Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII follows the story of Zack Fair (In case you don't know him, he is Cloud's friend, one who has only gotten a few exposures from the previous versions of Final Fantasy). This version, unlike the original game, focuses on the life of Zack and his dealings with three key characters in the game: Angeal, Genesis, and Sephiroth.
This game may have the same characters as Final Fantasy VII, but what makes it a breath of fresh air is that it is more subtle and follows that storyline of Zack in an intimate manner. Crisis Core begins with Zack and Angeal out on a mission to tame the forces in Wutai and investigate on the unlikely disappearance Genesis.
Battles happen in real time at Crisis core; which are often activated in certain points in the map. You will fight where you stand as your enemies fade into view. A crude arena around Zack is created by invisible boundaries during the fight. Once the enemy has been defeated, Zack continues on his way with little to no disturbance in transition times.
You can control Zack around in a battle using either the D pad or the analog stick. X selects the action across a small menu at the bottom of the screen (the triggers L and R are used to move this). The square button is for Zack to roll while triangle is for block. Pressing the circle button resets the cursor back to the default attack action.
Materia is used to enhance Zack's abilities and skills. It enables certain commands to be made available in the game. Although Zack will definitely benefit from this, it limits his actions and requires a bit of strategic planning on the part of the player.
The Digital Mind Wave is the center of the battle mechanics of Crisis Core. It controls certain events in the game such as Limit Breaks, summons, leveling up, and material level up. It is a three reeled slot system which is constantly spinning, and certain match ups of numbers and portraits are required for an event to occur.
Lastly for Crisis Core, the graphics rendered have an impressive impact on the 16:9 PSP screen. Character models as well as their facial expressions are highly detailed and are polished to perfection, making anyone from Square Enix proud of their finely crafted masterpiece.