Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII PSP
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Released on 20/06/2008
Set seven years prior to the events of the first Final Fantasy VII, the Shinra Company is rapidly increasing its influence through its monopoly on mako energy and military might. With the burgeoning city of Midgar as its base and symbol of prosperity, Shinra is on the verge of establishing absolute dominance over the world.
SOLDIER is a group of skilled combat operatives within Shinra. The elite within the group — those strong enough to be deemed SOLDIER 1st Class — are respected and idolized by the citizenry. Zack is a young SOLDIER 2nd Class who aspires to become a 1st. He spends his days carrying out assignments under the guidance of his 1st Class mentor, Angeal. During an operation in Wutai, a large number of SOLDIER member, led by 1st Class operative Genesis, go missing. The severity of the situation prompts Shinra executives to deploy even more SOLDIER operatives in hopes of bringing an end to the war with Wutai—and conducting an investigation into the mass desertion. The ones assigned to the mission are Zack, Angeal, and the 1st Class hero who is known the world over as Sephiroth...
What truths lie behind Genesis's disappearance? What secrets bind the three SOLDIER 1st Class operatives? For Zack, a cruel and fateful struggle awaits...
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Special Edition Contains:
- Complete the Final Fantasy VII experience and reunite with the most recognised RPG characters created by world-renowned character designer Tetsuya Nomura.
- Witness stunning graphics and CG cutscenes coupled with top-notch voice acting in a 16:9 widescreen presentation, made possible by the PSP system hardware.
- Innovative D.M.W (Digital Mind Wave) system enhances the action-packed real-time battle system, allowing players to unleash special attacks or call upon iconic Final Fantasy summons.
- Take on challenges with the all-new “Hard Mode” which was not in the original Japanese release.
- Acquire unique accessories, items and abilities made available through 300 side missions to further enrich the gameplay experience.
Mark is living in a Materia world...
It’s fair to say George Lucas coined the term ‘prequel’. His second Star Wars trilogy gave the established universe even more depth by delving into the story’s past. Predictable perhaps, but they captivated old and new film fans alike [That's a matter of opinion! - Ed]. It was always Anakin Skywalker’s fate to become Darth Vader, but seeing it happen was still a powerful cinematic experience, thanks to the iconic status of the series and the powerful presence of its arch antagonist.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is Square Enix’s tribute to Lucasarts. It is to gaming what the Star Wars prequels were to cinema. It is to Final Fantasy VII what Revenge of the Sith was to A New Hope. It’s the big, bombastic back story to the most beloved RPG of all time, featuring memorable locations, familiar faces, a tragically endearing main character, and a complex, troubled villain-to-be falling from grace in spectacular fashion.
The big, bombastic back story to the most beloved RPG of all time, featuring a tragically endearing main character and a complex villain-to-be falling from grace.
As such, getting the most out of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII practically demands that you’ve played the original PSone role-player. If you have, you’ll absolutely adore this. If not, then you may see some of its intricacies go over your head, but will still find Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII an immediately playable, marvellously produced and at-times moving tale that rates highly as a must-play PSP exclusive.
Despite the subtitle, Crisis Core can’t be compared directly to Final Fantasy VII, because they’re very different games. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a less traditional, more action-focused adventure than its forebear, featuring a set of innovations which perfectly suit the portable format.
First up, battles. They seem random, with enemies appearing on screen from nowhere, but we get the impression they’re triggered by invisible markers. A couple of times we replayed an area, only to get the exact same fights with specific enemies at the very same points.
Its remarkable how well Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII adapts a turn-based template to real-time battles. Crisis Core controls more like a scrolling brawler; you run around and attack, block or evade at the press of a button; but the execution is typical FFVII, with L and R triggers scrolling through a list of actions in the bottom right corner while the battle flows on screen, and X activating the highlighted command.
These include standard attack and items, but also your equipped damage, recovery and ability Materia; the latter two consuming MP and AP points respectively. It’s a sophisticated system capable of creating powerful combinations, particularly with the more powerful Materia later on in Crisis Core.
Emotive, memorable and packing a real blockbuster finale, its essential playing for franchise fans and highly recommended for Final Fantasy VII newcomers.
