I thought about doing a full review of Final Fantasy 7 Crisis Core, but I came to the conclusion that that has probably been done to death. Instead, I decided to deal with the largest issue that has arisen as a result of Crisis Core.
It’s been over ten years since Final Fantasy 7 first came out, and in that time, people have grown up, and gaming has changed. But one thing remains constant: Final Fantasy 7 is one of the best stories in gaming history. A lot of the reason for that is the deep back-story. The story doesn’t start with the main character, and a lot of the most powerful revelations in the narrative are about things that happened long before the game starts. Crisis Core is a great prequel, but it will ruin the story for anyone who hasn’t already played Final Fantasy 7.
Given that it’s been over a decade since Final Fantasy 7 came out, there are probably a lot of people who have never played it. There are people who are new to console RPGs (because they were simply too young when FF7 came out), or people who missed it the first time around for whatever reason. Those people are going to be powerfully tempted to play Crisis Core because of the good reviews, and I want to implore them not to. Please, I beg, do not play Crisis Core before Final Fantasy 7, because it will ruin the story for you.
We aren’t dealing with a Star Wars-esk prequel here. Knowing that Darth Vader is Luke’s father doesn’t ruin the Original Trilogy. But, there are many moments in Final Fantasy 7 that are spoiled completely by Crisis Core. Imagine, if you will, going into Knights of the Old Republic for the first time and being spoiled about (spoiler! highlight to read) your character being Revan from the beginning. Remember how that revelation made you feel the first time you played the game. Now imagine that same feeling happening multiple times through the game, and you come to understand why spoilers for Final Fantasy 7 might actually ruin a person’s experience of the entire game.
I loved Crisis Core, and I highly recommend it to any fan of Final Fantasy 7. But, if you haven’t played Final Fantasy 7 yet, or you have friends who haven’t played it yet, please, do everything in your power to prevent yourself or them getting spoiled. Friends shouldn’t let friends play Crisis Core before FF7.
Square Enix is being rather coy about whether they are going to remake Final Fantasy 7, but frankly, it’s become pretty obvious to me that they will. If you haven’t played Final Fantasy 7 because it was a first generation Playstation 1 game with relatively poor graphics, then I recommend you wait for the remake before playing Crisis Core. Yes, I’m perfectly aware that it might take three or more years before a remake ever hits the market, but I’m adamant that it’s better to wait till then, than spoil Final Fantasy 7 by playing Crisis Core now.