Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core gives revolutionary gameplay to a already well known series!
System: PSP (Playstation Portable)
Total Score: 93/100
Value Score: 9.3/10
• Story: 10/10
o Crisis core's storyline takes place 7 years before the events of FFVII and throughout the 7 years of SOLDIER service from Zack's life. You start out as a 2nd class SOLDIER member and are put on missions to fighting several anti-Shinra groups. The storyline starts out a bit slow action wise only to introduce the player to the main characters and the new characters. Afterwards it fleshes out mentioning Sephiroth's past, Genesis who is the main villain and the new supporting characters such as Lazard and Angeal. Near the end of the game if you played Before Crisis or FFVII you will notice some scenes or storyline paths that seem familiar. Overall the game explains the mystery of the Jenova cells, Sephiroth and the characters that surrounded them however in the end it will leave players with more questions and curiosity about the world of FFVII. A pretty good storyline if you are one of the fans who love storylines surrounding mysteries and conspiracies.
• Characters: 10/10
o Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core's characters range from both characters familiarized in Final Fantasy VII and original exclusive characters to Crisis Core. You'll see everything from Zack Fair (who played a somewhat major part in FFVII) and the events unfolded before FFVII. The newly added characters fit well together with the old characters however there were some characters that were introduced that could of easily existed in FFVII however due to not planning ahead due to the games being about 10 years or more apart there will be some plot holes which were necessary. Regardless the cast of characters in the game (not including the enemies) make it feel like it is a AAA drama show which adds nicely to the already quite developed world of FFVII.
• GamePlay: 10/10
o Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core's gameplay is different from most of the other FF games, the game is no longer turn based but a pseudo action RPG which you can compare the gameplay structure to Kingdom Hearts and a traditional RPG. For one thing you will only play as Zack and no one else, not that it is needed. Battles seem like they are random first but you can easily avoid battles simply by walking certain paths in missions and dungeons. No longer do you level up through experience points but it seems like it is through DMW which is a new system that powers up the character increasing your HP , MP and AP (which is used for abilities like dodge roll). The DMW also allows you to use special limit break attacks from certain characters - depending on where the reel stops and which character's faces appear. You can also level up skills and magic abilities. There's no telling when or how the system actually works - although it may seem random there might be a pattern on the leveling up. Later in the game you will be able to combine materia to make stronger materia or a materia with the special effects of the previously held materia before their fusion. You can equip two accessories (although it may be possible to equip more). Other than walking around like in a traditional RPG through dungeons and towns, you can also access missions through the save point where you can easily train and level up through missions, collect treasures or increase your slots of accessories, skills, etc.
• Graphics: 10/10
o Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core brings out the best out of the PSP's graphical capabilities. The game is absolutely gorgeous and seems like it is a step above a Playstation 2. The locales, the character design and even the little details which seem repetitive in dungeons and missions clearly show a potential on how Final Fantasy VII would of looked like if it came out in a later time during the Playstation 2. The overall design screams Kingdom Hearts' style and grand design which is a nice nostalgic touch for Kingdom Hearts fans.
• Sound: 10/10
o The voiceovers are nicely done in the game as most of the original cast (who took part in the movie Advent Children and Dissidia games do make an appearance here). In regard to the voiceovers FFVII Crisis core brings out the best in storytelling through its voice acting. Gameplay sound effect wise if you have played Kingdom Hearts, most of the effects would be familiar with you as the same sound effects are either used or were made in the same system as the KH sounds.
• Music: 10/10
o The Final Fantasy series has been best known for its music and Crisis Core is no different. Although Nobuo Uematsu is no longer the main music director of the game, the new replacement director managed to bring out a new level of drama and suspense through the remixes of Uematsu's original songs and through his new songs. Streaming from Punk Rock, to Techno , to country and to whatever else there is the entire OST is composed of a lot of beautiful tracks which will strike a nerve while you enjoy this chilling dark story.
• Length: 7/10
o Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core's length is as long as a traditional RPG although that can be adjusted a few hours back or more depending on how many missions you do and how much you grind in the missions. Completing all of the missions isnt necessary but it is recommended you do complete a few in order to unlock a few slots for equips and skills which helps a lot. Without doing a mission it shouldnt take you no more than 15 hours to complete the main storyline however if you do include missions it could range anywhere between 20-25 hours.
• Replay Value: 6/10
o Once you complete Crisis Core you will be given the choice to do New Game+ on hard mode - where it transfers your items, abilities and levels. However there's no actual benefit in doing it along with the fact most people who wanted a challenge might of already done a hard mode run before they even attempted for a new game+. No secret endings, no actual motivation to replay the game other than for nostalgic second play through. You can do missions again but rather than replay value it only actually adds more to the overall length of the game.
• Player Value: 10/10
o Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core is a great game for a RPG lover, Final Fantasy Lover and a fan of the PSP as it is one of the best RPGs on the PSP. The storyline, characters, music and gameplay will make you want to come back for it and may put you in hold for several hours until you get that little blinking light notifying you that your PSP is on low battery (only to finally tempt you to plug in the charger just to play more.). It is surely a must buy!