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Monday, May 21, 2012

Crisis Core: First Impressions, and Updates


The school year is done, graduation is imminent, and this senior project scored 19 points out of a possible 20! I think it's safe to say that PG's Game Room was more than sufficient as a senior project. Now it's time to see how well I can manage it on my own. >_<

Anyways, I recently started playing Crisis Core, the PSP prequel to Square's legendary PS1 classic Final Fantasy VII. Crisis Core was released in 2007 as part of the 'Compilation of Final Fantasy VII', a series of spinoffs and side stories to Final Fantasy VII that had mixed results. The gorgeous yet bland CGI film Advent Children, and the terrible shooter Dirge of Cerberus, certainly didn't live up to expectations, but Crisis Core is easily the best of the Compilation project, and, if first impressions are anything to go by, one of the best games Square Enix has put out in a long time.

For those who don't know, Crisis Core is an action-RPG akin to Kingdom Hearts, where the player controls Zack Fair, Cloud's mentor in SOLDIER, as he performs missions for the Shinra Corporation. Thus far, the story has managed to be engaging; there's a large amount of winks and nudges to the original game, which is to be expected of a prequel, but the main story has, for the most part, stood on its own well, with Zack and cohorts tracking down a rogue SOLDIER 1st Class named Genesis, who is raising an army to take down Shinra.

I'm still playing Xenogears at the moment, and I'll aim to have that done within a week or two, although I can't guarantee anything. Afterwards, I'm going to start a PS2 game. After Xenogears, I'm not sure I want to play anything incredibly long or slow-paced (Persona 3: FES and Dragon Quest VIII being two backlogged games that come to mind), so Rogue Galaxy is probably next on the agenda. Level 5's PS2 action-RPG has been on my to-do list for quite some time, and I'm looking forward to finally playing it. What little I've seen of the game is absolutely stunning.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Review: Xenogears (PS1)

Tetsuya Takahashi is a game designer I’ve always admired. As someone who enjoys epic storytelling in games, it is hard not to appreciate his work. With his latest game Xenoblade Chronicles making headlines all over the gaming press, I thought I’d finally try to gain a larger frame of reference for Takahashi’s past projects by playing Xenogears, the 1998 mecha-themed RPG that has maintained a large fanbase over the years. Xenogears certainly isn’t lacking for ambition, but does this Squaresoft classic hold up today?


I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Old Review: Final Fantasy III (DS)

I had a couple more of my older game reviews lying around, so I thought I'd finally get around to putting this one up. The next new review I'll be doing is Xenogears; it takes me a while to play through games, and Xenogears is slower than most.

Almost every RPG fan has a game that introduced them to the wonderful world of level ups and healing potions. Not counting Pokemon, Final Fantasy III for the DS was the first serious RPG I ever played through. In addition, it was also my introduction to the Final Fantasy series. FF3 was one of the three games in the early (first six) installments that never saw a US release when they initially came out, along with Final Fantasies II and V. A full 3D remake of the game, just how enjoyable is this lost fantasy?