Last exit before purgatory

Excuse me, miss. Which way to the nearest worthwhile Final Fantasy game?

Yeah, so a reviewable copy of Crisis Core landed on my desk yesterday. I find myself torn on this one just a bit — as much as I’ve dumped on Final Fantasy VII, I still feel like the kernel of a really good RPG is buried in there, under a few tons of crusty residue left by gaming’s awkward transition to 32-bit 3D. But a decent remake still isn’t in the cards (gotta focus on making the original Final Fantasy the single most remade game ever, don’t you know) and the spin-offs to date have been… well, less than inspiring, shall we say.

So this is it. This is Final Fantasy VII’s last chance to redeem itself. If Crisis Core succeeds, it will rise to the heavens. If it fails, it will sink to hell. Or something like that.

Wow, suddenly I had the weirdest urge to play a DS port of FFVII. What’s that about?

Oddly enough, this means I am currently working reviews of two games in which the developers have attempted to spice up a generally shallow combat engine by adding in a totally random slot machine roulette element that affects battle conditions. (The other being No More Heroes.) Since I’m doing small “second opinion” write-ups, it also means that I’m going to be sinking 30-40 hours into these two games for a grand total of 180 words. I like the breadth of opinion that the EGM three-review format offers, but sometimes I wish the ratio of time invested to results here were weighted a bit more in my favor.

12 thoughts on “Last exit before purgatory

  1. The urge to play a DS port of FFVII… I’ve had that before, myself. Indeed, when Final Fantasy III for the DS was revealed, completely redone with a 3D engine, I figured that Square Enix was obviously working on an FFVII DS remake, since going to the effort of making a 3D engine for the DS just to make an FFIII remake seemed highly unlikely. Of course, Final Fantasy IV’s announcement for the DS threw a wrench into that train of thought, but one still has to wonder if Square Enix will be smart enough to put their eventual FFVII remake on the system with 66 million units sold instead of the one with 10 million sold.

  2. Crisis Core is a guilty pleasure for me. Also, Zack is a much more likable protagonist than Cloud.

  3. Final Fantasy VII is like your first love. You shake your head and wonder what the hell you ever saw in her, but no matter what happens, damned if she doesn’t still make you nostalgic.

    I *thought* I read a few years ago that Hironobu Sakaguchi said that FFVII wouldn’t be remade as long as new systems still had backwards compatibility for PSX games. With the way things are now, though, who knows?

  4. You know a larger review is always welcome here. I mean, it’s your site and we’ll be damned if we actually have any say in what you put up here, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more than a 180 word smidgen of a review.

    Especially if you go into depth about how it compares to the extremely flawed original. I’m personally wondering if it’s going to fix a lot of the storyline qualms (doubtful), the materia system (possible), and just other facets of FFVII that haven’t exactly been kind to it ten years down the road.

  5. Getting right down to it, the worst part about the compilation games is that they’ve locked the internet in an endless loop of either bitching about the original game as the worst hangover they’ve ever had or rushing to defend it like Sephy’s Avenging Angel or something (though Nomura’s train-wreck approach to gamemaking is a close second).

    FF7’s just zis game, you know?

  6. I agree with Rand. That’s exactly how I feel about FFVII. First RPG I ever played and holy smokes did it rock my world.

    Was the game really that padded though? I remember it being honestly EPIC compared to other games out at the time.

  7. In contrast to Rukiri and Rand, my first RPG was Dragon Warrior (Quest) on the NES. I still vaguely remember the lame commercial with the knight, on a white horse, riding through a forest.

    When I first played FF VII, I was wishing it was on the SNES. Seriously, the 2D sprites of FF VI were/are far superior to early, blocky, PSX days.

    But I did enjoy VII back then. But today I can’t bring myelf to replay that horribly translated attrocity. I’m totally looking forward to Crisis Core though. It’s going to be a long wait ’till the end of March. Man, did the PSP get a shot of “awesome” in 2007 or what?

  8. “Final Fantasy VII is like your first love. You shake your head and wonder what the hell you ever saw in her, but no matter what happens, damned if she doesn’t still make you nostalgic.”

    For me it was like a first big breakup: you’ve had a major fight and you realize you’ve grown apart. Though you may still be friends from here on out, you just don’t feel the way you used to. Even in the good times you don’t have the passion that was there in the beginning. But enough of that, that train of thought is older than dirt.

    “why is there a younger transgender brown haired sephiroth telling people to go play FFXII?”

    Has anybody else noticed that- even when Zippers Nomura isn’t in charge of character design- all of Square’s female leads look exactly the same? (And Sephiroth, I guess.) Rinoa=Yuna=Ashe=Aerith=XIII-chick-whose-name-I-don’t-care-about.

  9. “Was the game really that padded though? I remember it being honestly EPIC compared to other games out at the time.”

    I didn’t really notice much padding until after the Northern Crater. After that, it became a fetch quest which was of no benefit to AVALANCHE.

    “Hey guys, Shinra is trying to save the Planet!”

    “But the knowledge of the Ancients might be in the Materia they’re using. Screw the Planet; this Materia no one ever heard of is more important!”

    And then of course, IIRC, nothing ever comes of the Huge Materia, as it’s completely forgotten after you collect it.

  10. From what I can remember from the ending, the White Materia either 1)Amplified the Black Materia’s meteorite to help it destroy Midgard or 2)Sheltered the world from the meteorite’s power so that it only destroyed Midgard. IIRC the White Materia served to protect the planet from danger, and the biggest threat it faced was not humans but their bloated technology.
    That was my take on it anyway. I rather liked the ending, especially how Midgard was doomed either way.

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