Review by missarielle

Reviewed: 02/19/09

Good Game though Mediocre for Square Enix

Foreward: I am not a Final Fantasy VII "groupie" that screams and hollars that it is the best game around, while I did enjoy the game I never felt the urgency for there to "need" to be a sequel (or in this case prequel) to the game. I would like to say that on that note despite having played Final Fantasy VII I have no bias just because they share similar story elements.

Graphics: With the exceptions of a few issues the graphics of this game are exceptional on the PSP level. The cinema scenes and limit break sequences are masterfully done and gorgeous. The in-game graphics I would place just shy of Final Fantasy 10 for the PS2 on quality. The backgrounds and textures have points where they bleed but it is such a trivial manner. (9/10)

Audio: Taking a step aside from the nostalgia of some of the old Final Fantasy VII background music for certain areas and the same victory tune when you complete a mission. For the most part the voice acting is wonderful though there are a few points where there are long, awkward pauses between one line to the next that leaves you wondering if the actor forgot his line or just a poor editing job. (8/10)

Combat: The combat is extremely busy. In the late evening hours I sometimes found myself just mashing the X button for the marvels of things still just dying around me. You have very little control over the limit break system and the way you have to navigate through your abilities in real time can sometimes get annoying. I can't count how many times I've accidently drank a potion because I tapped once too far. Fortunately you can access shops from just about everywhere so lost potions are easily replaced. (4/10)

Limit breaks: On the subject of limit breaks the DMW wheel is an interesting concept. The idea that everything you do is run off of complete chance is a peculiar and intriguing approach. The limit breaks themselves offer cute little cut-scenes and fun animations that after the 50th time I desperately wanted to skip past. Since you can't pick your limit break the complete randomness often gives you a break that's useless at that time. (3/10)

Leveling: Your materia is leveled by getting combinations of numbers that levels the corresponding slot-numbered materia and three 7's will get your character a level. Though without any real control on this I've had moments where I do one mission and walk out three levels higher... it takes the fun out of leveling entirely. (4/10)

Story: I love the story, it is an engaging and interesting plotline that while rather predicable in many ways it touches on several different levels mixing humor, adventure and sentiment in a well delivered package. (8/10)

Gameplay: The camera in the game is horrible. At times you're able to swing it a complete 360 and at other times you end up spinning it against an invisible wall preventing you from seeing where enemies are. For the most part the automation of combat makes you not even need a camera but on a few in-game puzzles it completely kills it and renders things more difficult than they really needed to be. The combat mode also has invisible walls that are not clearly behind so while you think you're dodging past that painful enemy attack you get wedged into a corner and take the full brunt to your back. On the positive side there are still classic Final Fantasy elements such as small puzzles to figure out, enemies with vulnerabilies and strengths, and in some cases multiple paths by which to handle a certain situation. (6/10)

Conclusion: In general I enjoyed the game and would recommend that everyone give it at least a rent for no other reason than to see some of the beauty of the limit breaks or to embrace the storyline. It's a very easy and straight forward game to play. I had hoped to see a little bit better coming out of Square Enix on the Final Fantasy line but for any "fanboy" or girl who has been dying to see Sephiroth, Cloud and Aerith again this is your opportunity.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (US, 03/24/08)

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