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[FF 7: Crisis Core] Out now! The ladies are lining up for Vitamin Zack

LunkerLunker Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Games and Technology
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WHO: Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core
WHAT: A jawsome action-RPG spin-off of the watershed JRPG Final Fantasy 7
WHEN: U.S. release of March 25, 2008; PAL release of June 27, 2008 (already released in Japan)
WHERE: PSP
HOW ... DO YOU REVIVE AERIS IN FF7: Go check GameFAQs for the hidden cheat code, I think you have to beat all the Weapons and then get all the Master materia and then use Knights of the Round 18 times in a row with all guys at lv 99

IGN wrote:
For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Crisis Core is a prequel to Final Fantasy VII, taking place approximately seven years before the events of the original title. Following the story of Zack Fair, Cloud's future friend, Crisis Core puts you in Zack's shoes as a member of SOLDIER, an elite military organization belonging to the Shinra Company. Unlike the original Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core is more of an episodic, mission-based action RPG where you'll only be controlling Zack as opposed to an entire party of characters. Although many fans may have wanted another taste of the classic PlayStation game, this prequel is obviously very different in terms of gameplay.

Crisis Core has been brewing for a loooooooong, long time. Arguably the most promising part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy 7 series (which included the film FF7: Advent Children, the PS2 poopfest Dirge of Cerberus and the Japanese cell phones–only Before Crisis), Crisis Core finally looks to be the perfect offering for both FF7 devotees in dire need of fanservice and gamers who just want a beautiful, badass action-RPG. The game lit Japan on fire when it released last fall in the territory, selling out rapidly with its limited Slim PSP bundle package and eventually selling more than 750,000 copies by the end of 2007, the second most popular PSP title of the year behind the gargantuan Monster Hunter Portable 2.

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It's a prequel, so expect a "When They Were Young" tack on most of the major players from Final Fantasy VII, including Zack, Cloud, Sephiroth, Aeris and her sister Aerith, and many more. Don't remember what happened? 1up has a pretty handy Cliff's Notes guide to FF7.
Story wrote:
Set seven years prior to the events of the first FINAL FANTASY VII, the Shinra Company is rapidly increasing its influence through its monopoly on mako energy and military might. With the burgeoning city of Midgar as its base and symbol of prosperity, Shinra is on the verge of establishing absolute dominance over the world.

SOLDIER is a group of skilled combat operatives within Shinra. The elite within the group — those strong enough to be deemed SOLDIER 1st Class — are respected and idolized by the citizenry. Zack is a young SOLDIER 2nd Class who aspires to become a 1st. He spends his days carrying out assignments under the guidance of his 1st Class mentor, Angeal. During an operation in Wutai, a large number of SOLDIER member, led by 1st Class operative Genesis, go missing. The severity of the situation prompts Shinra executives to deploy even more SOLDIER operatives in hopes of bringing an end to the war with Wutai—and conducting an investigation into the mass desertion. The ones assigned to the mission are Zack, Angeal, and the 1st Class hero who is known the world over as Sephiroth...

What truths lie behind Genesis's disappearance? What secrets bind the three SOLDIER 1st Class operatives? For Zack, a cruel and fateful struggle awaits...

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GAMEPLAY

Crisis Core is indeed an action-RPG; the Materia system is back and there are levels and XP and such, but at its core (haw haw) the game plays out sort of like Kingdom Hearts, in that you attack, dodge, defense and use spells and items all in real time. It starts out simple but flowers once you gather more Materia and encounter more difficult enemies. And what excites me the most is that all of the impressions and previews say the game strikes an excellent balance between longer, more story-driven "main" missions (which advance the story and give a meaty gameplay experience) and shorter, pick-up-and-play missions that are perfect for playing while on the go. It's both a simple portable game and an elaborate adventure.
1up wrote:
The main story is presented through a combination of Soldier assignments and downtime dialogue within the Shinra building at the heart of megalopolis Midgar (which serves as Zack's base of operations) and nearby sectors of the city itself. The missions are single-player action fare in which Zack battles hordes of enemies alone. Despite its active nature, though, combat retains a hint of its turn-based nature -- there's a bit of recharge time between actions, and once you've input an attack command Zack will rush forward to strike the currently-targeted enemy (unless you cancel out of the action). Likewise, enemies can't simply spam attacks but rather are forced to pause between actions.

