Review by ArkfellerKonan
I'm sure that many of you Final Fantasy fans were waiting for Crisis Core, clinging to the hope that the game would surpass even Final Fantasy VII. And with all of Square-Enix's boasting and all the pre-release fanboy mania you'd expect something very sweet indeed. Even if you didn't, you'll still be be sorely disappointed by this game.
The graphics isn't a real big point of the PSP's overall, but Crisis Core just puts it into perspective. Sure, there are real pretty effects here and there, like fire or spontaneous combustion, but most of the time it's a tad lackluster. To be honest, Bahamut was the best looking in the whole game. Everything needs anti-aliasing, that's for sure. There's really nothing special here, move along...
Some ear-splitting electric/bass guitar pieces and remixes of Nobuo Uematsu's work for FFVII makes up the soundtrack. The battle theme has convinced me that playing the entire game on mute is much better than if it was still audible, and the voice acting, while leaning toward Final Fantasy X level, is still bad - flat and unrealistic. A bunch of robots could've done better. You might think of playing the game on mute, too, buying the soundtrack and hunting down cutscenes. It's really that easy. I must admit, though, the remixes of VII songs are alright.
The biggest pitfall of Crisis Core, and it's a horribly broken system, to the point where I really need to take up the whole review just detailing how terrible it is. Regardless of how good you think of the graphics or music, please hold off and read about the gameplay first, it'll save you a lot of pain.
OK, you walk around the field map. Good enough, all Final Fantasy games are like that. Nothing special. Then, the godforsaken battle theme comes up, and Zack readies for battle. The battle system is basically the same as Kingdom Hearts, e.g. you run around in a limited battle area with invisible boundaries and mash the attack button. Only in Kingdom Hearts there was a lot more than button mashing. Mash button, trigger, use spell, kill 'em all off. Done. Next battle. And even so, the battles can be avoided entirely by hugging the edges of the landscape. There is almost NOTHING that's interesting in random encounters, so you might as well avoid them. Boss fights are fine, if a little wearing. Take Sephiroth for instance. His fight is probably the most strategic in the whole game - run, cast and dodge! Wonderful! /rollseyes
The Limit Break returns to Crisis Core disguised as a set of reels. Problem is, the game controls the spinning as you watch and pray you've got a good match. What's more, the faces of characters are spun. 2 reels match up and you got a Limit Break that corresponds to the character that actually made the match. At times, the faces are replaced with numbers, which controls your leveling up. That's right, the game does the leveling for you. Sure, that was true with other Final Fantasy games, so let's move on.
But wait! We forgot something. The timing of when all the DMW (reels) stuff comes up. And the timing couldn't be any worse. The reels pop up either at the beginning of the battle (ok, sure, I like that), middle of the battle (sounds cool), or at the very end. What I mean by very end is that even if you have just killed your last enemy AND they're starting to fade away, the DMW pops up, and it's bizarre, since there is absolutely no need for a Limit Break of any kind. Unless it's some leveling, in which case could've been done earlier.
I'm getting excited now, aren't you?
You follow the storyline. Zack goes here, meets him, goes there, meets her. You're almost done with the storyline around 2 hours later. Fair enough. Then you want to do some missions and be a good Samaritan. Various people inhabit Midgar (of course) and Zack can receive missions from them. Basically, you save this young girl from a cave crawling with monsters, or retrieve a package from this person. Now this is where it really gets spiced up in a bad way.
The errand boy missions are alright. No battles, happy times, just sightseeing in Midgar. But when Zack-the-Hero-please-save-my-kid missions come up, you're going to find the difficulty so unbalanced it's not funny. Simply put: Easy missions are easy. You practically fight ants. Mind you, there aren't any ants, I'm just stressing how weak they are. You breeze through the Easy missions fine, and you're feeling rather fierce and complacent. Then come the Medium missions. Suddenly you find yourself yelling at your PSP. Then after a week of sweating over the poor PSP and going through numerous comas/epileptic seizures/cardiac arrests you finally finish the Medium missions. Just for the fun of it, you attempt the Hard missions, and next moment you're crying. Then you decide to put it down and let the UMD collect dust to protect your sanity. Good job, you made the right choice.
Sooooo...whether to buy this game? NO. Do NOT buy this game. Rent it. You might as well read spoilers on Wikipedia or something.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 05/05/08, Updated 10/24/08
Game Release: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (AU, 06/19/08)
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