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Old 01-12-2008, 09:06 PM   #61
Reko8
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yeah I'm playing on normal. It is pretty easy compared to a lot of RPGs Ive played in the past. What difficulty did you play on and what level were you when you beat it? I'm lvl 41 right now and a lot of people recommended that I didnt do Nene's flying fortress until I was lvl 40 and I did that at 38 and I didnt even break a sweat. I have a couple of RPGs lined up (Eternal Sonata, Mass Effect and Oblivion) so I dont think I'll go and play it on a harder difficulty.
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:21 AM   #62
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As stated in my review, I played it on hard.
I beat the game at around lvl 65. I got each character one job to lvl 99 (to do side quests) but didn't feel up to getting my levels to 99. At the 60s, the end of the game was cake even on hard.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:22 PM   #63
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yeah, the achievements I got were all of the dexterity ones (like rapidly press this button fast enough) and all of the perfect ones except mechat shooting stages 2 and 3. Oh and all of the encounter ones were easy. My friend beat the game and only got 30 achievement points, which sucks, but most of the achievements take time in Blue Dragon.
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:21 AM   #64
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Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core (PSP)
A highly anticipated prequel (unlike Dirge of Cerebus) to Final Fantasy 7.

First and foremost, there are a few things I need to make evident before you read my review:
(1) I like Final Fantasy 7. It was a great game. However, I DO NOT consider it the best RPG of all time, nor the best Final Fantasy game of all time, nor even the best Ps1 RPG of all time; unlike a lot of fans.

(2) I haven't experienced FF7 since about 2001, so my knowledge of it is a bit iffy, at least in comparison to the aforementioned fanboys in item (1).

(3) I love Action RPGs!

So onto the review:
Story:
As I made clear above, my knowledge of Final Fantasy 7's lore isn't pristine, and boy did Crisis Core's story drill that notion into a lot. Sure I knew what Shinra and Soldier were (a lot moreso than even the main character, Zack Fair) and have a decent understanding of what Mako (apparently pronounced Mach-'O' thanks to this game's VA) is and all that wonderful jazz.

And I am sure most of you do as well. Doesn't matter folks. This game's story is about as piece-meal as they get. Pretty much the idea was to stretch something they covered in a 30 minute OVA (quite accurately for 30 mins too I might add) into a 10+ hour game. Sure they went into more detail which helped to an extent, but most of this felt tacked on and personally, poorly executed. What they got right was pretty much the 30 mins I previously mentioned. These sequences were entertaining (well some of them, I will get to more on that in Gameplay) and well thought out.

The real problem was: The game didn't really add any new insight to what happened in FF7, when there were definitely some loose ends that could have been tied up, but instead just added a few new faces and tried to sell the game on the interaction between these and the old classics like Zack, Cloud, Aerith, and good old Sephiroth.

Furthermore, the scripting in the game was jarring. Not to say it was bad, becuase there were definitely some good lines, it was the lack of consistency that hurt it so much. The constant flux between good scripting and bad scripting pretty much did as much, if not more, harm than just bad scripting by itself. On top of this, there were characters that insisted on reciting lines from a play. Now this could be really cool if the play were a famous work of art, such as "MacBeth," or "Oedipus Rex" but no, we get quotes from a made-up play, and than berated for not understanding the meanings of each line (which may even be poorly translated for all I know.) This part of the game was the many that felt worthless and tacked on, trying to emulate a unique characteristic and failing miserably.

Overall, Crisis Core feels like a 70 * 40% for its story.

Characters:
I know I will probably catch a lot of slack for this, but the characters in Crsis Core seem very scripted. Their scripting is spotty, and a lot of the interaction is forced and rushed at the same time. Another weird quark (covered more extensively in Gameplay) is the cutscenes that play during combat that add more to the interactions. Why did they cut these out. Sure the effect in combat would be lost somewhat due to the repetition, but frankly I don't care that Zack asked Cissnei on a date some 4 hours after she was introduced...

And while most of the character development falls under this "I don't care, keep moving along" policy (much like the story), Zack's development was actually handled fairly well, at least in comparison. He undergoes the same "emo-trip" most Final Fantasy characters face, but what makes this transformation more satisfying is the sheer fact that Zack was annoyingly happy beforehand. So when he mellows out into a a more serious character, he is actually tolerable, thus make it a positive turn, and an underhanded complement to the game at the same time.

All in all, Crisis Core runs about a 72 * 20% for its attempt at good characterization. Still not falling for the fanboy bait Square Enix...

Gameplay:
Finally, the focus of this game, and un-arguably the best part as well.

