Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – my game of the year
Despite the camp overtones of this screenshot, I maintain that Crisis Core was my most entertaining gaming experience of the year
Despite the camp overtones of this screenshot, I maintain that Crisis Core was my most entertaining gaming experience of the year.
2008 has been a particularly kind year to the PS3, with Metal Gear Solid 4, Grand Theft Auto IV, MotorStorm Pacific Rift, Fallout 3 and (oh, go on then) Resistance 2 all choking up the multiformat charts while garnering solid levels of critical acclaim. The PSP, though, continues to be the diseased hand of the PlayStation brand. While a baffling hit in Japan, Monster Hunter Freedom 2 hasn’t taken a stranglehold over UK and American gamers in the same way, with the console’s two best-selling (and best) games this year being God Of War: Chains Of Olympus and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.
That was it, though, aside from SCEJ’s universally ignored Patapon. Out of those three titles, Crisis Core was the one that fiercely grabbed my attention, given that I am (and this is hard to admit) something of a Final Fantasy fanboy. The series has been somewhat off-colour lately, though, with two very dry DS remakes and Final Fantasy XII swerving slightly off-course for my preferences. This PSP action-RPG returned the franchise to what I perceive, at the very least, is its former glory.
Crisis Core – a direct prequel to the 10 million-shifting Final Fantasy VII – was like a Kingdom Hearts game with depth. The real-time combat was muddled slightly by the constant fruit machine-powered overdrives, but the amount of references to familiar names, places and events of the Final Fantasy VII universe, as well as a story that tied everything together, meant that I was engrossed for the 15-or-so hours I poured into it.
So there. I would’ve chose Grand Theft Auto IV, but I had to play through that three times. By the third time, I was about ready to take that big leap onto the railroad tracks.