Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is everything an FFVII fan could hope for, and everything a PSP owner needs in a portable action-RPG. From its fast-paced gameplay to the stunning graphics, even non-VII fans can get caught up in the game’s plot to the point where you can’t put it down. And even if you have no idea who this guy is, you’d have to be made of stone to not enjoy this scene:
That particular cutscene sums up the entire Crisis Core experience: it’s action-packed, well acted, ridiculously pretty… and total fan service. You’d think 10 years after a game came out on a now-dead system, people would be ready to move on in their gaming lives, but no - Final Fantasy VII’s fanbase is huge enough to make this game and every other VII spin-off not just possible, but imperative for Square’s marketing team. But while Advent Children left you scratching your head and Dirge of Cerberus gets overlooked for starring second-tier characters, Crisis Core delivers the three things all FFVII fans crave: More Cloud, more Sephiroth, and a semi-coherent explanation of the plot.
The story begins five years before the events of Final Fantasy VII and fast-forwards almost all the way up until Cloud meets Aerith. Zack Fair, a junior ranking SOLDIER, is dispatched to track down his missing mentor, Angeal. Instead, he runs afoul of Genesis - a red-haired clone of Dante from Devil May Cry - who has gone AWOL and apparently has taken Angeal with him. Zack teams up with Sephiroth, Tseng, Aerith, Cloud and a whole bunch of other FFVII characters in his quest to bring Genesis down and unravel the mystery behind Angeal’s sudden switch in loyalty. We won’t ruin all the important cameos for you, but we will tell you that your inner fanboy will exploded with joy about halfway through the 30-hour storyline.
Above: Don't get attached
Those of us who aren’t fans might get left behind when it comes to the plot but if you've already built up a tolerance for not knowing what’s going on in JRPGs, it’s not that big of a deal - especially when there's so much good stuff to distract you from the “WTF” moments. That stuff is what makes any game good - gameplay, graphics, music, etc. - and we’re pleased to report that Crisis Core delivers on all fronts. Graphics and music can speak for themselves (seriously, did you see that cutscene?), but gameplay is where Crisis Core distinguishes itself from other RPGs.