The gameplay is broken up into distinct stages that I will cover separately:

(1) Exploring
(2) Combat
(3) Customization
(4) Cutscenes
(5) Missions
(6) Shitty Mini-games

Exploring
This is classic RPG exploring. Run around, talk to people, open chests. For the most part, only one path takes you to the exit, the rest give you more loot. Nothing new here, which is not a problem in my book. While the paths were linear, things generally looked nice, making this aspect of the game fairly enjoyable. However, towards the end of the game it fell into the "battle-every-step" syndrome.... eww.

Combat
Probably half the game right here. Select an action by scrolling left or right (clicking L or R respectively), hitting X to activate said action, auto-run to the opponent, execute, repeat. Pretty simple, but still pretty fun. Throw in the dodge button which auto-cancels any action and doges everything (if timed right) and you have yourself a pretty good system. Anytime you, or the enemy, takes damage, the queued command is usually canceled, which adds a bit of strategy, but really trivializes most 1 on 1 fights. Thats all for combat, that you can control.

Then you have the DMV, some random slot machine that randomly hands out buffs, and also handles Limit Breaks and Summons. Im sure you have heard a lot about this so I will merely cover what I like and don't like about this system. The only two things I liked about it was: It changed your strategy slightly at times keeping things fresh, and the cutscenes that get played sometimes. (Especially since these can be skipped!!!) But here is what I don't like.

(1) Limit Breaks are no longer epic: I was never once impressed by either a limit break's animation or damage. Furthermore, half of them left me wondering why they even existed. One thing is for certain, I can't name one that did more damage in the time it took to play out than I could have done alone. Basically these are only good for boosting stats (called breaking) over their normal limit, a pretty cool feature I might add.

(2) Can't control them: Sure, its lame that its a random attack, but hey they are all equally worthless so why would I complain about them not being able to be chosen. Well I don't give a damn about the limit breaks, I just wanted to see all of the summons openings. Took me 6 hours after unlocking Odin to finally see his, and I only saw it once total. Fucking lame. Also a good time to mention: Where the fuck was Shiva... 2 Bahamuts, 0 Shivas... seriously?

(3) Can't skip the DMV: Sure you can skip the little scenes, but you can't skip the 10 second long reel spin everytime, nor the FAKE luck that happens. One limit break makes you get more limit breaks. It effectively kills the pacing of combat. WHY CAN"T I SKIP THESE????

I should also mention that the DMV sequence in the ending of the game was pretty cool though... You'll have to see it for yourself.

I guess I'll stop talking about the DMV now. Onto how easy this game was. I destroyed this game. The AI was pretty decent to, and it actually was really fun despite being so easy. Its ease really stemmed from the next session.


Customization
You have 2 forms of customization, equipping accessories, and equipping Materia. Equipping Accessories was really trivial. Since there was pretty much no shops in the game, accessories were pretty much all gained from Missions (described below) meaning, I didn't really ever change my accessories after awhile...

Materia on the other hand could be fused together. Pretty much this was try every combination (as it tells you the result before committing to it) and take what you want. It was pretty rewarding to any player that really spent the time (certainly not any skill here). Another bonus, was the effect of the materia increased when ever it leveled up (through the DMV) which made combining those materias together even more potent. Like accessories, I stopped fusing about 2/3rds through the game. I have Quake with +200% health, so I was happy. (Quake was hit all 9999 damage at lvl Master... and when combined with Osmose Blade I never worried about mana)

The problem with customization, was it felt like the enemies damage scaled on your health. All the bosses had unavoidable attacks, and they seemed to always almost kill me even though I had 9000 health at the end (and usually breaked to 9999) and I doubt the game allows bosses to one-shot people who were more casual. So thats adds to the feeling that customization became fruitless.

Cutscenes
I am not one to usually comment on graphics in a game for a review, but Crisis Core rocked. These cutscenes (while mostly fanboy bait) looked amazing. I have to give them props, especially with the minimal to no load times between these (including the CG Summon sequences in battle)

Missions
Pieces of shit. These were one of two scenarios: Explore a constrained dungeon and fight boss, or fight boss. All un-imaginative. Most tedious. There were hundreds of them. And they never end, read poor pacing...

Shitty Mini-games
Oh god.
Missile splitting
WTF.
Sniping
Jesus Christ...
Splinter Cell
Worst mini-game ever....

All of these sucked.
They felt out of placed.
They felt tacked on.
AND THEY COULDN'T BE SKIPPED!!!!!!

Ok now that I have gone over the basic parts of the gameplay, I would like to make a little synopsis. Crisis Core is a downward spiral. I loved the game at the beginning. By the end, I didn't care and wanted it over. And this was 13 hours of gameplay. Pretty impressive, in a bad way... But it wasn't all bad. The combat is fun, though aside from the cutscenes thats about all the enjoyment there is, and the shear volume of that even begins to weigh down on its value.