The next innovation is the Digital Mindwave. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII’s DMW is the slot machine in the top left of the screen which spins with SP, gained from every attack. It dictates level-ups to protagonist Zack, his skills, Materia and activation of limit breaks. Like battle encounters it appears random, but is driven by some complicated calculations. The DMW can be unpredictable – you won’t level up for ages, only to do so twice in quick succession, and often you’ll get a limit break when you don’t need it – but overall it balances out and integrates well with the combat system.
Then you have the Three M’s: Mails, Missions and Materia Fusion. Accessible through the triangle menu, these add depth to the respective story, action and inventory of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, with mails making you feel like a member of SOLDIER, Missions providing an ideal portable pick-up-and-play challenge (plus some of the rarest Materia) and Materia Fusion letting you mix and match to make new, more powerful Materia.
Fantastic Fantasy finale
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is not without its faults. The camera isn’t great; Boss battles can verge between frustrating and sheer fluke, losing due to unblockable attacks, and winning via consecutive lucky DMW spins; Dialogue is very American teen angst; Cutscenes and limit break animations are unskippable (though they are pausable); And there’s one godawful stealth section.
However, this is still a masterful role-player boasting charm, innovation and action by the Bahamut-load. Visually rich for a handheld title with great- in-game graphics, luscious FMV and an astounding soundscape (listen out for Advent Children’s superb choral chanting), Crisis Core is by far the best of the FFVII spin-offs. Emotive, memorable and packing a real blockbuster finale, its essential playing for franchise fans and highly recommended for Final Fantasy VII newcomers.
- A thoroughly well-done blend of action and RPG aspects that perfectly fits portable play.
- Phenomenal production values with great in-game graphics, fantastic FMV and astounding sonic selection.
- An emotive, moving and powerful prequel: essential for Final Fantasy VII followers and will introduce newcomers to the series in style. And that ending! *weep*
- The DMW system lacks skill, making battles, especially bosses, either infuriatingly hard or flukily easy.
- Unskippable cutscenes and limit break animations.
- One godawful stealth section where the camera in particular will cause you severe problems.
Final Fantasy back on the PSP
The PSP2 might be hogging the limelight right now - and who can blame it? The thing's a marvel of science - but that doesn't mean that the PSP isn't getting a bit of love now and then. If you're a Final Fantasy fan, you should probably sit down: Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection will be hitting the platform on 22nd April, according to Eurogamer.
It's quite an item, too, the PSP special edition including art cards and a decorated screen cleaning cloth, all housed in a fold out presentation box. You'll also be getting some downloadable content, which will allow you to unlock stuff in the forthcoming PSP game Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. Weird name.
What about the content itself? Apparently, The Complete Collection squeezes all the characters and storylines from Final Fantasy IV and its sequel The After Years into a single title. There's a new storyline that links the two, snazzy updated visuals, galleries, CG movies, and illustrations, too, alongside a new soundtrack arrangement.
Final Fantasy IV first came out for the SNES in 1991, and is seen as being one of the series' best titles.
Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase has said that he feels the series took too long to come to the current console generation, and aims to speed up development to enable a new entry in the series every few years.
'Final Fantasy XIII was obviously the first game [on current consoles], and personally I think we took a little too long getting it out,' he told Game Reactor. 'When you think of Western AAA titles like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Assassin's Creed, they seem to work with a lot shorter turnaround - they make a new game in one to two years. That is something we need to follow up, because that seems to be the best way to keep our fans interested and attracted to the franchise.'
There wasn't an entry in the main Final Fantasy series for the current consoles until Final Fantasy XIII in 2010.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is set to arrive on Xbox 360 and PS3 in the first week of February 2012. It's taken a spritely 18 months to put together, compared to the five years it took to create Final Fantasy XIII.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Review (06/06/2008)
Mark is living in a Materia world...
It’s fair to say George Lucas coined the term ‘preque…
If you're a Final Fantasy fan, you should probably sit down: Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection will be hitting the platform on 22nd April, according to Eurogamer.…
Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase has said that he feels the series took too long to come to the current console generation, and aims to speed up development to enable a new entry in the series …
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