It's in this unique combat rhythm that the strategy of Crisis Core's combat lies. Beyond attacking or casting magic -- both of which are executed with the same button, depending on whether you're currently selecting Zack's sword or his Materia -- you can also defend against attacks and roll out of harm's way. Rolling doesn't simply let you dodge physical strikes, though; timed properly, it also lets you evade magic attacks and special attacks. In fact, it's entirely possible to go through an entire mission without a single scratch of damage -- a fact which confident players will use as an excuse to tackle side quests whose difficulty should be way above Zack's current skill level.

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Materia:
1up wrote:
Materia in Crisis Core works almost exactly as it did in the original Final Fantasy VII. Protagonist Zack can customize his battle capabilities by equipping small, color-coded stones. There is, of course, a bit of needless narrative handwaving to explain why tiny rocks allow the hero to roast enemies with high-level fire spells, but in the end it's just another vehicle for casting magic. Zack can initially equip four Materia at once, with up to two more slots made available by completing certain tasks. In battle, these function as alternate attacks. While fighting foes, players cycle between sword, materia and the items menu with the L and R triggers -- no menus involved.

Materia offers Zack an array of capabilities: offensive, status and healing magic, stat augmentation, special physical attacks and more. In essence, they enable the standard array of Final Fantasy's trademark skills in an action context, from basic elemental spells to Dragon Knight-style jump attacks. A few traditional techniques have been left behind due to the menu-free battle system -- the blue mage-type Enemy Skill materia is nowhere to be found -- so Crisis Core compensates by offering a healthy array of new and obscure techniques. For instance, Zack can wield various magically-enhanced swords reminiscent of Final Fantasy V's Mystic Knight skills. The new "hell" class Materia types are even more effective in battle, inflicting various status ailments in addition to elemental damage. If Hell Blizzaga's massive ice attack doesn't kill an enemy, the side effects will leave it blind or stunned.

And the game's new hook, kind of a remix on Limit Breaks:
1up wrote:
The DMW (Digital Mind wave) is Crisis Core's most bizarre element, serving as both a combat condition modifier and the means by which Zack levels up. Taking the form of a slot machine reel sporting three numbers and three character portraits, the DMW spins in the upper left corner during combat so long as Zack has available SP -- at all times, essentially. When it hits on certain combinations of numbers, it grants Zack temporary bonuses ranging from MP-free spellcasting to complete invincibility. At various times, it enters "phase shift" and the combat pauses as the DMW reels take over the entire screen. During these periods, the portrait reels have a strong chance of lining up. Get three of the same character portraits and Zack executes the game's equivalent of a Limit Break, whose type depends on the character in question. Turk leader Tseng launches an air strike against foes; Sephiroth performs his signature eight-strike sword attack; Aeris blesses Zack for complete healing and temporary invincibility. Once Zack begins collecting summons, the DMW character reels will occasionally switch to a different set of images and call on series standbys such as Bahamut, Tonberry and Cactuar.

Limit Verges are flashy, and combat modifiers are handy, but the real value of the DMW is in its ability to power up Zack and his Materia. At seemingly random times, the numeric reels will land on all sevens, at which point Zack advances to the next level. (Provided he's built up sufficient SP, that is; otherwise he merely enters a hyper mode similar to FFVII's All Seven Fever.) If the reels line up two of the same numbers below 7, the Materia in that slot will level up instead.

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REVIEWS

Basic Metacritic link
GamePro: It's so hard not to like Crisis Core because it does so many things right.

Play Magazine: If you don't yet own a PSP, strongly consider buying one for Crisis Core.

PSW Magazine UK: Crisis Core is more than a nostalgia trip for FFVII fans - it's a fresh and exciting game in its own right, and arguably the single most impressive application of the PSP's power.

EGM: Core defines "great portable experience."

RPG Fan: The excellently crafted aesthetics combine with an entertaining and user-friendly gameplay system making it one of the best original PSP games.

MEDIA

GameTrailers videos page
Official website

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Lunker on
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Posts

  • HallowedFaithHallowedFaith Call me Cloud. Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    All I needed to read was "The Materia system is back."

    I will buy a PSP for this.

    HallowedFaith on
    I'm making video games. DesignBy.Cloud
  • AoiAoi Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Nice. Been waiting on this one for a while now. Love the cover art too.

    Aoi on
  • corin7corin7 San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Nice OP! I have been sold on this since they announced it. Day 1 purchase.

    corin7 on
  • DartboyDartboy Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Why is the sword on the cover of that box so small? Seriously, he looks like he can pick it up with ONE hand.

