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Six reasons not to worship Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core

So you’ve finished Crisis Core and maybe even managed to defeat Minerva with the Materia Fusion Guide. Was it all worth it? Is Crisis Core worth the purchase? To most Final Fantasy die hards, collecting this UMD is a must (probably even getting the Japanese AND the English version is on every collector’s to do list) but to the regular gamer, what does Crisis Core really give us?

A stepping stone for one, since it’s a great reason to replay the original game, watch Advent Children then play Dirge of Cerberus all over again. The next would be answer to the timeless (or maybe not so timeless) question of “Who was Zack?” But after all that, did Crisis Core really deliver? Here’s some reasons why it didn’t make my Top Games list.

  1. Story mode is too easy

    If you spend time a few minutes at a time doing missions, it’s likely that Zack (your character) will end up so powerful that even the toughest boss in the story (not the missions, Minerva is overkill if you don’t build your equipment and materia right) will be a cinch. Due to the limited amount of equipment and materia you can equip, you’ll find that most battles turn out to be one sided, that is, favoring the side with the higher level or a skill or equipment that cancels out the other’s attack.

  2. Nothing really NEW

    While I seriously doubt any FF 7 fan who played through the game was disappointed to see Zack, Sephiroth and the rest of the gang in their earlier lives, it doesn’t change the fact that Crisis Core doesn’t add anything really new to the story line. This is to be expected with prequels (excluding Star Wars) so that they won’t outshine the game that they are supposed to prelude. How can I say nothing’s new with all the elements Crisis Core has added to the FF 7 mythos? The fact that nothing in the whole game happened to alter FF 7.

  3. Game or interactive movie?

    Don’t get me wrong, the opening sequence and the intermittent “movies” in between scenes and major events in the game are a real treats to any FF, CGI or even just fantasy fan. It’s like watching Advent Children all over again but with Crisis Core characters.. err.. wait. The flaw I’m seeing in Square’s blending on cutscenes and gameplay is that players get more interested in watching than playing. After all, compared to the movies, the whole game looks pixelated. For some reason, Crisis Core feels like Xenosaga all over again. A game with too many cutscenes for comfort.

  4. Oversimplified system

    By now, gamers are aware of the capability of the PSP platform which is why very few of us are expecting PS2 games on them unless they officially get ported. The upside of that is that we are also aware of what the platform can do. While the revamped battle system for Crisis Core quite fits the game’s purpose, it’s somewhat lacking when compared to the flexibility of FF 7’s materia system since you’re limited to just 6 materias and 4 equipments (the original game allows you to equip materias on your equipment which has 4 categories)

  5. Complicated concoctions

    Square-Enix couldn’t complicate the story so I guess settled with another part of the game. That is, the game is simple to understand in itself but the way to do things right to be able to overpower almost every creature in the game (with the exception of Minerva of course) is so very complicated. Why? Most of the materia combinations are either very unusually or even ones that you won’t expect (like Flare + DMW = Ultima for example). Getting your stats to max (or at least a level where you’re basically a walking tank) is maddeningly repetitive.

  6. Very Limited, Limited Edition

    The Limited Edition PSP package was released in Japan together with the Japanese version of the game. The US release didn’t get the same treatment and with just 77,777 units to go around, very few units were shipped overseas and non-japanese fans (like me) can only drool about having one of them to tout around. The Limited Edition Crisis Core package is probably the only PSP package that I really wanted to have, that is until I got wind of the God of War Limited Edition PSP.

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