Phoenix Games Reviews Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

"Final Fantasy VII" played a pivotal role in shaping the role-playing genre. Now, in celebration of the game's ten-year anniversary, "Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII" serves as a prequel to the classic PlayStation game. In honor of its monumental success back in 1997, game publisher Square-Enix began a project dubbed "Compilation Final Fantasy VII." The compilation has spawned a number of spin-offs, most notably "Advent Children" and "Dirge of Cerberus," both of which left much to be desired. Fortunately, this is not the case with "Crisis Core."

One of the strongest points of this game, as with any Final Fantasy game, is the story. You play as Zack, an ambitious member of the elite group SOLDIER that seeks to protect the interests of the Shinra Corporation. Zack also fights alongside his friend and mentor Angeal, who is a member of SOLDIER as well. The game also tells the story of famed villain Sephiroth, and his downward spiral to evil. There are a number of other characters from the original that make an appearance here, satisfying the nostalgic desires fans have had for so long.

Regardless, what will undoubtedly impress veterans and newcomers alike are the production values. In both visual and audio quality, this game is a marvel to behold. The game is undoubtedly a graphical showpiece for the PSP, containing lush environments and superb character animation. The same goes for the music, which splices classic "FFVII" tunes with intense and emotion heightening rock music. The voice acting is a bit of a different story. While the acting itself is quite good, the script hurts the overall performance. Mind you, this is a Japanese game and with such brings a number of over the top quirks that are all too often laughable. Regardless, the complete production package is quite impressive.

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