    Also, with that God Reel thing, essentially that means leveling up is random?

    Dartboy on
  • GiantRoboGiantRobo Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Oh how I wish I had money to get this.

    It makes me wanna go rob the UPS guy before he gets there for a copy.

    GiantRobo on
  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    If I lived in the Final Fantasy universe, I would be a purveyor of hair products. Primarily gels and mousses. I would become rich SO FUCKING QUICK.

    maximumzero on
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    Switch: 6200-8149-0919 / Wii U: maximumzero / 3DS: 0860-3352-3335 / eBay Shop
  • Dread Pirate ArbuthnotDread Pirate Arbuthnot OMG WRIGGLY T O X O P L A S M O S I SRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    If I lived in the Final Fantasy universe, I would be a purveyor of hair products. Primarily gels and mousses. I would become rich SO FUCKING QUICK.

    I'll set up shop with you. I'll sell ridiculous leather clothes.

    Dread Pirate Arbuthnot on
  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    If I lived in the Final Fantasy universe, I would be a purveyor of hair products. Primarily gels and mousses. I would become rich SO FUCKING QUICK.

    I'll set up shop with you. I'll sell ridiculous leather clothes.

    And giant belts.

    maximumzero on
    FU7kFbw.png
    Switch: 6200-8149-0919 / Wii U: maximumzero / 3DS: 0860-3352-3335 / eBay Shop
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm not letting my shit fall past the first page! It's one week to release, and this game's been on my radar for months now. I've been jonesing for a good action-RPG for ages, and this looks to even blow Chains of Olympus out of the water in terms of in-game graphics; vids of the game are just beautiful.
    Dartboy wrote: »
    Why is the sword on the cover of that box so small? Seriously, he looks like he can pick it up with ONE hand.

    Also, with that God Reel thing, essentially that means leveling up is random?

    EGM has had a few writeups about the game in the past few months, and I've obviously not played it but the impression I got is that yes, some level-ups come up randomly during regular fights, but in boss encounters and other key moments the DMW deck is weighted/stacked, so in general level-ups aren't too lopsided one way or the other. It seems like one of those goofy game mechanics that's really hard to put in words but simple to see in demos; I'm not sure what to expect, frankly, but I remain optimistic.
    Aoi wrote:
    Nice. Been waiting on this one for a while now. Love the cover art too.

    Yeah, me too. It's definitely one of the nicer boxes I've seen in a while. Strangely enough, there's apparently a European-only exclusive LE with a sexy extra box and artbook, though I can't find larger pictures of it right now. And packaging whores might be happy to know that if you preorder Crisis Core at Best Buy you can apparently get a preorder bonus–only metal case for the game.

    Lunker on
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  • FoodFood Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Square Enix has kind of burned me out of Final Fantasy recently. If this had come around 3 or 4 years ago I'd be pissing myself about it, but as is I'll only be getting it if it turns out to be excellent. I have too many other games to worry about right now, and too little money to go around.

    The graphics do look amazing, though.

    Food on
  • cheezcheez Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I was already going to be all over this. But finding out that Materia's back? Oh shits. Preordering from Amazon now. They'd better get it to me on release day.

    cheez on
  • ReznikReznik Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Pre-ordered this weeks ago. I don't even have a PSP, but I'm buying one the same day I pick up Crisis Core.

    This one, out of all the compilation games, seems to have the FFVII 'feel'. I'm so glad they're using the Wutai war instead of making up random shit that had no base in the FFVII world before (I'm looking at you, Rest Of The Compilation)

    Reznik on
    Do... Re.... Mi... Ti... La...
    Do... Re... Mi... So... Fa.... Do... Re.... Do...
    Forget it...
  • LovelyLovely Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Oddly enough, this is the first Final Fantasy ANYTHING that I've been interested in for the past couple of years. Er, I'm not trying to flame here, it's just... well... I just haven't found the last few games in the series to be all that appealing. (for me anyways.)

    Unfortunately... I'm REALLY broke right now, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to afford this. What's up with all these cool rpg's coming out all of a sudden?

    Lovely on
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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm working on finishing FFT right now just so I can play this at launch.

