The long wait is finally over and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is here. Was the wait worth it? Yes, yes it was. Crisis Core is easily the best game in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII there are many reasons why this is, so lets get to it.
For those that don't know(and if you don't how dare you) Crisis Core follows Zack Fair during the events that lead up to Final Fantasy VII. Some will remember Zack Fair from Clouds flashbacks during Final Fantasy VII. What Crisis Core does so well is show you why Zack is so important in the FFVII universe. There are so many big and small things that are direct results of the actions Zack takes throughout the game. For example Cloud would most likely be dead had it not been for Zack rescuing him from Hojo's experiments at Nibelhiem. Little things like the Pink ribbon Aerith always wore was givin to her by Zack and Zack very well may have been the one who gave the Seventh Heaven Bar its name. But don't think that everything is about Zack cause while the game does heavily focus on him there are also a few other stars. Namely Angeal and Genesis, sharp fans will know that Genesis was inspired by and played by Gackt in the Japanese version. Over the course of the game you will slowly start to see Zack mature and take on traits of mentor Angeal which in turn Zack passes on to Cloud. By the end of the game Zack refers to Cloud as his legacy. It's also very refreshing to see Sephiroth pre insanity and you also get to see first hand what sends him over the edge. We also get to learn alot more about the Turks as well. Seeing characters from FFVII when they are younger is also refreshing, we get to see child Yuffie(who is easily the cutest character ever) Tifa, Cloud and of course Aerith among others. To put things shortly without spoiling to much Crisis Core is the beginning to one of the most epic RPG's of all time and is chalk full of fan service.
The game play is fitting for PSP its very simple and is easy to pick up and play and the game is never to too hard but is never to easy either. Materia return but the system that accompanies them is not nearly as deep and complex as FFVII. The game has a system called the DMW which is more or less a slot machine with various characters on it that will every now and then make a combo that will unleash a summon or limit break. It's also the system that governs your leveling up but fear not when it comes to leveling up it is not random. Encounters are split between being random and not, from time to time you will be able to see your enemy before engaging other times it will be random. In combat you will attack and use materia as well as items. You can also dodge and guard but these actions use AP so you will need to be careful. The combat at times can feel somewhat repetitive but if you mess around with the materia more you won't notice it as much.
Crisis Core also has hundreds of missions that can be done in addition to the main story. While some are just challenges others often have funny story line connections. Such as a series of missions in which Yuffie uses you to collect treasure that ends up being useless. The game itself is about 20-25 hrs long and adding the missions could easily double that.
All in all Crisis Core is the best game in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and should not be missed by anyone. The ending alone is worth working your way through the game as it is one of the saddest and most iconic endings in all of gaming history. RPG fans who own a PSP should own Crisis Core and others should give it a try. Crisis Core along with Final Fantasy Tactics War Of The Lions are the reasons to own a PSP in my eyes. So go out and pick it up.