|Version Reviewed: Playstation Portable There has been a long-standing argument that Square (now Square Enix) should have long stopped when Final Fantasy VIII didn’t perform as well as the previous game. It’s all a matter of opinion, depending on the gamer. How do you fix sluggish sales and games? Go back to a classic. The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII introduced the gamer to a lot of the stories and prequels to the much beloved game.
Crisis Core focuses on the story of Zack Fair, the man whose life and memories merged with Cloud’s as a result of Hojo’s experimentation and Cloud’s shame. There are so many complex things to tie into this game that it must have been mind-numbing for Square to do it right after so many years of taking a break from Cloud and that crew. From the start, let’s just say that this was an amazing game that delivered just as much as any gamer could ever hope for.
The plot for the game was very solid, though there were a few points that they could have tied in better. Without giving away plot spoilers, there isn’t much to say in what they missed. There are multiple parts, as the story is broken into various chapters, each of them covering segments of Zack’s journey either in solving the internal problems with Shinra, or his personal dealings with other people (especially Aerith).
Zack is followed all the way from his time as a SOLDIER 2nd Class all the way until his unfortunate death. Zack’s personality is that of a warrior who is focused on becoming something in life, but doesn’t quite know how to get there. He’s excitable, emotional, and very compassionate. Angeal, his mentor, is a cool and level-headed warrior who seems to delight in training his young apprentice. Angeal is a true warrior, a man with a sense of honor who is bound to do what is right, even in battle. There are other characters, of course, including Cissnei, Lazard, Genesis, and others. There is very little of Cloud, Aerith, and Sephiroth other than the main things that have to be covered for portions of the story line, along with a few extras.
Gameplay was wonderful, featuring a new combat system (hack and slash), new limit break system, materia combine system, and may other new features. One of the major disadvantages to the limit break system was the lack of control in what benefits you got and how it targeted things when offensive. The limit system also controls how you level! That becomes a problem as it’s just a matter of chance if you level or not with Crisis Core.
Audio and video were crisp and sharp in both areas. Sound was loud enough that headphones could at times become somewhat painful. The voice-acting was done well, and mouth movements in the English version in the game didn’t resemble the dreaded “Japan mouth.” Graphics, especially for the PSP, were done well and were probably among the best graphics available to the system. It can also be said that the graphics even exceeded a good portion of the current PS3 games. A few cut-scenes using CGI are also included, and are done masterfully.
The game definitely has the nostalgia of Final Fantasy VII, and it’s worth buying if you get the opportunity. To see that bit of back story will add a new level of feeling when your replay VII and help you to fill in a few of the gaps that you may have had when you played it so long ago.