Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Review

We may not be the biggest site for gaming, but we certainly have one of the more vocal userbases. Commenting, posting in the forums, talking in one of many impromptu late night GamerNode MSN chats (willingly or unwillingly), they’re as much a part of GN as any of us. So when Alec (lskennedy) wanted to know if I’d consider having him help out with the Crisis Core review, I said why not. It allows us to further our goal of doing convo reviews, and it gives Eddie someone to talk to who won’t just make fun of him the entire time. So with that, I present to you our first GN Staffan review (name not final) for Crisis Core on the PSP. – Brendon


Eddie: So, Mr. Kennedy, you’ve had the chance to play the latest in the flood of Final Fantasy 7 spin-off projects, Crisis Core. Do you think that fans are looking at another Dirge of Cerberus, or is this game actually worthy of the FF7 name?

lskennedy: I do feel that it is worth the Final Fantasy name, it keeps up with alot of the canon from the original, has a lot of little things fans will notice, and the game feels like a Final Fantasy.

Eddie: Yeah, I agree. I thought it was a solid title, overall, and definitely one of the better productions from the FF7 universe.

lskennedy: What are your thoughts on the battle system, seeing as it’s the chunk of the game?

Eddie: Well, I actually found that my opinions about the battle system changed as the game wore on. At first, the apparent attempt to reach a middle ground between RPG and action game felt very novel, like it would appeal to a wide audience. After prolonged play, though, I found there to be less depth in either style of gameplay than I would have liked to see. It boiled down to a lot of X button pounding and watching a slot machine twirl in my face.

lskennedy: I agree with that. That was my only problem. It was a good system, but I found myself praying to get 3 Sephiroths (which sometimes it would change to something utterly useless and I would die), and using the attack options.

Eddie: It seems that the DMW took things out of the player’s control, leaving it mostly up to chance. There is a lot going on in battle, but mostly the player is having stuff done TO his character, rather than actually controlling much of it himself.

lskennedy: Exactly. Don’t get me wrong though, the DMW was cool, but I would rather have had just straight up RPG – but that would take the time from 20 hours to 40.

Eddie: Did you feel like you weren’t really doing much, even though there were effects all over the place?

lskennedy: Well, I did and I didn’t; it depended on who or what I was fighting.

Eddie: Yeah, there is certainly a range of opposition in the game.

lskennedy: If you played Final Fantasy 7, the bosses shouldn’t be a surprise, so when I was fighitng Sephiroth and I had to avoid the edge, I did feel like I was DOING something, but in other fights, like with the giant electro scorpion, I felt like I was just gnawing at HP.

Eddie: I feel that if the developers wanted to lean towards the action end of the spectrum, there should have been more skill-based swordplay than there was. There were of course certain points that necessitated precise timing, but overall, the twitch gameplay of other action-based games was nowhere to be seen – not even approached. That’s not a horrible thing, but when the RPG elements are dumbed down, you really want something to step up and replace them.

lskennedy: I guess, but the story and the voice acting do a good job in that. This game is strictly to advance the storyline in a gamelike way, not a book, movie, or story, it’s a game, and it does a good job advancing the plot. It’s Final Fantasy, not Fable Fantasy.

Eddie: True, true. As an addition to the FF7 story, it is excellent. I very much like the idea of seeing things from another perspective, and the production values of this little PSP game are near shocking.

lskennedy: It was as good, if not better than what I was hoping for. Zach was such an underlying character in the original 7, that when he got his own story I was excited. There’s I believe 30-45 minutes of Advent Childeren quality CG in the game.

Eddie: For REAL, the graphics are some of the best I’ve seen on the PSP.

lskennedy: I’m going to argue THE best.

Eddie: Well, I would absolutely agree with you if I was looking at those cutscenes alone. The real-time stuff is very good as well, but not quite perfect.

lskennedy: The game is almost flawless graphically. Almost everything is smooth, and if you notice, they even tried to sync the mouths with the dialog that wasnt spoken in the game. The load times for this is what we must sacrifice, and I would notice a few times after a fight, or after a video, I would see Zack just standing there, waiting, and then the game would load. Mind you there’s a lot to load, especially the voice acting, which, I am not sure if you knew, but everyone from Advent Childeren came back to play their roles.

Eddie: Oh, I wasn’t aware of that. I just knew that they did a damn fine job. I was very pleased with the overall soundtrack, as well. Mr. Uematsu wasn’t in charge this time around, but the score was still excellent.

lskennedy: Yeah, Ishimoto did a good job, but he barely had to write anything new, and I approved of mostly all of the songs. But the battle song was annoying and lame.

Eddie: Maybe that adds to the repetitive and stale feeling one can get from the battles, overall.

lskennedy: Yeah, I didnt think about that until now.

Eddie: It’s subconscious…the game is out to get you, Mr. Kennedy.

lskennedy: LOL, I want it to? I wouldn’t mind being in the FF7 world.

Eddie: And that’s the case with most fans of FF7. I feel like no matter what, this is a must-buy game for that group of gamers, no?

lskennedy: Most definitely. If you have a PSP and played Final Fantasy 7 (and enjoyed it) then this is definitely a must buy, no way could you turn it down.

Eddie: And if you haven’t played FF7? I think it’s still a solid title, just not quite as exciting when it lacks the magic of nostalgia. Do you think not having played the original game completely kills the experience? Or is it still an enjoyable title for the rest of the gaming world?

lskennedy: A non-fan might get kind of confused, and not get the few things here and there. I think it would still be enjoyable as a game, sure, but it wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it is for a fan. The game isn’t without its flaws though, for fans or not

Eddie: Agreed. So what’s your verdict, Mr. Kennedy?


Alec’s take:

The game would almost be perfect, but the repetition can kill it quick. The game is solid for fans and non fans alike. The voice acting, sound, video, and graphics are downright amazing for the PSP, and even though it’s repetitive, the battle system is still fun. The story is great, but make sure when you go to fight the final boss you have at least 2 hours on your hands, its quite a doozy.

Score: 9.0


Eddie’s take:

I’m going to play the role of the bad guy here, and give the lower of the two scores. The battle system was unique, but really gets old fast, with little to keep a player engaged. That’s an issue. The audio and visuals are superb for the PSP, and of course the story is great for fans of all things Final Fantasy 7. Otherwise, you have a solid game, but nothing revolutionary.

Score: 8.0


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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