80°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Video Game Connoisseur

The Video Game Connoisseur

People may think this blasphemous, but I don’t really like “Final Fantasy VII.” Not that I completely hate it, in fact, it was amazing that the first RPG to be made in 3D with polygons instead of sprites, but the overall game was lacking. Ultimately you just went from town to town with a dungeon or obstacle of some kind between each one. “Final Fantasy VII” has my least favorite ending of any game ever; I hate the ending.

However Final Fantasy VII (referred to hereafter as FFVII) has a huge following and somewhere along the line, “Compilation of Final Fantasy VII” appeared. Square decided to start making prequels and sequels to FFVII. Now you may be thinking, “So what?” but this is the video game equivalent of Star Wars. Everyone liked the original Star Wars trilogy. When George Lucas made a special edition, only the purists complained, while most people were fine with it. I’m fine with sequels to FFVII (though I have to wonder why Square only makes sequels to the two Final Fantasies I don’t like: VII and X), but when you start making prequels, more often than not things are going to either get restated for the hundredth time or will clarify a point of contention amongst fans. But who cares what the fans think? Because they’re the ones paying.

After FFVII was made, the first addition was “Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII” which was released only in Japan for cell phones. “Before Crisis” served as a quasi-prequel taking place 6 years before the original game and served to set up the reason the world of FFVII was ruled by ruthless power company Shinra Electric Power. Then there was “Final Fantasy: Advent Children,” which was a sequel to the original game and finished up the story of the main character, Cloud. Released with “Advent Children” was the “Last Order: Final Fantasy VII,” which was basically an animated version of the major event that happened shortly before the original game that most of the original game was centered around. Square Enix then made “Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus,” which wraps up the story of Vincent Valentine, the optional character of the original FFVII. “Dirge of Cerberus” also offers many “what the hell?” moments, with almost no connection to anything in the other games.

Now Square has made “Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII,” the definitive prequel to FFVII, that focuses on Zack, a Shinra SOLDIER of an elite fighting group who served under Sephiroth, the villain of FFVII. Many main characters from FFVII make appearances, including Cloud and Aeris. Zack is who Cloud more or less thought he was for the events of FFVII after what is known as the Nibelheim Event when Sephiroth went crazy during a routine inspection and burned down the town of Nibelheim, grievously wounding Tifa and Zack, and impaling Cloud who managed to lift him up by his own sword and throw him to his own death. “Crisis Core” covers Zack’s beginnings at SOLDIER up through this event as well as his and Cloud’s escape from Nibelheim to Midgar where Zack is killed.

“Crisis Core” plays a lot like “Kingdom Hearts” using an active battle system where you move around the battle field and attack freely. You can find and use Materia (objects that let you use magic) like in the original FFVII. During battle in the corner of the screen is a set of three reels like a slot machine. The reels constantly spin and when all three match up, you receive a power-up. The battle system is interesting but nothing wildly new. And knowing how the story would end, I wasn’t rushed to complete the game. I did it in about 35 hours, while my friend who loaned me the game did it in about 16 using chats. If you’re a FFVII fan and have a PSP, go ahead and get it. If you’re into RPG’s, give it a whirl. But if you’ve never played FFVII, you probably won’t get as big a kick out of it.