    And Fair? Is that the best they could think up?

    cj iwakura on
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  • turtleantturtleant Gunpla Dad is the best.Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I.. I actually rather liked Dirge.:oops:
    This does look rather good though, and I'll pick it up once I get a PSP.

    turtleant on
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  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Food wrote: »
    Square Enix has kind of burned me out of Final Fantasy recently. If this had come around 3 or 4 years ago I'd be pissing myself about it, but as is I'll only be getting it if it turns out to be excellent. I have too many other games to worry about right now, and too little money to go around.

    The graphics do look amazing, though.

    This looks to be the first FF7-related project that could stand on its own outside of an FF7 context. While I'm not the kind of guy who loves the original enough to replay it every six months, I enjoyed it a lot at the time and I've always been a fan of the mainline FFs. So for me, the whole FF7 prequel/fanservice is definitely a perk, but I'm far more concerned with how the game stands by itself as a product, and so far all of the impressions have been glowing. It's hard to separate wheat from chaff when dissecting forum chatter from importers and such, admittedly, but it's almost been universally praised by everyone who's touched it.

    I'm also just plain interested in a really, really good RPG on the system, since the PSP is awash in a sea of mediocre ones.

    Lunker on
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  • RenzoRenzo Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I am all over this. It's almost all paid off, too.

    Renzo on
  • GroveGrove Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I could not be more excited about this game. I've been looking forward to playing this for such a long time. Anyone else listened to the soundtrack? It's pretty fucking amazing I gotta say. I'm also excited about the v.a. for Zack, he was excellent in Band of Brothers and Sin City.

    Grove on
    Selling PS3 & 360 Madcatz TE Stick
  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I will a buy a PSP eventually for this. I will buy the game itself as soon as I have some cash.

    MGA1 and 2 and MGPO have taught me my lesson about waiting on PSP games.

    EDIT: The voice of Zack is Endless Mike? Awesome!

    UnbreakableVow on
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    By the by, I was looking at CAG and apparently in the U.S., if you buy this at Circuit City you also get a free $10 gift card. I'd bite, but I have leftover GameStop credit that I'm using for this.

    One week to release! I'm still midway through Patapon but I'll be flipping between that and Crisis Core for months, at the rate I play games.

    Lunker on
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  • Shooter McgavinShooter Mcgavin Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I will a buy a PSP eventually for this. I will buy the game itself as soon as I have some cash.

    MGA1 and 2 and MGPO have taught me my lesson about waiting on PSP games.

    EDIT: The voice of Zack is Endless Mike? Awesome!

    Endless Mike from Pete and Pete?

    If so, that's kinda wierd. He was in a show recently where him and another guy are game developers. I think it's called "What about Brian" or some junk. /sidenote

    Shooter Mcgavin on
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  • My Name Is LukeMy Name Is Luke Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I didn't realize that this game was only a week away from release, I can't wait to get this along with GOW too.

    My Name Is Luke on
  • vdanhalenvvdanhalenv Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm not big into most of the Final Fantasy games but this one actually looks like something I would enjoy.

    Now i just need a working PSP

    vdanhalenv on
    16377
  • randombattlerandombattle Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Lunker wrote: »
    Dartboy wrote: »
    Why is the sword on the cover of that box so small? Seriously, he looks like he can pick it up with ONE hand.

    Also, with that God Reel thing, essentially that means leveling up is random?

    EGM has had a few writeups about the game in the past few months, and I've obviously not played it but the impression I got is that yes, some level-ups come up randomly during regular fights, but in boss encounters and other key moments the DMW deck is weighted/stacked, so in general level-ups aren't too lopsided one way or the other. It seems like one of those goofy game mechanics that's really hard to put in words but simple to see in demos; I'm not sure what to expect, frankly, but I remain optimistic.

    If I recall correctly think theres also the normal xp system as well. So you level up from battles but randomly you also get a bonus level up.

    randombattle on
    itsstupidbutidontcare2.gif
    I never asked for this!
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    If I recall correctly think theres also the normal xp system as well. So you level up from battles but randomly you also get a bonus level up.

    My brother has the Japanese version.

    He says that the level ups come at semi-regular intervals. He thinks there is a sort of EXP system, they just don't show it to you.

    Pata on
    SRWWSig.pngEpisode 5: Mecha-World, Mecha-nisim, Mecha-beasts
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm surprised they aren't doing a PSP bundle with this, custom PSP and all.

    It'd sell like crazy. Star Wars can get one, but not FF7? Think, Sony, think.

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
  • reVersereVerse Attack and Dethrone God Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Huh, this game doesn't look half bad. I didn't realize a portable machine could put out that kind of graphics.

