Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Zack attack

On a cheerier note, my review of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is up now at I can't recommend this one highly enough.

I'm actually still trying to finish it. I put just about 20 hours into the game for the review, but I keep getting sidetracked by the missions. There are a few in-game side-quests to undertake, but the bulk of them are menu-driven: at a save point, you just select the "missions" option. While I'm not sure just how many missions there are, it's got to be in the hundreds. I think I've spent the majority of my playing time on them and I think I've only recently crested 40% completion.

Yesterday I made the mistake of taking on the mission with 1,000 Wutai soldiers, which took over an hour and ten minutes. It wasn't hard, particularly once the DMW gave me no MP cost for the duration, but the lack of difficulty almost made it more boring. And then my reward was "Mug" materia, which I am sure not to use. (Frankly, I've barely deviated from a mix of Fire/Blizzard/Thunder/Cure/MP Up/HP Up since I started, and it's served me well.)

But I'm just bitching because I thought I'd make more progress toward the main storyline. One thing I've always loved about the Final Fantasy series is how they can tell these tales about the end of the world, but the real drama is essentially between the main characters. You don't fight the bad guys just because it's the right thing to do, but because you need to put right some personal conflict. And it usually works. Certainly works here.


Daniel Purvis said...

Oh yeah, you got stuck doing the missions like a chump too, eh? I put in 28 hours before completion and ended up at just over 50% complete. I'm tempted to go back but I know it's just a lost cause because I won't get any of the other work I'm supposed to get doing, done.

For the majority of the game I had Assault Twister+, Hell Firaga, Status Attack, Graviga and then whatever I felt provided the best bonuses after that. Actually, I managed to get the Assault Twister + up to 25+ attack power.

That load out meant that the 1000 Wutai soldiers all died in a single hit (Hell Firaga and Status Attack = Death status, which is an instant kill) and the Assault Twister would take out the entire clump as they appeared.

I found the music one of the most impressive things about Crisis Core. It was comprised of charming acoustic tracks, heavy rock and the sparse use of operatic compositions in a way that only benefitted the game. Unlike DMC4, which basically thrust death metal in your face. I know DMC and Crisis Core are vastly different games, but the sound techs working on DMC could have learned a thing or to from CC.

One of the most dissapointing elements of Crisis Core was the lack of a real reward once you've completed the game. Sure, you can start a New Game+ as a badass but there's not a whole lot of reward (especially if you spent as much time exploring the side quests the first time through as I did).

In addition, I loved the way the virtual grinding WAS removed from the main game by turning it into Missions. It provided a good time out from the story and I actually hope more developers take up the idea. Although, I would have liked to see a little more variation in them, deeper than "find monster. Kill monster. Get reward."

Daniel Purvis said...

Oh, did I mention the closing CG was one of the most satisfying, rewarding and fulfilling sequence I'd seen in a damn long time. Yes, even more so than BioShock (though maybe not The Darkness).

Mitch Krpata said...

Boy, you make me realize how much I'm missing out with my Materia. The only ones I've even mastered that I'm not using right now are Steal and... maybe just Steal. I think I just got Hell Firaga, so maybe I'll give that a whirl.

The missions maybe could have been deeper, but on the other hand it was nice to know that it was usually just going to be a couple battles and you were done. It worked well for a portable system. I might have had different standards if it were a console game.

SVGL said...

Even I got sucked into the missions and I'm an FF story nerd.

You get this thing called "Mortal Shock" and the 1,000 infantrymen is a snap. It's a one-hit kill on human enemies.

I geeked over materia fusion too, until I went on Gamefaqs and realized just how impossibly impossible it is for a math-challenged like myself. It's like nuclear science or something.

Daniel Purvis said...

Leigh, I completely understand where you're coming from.

I took a gander at the GameFaqs thing as well and, it reminds me of Penny Arcade discussing Pokefanatics that keep entire Excel charts on the current and projected development of their pokemon. In fact, many of those Materia sheets feature ALGEBRA!

