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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honestly reviewed, honestly brilliant.
I have dedicated my time to the US version since it arrived a week ago. Let me be honest, this is brilliant. Let me explain why.

The story is set prior to the events of FF7 following the story of Zack who starts as Soldier 2nd Class under Angeal (first class and one of Sephiroths buddies.) Things start to go wrong when one nutty scientist starts meddling and...
Published on 6 May 2008 by C. O'Connor

versus
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars so good, yet so dissapointing!
while being a major ff7 fan, and the only reason i imported my psp all those years ago was the rumor of this game, there's just a few things not quite right!
The previous reviews are all pretty much on the nose when it comes to gameplay, it fluid, looks great has some great reconstructions of locals from ff7, and puts other games to shame on the psp, it's lack of...
Published on 19 April 2008 by Mr. A. D. Green


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honestly reviewed, honestly brilliant., 6 May 2008
By 
C. O'Connor "chrisuk5" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Special Edition (PSP) (Video Game)
I have dedicated my time to the US version since it arrived a week ago. Let me be honest, this is brilliant. Let me explain why.

The story is set prior to the events of FF7 following the story of Zack who starts as Soldier 2nd Class under Angeal (first class and one of Sephiroths buddies.) Things start to go wrong when one nutty scientist starts meddling and basically, many of Soldier go rogue because of two guys, Genesis and Angeal. However, you'll meet Cloud in the game and will see Zacks links to him, you'll meet Aerith in the game (name changed as it is the US version)and you'll meet others such as Sephiroth, the turks and you'll see how they influence the story in the prelude to FF7.
The graphics are superb, the best is definately the FMV which is great throughout, particularly the training fight between Genesis, Angeal and Sephiroth about a quarter of the way in at Junon Harbour. The areas have been lovingly recreated from Junon Harbour, to Midgar, to the Shinra Building and the church in the slums, PLUS there are some new areas as well. Character design is beautiful, you'll want for nothing in the presentation.

The combat is probably the weakest point. Its sort of in real time, where you choose the command and then watch, but its a little unusual. It feels fine though. You can equip materia (there's a good selection from Fire, to Barrier and Death, all which can level up to Master) however, you won't have a choice over armour etc as I had expected. You can choose your accessories though. Then there is the DMV-like a slot machine. Get two equal numbers and a piece of materia will level up, plus you'll be treated to a limit break. Get 3 the same and Zack will level up. It's a little random and it seems to take away the control from the player, but the fights are impressive, especially when you do get the chance to summon!

There are lots of bonuses as well. There are LOADS and I mean LOADS of bonus missions. These are brief but allow you the chance to level up and earn new items. Then there is the mail system which will irritate most. You can join clubs such as the Sephiroth fan club or the Loveless fan club, but it doesn't seem to mean much, apart from the odd piece of Mail. Then there is the opportunity to merge materia. It is odd at best. I've tried lots of combinations but only managed to create any new, decent materia on the rare occassion. I guess walkthroughs will sort that problem out. The music is also great, a mixture of FF7 and new really enhance the overall experience.

I can't think of anything that I have missed. The game will be great, unless you hate Final Fantasy, although personally, I think this is the best game on PSP so far!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not much of a JRPG, but a top notch action title, 9 April 2008
By 
John Clayton III (Greystoke) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Special Edition (PSP) (Video Game)
So here we are at the end of the so called 'compilation of Final Fantasy VII' experiment by Square-Enix that began with the shallow(But spectacular) film Advent Children, continued with the so-so Dirge of Cerberus and a couple of mobile phone games that those of us outside Japan will never play, and finishes here with a surprisingly excellent prequel centred on the most under developed and explored character in the original FFVII: Zack.

Firstly, if, like me, you're going into this expecting a JRPG, then forget that right away. Core Crisis is an action title through and through, having far more in common with games like Kingdom Hearts and Rogue Galaxy(Minus the jumping) than Final Fantasy games. The levelling up and stat building is mostly outside your control, being almost a case of luck, as they use the always in action during battle 'DMW' or 'Digital Mind Wave'(Glorified fruit machine reels basically) to determine when you get a level up or a bonus status boost or some such during fights. It's pretty random to be honest, and seems a touch unnecessary to me, but you'll spend all your time focusing on actual combat anyway, with the real time nature of battle requring some nifty thumbwork at times(This game is no pushover). Sadly, it does have random battles, but being on a handheld and looking as good as this does, I guess it was unavoidable, and the real time nature of the fights coupled with no 'in area' loading times does help a fair bit. The game is a lot of fun to play, but the battles lack variety unless you make the effort to experiment with materia use and fusions and such.

