|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Square Enix||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Mar. 24, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Philip Hanan
April 2, 2007 - Final Fantasy VII is one of the top ten PlayStation games ever released and one of the top ten games of all time. Its standard RPG fare combined with an emotional story and futuristic design had made it one of only two Final Fantasy titles to receive a prequel or a sequel.
It took Square almost 10 years, but they have cranked out a prequel cell phone game, a prequel action orientated PS2 game, and a sequel movie. Now, Square Enix wants to deliver a fairly traditional RPG prequel to PSP fans. This prequel is called Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. Technically, there is a game called Before Crisis, but apparently, we find out the core reasons the crisis occurred in this game, so it's like before Before Crisis.
The game features almost all of the FFVII characters, but only one character seems to be playable, and it's not Cloud. Instead, you play as Zack, who was Cloud's SOLDIER partner in FFVII. He's eager to prove himself to the Shinra Corporation and gets into countless troubles and adventures.
You'll usually go on your adventures with Angael, a man with a large sword on his back and one wing. He reminds you of Sephiroth, and it seems very possible that the sword he carries later becomes Cloud's. There is also an appearance by the red cloaked man named G from Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. There is little known about the plot so far, but there are countless movie scenes within the game, featuring characters such as Aeris, Tseng, and Sephiroth. Most of these movies appear to be made using real-time graphics, which may lessen load times on the PSP.
The game engine isn't much different than Kingdom Hearts. It appears that Zack moves as if he is in an action RPG, but you will still be able to select items/attacks, etc. from a menu. One clip of the second trailer showed Zack battling Ifirit, so it may be possible to use Summons after defeating them. Special Moves are in the game as well. Zack appears to use a numbered slot machine bar. Line up the numbers and his attack power increases. I'd say not only does matching numbers raise your attack power, but lining up higher numbers probably increases your power even further. The slot machine's numbers may even increase as Zack levels up. The graphics of the game, whether in movie scenes or in battles, appear to mimic that of Kingdom Hearts. The colors and characters are very smooth-like and nice to look at.
The game features voice acting during movie scenes, but it is not known if there will be any during normal gameplay. The most recent FF games have featured voice acting for major events during gameplay, so there may be some.
The controls are guaranteed to remain the same as the PS2 FFVII games, as Square Enix changes its control scheme very little. It's easy to guess the ending of this game as gamers already know that Zack played a very small role in FFVII. The mystery of the large sword remains quite intriguing, however, and for those who want to see more of Aeris before she died, you must play this game. It's not yet finished even in Japan, but I know that Final Fantasy fans long to hear info of the newest games way before release. Many even import them, which I highly recommend, if you speak Japanese. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII should help you understand more of the backstory and provide you a look at what the FFVII remake's graphics should look like. It's also a great game to play if you haven't played the original PS one version of FFVII and wish to wait and play the PS3 version.
CCC Freelance Writer