Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core Hand on!

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Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Hands-On


We play Square Enix's Final Fantasy VII prequel for the PSP and are duly impressed.


By Ricardo Torres, GameSpot Posted May 12, 2007 4:46 pm PT

Proving the old adage that good things come to those who wait, the playable version of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII on hand at Square Enix's Party in Japan offered an impressive taste of what to expect from the promising PSP title. Though it's been a long time coming, the game was originally announced in 2004, the Final Fantasy VII prequel seems to be poised to deliver on the trailers and talk of the past three years.

If you're a little hazy on where Crisis Core fits in to the FFVII family of games here's a quick primer. The game is part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII project that's resulted in spin offs from the classic Square RPG. You play as Zack Fair, a young recruit working for Soldier, the elite private military of the Shinra Corporation seen in FFVII. The game sends you on an adventure that fills in Zack's backstory and sheds light on events and characters from FFVII.

The playable demo at the party featured two named bits to try, "Zack vs. Genesis" and "The One that goes beyond Bahamut". While both offered a good sampling of what to expect form the game each demo seemed to focus on a specific element of the game. The "Zack vs. Genesis" level skewed more towards the game's storytelling, although, as the title implies, it did feature a battle with Genesis. "The One that Goes beyond Bahamut" demo showed off how you'll get between different areas, a highway system that we ran along, and focused more on combat.
The storytelling we've seen in the game so far sticks pretty closely to the Square Enix template of in game cinematics, conversations during gameplay, and CG movies. Combat on the other hand has seen some significant changes. The game plays out in your standard third person view, offering you limited control over the camera with the shoulder buttons which let you swing it right or left when in the field. When exploring your surroundings you can call an area map up by hitting the square button to help get your bearings.

As you make your way around you'll go into random battles with enemies that appear. Rather than play out via turn based battles, Crisis Core's battles are played out in real time. A trio of meters comes up on the lower left hand side of the screen and an action bar shows up on the lower right. The meters show your HP, MP, and "AP". Though your life and magic points are fairly self explanatory, the AP bar seems to be tied to Zack's defensive actions. Guarding or performing rolling dodges to avoid being hit lower the bar which slowly refills when not in use in combat. The action bar in the lower right hand corner of the screen features several different icons you can toggle between by using the shoulder buttons. The first icon is your basic sword attack while the others in the row appear to be materia you use to perform heals on your self or magically boosted attacks such as fire and lighting. One bit of randomness to the proceedings is a small three character slot in the upper right left hand corner of the screen as you play. From what we can gather, the slots are always going and randomly shift over to a screen filling interface that requires you to stop them at the right time. Specific combos of character portraits in the slots yield power ups and attacks.

The visuals in the game, while still incomplete, veer from impressive to stunning, setting a new bar for visual fidelity on the PSP. The playable demo and trailers we saw in the theater showcased the amazing design and graphics engine that have managed to freshen the familiar locales from FFVII with an Advent Children flavor that works out very well. The character models get the same treatment and, coupled with the robust graphics engine, look great. Most significantly, the facial animation during the realtime cutscenes, is extremely fluid. The visuals are enhanced by some cool sleights of hand, such as when Bahamut decides to put the hurt on you during your battle with him and unleashes a world shattering attack that's shown through a slick transition from gameplay to CG. There are some minor inconsistencies here and there in terms of textures, performance, and aliasing but considering the game isn't done we're not too hung up on them.

The audio is coming along as nicely as the visuals with a robust score that includes familiar tunes from FFVII as well as new compositions. What we heard sounds like a reliable mix of orchestral music and rock music that all fit the FF mold. Voice acting, albeit in Japanese, was implemented and sounded suitably convincing.

Based on what we played and saw, Crisis Core looks to be delivering on the promise of the past few years. The game's visuals are impressive both in design and tech, raising the bar for what's possible on the PSP hardware. As far as gameplay goes, Crisis Core is doing some interesting reworking of the familiar Square battle system that we like on the whole, though we can take or leave the whole slot machine thing. The story may prove to be a little confusing to anyone without a working knowledge of FFVII but we expect it should still be possible to get into the game regardless. As far as fans go, it's hard not to get a kick out of seeing old faces from FF VII, especially a pre "crazy times" Sephiroth. Crisis Core is slated to ship this fall in Japan. Look for more on the game in the coming months.
http://www.gamespot.com/psp/rpg/cri...ml?page=1&sid=6170687&tag=top_stories;title;0

So far Crisis Core seems really awesome. Great storyline, best graphics for the PSP to date.(Rivaling PS2 graphics!) I can't wait for this game.