Of course, the story is the real reason we're all here for this one though, and far moreso than Advent Children or Dirge of Cerberus, the story in Core Crisis delivers AND manages to stay true to the spirit of the original game at the same time.

Taking place several years prior to FFVII, you assume the role of Zack Fair during his days as a 2nd class SOLDIER member desperate to reach 1st class status under the training of his mentor and friend Angeal in the middle of a crisis of SOLDIER members going missing on missions, most notably a friend of Angeal's called 'Genesis'(Remember the winged guy from the 'epilogue' ending to Dirge of Cerberus? That was Genesis, this is where you finally get the back story on what that was all about), who appears to have been cloned into an army that is intent on wiping out SOLDIER.

As the story unfolds, you're treated to all manner of wonderful tie ins with FFVII's story(The 'Nibelheim flashback' is gloriously recreated here perfectly) and tons of little easter eggs and bonuses you can discover if you look hard enough in addition to Core Crisis telling it's own separate story that gives a great amount of depth to Zack's back story to boot. The game explores the significance of Cloud's 'Buster Sword' and Aeris'(Or Aerith to give the new translation of her name) relationship with Zack which was barely touched upon in FFVII and even shows the early days of Turk leader Tseng's career, Sephiroth's days with SOLDIER when he was an actual 'good guy', and also provides some explanation as to what those 'Loveless' posters you saw all over Midgar in FFVII were all about. The game is just jam packed on the story front, and almost entirely manages to avoid the usual tiresome emo pifalls so many RPGs fall into through the simple act of the central character being a genuinely upbeat, optimistic, wise cracking hero type, something you don't see enough of these days. This game has the characterisation of familiar characters down pat, when Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus seemed to just forget the events of FFVII entirely on that front.

The game is also a visual feast, with strikingly detailed character models that are animated really well, and look just stunning during the cutscenes(There are some of the usual lovely CGI cutscenes here too of course). The locations are nice too, but a lot of familiar FFVII locales have been changed around a lot to accomodate the new full 3D nature of the visuals, while some(eg. The Shinra building's lobby in particular) are perfect recreations. It looks excellent.

The soundtrack is of course fantastic, providing updated, sometimes amazing revamps of Nobuo Uematsu's most enduring game soundtrack of all time, with most of the old FFVII tunes covered(Tell me that Nibelheim theme doesn't send a shiver down your spine) and a really nice ending vocal song(In Japanese, with no translations though), this game is a major nostalgia trip.

Lengthwise, the main story alone is around 17 hours long, with an extensive array of side quests, missions and hidden stuff that will easily push the game over the 40 hour mark if you want it to. It'll certainly last you a while, and the multiple difficulties and new game+ mode offer some replay value.

Overall, this is a must buy. The sole complaint that I can think of is that the combat is too samey from a fairly early stage. Beyond that though, you get a great little adventure title and a glorious nostalgia trip to boot for your money.

Even if you didn't like other FFVII spin offs, you will like this one, it goes right where the others went wrong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good, but the hype is really getting the way, 7 Jun. 2008
By 
Russtafarian (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Special Edition (PSP) (Video Game)
The original FF7 came out when I was 16. It was a fantastic gaming experience then, and still is now.
It is one of the best selling, most respected RPGs in the history of gaming.
The success is that great, that roughly 10 years later, Square Enix released the "Compilation of FF7" on the back of this. As many FF7 fans will know, the film Advent Children, the PS2 game Dirge of Cerberus, this PSP game Crisis Core, and lastly the mobile game Before Crisis (only released in Japan) are the parts of this Compilation.

Anyway, enough waffle. To cut it down, this game is not an RPG in the same style as the original FF7. It's more of an action/RPG cross over. Or more to the truth, it's an action game with some tiny elements of RPG to undertake.

