To have a good sequel/prequel you need to expand and improve upon all elements that made its predecessor so enjoyable. To make a great one, you need to do all that AND make sure that the game can be enjoyed without any prior knowledge of the previous incarnation. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII seems to thankfully fall into the latter. With it’s innovative combat system, engaging story, and pick up and play missions, Crisis Core seems to be able to be a great game regardless if it is connected to FFVII’s central story or not.
While the rest of the “Compilation of Final Fantasy VII” sucked (a cell phone game? A shooter?), you can rest assured, Crisis Core shares nothing with the lackluster crap thrown at us up till now. Right at the beginning you are thrown into a situation not unlike the start of FFVII, jumping off a train and kicking ass. The similarities stop there as you take naïve SOLDIER rookie Zach Fair through various missions in SOLDIER trying to locate several members who have gone AWOL, while answering some questions along the way.
The developers pay a ton of fan service, from your first meeting with Sephiroth, to teaming up with The Turks. It’s all there, and if you are one of the unfortunate people who have not played FFVII (yes, all three of you) you have no reason to feel as if you won’t understand what is going on. The game has its own story, but it just expands upon a storyline already created, not leaving any gaps or any confusion for the gamers who missed out. Thankfully, it also ditches the poetic dialogue that plagued Final Fantasy XII.
Combat is a breeze thanks to the quick innovative controls. Think the Tales series meets Kingdom Hearts, and you probably have a good idea. Everything is done in real time, with no time or gauge to plan your actions out. You can attack, or use one of your materia, all of which is easily accessible immediately for the fast pace you will be in.