Mitch, true that those missions offered a nice reprieve from the complex stories. Actually, I found myself ploughing through three to four missions on the bus to and from work. I probably blasted through 20% of the missions that way. Oh, the secret to mastering materia is to place them in slots 2 through to 5. For some reason, slots 1 and 6 never levelled up, well maybe once, but they were really neglected by the DMW rolls!

I was kind of lucky when I picked up the Hell and Status materia. When you unlock the Wutai store, you instantly gain the ability to purchase them and as I hadn't spent a single Gil up till that point, I had just enough to buy one of both! It made the game a walkthrough from that point onwards haha

If this were a console game, I'd have expected the game to be more story driven. Focussing even more on the other characters, such as Kunsel, Angeal and the ability to spend more time with Aerith.

I'd also have wanted an Action-Adventure title, with more physical exploration in much richer environments, a more developed combat system and less actual fights. I'd hate to grind from my chair at home.


I LOVE the original FF7 - it's one of my favourite games EVER! I didn't know there was this one though - I'd heard of Dirge of Cerberus which is engaging but too short but I've never heard of this. Is it the same story as FF7 or a different one?
I absolutely LOVE this blog - I'm such a gaming nerd that there's nothing I can't love here!

Mitch Krpata said...

I didn't enjoy Dirge of Cerberus at all. Crisis Core is much truer to the spirit of FFVII.

Daniel Purvis said...

Huh. I finished Dirge of Cerberus and they completely missed the point. Despite the fact the story was complete arse, the environments underwhelming, the controls restrictive and just, so un-FFVII; I actually enjoyed playing the game. Though, enjoying in the same way Winback 2 is enjoyable - it's cheesy as all hell and good for a laugh.

Honestly though, it should have been a DMC clone haha.

Steve said...

Your point about why the Final Fantasy series works so well (character driven) is dead on. Why they've never just made the FF7 game into a movie EXACTLY as it plays out in the game, I'll never know. The FF movies released so far have been atrocious and the games have never been as good as when the FF7 universe was the source.

Anonymous said...

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What format is Crisis Core on please? I'd like to look it up, even though I'm 3 hours through the original (lol, up to Shinra Building just after you meet Red lololol)

Mitch Krpata said...

Jamjarsuperstar, it's on the Sony PSP.

legendary_slacker said...

Hmmm... I don't think it's 1000 Wutai soldiers. I think it's Shinra soldiers from the 1st mission rite?

Well, I'm like 99% mission complete. Just running around mugging items to fuse materia with. Have fused quite a few +100 to atk, mag, spr and vit, and gotten most of the ulti items. Last mission to complete: Minerva.

Don't know why I'm putting off killing her though. It's always like this when I'm playing a FF game. I always try to max out everything first. Damn... I've like, too many mastered materia.

But of all the FF games, I still like FFVII the most. The storyline really left an impression on me. It just stunned me with the depth of it. With CC, it's just one more step to explaining the full story of FFVII: the story of Zack, Cloud's predecessor.

Anonymous said...

Hey,I found your blog on blogger's main page, btw. I hated Dirge of Cerberus! :(

ivanlum said...

this is stupid as it is very EASY i finished it in 15 min .All you need 50 potins a pheonix down that you can get from the potion they offer for soldier fro the woman from the entrance there you jus hav to equipt the materia that allows you to hav 999999 hp
2. equipt the materia that allows you to get chissinei on the dmw more this gets your dmw heavenly
3 upgrade materia up till +280% plus by equipting mogs amulet and doing missions that allow you to get AP UP/HP/STR etc (depending on wad you wan )

Anonymous said...

okay i FINALLY got to Minerva and she is really just.... pwning on me... :(

so who do you think is harder: Minerva, Ruby, or Emerald?

personally i think its emerald but that's just me