The main story is very good. (Anyone who has played the original FF7 kind of knows what to expect from the ending.) It's great to see old faces given a makeover to fit with the technical capabilities of the PSP - it really brings the story to life. That said, the story isn't exactly complex, and I did actually find Genesis irritating after a while, simply because all he ever does is recite a poem called "Loveless"... which is the main theme/subplot to the entire story. You'll see what I mean when you play it.
I also have an issue with how long Zack's story progresses after he and Cloud escape from Shinra Mansion... I'll say no more to avoid spoiling teh fun, but I'm happy it didn't go down a predictable route.

Gameplay is rather simple. In relation to the buttons, you have Attack, Roll/Dodge and Guard. Nothing particularly daunting. (The L and R buttons help you select spells/items.)
I have to say, I know this isn't an RPG, but this is where the cross over doesn't fully work. While playing FF7, you get to use many Materia, and you have plenty of time for experimentation. Given that Crisis Core is only about a third of the length of the FF7, once you obtain certain Materia you might as well not bother using anything else... which then gets a little tiresome.

The main storyline plays fine, and can be challenging if you don't undertake any of the side missions. Doing these missions helps Zack level up and obtain rarer Materia and items. To be honest, you can increase your levels so much that the entire main story is utterly easy, leaving you to try and complete the incredibly difficult side missions later down the line, if you can be bothered. (There's 300 missions to undertake, ranging from Very Easy to Very Hard.) Doing so will not alter you games ending, although you will receive some items (no, I won't say what they are)... doesn't really seem worth putting the hours in. (If you ever defeated Yiamzat in FF12, you'll know what I mean.)

Graphics are fantastic. The FMV are superb... equally as good as Advent Children. The in game graphics as also rather good. In fact, this game probably has the best graphics on the PSP. (Without ruining the surprise, the ending to this game is great... it's makes you yearn for FF7 to be remastered for the PS3.)
The music is also great - using remixed versions of tunes from the original game, as well as many new tunes.

Anyway, I haven't really got anything else to say compared with every other review.
Should you buy this game? Yes - especially if you've played FF7 (or any other FF7 related release.) It's also one of the best game currently available for PSP.
The only thing I would say is don't believe the hype. It's got so much to beat when compared to the original FF7, and it simply can't do it. It's a different game with a linked story. It's not FF7. It hasn't got the depth or length of playtime compared to it's original sibling.
However, despite my grumbles, it really is a good game... and those 300 side missions will keep the true geek out there satisfied. And if you're really that bothered about making the task harder for yourself, play in Hard Mode... it's pretty pointless if you ask me, as it doesn't lengthen out the story or give you a special ending, it literally just makes things more difficult. (Yawn!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Fantasy is in my blood....., 24 Jun. 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Special Edition (PSP) (Video Game)
First let me say I have enjoyed all the FF games, some more than others. This first decent version for the PSP is awesome. It's the first game I have really enjoyed on the handheld. At last something to show the graphic capabilities of the brilliant little device. The gameplay is exciting, feel the adrenaline when 'combat mode' engages...and if you get a little stuck you can go and try different Missions so it's never locked you into a corner. It's a bit of a nostalgia trip as you encounter the familiar world of SOLDIER, the TURKS and the legendary SEPHIROTH.
Great escapism, and easy to follow if your a first timer, and you won't be disappointed if you are a hardened RPG fan.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good... but..., 13 May 2008
By 
P. R. Hughes "peterhys" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Special Edition (PSP) (Video Game)
I'm going to be different from most of the other reviews here because I am the one person in the entire world who managed not to play Final Fantasy VII. I know, I know, I've missed out on the Best Game Ever TM. And I plan to rectify my omission at some point, I guess. However, I DID play FFX which I loved.

This game (which I was desperate for and imported) is clearly a very polished and complete package. Beautiful graphics. Long storyline, nice and varied, good characters, great voice acting. I like the idea of the arcadey combat, although it does get a bit samey even if I match around my materia. I like the side missions although they, again, are a bit samey, repeatedly running the same ten or so areas with different mobs.

