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Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - Play It
I finished up Crisis Core a couple of weeks ago and actually got a fair bit into a second play through. As many of you probably know, I'm a rabid Final Fantasy fan. The seventh iteration of the series had me engaged for many hours. Being the Nintendo nut that I am, I didn't have a PSX, so I actually played it on my (at the time) brand new Dell computer that my parents got me for college, which was the summer of '99, a couple years after its original release.

I never actually finished VII though. I got to the end boss and realized I had a ton of grinding to do and never went any farther. Regardless, I was gripped by the story while I was playing it, but I wasn't necessarily craving more as the years have gone by. Advent Children was tremendous eye candy, but it had the same effect. When I received a copy of Crisis Core, all I was really expecting was more of the same; an entertaining romp through a fantasy world full of stunning visuals. What I actually received as an absolutely stunning look into the characters of the VII universe.

For those that don't know, Crisis Core is a prequel to the original game. You play as Zack, an up and coming member of SOLDIER (A secret police-like task force). If you played through the first game you'll know that Aerith, one of the key characters, often described a SOLDIER member named Zack as her first boyfriend. She also mentions that he left for a mission at one point and never returned. The developers of Crisis Core take full advantage of this dramatic irony. Whether it be the excitement you feel as the relationship between Zack and Aerith begins to blossom or the constant pondering of how exactly the game will end, the storytelling iis a monumental achievement for the gaming industry.

The gameplay itself is actually quite stale. You can equip a certain amount of materia which gives you different abilities. The action button performs an ability and the L and R buttons cycle through which ability is currently active. You can also block and dodge roll with other buttons, but this is used rarely, as larger bosses are the only ones that have obvious attack patterns. The end result is a bunch of button tapping exercises as you wait for Zack to slice his enemies to bits. So why did I love the game so much?

Combine the epic story with the inane gameplay and Crisis Core is proof positive that story CAN save a video game. There is no reason NOT to play this game. You will forget about the boring gameplay almost immediately as you crave finding out what happens next. In my humble opinion, there is no other video game that accomplishes such a compelling and thought provoking story. You can even draw parallels to the current military dilemmas in today's world. Crisis Core is an unbelievable game on its own, and the prequel nature of it makes the original game all the better. Now I just have to decide if I want to replay VII now, or wait for the hopefully inevitable remake.

Play Crisis Core. Play it now.
By Mike on May 3, 2008 at 1:46pm EDT Topic(s): crisis core: final fantasy vii square enix psp games play it?

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