Published by Square Enix in 2007, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a Sony PSP exclusive that pays tribute to the classic Final Fantasy VII, but with a different style of combat. It was released for the 10th anniversary of FF7.
In this game you play Zack Flair, an overly-keen, young member of the paramilitary organisation SOLDIER, searching for a missing comrade.
The combat in Crisis Core is real-time and is more hack and slash than the turn-based tactical combat of previous games. When fighting, the game auto targets the nearest enemy and you hammer away at the action button to attack them. What kind of action you perform is dictated by what you have selected in the action bar, and you change this by using the L and R buttons.
The use of ‘Materia’ also returns in this game. Equipping this magical substance in certain slots enhances Zack‘s skills, giving him elemental magical powers to play with. Up to six Materia can be equipped at one time and they can also be combined to give alternative effects.
There’s also a weird device called the DMW (Digital Mind Wave) on-screen during combat, and it works kinda like a fruit machine, with rolling barrels that give bonuses when the same faces match up in a horizontal line. When Zack goes into ‘Modulating Phase’ mode the DMW spins and whatever results from it is the move he’ll pull. Some of which can be both spectacular and devastating.
Graphically Crisis Core is pretty amazing. The 3D graphics are about as good as you can get on a PSP and all the menus and inventories are beautifully designed. The soundtrack is excellent too – paying tribute to Final fantasy VII at every opportunity.
Gameplay-wise: there’s no doubting that Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is fun to play, but whether it measures up to the greatness of the game it is paying tribute to is arguable. I like it a lot, although the new combat system isn’t really to my taste. The fabulous presentation and ease of play does go some way to making up for that.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII did sell over three million physical copies worldwide, so plenty of people out there obviously love it.