PSP Review: Final Fantasy VII – Crisis Core

The PSP gets its own FF7 title, but will its differences be for the better?

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 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.Crisis Core is the prequel to the most famous Final Fantasy title, Final Fantasy 7. It has a different combat style to it and tells the back-story of Zack, Sephiroth and others from the game. Do the changes to combat make the game more enjoyable? Not quite. The game itself handles more like an action RPG instead of the classic turn-based style of FF7. Instead you’ll need to select an attack or spell, make sure you are in range of the enemy and strafe to avoid attacks. You’ll also have the help of DMW, which is more like a slot machine…line up 3 characters and you’ll get a special attack, which can turn the tide of the harder encounters.Battles are still random for the most part, but they are very frequent. Either way, you can’t avoid them like you would hope, as they can become increasingly repetitive after a while. The combat system is pretty flawed, so you can just keep hammering a button and stop an enemy from attacking or casting a spell. It changes when they are more than one enemy on screen, but it’s still easy to control. Although, there are some fights where you will feel completely mis-matched and unprepared, so the balance doesn’t feel right as you would hope.

    The design of most levels is fairly linear and straightforward. There will be a few instances where you’ll need to backtrack to hit a switch or take a different path to get to your goal, but their fairly short. On top of the main game, there are hundreds of side quests you can access from any save point, they are labelled as “Missions” and take you out of the main game and into the mission. By doing them you can earn extra experience and other accessories that will help in battles.

    The story itself is definitely intriguing and engaging. There are so many unanswered questions for FF7 fans regarding Zack and Sephiroth, so hopefully you’ll find the answers you are looking for. There are quite a number of fantastic CG scenes that look like that of Advent Children, so yes it looks incredible. The actual in-game graphics aren’t too bad either; the character models are detailed wonderfully for a PSP title, even if the environments could have used a few more polygons.

    The final issue seems to be with the camera, you rotate it with the left and right triggers but it can be hard to get it in just the right place. It can make combat frustrating and navigating a nuisance, there is a stealth section and the camera completely disrupts it from being any good, it’s a shame really.

    The Verdict

    If you can look past the flawed combat and the irritating camera, Crisis Core will please you greatly. If not, you may have a hard time getting to like it, even if the game looks great. But rest assured, it will more than satisfy any fan of Final Fantasy 7.