However, for some reason this game just hasn't grabbed me. It's hard to put my finger on what the problem is - I think it's the lack of a party for the combat, so running poor old Zack around feels a bit lonely, as if there's no real interaction with anything. And the combat is neither a proper hack'n'slash game (a la God of War) nor a proper JRPG either - it's something of a hybrid. It reminded me a lot of Key of Heaven, although it didn't suffer from KOH's problem with overpowered magic attacks. On the other hand the move set is more limited than KOH's. I like the fruit machine thingy, that's clever (albeit a bit random as to when level ups occur) and I admired Square Enix trying something a bit different... but it's not quite scratching my RPG itch the way I had hoped.

I appreciate that for anyone who lost their heart to FFVII, you can add a star to the score above simply because of the satisfaction of tying up the loose ends, and it must be nice (if heartwrenching) to see Aeris/Aerith alive again... good scenes with her, BTW. Very well done.

Undoubtedly a good game, and a remarkably polished package (with tremendous FMV, for those who like FMVs) but a bit of an FF-lite. It feels extremely linear, almost claustrophic. It's a linear walk through a good storyline with ho-hum random combat scenes. Again and again and again.

So if what you're looking for as a good FF story to work your way through, that's definitely here is spades. You'll have a blast.

If on the other hand a strong story alone won't be enough for you, and you demand good action from your RPGs, then maybe this will leave you a tiny bit cold, like it did me. If action is your bag or if very linear things leave you unsatisfied, then invest in the Monster Hunter games which are IMO, in terms of the minute-to-minute quality of the RPG gameplay (which is what really counts, after all) dramatically better than the rather limited hacking that Zack puts in. I felt like I had my own adventures in Monster Hunter, rather than being guided through someone else's.

But it's a good game, no doubting that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who would have thought the prequel could refresh this story?, 20 Sept. 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Special Edition (PSP) (Video Game)
I bought my PSP originally because I heard this game was coming out, now after a long wait, I've spent 95 hours savouring it. I say savouring, I actually mean it took me that long on hard mode to complete all the subquests, collect all the items, trigger all the memories, fuse all the rare materia and defeat the 20m HP optional boss.

I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Why?

* Graphics: Excellent for the PSP with the FMV (and there are a lot) standing out in particular. The camera is occasionally awkward, but in general it is intuitive.

* Sound: The music is great - remixed FFVII themes along with a few new ones (mainly variations of Zack's theme). The voice acting is usually pretty good - Rick Gomez as Zack is spot on.

* Combat system: I found hacking and slashing my way across the FFVII landscapes quite a lot of fun. Apparently the game is quite easy on "normal" mode. On hard mode you really have to get to grips with the system to win. Timing attacks, blocking, dodging and knowing when to run away all play a part. The seemingly random "DMW" can be manipulated, but since it contains the most powerful moves it is a bit difficult to trigger it when you need it most. Still, it's new and the idea of using memories rather than anger/pain to set off a limit break ties into the design of the story.

* RPG elements: The plot is fairly linear so there are limited choices that affect how this is presented (but there are some). The player can develop Zack by equipping and fusing different materia. Since materia and accessories can be swapped anywhere (apart from mid-battle) there is a lot of flexibility, although this essentially boils down to physical attacks, magic or special moves. Materia also carries attribute values and fusing it correctly is essential to maxing Zack's stats. Crafting can take up quite a lot of time, but making the little coloured baubles better is actually quite enjoyable.

*Plot: I think this was well done. Retconning was very limited and most of the story slotted neatly into what we knew from FFVII already. The story in Crisis Core tells us who drove Sephiroth to madness; it tells us how Cloud found himself on the edge of Midgar; it tells us where the buster sword came from. Zack's own story links them all together for us.
There are some elements which could do with more explanation: namely Lazard, Cissnei, Loveless and Minerva, but the story rarely feels contrived. Zack himself is portrayed very well - by turns he comes across as naive, simplistic, funny, caring, arrogant, determined and confused.
Crisis Core also has its fair share of tear jerking and laugh-out-loud moments. Sometimes both - I would never have thought a flower cart (3rd version) could make me laugh so much.

* Missions: These are very routine. There are 300 of them in total but the rewards can be worth the toil. They don't add much to the plot, although the Yuffie missions are quite amusing. However, they can be quite testing and don't take long so good for the pick-up/put-down PSP.

