Okay, so we've been waiting for this game for pretty much... the entire lifespan of the PSP. It's been in development for close to three years. And I have to say, it has paid off. A lot of "professional" reviewers have been dissing this game. Suck off, Crisis Core is not deserving of a horrible score, but it's not quite worth a perfect one either.
In short this is a great game with a few minor faults, most of which depend on the person playing it. The package you get for your hard earned cash is worth it, I'll tell you that.
If you've already read up everything about this game, skip this paragraph. For those of you who don't know about this game however, here's a brief summary: Crisis Core takes place a little bit prior to the events of the original Final Fantasy VII. In it you play as Zack Fair, who starts the game as an aspiring 2nd Class SOLDIER. The games plot begins with the report that Genesis (the main antagonist of the game), and a select group of SOLDIER, went missing during a mission in Wutai, a country that is at war with Shinra. So, Zack and his 1st Class mentor Angeal head out to investigate. From then on, you'll just have to find out.
What's good about it first off. Immediately, from game start to game end, you will notice the insane polish on the graphics. The in-game graphics are nothing short of a miracle, and the CGI cutscenes (for some reason their are only about five) are incredible, right up there with the content in Advent Children. Even the cutscens that use the in-game engine are pretty good.
And this game isn't only good in presentation. The combat can be deep or shallow, depending on what side of the pool you're on. The amount of materia that can be acquired in the game give you some big options, and if you're used to run and gun shooters are that sort of action game, you will stick to power up materia, the trusty attack option, and a Cure materia. But, if you're an RPG fan, you will be able to reap this system for what it is worth. The combat is by no means easy, it does take some practice and precision, especially during boss battles.
The controls are pretty simple too. On the field screen, you rotate the camera with R and L, and move around with the analog stick, and use X to activate stuff. In combat, it is so simple to understand. During battle the camera becomes fixed and you can then select commands from the action slider at the bottom part of the screen with R and L.. Press X to perform an action. Hold Triangle to block, which duals down damage, and press Square to dodge. The dodging mechanism requires good timing while I found the blocking method a bit useless and unresponsive.
I can really point out any major flaws. For one, the Digital Mind Wave system is a little confusing, and it felt a little crippling when I couldn't control the use of summons and limits. But I think it was used as an alternative due to the hardware limitations of the PSP. I have to say, the DMW can be a live safer during tough fights, and it can get a little annoying when it starts to activate a long limit break sequence, which can't be skipped, that you have to drag through when you're facing a weak little monster. Also, you level up by the DMW in two ways. your character Zack actually levels up when all three slots match at 7, and your materia levels up when two reels match up. The leveling up may seem random, but the game actually does keep track of your XP, and once it seems appropriate, the game will level up Zack or his materia.
The Side Missions, which actually make up a bulk of the gameplay really just feel like a last minute addition. They have no depth, sometimes the mission discriptions contradict the objectives, as well as the map you're placed on. One time I played a mission that was supposed to take place in a snowy town, yet your placed on a grassy plain. And all the missions end the same, with you finding a specific monster (easily located), and killing it. The only reason I played them was for experience before fighting a boss, or to unlock the different summons that you can get.
Overall, if nothing else, you'll wan to play this game simply for the story. I haven't been able to stop playing, and I still haven't beaten the game 100%, but I'm pretty close. The story is very interesting, even if it is a little cliched. If you're a fan of Final Fantasy VII, you will enjoy it.
This game isn't short either. My unbeaten file currently reads about twelve hours of play time, which is long for a PSP game. If you play this game mildly, you'll feel satisfied. Again, don't believe the **** suckers say they beat the game in five hours.
If you skipped this entire review, here is the conclusion, if you don't buy this game, still find some way to experience it. This game is quite possibly one of the best choices out there,