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allyourbaseare Mar 24, 2008

So, for those who don't know, it was leaked last week onto the intarwebs.  I'm about 5-6 hours into it and I have to say that it's pretty fun.  Zack really isn't my first choice for a main protagonist, but he was kind of thrust into the situation. 

Battles handle fairly nicely, with a good amount of buttom mashing mixed with a little bit of strategy. 

The graphics are awesome.  Square's CGI department never drops the ball on their FMV's. 

The music:  well, it's been discussed before, but playing through the game really helps one absorb the soundtrack and get a better feel.  It's okay and probably would be better with some headphones. 

I don't remember the last time I played the psp this much.  smile

Angela Mar 24, 2008

I'll snag it sometime after it's released...... and after I'm through getting my booty handed to me in Patapon. :)

How is the game's mission structure system?  Its versatility and quick sessions seem like a perfect fit for an RPG portable.

allyourbaseare Mar 24, 2008

Actually, it is a pretty good fit for a portable RPG.  There are missions you can accept where you earn new items/summons/materia/whatever, and those can be accomplished in a few short minutes. 

The only gripe I have so far is the levelling system.  Theres a sort of slot machine in the upper left-hand corner and you get certain bonuses when different characters/numbers align.  You level up when they all read "777" and that's it.  It's completely random, although I feel the developers took great care in making sure that it would happen fairly often.  I'm at level 19 and there was one time when I gained two levels in the span of 2 minutes.  So it can be a good thing, but there's no real goal to reach for.  Just keep playing and it'll "eventually" happen. 

The controls are spot-on and so is the voice acting. 

Angela, I'm fairly impressed with the level of commitment you give all your games/music.  It seems like you're on top of every release as it comes out.  Kudos to you!  You're the kind of gamer I wish I could be - with a little more time and money.

Jay Mar 24, 2008

If it's anything like Japanese pachislo or pachinko machines, it's unlikely to be random. And that could potentially make for seriously unbalanced play. I imagine there must be some sort of system where certain things increase likelihood or even force a result.

At least, I hope there is.

I have this ordered and I'm quite looking forward to it. I haven't played a FF game in a while and I did love FFVII so much so I'm hoping I enjoy this.

Angela Mar 24, 2008

allyourbaseare wrote:

Angela, I'm fairly impressed with the level of commitment you give all your games/music.  It seems like you're on top of every release as it comes out.  Kudos to you!  You're the kind of gamer I wish I could be - with a little more time and money.

Ah, that's awesome of you to say, thank you. :)  For a while, I believed that my initiative for new games was going to wane throughout the last generation or two, but then companies just keep coming out with interesting stuff.  All the same, while I try to give every game I pick up a fair shake, in truth, I think I end up playing a LOT less than I let on.  I just happen to be overly zealous - some will say to a fault, even - for the titles I feel especially passionate about.

Anyway, Crisis Core is sounding awfully cool.  I also saved the OST for listen in the game itself, so it's great to hear of its in-context effectiveness.  My only fear for playing the game is that it may bring out that deeply-buried desire every fan feels for wanting a PS3-style FFVII remake.  You feeling that yet? ;)

raynebc Mar 25, 2008 (edited Mar 25, 2008)

Angela wrote:

You feeling that yet? wink

Yes, every time I think about Final Fantasy as a series.  It would probably be the only title (Kingdom Hearts 3 pending) that would force my wallet into buying such an expensive game console.

tenninplusplus Mar 25, 2008

According to the director, the leveling isn't really random (the game counts experience points internally).

tenninplusplus Mar 25, 2008

Oh, and I guarantee that if an FF7 remake (or KH3 for that matter) is made for PS3, by the time it comes out (in 2012 or so), the console won't be so expensive anymore.

allyourbaseare Mar 25, 2008

Angela wrote:

I just happen to be overly zealous - some will say to a fault, even - for the titles I feel especially passionate about.

I have to admit, I'm still that way about Sonic the Hedgehog.  Say what you will, his early stuff gets me to this day.  BTW "Sonic Unleashed" looks about 10 steps in the right direction.