    Maybe I should concider getting a PSP.

    reVerse on
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    I'm surprised they aren't doing a PSP bundle with this, custom PSP and all.

    It'd sell like crazy. Star Wars can get one, but not FF7? Think, Sony, think.

    pspff3.jpg

    I'm kind of surprised they're not bringing it over here too, but I guess they wanted to keep the Japan LE bundles at 77,777 for reals. And I guess they figure diehard American fans would be insane enough to import the $400 bundles earlier anyway. :P
    reVerse wrote:
    Huh, this game doesn't look half bad. I didn't realize a portable machine could put out that kind of graphics.

    Maybe I should concider getting a PSP.

    crisis-core-final-fantasy-vii-20070920043005110.jpg
    god-war-chains-olympus-2.jpg
    6259-WipeoutPulse11.jpg

    Recent PSP games are starting to catch up to the tail end of what the PS2 could push, which is outstanding.

    Lunker on
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  • randombattlerandombattle Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Pata wrote: »
    If I recall correctly think theres also the normal xp system as well. So you level up from battles but randomly you also get a bonus level up.

    My brother has the Japanese version.

    He says that the level ups come at semi-regular intervals. He thinks there is a sort of EXP system, they just don't show it to you.

    Yeah you do level up outside of the random level up. I think it's buried in one of the sub menus but I honestly don't remember.

    randombattle on
    itsstupidbutidontcare2.gif
    I never asked for this!
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The character models in CC look disturbingly similar to Kingdom Hearts'.

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
  • BeenieWeenieBeenieWeenie So Delicious So NutritiousRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
  • LovelyLovely Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    The character models in CC look disturbingly similar to Kingdom Hearts'.

    Disturbing for you, awesome for me 8-) . Heh, heh, sorry, it's just that I always prefered Nomura's designs when he goes more towards the "cute" end, as opposed to his somewhat creepy "realistic" end. I find Crisis Core to be somewhat in the middle, so I'm satisfied.

    Lovely on
    sig.gif
  • ze swift classze swift class Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    reVerse wrote: »
    Huh, this game doesn't look half bad. I didn't realize a portable machine could put out that kind of graphics.

    Maybe I should concider getting a PSP.

    I think that's one of the issues as to why some people don't think about psp at all, thinking that it looks just like whatever DS is outputting but without the stylus gimmick and quality nintendo titles.

    ze swift class on
  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The PSP is absolutely on par with the DS these days.

    You just need the PSP lite, and some of the more recent killer titles like GoW or Patapon or this or whatever

    Deusfaux on
  • LotharsLothars Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    reVerse wrote: »
    Huh, this game doesn't look half bad. I didn't realize a portable machine could put out that kind of graphics.

    Maybe I should concider getting a PSP.

    I think that's one of the issues as to why some people don't think about psp at all, thinking that it looks just like whatever DS is outputting but without the stylus gimmick and quality nintendo titles.

    Honestly I have to say that the PSP is putting out better games than the DS has for the last year or so, There really hasn't been a game on the DS other than Phoenix Wright that has made me want to get day one that it has on the PSP especially in the last little while.

    Lothars on
  • Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    IGN seemed to like it, giving it an 8.5.

    Also, it has a NG+ which always adds 'must buy' potential to a game.

    Magus` on
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Magus` wrote: »
    IGN seemed to like it, giving it an 8.5.

    Also, it has a NG+ which always adds 'must buy' potential to a game.

    IGN Video review is streamable, and man, if you guys haven't, you really need to see the game in motion. Looks beautiful, and while I'm never one to care about numbers I'm surprised that the game only got an 8.5 in graphics, since I'm hard-pressed to find better-looking PSP titles. IMO the in-game cutscenes look almost as good as Kingdom Hearts 2.

    As I'm getting excited about the game's release and watching the video review, it reminds me how long it's been since I've actually played FF7. I've always been a fan, despite the game's polarizing nature on Internet bulletin boards, and it's not my favorite game evar but it's really cool to hear and see Crisis Core really capturing the original game's mood and environment so well.

    Lunker on
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  • TheLawinatorTheLawinator Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    FFT and now this? WHY DO YOU TEMPT ME SONY?

    TheLawinator on
    My SteamID Gamertag and PSN: TheLawinator
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    FFT and now this? WHY DO YOU TEMPT ME SONY?

    Don't blame Sony. Blame yourself or God.

    Lunker on
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