This page contains spoilers for Final Fantasy VII.
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- was released on 13 September 2007 in Japan, 25 March 2008 in North America, and June 2008 in Europe/Australia. A PSP game, it has never been rereleased or ported to any other system. It is an entry in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, a series which extends the lore of the 1997 PSX game Final Fantasy VII through games, film, and other media. In 2009, Square Enix reported that the game had sold 3.1 million units across all territories (source).
Crisis Core tells the story of Zack Fair, who was very important to the overall backstory of the original game, but about which very little was known. He was the SOLDIER 1st Class who went to Nibelheim with Sephiroth, and upon whom Cloud based his personality in FFVII, but aside from a few sequences in the original game and his ultimate fate, his story was unknown.
This game, then, takes the player back 7 years before the original game's start and shows Zack's role as a SOLDIER in Shinra's war against Wutai, and his subsequent operations against Genesis, a SOLDIER who defects from Shinra and turns rogue against the company. The game expands on the themes of human experimentation present in the original game and covers how Zack ended up with the iconic Buster Sword, as well his role in the Nibelheim incident.
Crisis Core is an action RPG, and Zack is the only playable character. There are random encounters, during which Zack can use materia to utilize both physical and magical abilities. The DMW (Digitial Mind Wave), a set of spinning reels, activate various bonuses as Zack fights, including his limit breaks and levelling up, which leads to a certain amount of chance in the gameplay. The game itself is linear and doesn't take much longer than 15 to 20 hours to beat, but there are 300 optional missions that you can access at any save point.
For fans of FFVII, Crisis Core is a must-play entry in the franchise. Though the game isn't without flaws in both story and gameplay, it's a ton of fun, and offers a decent amount of replay value. Zack's story is easy to get drawn into, and it's one that tends to stay with you for a long time, even when you already knew how it was going to end.
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