Angela wrote:

Anyway, Crisis Core is sounding awfully cool.  I also saved the OST for listen in the game itself, so it's great to hear of its in-context effectiveness.  My only fear for playing the game is that it may bring out that deeply-buried desire every fan feels for wanting a PS3-style FFVII remake.  You feeling that yet? wink

I'm not really feeling the remake right now, although I'm sure that will change once the game's over.  It's weird:  Sephiroth (so far) isn't a real bad guy in this game.  You work with him and actually converse with him as well.  It's kind of weird to see someone who epitomized the "bad guy" as a "nice guy".  I'm still waiting for the hammer to drop, though.

Zane Mar 25, 2008

allyourbaseare wrote:

It's weird:  Sephiroth (so far) isn't a real bad guy in this game.  You work with him and actually converse with him as well.  It's kind of weird to see someone who epitomized the "bad guy" as a "nice guy".  I'm still waiting for the hammer to drop, though.

Speaking of Sephiroth, this article is kind of interesting.

allyourbaseare Mar 25, 2008

Zane wrote:

Speaking of Sephiroth, this article is kind of interesting.

Saw that article awhile ago.  Pretty good read.

Oh, and as far as the levelling goes, within 20 seconds, I levelled twice.  ????

brandonk Mar 27, 2008 (edited Mar 27, 2008)

I have to say, this is a GREAT game.  Lots of fun, and I have literally spent over 3 hours playing the game. (That's a substantial amount of video game time, if I'm not playing call of duty 4..lol).  Awesome production quality, I really feel like I'm participating in a pretty cool 'story' / movie..

I have to admit, I have NO idea what's going on during the level up / slot machine game....do I have any control by hitting certain buttons??  Plenty of leveling and cool 'awards' have come my way, no less.

Agreed on playing the PSP...a perfect pick-up after completing Castlevania Chronicles.  PSP...all it needs is content!

Angela Mar 30, 2008 (edited Mar 31, 2008)

Picked up Crisis Core today, and sunk about two hours into it.  I wholeheartedly agree with both allyourbaseare and brandonk: as an RPG, I'm enjoying it on a level that's surprising even for me.  It's.... well, it really is COOL, for one thing.  Edgy.  It feels great re-entering the futuristic tech-world of FF7; Midgar, Shinra, SOLDIER.  Materia.  Buster Swords.  Mako speak.  Deep blue eyes.  And.... squats. ;) 

The game's play mechanics have been pretty easy to pick up.  I'm not one for exploration in my games anymore, so I do appreciate the FFX-esque point A to B linear paths that they've laid out.  Yet, at the same time, I like how they give you goal-oriented options that you can choose to partake in if you so wish; imagine my surprise when I actually WANTED to do the backtracking elimination during the Wutai palace assignment.  Digging the quick in-and-out nature of the battles, too.  If I have one qualm about the battle system, though, it's that it's easy to accidentally switch to the Items menu and use an item unintentionally; I was horrified when I used up an Elixir without even knowing it.  The Limit Breaks, too, glitzy and somewhat lengthy as they are, might be more fun had they offered a more interactive element to them. (Like Squall's LBs, for example.)  And it would've been nice to have more of a direct influence as to the way the D.M.W. system plays out, too.

Nothing more needs to be said about the graphics.  They're of the highest caliber, pretty much the best you'll ever see on the PSP yet.  I love the CG cutscenes rendered in that slick Advent Children vein, and the in-game engine rivals the best of Nomura's art direction from PS2 titles like FFX and Kingdom Hearts.  As for the music, color me an instant fan.  Its stylistic shifts between techno grunge-rock, dreamy piano and strings ensemble, jazz, and alternative/contemporary fuses a sweet soundscape between the hard-hitting SOLDIER mentality and the more natural non-Midgar settings.  I'm progressing through the OST as I'm playing the game, and I've already culled some faves: Toyama's "Mission Start" marriages nostalgia and orchestral prowess, making for an unbelievably wicked opening sequence.  Ishimoto's "Theme of CRISIS CORE" has gotten pretty infectious, especially the near Western-like "Under The Apple Tree" variation, while "Wandering On A Sunny Afternoon" is the complete summation of the badass coolness that this game lets off.  Right, and the throwbacks to the original VII pieces sure don't hurt either.

