Final Fantasy is a game known to all gamers, RPG fans or not. Final Fantasy VII revolutionized the Final Fantasy series, and is regarded as one of the greatest titles of all time. It was originally released on the PlayStation in 1997 by Square, and recently re-released on the PlayStation Network, though many dedicated fans are still begging for a remake. Crisis Core represents a prequel spin-off to that great heriatage, and looks to fill in the backstory of one of the characters from FFVII, Zack Fair.
Zack is a 2nd class member of the SOLDIER elite guard. This story leads up to the events that eventually unfold to his destiny. Along the way you will meet many familiar characters from Final Fantasy VII. Crisis Core uses a differnt approach and steps out of the JRPG template and fuses action with RPG elements. You have full control over Zack during fights, and it is up to you to attack and dodge enemies. Though not traditional to Final Fantasy, the implementation works well.
Combat and leveling is a bit of a gamble and done at random through the Digital Mind Weave wheel. The wheel is a three panel slot machine that spins throughout Zack’s battles. Where it stops dictates what happens, effects which can range from special attacks to level-ups. The special attacks and skills that can be performed are tied to the pictures that rotate in the wheel as well. For example three pictures of Aeris will heal Zack, while three Clouds will result in a sword attack. Certain patterns on the wheel will cause Zack to begin to flashback events from earlier in the game, indicated by flashing screenshots across the screen.
Crisis Core not only features familiar faces but also familiar places. Fans will surely have hours of enjoyment getting to explore a completely redone version of many Final Fantasy VII locations. Players are free to enter the storyline or simply explore the area. The entire city of Midgar is completely open to you in its entirety. There are many things to discover and learn about the Final Fantasy VII universe just by talking to the citizens in the streets. In addition to the story line there are various side missions available and can be completed at any time via save points. As you progress through the main story, more side missions will be revealed along the way, allowing you to get closer to 100% completion.