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Deal of the Day: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for $29.99

Still haven't picked up Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII? Don't want to pay full price? It ain't much, but Circuit City is offering the PSP exclusive prequel to Final Fantasy VII at $10 off, making the total $29.99 including shipping. Take advantage of this offer here.

Crisis Core limited edition PSP hitting Europe

Click for high-resolution image.

The limited edition Final Fantasy VII silver PSP is leaving Japan, and going to Europe, just in time for Crisis Core's release. A special bundle, which includes this engraved PSP and a copy of the PSP-exclusive action RPG, will hit European retailers on June 20th for 189.99 Euros.

Combined with a special edition version of the game, Square Enix is trying its hardest to make up for the delayed release over the Atlantic. For many jealous fans in the US, it looks like they're succeeding.

Gallery: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core

Deal of the Day: Crisis Core for $26

Online retailer is offering the PSP-exclusive prequel to Final Fantasy VII for only $26 -- that's $14 off its standard price. This limited time deal won't last long, so those that missed out on this adventure may want to jump on this deal.

[Thanks, Peter D.!]

Crisis Core coming to Europe in June

As usual, Square Enix took their time localizing a game to Europe. Crisis Core, the exciting PSP-exclusive prequel to Final Fantasy VII, is finally coming to Europe in June. Of course, the delay may be worth it for those picking up the Special Edition version of the game (pictured, above).

John Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix Ltd. commented in the press release, "CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII- is one of the most anticipated FINAL FANTASY releases of all times. Pushing the boundaries of the PSP hardware, it offers a truly fantastic gameplay experience to not only existing fans, but new ones as well."

Gallery: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core

How Crisis Core fixed Final Fantasy VII canon

It may be a mere handheld game, but Crisis Core serves as a vital part of the Final Fantasy VII universe. It doesn't just simply expand upon the story, but actually fixes an error made in a different part of the "Compilation of Final Fantasy VII."

Hideki Imaizumi, producer of Crisis Core, talked about the "Last Order" anime OVA (pictured) with IGN. Released as a bonus with Advent Children in Japan, the animated short also focused on Zack and the role he played in Nibelheim. "When we made that feature, we changed the presentation of that event from the original Final Fantasy VII. And the fan response was - well, there was considerable negative feedback in regard to changing a part of the story that they considered integral to the whole lore."

Thankfully, Crisis Core was able to set things straight, restoring the canon that so many Final Fantasy VII devotees pore over. "So we listened to that and learned from that. And in fact the Nibelheim incident is presented again in Crisis Core, and we were careful not to make the same decisions that we did in Last Order."

Why Crisis Core is on PSP, not DS

Square Enix is a firm supporter of both handhelds, with a number of great titles available on both Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. However, why was (arguably) their biggest game developed exclusively for PSP, instead of the more-popular DS? Pocket Gamer talked to producer Hideki Imaizumi and executive producer Yoshinori Kitase about exactly that: "Yes, there are a lot of DSs out there - but does that mean that our products sell in relation to that? That our sales grow with how many DSs or PSPs there are out there? It's not really the case."

The PSP seemed appropriate for a number a reasons, one being the more adult age group the PSP seems to attract: "the demographic was higher teens to young adults as opposed to small children. The PSP seemed closer to that demographic than DS in general. So we feel we really made the right choice."

As a joke, he added "We'll make a DS game called Brain Age: Final Fantasy for DS [laughs]." To be honest, we wouldn't mind trying that out.

Interview with Crisis Core's Tabata describes hopes, aspirations

If you've tired of playing as Zack from Crisis Core, now would be an adequate time for a reprieve. We've caught wind of a short interview with the game's director, Hajime Tabata, and what his thoughts are on some random bits of the game, as well as any future plans he has or would like to get involved in.

Tabata uses past influences to generate his ideas, citing the Japanese comic "Doraemon" specifically as an influence. Unlike Zack, Tabata claims he could probably only do 50 squats in succession and unlike Sephiroth, uses less than a bottle of shampoo per shower. Yep. It's that kind of interview.

He also says he would not be interested in working on spin-off titles for other Final Fantasy games -- only the world in VII seems to interest him. Tabata said that, if anything, he'd like to create a gun-action game in the VII world with a new character who uses both guns and magic. Like Dirge of Cerberus, but less horrible. Currently, Tabata is working on Agito XIII as well as some other unnamed titles. Maybe he'll get his wish someday!

