'Crisis Core's' Digital Mind Wave: Ingenious Storytelling Tool Or Stupid Slot Machine?


Posted January 20, 2009 - By r_pad

Gamasutra's Christian Nutt has posted an excellent article on the role of the Digital Mind Wave (DMW) in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. As many of you know, this was my favorite game of 2008 and I think it's pretty underrated. Christian feels the same way and he chalks up the lack of dialogue on the game to Crisis Core being a PlayStation Portable (PSP) title. Another reason has to do with a lot of people outside the fan base not caring about the numerous Final Fantasy VII spin-offs.

Personally, I think the DMW was extremely creative, but often misunderstood by players (some people believe that random DMW spins result in level ups, which is not true at all). For a while there, I thought I was insane, so it was nice to read:

"The way the package ties so neatly together within the context of the game is what makes it work so well. The DMW is affected by protagonist Zack Fair's emotional state. The more intense his emotion, the higher likelihood there is of a match. When a match is made, that might be it -- you just get a bonus. But sometimes, a (very short) cutscene might play. This cutscene is always a memory Zack has of an important character of the game, and it's always from Zack's perspective. We all know that our emotions and memories affect us in this way in real life, butwhen's the last time you've seen this communicated at all effectively in a game, particularly in the heat of combat?"

The editorial is smart and does a great job at conveying how the DMW is used to expand on the game's narrative and the connection between the player to the protagonist.

For you Crisis Core players out there, what did you think of the DMW? Do you agree with Christian and me that it's an ingenious storytelling device? Or do you think it's a stupid gimmick that resembles something you'd see in a Macau casino?


'Crisis Core's' Digital Mind Wave: Ingenious Storytelling Tool Or Stupid Slot Machine?


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