Almost Perfect.

User Rating: 8.5 | Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII PSP
OK, I've been aching for this game for around four (4) months since December last year and actually made a reservation, which is the same thing I did for God of War: Chains of Olympus. When I first got my hands on this game, I felt excited, I cannot believe that it's finally here, the first of the FFVII series for the PSP, and it's pretty!

Knowing Square Enix, it's expected to be top notch. I don't find the dialogues as silly as stated in a review I've read on another site. Come on, what do you expect, Zack was young during this time!

So, I played through and became accustomed to the familiar controls and behavior of the game's menu. Then came my first battle. Wow! It's real-time! Well, almost. It's not as smooth as what we see in most action-adventure games for the psp where you execute combos on your own. In here, other than your normal and materia attacks, you will have to rely on one of the most horrible battle systems of all time... the DMV (Digital Mind Wave) System.

I hate it! I hate it! I hate it! Surely in any game similar to Crisis Core, there are special attacks (e.g. Octaslash). Just exactly HOW do you use them here? YOU HAVE TO BE LUCKY! Yes, the slot-machine-like system (a.k.a. DMV) that spins randomly will determine if you get a special or not, so your specials cannot be executed at will. You will have to pray to the Gods and hope the DMV results in your favor. Savvy?

Maybe this is why the AI is a bit compromised too. Battles are just too easy at times. Sometimes I find myself just hacking-and-slashing enemies without even looking at the screen. What's surprising is that even some strong opponents get pummeled this way too. This, together with the DMV system really cripples Crisis Core to be knighted with a perfect score.

Another gripe is that you CANNOT skip the cut-scenes or FMVs, sure they're beautiful to watch, but at times you just want to skip it. And WHY would you want to skip them, you ask? Let's say you've just watched a whole FMV just before a boss battle, then you lose. You reload your game to try again. Well, guess what? You will have to watch the FMV ALL OVER AGAIN. If you fail again, you get back to watching the lengthy FMV before getting a piece of the boss battle. WASH. RINSE. REPEAT. This probably can be overlooked because the FMVs are gorgeous to look at.

On another review I've read, it's a "for fans only" title. I don't know if they're getting paid to bash on this game or Square Enix itself, but I'm sure even a first timer would appreciate it. I myself isn't a hardcore fan of the series. I actually never finished FFVII yet, but I find myself engaged to the story and the game-play, excluding the DMV.

I don't think the translation went too well from Japanese to English, though. It's a fact that there are some puns and words impossible to translate and interpret from one language to another. Maybe Crisis Core wasn't even intended to reach U.S. shores like several Japan-exclusive games. This could also be the reason why some people who reviewed this game found the dialogues silly.

I understand that this is another of Square Enix's experimental venture in search for new innovations, but I'm really disappointed at how it turned out for the battle system. The shift from turn-based to real-time is a refreshing one, but the DMV just doesn't cut it. I'm not saying it's not playable, it's just not as fun as getting to do things like summons at will.

But nevertheless, FF7:Crisis Core is still one of the best titles out there for the PSP. It makes your investment on the PSP more worthwhile. If it weren't for the crappy DMV, it would've gotten a perfect score from me. They've done everything right except for the battle system.