I haven’t been watching anime over the vacation mainly because a PSP unit kept me busy. In reality, I’m not that much of a gamer but once I get a hang of a particular game, I’d do my best to play it through. Thus, ‘owning’ a PSP opened the path to some of my very few gaming dreams. And so for a change, I’m going to put up a post of a different flavor than the usual fare.
First up on the list…
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core.
One’s gaming experience wouldn’t be complete if you don’t get your hands on even a single installment of the series that made Square Enix famous, (and practically kept it alive and swimming in money) Final Fantasy. So for me, a PSP meant one thing: Crisis Core. Thanks to a jiu-jitsu classmate, I knew how this game was going to end. All that’s left for me now is to find out how that happened. And so — yeah, okay, I’ll shut up now. MOVING ON.
First problem encountered by the non-gamer me: controls. Unlike the regular X is jump, et cetera, et cetera, Crisis Core controls (which consist of your regular sword slash attack and a bunch of other materia of your choice) need cycling through using the L and R buttons — all that while you’re moving. I was all panicky and was practically eating every single bullet the soldiers were aiming at me while I was trying to figure out the controls. OH. YEAH. SOLDIERS. For the unacquainted, Crisis Core’s protagonist (and your character) is SOLDIER 2nd-turned-1st class, Zack Fair. Personally, I prefer Cloud to Zack. But Cloud’s kind of annoying in-game, so yeah.
Amazing story. Amazing execution. With plenty of side missions to do or not to do — the choice is yours. Missions give out items and Materia as rewards so you might want to do them. Also some DMW Materia can only be acquired through these Missions so I suggest you do them even though you’re itching to see what happens next in the story.
Oh, yes, the DMW. D’you notice that slots-like thingy spinning on the upper left corner of your screen? That’s the DMW. I don’t really understand it perfectly since I don’t have time to look at it while I’m slashing stuff but, from what I get, specific number combos churn out special effects. Like if you get a 777 or a 111, you’d be Invincible! Yes! Invincible! Plus, I think the DMW’s also responsible for triggering the Modulating Phase which enables you to get help from your dear friends. Yey! It’s too complicated to explain so let’s leave it at that.
Unlike the usual turn-based FF gamers know, Crisis Core’s, uhm, real time? I mean it’s the type where you get to explore your environment on your own and fight at your own pace. You don’t just wait while your opponent crushes you with his attack. Kind of like God of War. It’s only a bit annoying how you get stopped by enemies after ten steps. I wish I had Repel while playing the game.
Of course, Square Enix did not skimp on the cinematics. There’s plenty of eye-candy and everything’s so well done you can see every strand of Sephiroth’s glorious hair. The bosses and those gigantic dragon-things are also amazing. My sister and I were just all “Woooow~ o_o” while watching. But that’s just icing on the cake — the story was just so gut-wrenchingly beautiful, little sis and I were all teary by the end of the game. Background music, especially on the dramatic parts, is perfect although you might get deaf a bit if you’re playing with earphones on (or maybe that’s just me). All in all, it was one hell of an experience. Amazing! Awesome! Wonderful! Great! Everything ends in an exclamation point! Seriously, play it. It’s worth every hour.
P.S. Apologies for the lack of proper FF jargon. Non-gamer + first time FF player = clueless. I am aware of Potion, Ether, Remedy and Phoenix Down, though.