On a side note: This is gonna be one awesome year for Square Enix. First we got Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition (FF I remake), We will also get a FF II Remake. Crisis Core should be released Fall 2007 in Japan. A new Final Fantasy Tactics for PSP. And a new Final Fantasy has been announced for the PSP: Final Fantasy Dissidia. Two Star Ocean games for PSP. And even more!

http://www.gamespot.com/events/squareenixfest/games.html?tag=event_nav;games
 
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Sounds great, i might get myself a PSP because im a fan of this game. I've been longing for a hand held console for so long too.
 
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Since you clearly have the money to throw away Jariroth, mind buying me an Xbox360?
 
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sorry but square enix can only ruin this game, i'm not going to disappoint myself by expecting anything else other then wasted opportunities for this

look at their recent games ( e.g FF 12, Dragon quest 8 and Kingdom Hearts 2 compared to Kingdom Hearts 1) and you'll see that they have a great game title like final fantasy (FF 7 is my favorite game of all time) and ruin the gameplay by trying to change a working formula
 
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I like Final Fantasy XII and Kingdom Hearts II =/. People may eventually grow tired of watching their character just stand there while the player moves through windows (Not particularly me...I find FF X-2 fun).

I never played FF VII, but seeing the fanbase for it, this should be big for the fans.
 
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You should really try FFVII Chakra, awesome story. I'm currently playing it on my PSP.
 
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Since you clearly have the money to throw away Jariroth, mind buying me an Xbox360?
Are you trying to suggest that buying a PSP is throwing money away? And besides, i first have to wait before its released in Japan, then America then Europe. By that time PSP prices have probably dropped a bit. And probably by then i have a regular job with regular income. Not to mention i said the word "might":
Sounds great, i might get myself a PSP because im a fan of this game. I've been longing for a hand held console for so long too.
I didnt say im gonna buy it right away or anything... :S

Whew, i almost lost my cool there...
 
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I like Final Fantasy XII and Kingdom Hearts II =/. People may eventually grow tired of watching their character just stand there while the player moves through windows (Not particularly me...I find FF X-2 fun).

I never played FF VII, but seeing the fanbase for it, this should be big for the fans.
sorry but I'm a believer that however great a game must be, it has to end

FF is famous because it starts again each time and refuses to try and bleed a idea dry and keeps itself fresh and original each time with a completely new system each time ( FF 7 has material and FF 10 had the spear system, both great systems of leveling up but also so different) yet still stay the same at heart (attack/magic/skill/items/summons)

This is changing however, FF X - 2 was the start of the down fall of Square enix and shows to us all that this new company isn't the developer who has told us the wonderful fable that was FF's and instead turns into the horrible nightmare-wannabe charlies angels type game that is FF X - 2 (it had NO story line to it, no summons which is conventional to the entire series and was just a useless spin off that could of been left out) and it's not too long before we wake up in bed next to another way to sap a game dry (I'm just waiting in hope that they don't make Kingdom Hearts 3, I loved the first one so much and I did actually like the second one but not as much)

hence this game is just another way to sap the whole thing dry, it once again has so much potential but as always with Square Enix, it will not deliver when it games to the final release
 
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*Jaw Drops* I'm running down to Kmart tomorrow and buying a PSP! And hopefully this game wont take forever to get released.
My favorite Final Fantasy games is lucky number 8. I spent every wakening moment for at least 2 weeks, slowly completing and leveling and learning about the Junction system!
Now to mention it, I saw previews of Final Fantasy 10, But I never owned a PS2, Never liked the console, So I missed out, But is it work getting a PS2 for only final Fantasy 10? (If it has been released on PC let me know! lol)
 
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Now to mention it, I saw previews of Final Fantasy 10, But I never owned a PS2, Never liked the console, So I missed out, But is it work getting a PS2 for only final Fantasy 10? (If it has been released on PC let me know! lol)
Well, i say its not worth buying a PS2 only for Final Fantasy X. I didnt like the leveling system of it (There are no levels :O ) The story, music and graphics were spectacular, but the not-so-intresting mini-game and the freaky leveling system made me lose intrest in it after playing through the story.
But there are plenty of other games for PS2 that make it worth its price, like Kingdom hearts for example...
 
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I actually did like the "leveling" system, it allows you to completely customize your character. But to buy a PS2 for FFX only? I don't think that would be worth it. But buying it for other games as well, that is worth it.
 
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There are no other games that interest me on the playstation.
Besides that the only other use I can find for it, is a DVD player out on the back porch next to the barbie.
And its not like, picking one up second hand is expensive.
And I can run PS1 games on it as well, Like Final Fantasy 8 :p
And I wouldn't mind getting Final Fantasy 9 also and giving that a whirl.
 

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