Story-wise, it's got promise.  Zack reminds me of a more goal-driven Tidus.  Upbeat, exuberant, has room for personal growth - but also with a set purpose, which, at least from our initial interpretation of the character, is rooted in a sense of nobility.   The thematic threads of heroism, desires, and honor that the game lays bare at the beginning - coupled with the idea of working for the 'bad guys' - should make for interesting catalysts for Mr. Fair.  We of course know that Zack's journey will end in tragedy, but one hopes that the journey isn't without meaning, and that it'll make a worthy canon piece to the FFVII storyline.

So yeah, I've got a good feeling about Crisis Core.  It takes a hell of a lot to keep me focused on an RPG nowadays.  The fact that CC's gotten me past the first two hours and left me with continued interest..... it has to be doing SOMETHING right.

Zane Mar 30, 2008

Angela wrote:

I'm not one for exploration in my games anymore

And I'm not one for taste in my food, or sounds in my music!

XLord007 Mar 30, 2008

Angela wrote:

I'm not one for exploration in my games anymore, so I do appreciate the FFX-esque point A to B linear paths that they've laid out.

Not that I had any interest in this game, but this seals the deal for me.  Exploration is the one of the only things I still like about RPGs.  That's why I don't play RPG/Strategy games or dungeon hacks.

allyourbaseare Mar 31, 2008

Great write-up Angela.  I think you pretty much said everything I was thinking!

One thing has come to mind:  Isn't this Ishimoto's 2nd/3rd soundtrack?  I believe we have yet to really see what he's capable of.  I would bring some of the old composers in as examples, but they've proven themselves quite capable even with their first OST's:  Tanioka, Hamauzu, Nakano & even Kikuta showed they were chosen for the right reasons all on their first soundtrack.  While I'm not the biggest fan of Ishimoto's rock/grunge/noise, he could end up surprising us in the future.

brandonk Mar 31, 2008 (edited Mar 31, 2008)

Zane wrote:
Angela wrote:

I'm not one for exploration in my games anymore

And I'm not one for taste in my food, or sounds in my music!

In her defense,  I definitely agree with Angela's sentiment...Unless that exploration is built in a well layed out game design.  Too often, over the years, I have found myself looking under the wrong rocks, shelf's, caves, etc.. only to waste hours.  I think this is a sign of getting older, for me at least.  Time is of the essence, and I simply don't have much of it that I want to spend aimlessly searching for trivial 'things'.  A case in point, I played through Oblivion, and though that game is very open, everything started to look the same.  There was no real interest in doing anything other than following an FAQ fairly closely to completion.

In fact, I think the last game that I really enjoyed it's sense of exploration, was Star Control II.  Love that game, and no, I never 'finished' it.

I also think this has a bit to do with the game residing on a portable system, and perhaps battery life was part of the developers thought process.   For an Action/RPG this game is immediately accessible for a quick few minutes, thanks in large part to many well placed save points.

Question - Is it really possible to fly with one full wing, and one gimpy wing?  Guess so...

Jay Apr 5, 2008

This came for me last week. Loved the opening and it totally brought me back to FFVII.

But three or four hours in, I can't help wondering is this it? The FMVs are lovely of course but the gameplay so far has been just walking down paths with a dull battle every time there's enough room to have one. I can now understan Angela's lack of exploration comment. But I'm with Zane on this. This barely seems to be a game, never mind an RPG.

I'm taking it as a given that the FMV bits will be great and the story will develop well but, as for the rest of it, does it get better or is this just not for me?

allyourbaseare Apr 7, 2008

It gets better.

Just try not to do too many of the side missions in one sitting.  The game will seem dull compared to the rest of it, although they are key because of levelling.

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