Fans of the original FFVII and newcomers alike will be thrilled with this deep and exciting game!

User Rating: 9 | Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII PSP
When I first played this game, I had no knowledge of Final Fantasy VII. I just thought it looked great and that I would just buy it. I'm happy to say that I never regretted my decision! Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is the prequel to the original FFVII, but it takes on an entirely different turn. First of all, this is an action- rpg. Fighting is done in real time and in an enclosed space. Think Kingdom Hearts without the jumping. And Cloud, the protagonist from the original game, is out. While Cloud, indeed, does make up a major part of the story, this game follows Zack Fair, the person who Cloud's memories get mixed up with. Zack, being a member of SOLDIER, is thrust into a global conflict where the fate of the world hangs in the balance. It starts out simple enough: A training exercise and a brief visit to Wutai, but things take a climactic turn when a fellow SOLDIER member, Genesis Rhapsodos, goes missing and I won't spoil any more plot details than that. The story is great and deeply engaging and the voice acting is better than ever. It creates a new experience while still putting the pieces of Final Fantasy VII together. This is truly a story anyone can follow. The cast of characters is also exceptional as many characters from the original game return. The combat is simple, but not too simple as to give a fun experience to all players. The random DMW system may seem a bit complicated at first but it also does some pretty cool things like giving character bonuses and summons. I should also point out that the musical score also great and many classic tunes from the original come back and are remixed. The graphics are also some of the best ever seen on the PSP, especially the opening cinematic. However, this game does drag a little bit. The side missions, which are numerous, are also very generic. They usually involve the same concept: Start at a pre-determined location, fight monsters, defeat the boss, get a prize, wash, rinse, repeat. The locations aren't exactly varied and don't hold any similarity to those in the game. The missions themselves are fun, little challenges to do every once in a while and offer up a nice change in gameplay. Just don't expect to still be engaged after 10 missions in a row. The cutscenes, while fantastic, can also be annoying. To put it simply, there is no skip option. So if you keep getting killed by the same boss over and over again, expect to get a little bored with the same cinematic. These flaws aren't by any means game breaking, far from it! But they are minor annoyances that must be accounted for. So whether you're a hardcore Final Fantasy fan or a newcomer to the franchise, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is sure to please you!