Like I said Combat is the best part of Crisis Core at a 74*40%, which doesn't say much...

Overall, Crisis Core is a 72. An average game, but not an abomination. There is some fun here, but not enough to warrant the purchase of a PsP to play. Its not the second coming of chri... I mean FF7...


Like most games, I'll comment that the soundtrack was great. But it really doesn't deserve props for remixing FF7. Especially when the best music was only used in the credits...

FINAL SCORE: 72


EDIT:: I would like to mention without altering my review, that the main issue with Crisis Core is that nothing really feels worthwhile. I didn't feel like I needed to ever do missions, or fuse materia, or change accessories, or buy anything, etc. This gets daunting fast in a game, and probably explains why I started off loving the title, and quickly grew tired of it.
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Last edited by Mistatee; 04-25-2008 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:31 AM   #65
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I agree that the game is not worth buying a PSP for but it is good nevertheless for wasting some time doing mindless crap.
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:47 AM   #66
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It certainly wasn't bad...
I probably over criticized it in my review.

But looking back on it, it really is no better than Enchanted Arms, except for the overall polish that the game emits. My reviews reflect that.
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:02 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistatee View Post
It certainly wasn't bad...
I probably over criticized it in my review.

But looking back on it, it really is no better than Enchanted Arms, except for the overall polish that the game emits. My reviews reflect that.
They sure did alot to stretch the story out. Those story mission took no more than 30 minutes each.
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:40 AM   #68
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Great review, it was pretty helpful.

I've been eyeing this game for a while, but now im less inclined to get it. It's dissapointing to hear it dosent have much to do with the storyline of FF7, and more about a side story of Zach (who I hardly knew since his FMV in FF7 was optional).
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:08 AM   #69
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If you didn't see Zack's stuff in FF7, then this game could be more worthwhile than I make it out to be. Didn't know Zack's story arc was optional.... Its been so long.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:39 AM   #70
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Gotta say, I very much disagree with your review of CC.

Its the only rpg I bothered finishing since 2006 (when I played FF12 and Xenosaga 3).

Not only did I love it but I had an instant urge to replay it after finishing it (this rarely happens to me with a game, never with an rpg).

Definitely in the top 2 of my psp games all time list, best ending in an rpg.


EDIT: How the heck was Zack's story optional in FF7? He was a huge part of who Cloud was.
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:16 PM   #71
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I have the official soundtrack from Play-Asia. Will you review Wild-Arms?

-IMO Xenosaga 3 is garbage.
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:14 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diavle View Post
EDIT: How the heck was Zack's story optional in FF7? He was a huge part of who Cloud was.
Well its been a few years so my memory is a little vauge.

I remember the whole story arc about how Clouds memories werent really his the whole time, and he was just dreaming about being Zach. But thats all I remember hearing of Zach, he was just a name to me.

The optional thing I'm thinking of was something I later read in a magazine. It was something like "see Zach's hidden FMV!" and it had a picture of him sitting in the back of a pickup truck. I figured that explained alot more about it, but I havent played it since.
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:30 PM   #73
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Quote:
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I remember the whole story arc about how Clouds memories werent really his the whole time, and he was just dreaming about being Zach. But thats all I remember hearing of Zach, he was just a name to me.
***ORIGINAL FF7 SPOILER ALERT***

They were both experimented upon with Mako energy, Cloud's case was pretty severe and it messed with his memories. His own ended up mixing and matching with Zack's (he was sort of Cloud's idol you could say). By the end of the ordeal he actually thought he was Zack, a 1st Class Soldier.

Think of CC as sort of MGS3, in the sense that instead of just expanding upon what was already in the MGS universe it added new arcs and characters while clarifying quite a few already known things along the way. You find out a lot about Zack (who is a great character in his own right, and not in the least just another emo bitch) and you get to see Cloud when he was younger and his real personality. Not to mention a different side of Sephiroth as all. Definitely a boat load of fan service so having at least a vague memory of FF7 helps (I played it about 8 years ago so thought I was screwed, ended up remembering quite a bit actually).
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:39 PM   #74
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Zack (or Zax in Japan) is not optional in FFVII. Cloud has mixed his personality with Zack΄s in the begining of the game. And in the 3rd disc, it΄s made pretty clear that Zack was the 1st class Soldier, they even showed the true picture with Zack, Sephiroth and Cloud as a normal grunt taken outside the mansion in Nibelheim. What was optional, was Zack΄s escape and death.
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:48 PM   #75
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Sorry, wont be reviewing Wild Arms, got a plethora of other games ahead.
Parasite Eve is one I am almost done with.


And glad to hear people disagreeing with my review. If someone liked it (especially with about as vague a memory as mine) then its probably a good game that just didn't fit my tastes.
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