Game Review: Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core for the PSP
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core is a prequel (or spin-off) to the highly successful Final Fantasy VII. The game answers the question fans have been asking for since they’ve finish the FFVII game in the original Playstation console – What happened to Cloud and Sephiroth before FFVII?
Final Fantasy VII: Core Crisis – Storyline
The story revolves around Zack Fair, the Soldier first class in FFVII with spiked hair, similar to Cloud’s. However, unlike Cloud, Zack became a Soldier first class. The story of Crisis Core revolves solely on Zack as he fights the evil Genesis from pursuing his evil desire of world domination. Genesis is the Sephiroth of FFVII, only this time he wears a red coat and is perhaps more evil than Sephiroth. Speaking of Sephiroth, Cloud’s nemesis played a vital role also in Crisis Core’s storyline. In fact, in one of the scenes in Nebelheim, Cloud’s hometown where the Shinra Manor was located, the game tells the story of how Sephiroth discovered Cloud’s unusual traits. In this scene also, Tifa, another character in FFVII, appeared. Aside from Tifa, Crisis Core also introduced Aerith’s character, who we found out in this game was dating Zack before she met Cloud. Other FFVII characters who appeared in Crisis Core are Tseng and Yuffie.
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core Gameplay
We go now with the meat of this review: gameplay. Fans of FFVII and other Final Fantasy games will find this seemingly obvious difference of Crisis Core from these other games. In Crisis Core, you get to control only Zack during “combat zones". Gone are the other three members of the usual battle party of the FFVII. If you think that’s boring, well actually it’s not. Crisis Core’s combat zone happens in a 3D environment. So you can pretty much do whatever you want to do with Zack – run in circles, run back and forth, attack and retreat. Aside from this, the game also has the famous Limit Breaks. But Crisis Core introduced a twist into this system. The Limit Break system is now called Power Surge, a slot machine type where the different characters of the games which have joined Zack’s DMW (Digital Mind Waves) can assist Zack in hacking the enemies. If the three slots stopped on the same face, the system will execute that characters power moves for an even greater damage to the enemy. Of course, you can always hack and slash your way to victory, but that can get pretty boring sometimes. So, Limit Break or Power Surge is definitely a good way of breaking the monotony of hack and slash system.
What else do you have to know about the gameplay? Well, pretty much the same gameplay as other FF games. The Materia system is back with a new system called Materia Fusion wherein you can mix to Materia to have a more powerful Materia.
Crisis Core also has side missions. Although this time, it is part of the game’s system menu and you can do those missions any time you want without doing additional puzzles. The good thing about these Missions is the fact that it makes levelling up your character easier than roaming around the game world looking for random encounters. Each of the missions you complete opens up other missions. The more you progress, the more difficult the missions get. The good news is that you can open up item chests even during Missions as well as pick up more items and goodies. Try to open up as many chests as you can, as one of those chests contain one essential yet rare item of the game – Phoenix Down. Speaking of Phoenix Down, whereas before you can buy this at any shop, this time around Square decided to make this item rare and hard to find. Hence putting the value of the item as well as not making the game too easy. Overall Crisis Core’s gameplay is great, although there are more rooms for improvement.
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Our Verdict
I am a Final Fantasy fan boy and a diehard Final Fantasy VII fan. I love this game and I would definitely recommend it to all FF fan boys who have the PSP. For those who love FF but still not jumping on the PSP bandwagon, Final Fantasy Crisis Core is one good reason to get a PSP.