Crisis Core Review

April 6, 2008 by  

I’m finally getting around to telling you guys about Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. FFSCC is an action rpg following jRPG sensibilities. Surprisingly (spoiler) I like it.


While this game is largely fan service, I found it to be pretty enjoyable despite being only a casual fan of FF:VII. You play as Zack, Aerith’s boyfriend and Cloud’s mentor. In a surprising move the main character is a fairly up-beat guy with only brief moments of stereotypical emo moods wings.


The first thing people asked me when I was spotted playing it in public was how the cut scenes look. They are stunning. While not quite on par with Advent Children, Crisis Core does what a modern Final Fantasy game should do; it raises the bar for a platform’s graphical presentation.


The environments themselves look nice, but they are reused a lot. With good reason; a normal play through can take 25-30 hours, and you can be looking at 35-40 hours if you do all the missions.


As you should. The missions demonstrate an understanding of the way people use portable games that I did not expect SquareEnix to grasp. Each mission is roughly 5 minutes long which I feel is a perfect portion for on-the-go gaming. The only thing I don’t like about them is that you aren’t given any perk if you fail a mission which makes it feel like I’ve wasted five minutes if I don’t succeed.


The main body of the game is pretty easy. You can probably plow through the story in 15-20 hours or less if you don’t take a pause for missions. Most of the side quests are easy too, and the ones that are legitimately difficult are so due to poor enemy/game design. For example you can find yourself in an encounter with three enemies that will simultaneously use a move that is a one-hit kill regardless of HP.


It’s also important to know about the DMW system. Leveling, "growing" your materia, special attacks (sort of like limit breaks), and summons are controlled by a random slot machine called DMW. On one hand, not having any sense of control over your most powerful abilities and leveling is quite liberating, since you no longer have to think about the game’s mechanics. On the other hand YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE GAMES MECHANICS. What this means is the game involves pushing x and periodically you’ll be able to push x more efficiently.


Skip it: If you’ve no interest in Final Fantasy VII and do not own a PSP feel free to forget this game.


Rent it: If you have access to a PSP you should really try this game.


Buy it: Let’s face it, if you own a PSP there’s not a lot of great games out there. This is one of four games that every PSP owner should have in their collection.