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April 29 2008
Crisis Core - Final Fantasy VII - PSP Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
Q'3 2008UbisoftSquare-EnixSquare-Enix1$69.95
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Graphically Square-Enix delivers again.
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That's quite an enemy to battle.

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Go ahead, name these characters.
There is no denying the size of Final Fantasy as a franchise. To date this game, which was release some time ago in Japan, and only last month in America has managed to surpass sales of 1.1 million units. Not a bad effort at all, but what would you expect when you have developed a prequel to one of the most loved games of all time, Final Fantasy VII on PSOne. With sales in Japan and America for this game now topping 1.2 million units and still growing this is a big title, not only for Square-Enix, but also Sony in their battle for continued sales for their handheld.

You can be certain of one thing; one short paragraph won't even scratch the surface of the storyline in this game. But here we go anyway...

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You got me, it's a Japanese screenshot.
Crisis Core is set seven years prior to the events of Final Fantasy VII. The Shinra Company is finalizing construction of its base and symbol of prosperity: the enormous city of Midgar. When Genesis, a prominent SOLDIER 1st Class in Shinra's private army disappears with his contingent, young prodigy Zack is given the task of seeking him out.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII manages to blend action and RPG (Role Playing Game) elements together. The game includes a real-time battle system which promises (as the press release states) 'the latest evolution of classic FINAL FANTASY gameplay'. Fans of the original game will be more then aware of the turn based nature of that game, but given the passing of time, and the increase in power offered with the PSP over the original PSOne this is a change for the better.

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Levels can become quite complex.
Besides the main quest the developers are including dozens of side-missions. While only lasting minutes each, they are certainly a great diversion from the main game. As one would expect there is no room for multi-player in this title, through either online Infrastructure or Wireless Ad Hoc modes.

Graphics in Crisis Core are nothing short of spectacular, no doubt about it. First of all the game will be littered with those gorgeous cut-scenes which Square-Enix has become so famous for and the in-game graphics look every bit as impressive as well. Backgrounds are decent enough, and the characters are modeled and animated superbly. What should have fans drooling is the prospect of many locations from Final Fantasy VII being remodeled in 3D for this game.

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Now that's some wonderful visuals.
There's so much more we could say about Crisis Core, but I won't go on. It looks like a must-have title whenever it releases with the only real disappointment being the lengthy translation time to prepare the title for the European market (which is not unusual for a game of this nature we must add).

Japan saw Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII hit shelves on September 13, 2007 while America received it on March 25, 2008. Europe is currently looking at a June 20 release however a push into Q'3 2008 is quite possible. Australia will see a release through Ubisoft who have secured the distribution rights in this territory.