I said I was going to write more about Crisis Core two months ago, but things kept happening. Anyway, I enjoyed the game so much that I mailed my PSP to my brother for him to play it since he just started summer vacation.
Final Fantasy VII is probably the most polarizing game in the business. Millions adore it, and just as many seem to despise it in what seems like a reactionary response to its popularity. Fandom aside, I don’t know why anybody who has a PSP wouldn’t buy this game, and I would certainly consider Crisis Core a killer app for anybody who doesn’t own the handheld yet. It’s a showcase for the system’s capabilities and is at the very least a very capable action RPG. I can see how people expecting a traditional RPG battle system might be turned away, but personally I enjoyed the faster pace and greater depth of the fights, which allow dodging of attacks and strategic positioning for critical hits.
The short, bite-sized missions that are an addendum to the main quest are perfect for on-the-go play, and even if you aren’t a big FF7 fan, the presentation of the story is excellent and has many humorous moments. But if you ARE a FF7 fan, you’re going to be giddy with all the fan-service. Familiar characters make cameos, and there are many nods to the original game with inside references.
I thought the story was dragged down by Genesis, a very annoying character who is fond of spouting poetry, and some of the plot developments didn’t make much sense to me. Actually, I still don’t fully understand the plot, but when I say that I love the story, I mean that it was so captivating to be back in this world and to get the back story of Zack, a very important story that was hinted at in FFVII but that deserved to be re-told. The whole Nibelheim flashback is replayed in this game and sent chills down my back.
In Zack, Square Enix has succeeded in creating the most likable character in recent memory. I’ve been wracking my brain and I can’t remember anybody that comes close, perhaps the assassin droid HK-47 from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He’s the opposite of Cloud in almost every way, a natural leader with heart and humor. Zack is just plain awesome, I haven’t read anybody who dislikes him yet.
And of course, there’s the ending. The ending sequences (about the last 40 or so minutes of the game) rank up there with some of my all-time favorite gaming endings. After I finished Crisis Core, I was pumped up and immediately wanted to replay FFVII. The sequence after the credits even seems to hint at a FFVII remake… let’s hope that happens!