition of New Game + makes it minimum a 6/10. And even though the game gets a bit grindy, it's always fun to blast your way through on new game + and laugh at how incredibly weak everything is. Unless you start over on hard mode, that is.. in which case you'll probably NEED the extra power you get from new game +. Simply put, there's not much, but what is there can be stretched pretty far. Quality of quantity, they say!
Difficulty: 7/10. Action-RPG styled battle systems usually make the game easy, but a lot of the enemies are really overpowered. You'll have to rely on the DMW to help you out here and there, but since it's a game of chance (literally, it's a slot machine.) you'll have to tough it out until you get something good. With the addition of luck, it makes it significantly more difficult and might make a lot of people frustrated. Me and my brother actually died quite frequently despite our best strategies. We had to resort to grinding, but maybe you'll find a way to avoid that.
Overall: 8/10. It's a solid game with a solid plot, it's easy to adapt to and will definitely take the edge off of your FF7 cravings. For those who haven't played the original game, this game could be a gateway into the rest of the Final Fantasy VII arc. Whether you're someone who wasn't impressed with the first game, or if you're one of those people who just want more, there's plenty of ways to enjoy this great game. If you have a PSP, it's one of the best titles you can get for it. It pushes the limit of the PSP and it'll push your limits to what you can handle in an Action RPG.
Even if the morrow is barren of promises, nothing shall forestall my return