* The box set itself: The art book is nice, but not special (and not very long). The cover is better than the standard edition package.

For the Final Fantasy VII fan this is a must-buy. For others the story might not be quite as enjoyable (in fact it could be quite confusing), but for the gameplay it's worth a look.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like Final Fantasy, Only Very Accessible, 24 Jun. 2008
By 
M. Robinson "Matt Robinson" (Huddersfield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Special Edition (PSP) (Video Game)
If you've every played a numbered Final Fantasy title then you'll know that it can take a good few hours before you settle into the game and you get to the stage where you're not fumbling around with weak characters. Crisis Core is a welcome change to this since you're right into the action very quickly and thanks to the new combat system, you really feel part of the action. It does this by being a great average of hack-n-slash gameplay and the kind of quick thinking strategy of FFXII. In fact alot of this game will remind you of FFXII, most noticably the way you move through level areas (the line of blue dots to show where the next screen is). Graphically its close to the early PS2 outtings for Square-Enix, games like Kingdom Hearts and FFX come to mind, but the quality is very high and extemely playable. Of note here is the sheer amount of FMV present. Not only is there a large amount of story played out this way (with some scenes lasting much longer than in any other FF game) its particularly exciting to see the summon monsters rendered fully every time they are called. Whilst the 'random' battles systems will no doubt infuriate many with its obviousness and repetitiveness, the overall mix of story vs action is very well balanced. But perhaps the best feature of the game as a whole is the multitude of side quests or 'missions'. Unlike in other FF games (notably FFXII) missions can be undertaken at anytime by simply standing at a save point and selecting Mission from the menu. No more spending hours trailing back-and-forth just to activate the next quest. This means also that charater leveling is much faster and more accessible to those who enjoy that aspect. From almost the start of the game there are enough side quests to give you the level increase to have a serious advantage over any opponent. Although the story can seem a little trite in places with somewhat desperate attempts to crowbar-in FFVII references and explanations, its a satisfying outting made all the sweeter by its superb playabilty. So it may not be as in-depth as a numbered title, but its fast accessibility will keep any Final Fantasy fan happy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars unexpected fun, 24 Sept. 2008
By 
This review is from: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Special Edition (PSP) (Video Game)
my first thoughts with this were "oh no another FF7 spinoff" but i decided oh it cant be that bad, and my brother asked me to get this for his birthday anyway. so i really had no choice but to buy it. after getting it for his birthday i let him play it for a few days and he thought it was really good.

so i asked him could i have a try at it, instantly changed my first thoughts on this game. the combat system is great, although there is the one flaw of being invincible to spells such as flare and ultima. but other than that i could see no flaws.

the FMV's in this game were simply beautiful, there really are no other words to describe them.

i also think that it is nice to get a take on Zack's story and get to see how he developed as well as the main enemy sephiroth. i never really liked sephiroth mainly because i thought he was a typical villain just wanting to blow up the earth like most of the final fantasy villains do. but seeing his back story on his friends made me feel a bit sorry for the guy.

the special edition also comes with a artbook and a nice case, the artbook has some really good drawings of each level and character and was nice to look at even if it was for 5 minutes.

overall very good game and definitely worth a buy even if it is the normal version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic. Now Bring on a remake of ff7 please., 7 April 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Special Edition (PSP) (Video Game)
This game isn't as good as final fantasy 7, but there probably won't ever be a final fantasy as good as seven again.

However, this game is a must buy for any final fantasy 7 fan.

The story is fantastic and the gameplay is fun. After dirge of cerberus, this is a godsend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best action rpg's available, 21 Jan. 2014
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Special Edition (PSP) (Video Game)
I could write exactly what everyone else puts but you've read all that so im putting my personal thoughts on it
The game play is simple yet effective you don't need to be a rocket scientist to play and i wish more ff games where in this format

Cut scenes are on par with the quality from advent children

Graphics Over all show what the psp is capable of and the layouts and levels are all different

The game its self is huge and to complete the game in its entirety could take a few run throughs to reach lvl 99

The characters are very well developed and you can see how much time they took to develop it
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