Pictures from the Crisis Core launch event

Ryoga Vee was kind enough to take pictures during the Crisis Core launch event in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the cosplayers stayed home, with nary an over-dramatic hairdo to be seen. Thanks to these two for dressing up and making us proud.

According to Ryoga, the premiere was an "inflated event just to buy the game. No frills, no glam like the other events in the past." You can check out the no-frills event yourself by checking out Ryoga's Flickr here.

Help Zack do squats, get Crisis Core wallpaper

On the brand new Square Enix members site, Crisis Core's director Hajime Tabata noted that they couldn't fit everything they wanted on the limited size of a UMD disc. "In regards to the story, due to schedule and [UMD] memory concerns, a good deal of it ended up on the cutting room floor. Originally, the episodes were much more detailed. We also considered implementing a multiplayer competitive/cooperative mode using the PSP network function, but again, this wasn't realized due to scheduling concerns."

This being Square Enix, of course, we wouldn't be surprised if they ever released a "Director's Cut" version of Crisis Core, which adds all these features that were removed. Sadly, fans like us will have no choice but to buy the game (again!).

Another addition made to the Square Enix website is this frustrating mini-game. Check it out after the cut.

Continue reading Help Zack do squats, get Crisis Core wallpaper

New trailer for Crisis Core is all about summons

The modern Final Fantasy games are known for a couple of things: guys with spiky hair, long-winded emotional cutscenes, and massive, theatrical summons. The upcoming Crisis Core has all of that. Just check out this new trailer and see the incredible display of power in these powerful summons.

Crisis Core is not the end of the FFVII compilation

1UP's James Mielke had a chance to chat with Crisis Core's director, Hajime Tabata. In the interview, he notes that the world of Final Fantasy VII will continue to expand even further. Crisis Core is but the most recent addition of a long series of works expanding the FFVII universe, such as Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus and Before Crisis. Tabata notes that "the Compilation's finale will take some other form." Could the long-rumored FFVII PS3 remake become reality?

For the complete interview, check out 1UP. Stay tuned for our review of Crisis Core next week.

Square Enix to hold Crisis Core launch event at Metreon

San Francisco's Metreon store will host the official Crisis Core launch event next Tuesday. Expect legions of Square Enix fans to cosplay as their favorite Final Fantasy VII character as they line up to purchase this hotly anticipated PSP exclusive.

The Metreon is located at 101 4th St in San Francisco. The event will last from 6 to 9PM on March 25th. The first 100 customers in line will receive a free commemorative t-shirt. In addition, there will be raffle prizes, including a limited edition lithograph and other Final Fantasy merchandise. Shinra Company identification cards, with attendee's names and photographs will also be created on site -- this is sure to incite nerdgasms everywhere.

If you plan on attending the event, please contact us -- we'd love to see your pictures!

Another huge Crisis Core media update

Octaslash? Come on now, that's a bit un-inventive. Sounds kind of dumb, but we're willing to bet that move is going to look wickedly stylish in the actual game. Aside from that one odd naming scheme, these screenshots of Crisis Core are spectacular.

We sure are excited for this game, especially after seeing these nostalgic screens. Also, some in-game cut scene vids have made there way up on the interwebs; those, too, are loaded with nostalgia. Check out the gallery below, and the trailers after the break.

Gallery: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - March 08

Continue reading Another huge Crisis Core media update

Crisis Core gets 'additional gameplay challenges'

Siliconera wisely discovered a key phrase in a recent Square Enix press release. Europe's upcoming Limited Edition version of Crisis Core (pictured, above) will feature "additional gameplay challenges not included in the original Japanese version." Apparently, this includes a new "hard" mode not found in the Japanese release.

The curious wording makes it seem likely (although unconfirmed) that the US release of the game will feature the same content. Of course, we don't particularly care about having a more difficult game -- we just really want that sweet new packaging!

Watch Zack dance with a Cactaur

Oh no! You're caught in a fight for your life! Your life is in certain doom -- what do you do? Easy: if you're like Zack from the upcoming Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, you dance with a giant animated cactus. Duh.

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