Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - Excellent Portable Design

Posted by vinyl_warrior (12 posts) -

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is an excellent Action-RPG, and it’s the first game under the Final Fantasy VII moniker to come to a handheld. In the transition from home console to portable, the developers made a number of smart design choices that tailor the game to the strengths of the portable PSP.

Perhaps the smartest design choice was the spacing of the game's save points. The ability to quickly get in and get out of a game is a key part of any well-designed portable game, and Crisis Core achieves this by having frequent save points. While not quite as good as a "save anywhere" design, the frequent save points work really well at breaking the game’s large story into smaller chunks. This design decision makes it so the player doesn’t have to worry about if he or she will have enough time to make it to the next save point before the bus comes or the battery runs out; the next save point is always nearby.

Another feature that fits the portable system well is the inclusion of Missions into the game. Accessed from the menu when at a save point (and another aspect that would be marginally improved with a save-anywhere design), the Missions are short, objective-based, optional tasks that can each be completed in less than 10 minutes. These are perfect distractions for small windows of time, and they have the added bonus of increasing the character’s statistics, which gives the feeling that even those small play sessions mean something in the main game. While I never explicitly focused on doing Missions, I still managed to complete over 30% of the 300 Missions during small windows of time that I had during my playthrough of the main story.

Perhaps the most under-noticed “feature” of the game is its ability to pause anywhere. No matter what was happening in the game, I was always able to pause it. That means during battles, in the main world, during in-game cutscenes, and, yes, even during the big, elaborate, CG summon movies. It seems like a throwaway idea, but someone on the development team thought about how that feature would improve the play experience, and the team nailed it. This is a feature that, while especially useful on portable systems, would be great in almost every game.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII doesn’t just take the Final Fantasy VII formula and put it on the PSP. Square-Enix took the time to reformat the universe for the PSP and paid attention to what would make the game great on a handheld. From top to bottom, they delivered with an excellent experience on the PSP.

#1 Edited by vinyl_warrior (12 posts) -

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is an excellent Action-RPG, and it’s the first game under the Final Fantasy VII moniker to come to a handheld. In the transition from home console to portable, the developers made a number of smart design choices that tailor the game to the strengths of the portable PSP.

Perhaps the smartest design choice was the spacing of the game's save points. The ability to quickly get in and get out of a game is a key part of any well-designed portable game, and Crisis Core achieves this by having frequent save points. While not quite as good as a "save anywhere" design, the frequent save points work really well at breaking the game’s large story into smaller chunks. This design decision makes it so the player doesn’t have to worry about if he or she will have enough time to make it to the next save point before the bus comes or the battery runs out; the next save point is always nearby.

Another feature that fits the portable system well is the inclusion of Missions into the game. Accessed from the menu when at a save point (and another aspect that would be marginally improved with a save-anywhere design), the Missions are short, objective-based, optional tasks that can each be completed in less than 10 minutes. These are perfect distractions for small windows of time, and they have the added bonus of increasing the character’s statistics, which gives the feeling that even those small play sessions mean something in the main game. While I never explicitly focused on doing Missions, I still managed to complete over 30% of the 300 Missions during small windows of time that I had during my playthrough of the main story.

Perhaps the most under-noticed “feature” of the game is its ability to pause anywhere. No matter what was happening in the game, I was always able to pause it. That means during battles, in the main world, during in-game cutscenes, and, yes, even during the big, elaborate, CG summon movies. It seems like a throwaway idea, but someone on the development team thought about how that feature would improve the play experience, and the team nailed it. This is a feature that, while especially useful on portable systems, would be great in almost every game.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII doesn’t just take the Final Fantasy VII formula and put it on the PSP. Square-Enix took the time to reformat the universe for the PSP and paid attention to what would make the game great on a handheld. From top to bottom, they delivered with an excellent experience on the PSP.

#2 Posted by Lunarbunny (1025 posts) -

Something about the color of the text makes me think this is plagiarism...

#3 Posted by oldschool (7264 posts) -
Lunarbunny said:
"Something about the color of the text makes me think this is plagiarism..."
First post - I think he works for Sony or Square-Enix :-)
#4 Posted by vinyl_warrior (12 posts) -
oldschool said:
"Lunarbunny said:
"Something about the color of the text makes me think this is plagiarism..."
First post - I think he works for Sony or Square-Enix :-)
"


Fixed now, but it was weird that I couldn't change the text colour that I got from VoodooPad. Hm... embarrassing first post!

Anyway, no and no regarding working for either Sony or Square-Enix, but I'd jump at the chance :)

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