Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core

Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core

Cloud's silver lining?

Disenfranchised: no word better describes Final Fantasy VII's once-upon-a-time lovers. Where fans of the seminal RPG would once announce their devotion to the game with boldness, nowadays - outside of the dew-eyed cosplayers and fanfic writers - few would be so ready to admit this is a world and clutch of characters they once adored.

The reasons for this are myriad and complex but almost all relate to the fact that people and culture move on. Where once players were bowled over by Final Fantasy VII's record-breaking stats (3.28 million sales in Japan, 2.92m in North America and 1.77mi in Europe; two years' development time, 100+ team members; three PlayStation discs stuffed with 330 CG maps and 40 minutes of full-motion video to create the largest JRPG ever conceived) today these headlines are neither unique nor necessarily positive.

Where once the game's anime sensibilities seemed exotic and wonderful, in a post-Matrix world where black trench-coats, big swords and vacant-eyed sci-fi philosophy are utterly mainstream, now they seem over-familiar and unexciting. Cloud's solid poise and outlandish getup is no longer the cutting-edge of Japanese cool. The iconic CG still of antagonist Sephiroth striding off into the flames might have once made our hearts flutter, but now it only makes us blush a bit that we were so enamored by such obvious cliché.

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Crisis Core FFVII SE for UK

Chunky art book and fancy case.

Square Enix will be offering a Special Edition of Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII in the UK. European offers may vary a little.

PSP sales rocket in Japan

PSP sales rocket in Japan

Crisis Core held responsible.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII has prompted an enormous PSP sales surge in Japan, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Figures were up by over six times on the previous week, according to Media Create data, making it the best selling piece of kit on the market.

It puts an end to what has been a routine dominance of the region by Nintendo platforms. Where, despite two new Pokémon titles, the DS had to settle with second place as the PSP total climbed to 95,487 for the week.

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It's hard not to wish Square-Enix would just set aside all this Compilation of Final Fantasy VII nonsense and announce the near-inevitable PS3 remake of the seminal RPG from which it all stems. The company's collection of FFVII-themed new titles, delivered across myriad different media - game, film and anime - comes across as unfocused and grasping more than considered or generous. The unlikely (and un-requested) excursions into new genres on distinct platforms is also confusing to both newcomers and fans alike. It's as if the company knows it has a goldmine of an IP on its hands but is unsure as to quite how best to excavate it.