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Final Fantasy 7: Crisis core, is one of the PSP refining titles and reinforced the idea of the PSP allowing users a console like experience in their pocket. The combat system is a bit more dynamic than previous titles in the Final Fantasy series, but this offers a good amount of challenge and depth to the battles whilst also increasing immersion. Overall, the combat manages to stay fresh and challenging every time. Story-wise this game is a prequel to the original Final Fantasy 7, and anyone who is a major fan should already know roughly how this plays out. It is still a great experience though, expanding on the back story of certain characters and breathing new life into the world of Final Fantasy 7. Square Enix are known for delivering top quality cinema like experiences with high production values and evocative and well crafted story elements. Final Fantasy Crisis Core is no exception to this rule, and keeps gamers wanting more and more. The CG cutscenes and voice acting featured in this game, is some of the best I have ever seen, and for a portable title, that really is saying something. With all of things this game does right, there are just a couple of bad points that need to be addressed. There are a couple of points in this game, where the pace really slows; sometimes these might come in the form of tedious mini-games, and other times in the form of mundane tasks. All Final Fantasy games tend to include these at some point, but when it comes to Crisis Core, it''s almost as if the game knows that it''s drawing to a close, and is doing everything it can to slow you down. Leveling up in this game seems different to other final fantasy games. When a certain condition is met in battle a slot machine will show certain icons that can either trigger a special attack, summon or level you up. On the outside, this makes leveling up look like a random event. It is worth pointing out that this is not the case, and obtaining a certain amount experience points will trigger a level up like in previous final fantasy games. This will feel strange to fans of previous games, but it just looks more random in the way it has been implemented. The other small issue is a lack of side-quests and secret weapons. There is no real equipment mechanic in this game, and almost everything is done via leveling up. There are side missions, but these draw more on the side of tedious than fun. Still, if you get through them, you are usually rewarded with certain items and more missions. I feel that if they integrated some of these missions more into the story it would have helped the pace, but I suppose it all helps add some replay value. These issues are but a small blemish on what is otherwise a great and beautiful looking game. Don''t miss it!
Final Fantasy fans everywhere have clamoured for a return to Final fantasy 7 in some form or another for years since the originals' release back in the 90's. We all loved those hours we spend with Cloud and co, saving the world (and when we had time, messing about on the machines in the Gold Saucer!) So when Crisis Core was announced for the PSP, we went wild! And there was so much speculation about which characters would feature, who would be the main playable, what would the storyline be about ,etc etc. It was pinned to be one of the best games of the year. Some years on after it's release, can we really say that it was as exciting as we had hoped it would be?
I don't want to spoil the storyline too much, but it features around Zack, and is a prequel to Final fantasy 7, filling in the gaps and explaining how things ended up the way they did at the beggining of it's popular PSX sibling. Zacks' character is in such a contrast to Clouds' that it's somewhat surprising; you couldn't meet a nicer guy! For me, this was one of the early downfalls of the game. I've gotten so accustomed to my moody, emo Final Fantasy male leads that Zack being so nice and sweet just didn't ring true for me!
The battle system is a little bit too basic for my tastes; it's much like Kingdom Hearts' system, so really straightforward which is good, but doesn't really present too much of a challenge, and battles end up becoming tedious rather than exciting.
I also found the introduction of a new female character, Cissnei, a bit affronting; maybe because I am a huge Aeris fan and expected the game to focus around her. In fact, thinking about it, the lack of inclusion of other characters present in FF7 was dissapointing too....however, I did get a kick out of direct links from the storyline relating to the original game.
The hours of gameplay you can attain from CC are relatively short; maybe 20 hours, so you don't really get much bang for your buck. If you choose to partake in the sidequests (called missions) you could probably rack up another five or ten hours maximum. It's not another epic.
Overall, I would say if you're a diehard fan of FF7 then this might be worth it for you; you'll probably be thrilled with the references it makes to familiar scenes from the original game. However, if you expect it to be anywhere near as *good* as FF7, then you'll come away feeling dissapointed.