Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Initial experience / Beginner’s FAQs, tutorial.

23 Mar


This is just my review on a game that I’ve played for about 5-6 hours, therefore my review is basically quite short and does not represent the WHOLE game entirely, plus there might also be some misinformation but i will try to be as accurate as possible, but no guarantees hor. Read at your own risk.

22th march 2008 – Started half-assed Review/Beginners FAQs and Tutorial.

24th march 2008 – Added a DMW summary, speculation on DMW options in your menu and corrected some misinformation.

6th April 2008 – Updated ‘How the Fuck does it work?!’ section.

8th April 2008 – Cleared up ‘A speculation on the DMW option in your menu section.


The good point

Tons. Graphics/visuals is f**king awesome for a psp game, I think it beats GoW:CoO!!!! I seriously am starting to think that the PSP is getting more and more awesome. (i’m a early owner of the psp, and last time psp games really sucks.) Music is da power lar, seriously not many games can have such awesome composers and producers. Needless to say I’ve already obtained the album. Summons(saw on youtube) and limit breaks are so cool you DON’t freaking want to skip them. and now shops are all online! no longer do u need to walk to shops and talk to stupid NPCs! just access the shop’s item list via your menu! more shop addresses can be obtained as you advance through the story. Other than that… arhhhh, I can’t think of anything else, there might be more but as I’ve mentioned previously this is just a initial experience so yeah.

The Bad point

The DMWs, aye.. although the scenes are cool, getting the limit breaks to activate itself is a fucking pain in the fucking ass. Again, I’ll get to that later. As for combat, well its user preference really, but i do have a bit of issues with it. not much. but aye, it leans more to the bad side lar, so i just put it here. and the FMVs CANNOT be skipped! summons FMVs can be, but not in game! so meaning to say if you die after the fmv and save before, well tough luck watch it again! NO new weapons too! the only thing u can change are accessories, but they somesort act like armor. you get 2 initial slots, later moving on to 4 as you complete missions. and the targeting is completely automatic, the closest enemy to Zack gets targeted. you cannot scroll the crosshair! which sucks when you want to cancel the enemie’s channeling but can’t cause he’s so fucking far! Other than that… arhhhh, I can’t think of anything else, there might be more but as I’ve mentioned previously this is just a initial experience so yeah.

Things that I’m not gona be covering will be:

-The storyline (5-6 hours only you want story? siao.)

-The duration of the game. (again 5-6 hours nia. how to say? but I heard from other people this game is short for a rpg. but aiya, its the psp! whatdaya expect?)

-Materias, fusion (haven got to that part.)

Ok, off to the meat of the review!

A short introduction

Crisis Core is a prequel to FF7, and details the events unfolding in Zack Fair’s life as a SOLDIER. If you’ve played FF7, you should know who is Zack and what is SOLDIER, if not, then well.. too bad. I’m not gona recount the story of Zack’s involvement in FF7, simply because

1. I totally don’t recall the existence of Zack in FF7 while playing that time. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how, perhaps its the Jenova cells injected into me, or maybe its just because I was too small back then to fully understand the story, so yeah.

2. With that said, I’m currently in the process of playing FF7, again. And I oso did some research regarding Zack by reading plot analysis and etc. I’ve somehow managed to get the gist of things, but until I actually refreshed my memory to its fullest by completing the game, I will not give me half ass opinions on what’s Zack’s role in Cloud’s life is. Especially so when their relationship is so complicated.

Ok, back to the point and continuing on,

Graphics/visuals (10/10)

The psp has potential to be on par with the ps2, if not for its dependence on batteries, its size and its memory. I mean after going through all those cut scenes and in game graphics/visuals, I was astounded to see what the PSP can achieved. Back in the early days of PSP games, you don’t see graphics like this! no sir you don’t. And whats more awesome is the fact that there is virtually NO load time! If graphics matters alot to you, you won’t be disappointed with Crisis Core. it is that awesome.

Storyline (??)

As mentioned previously, this is a review of a game I’ve only played for like 5-6 hours, so you can’t really take my word for it. From what I’ve heard though, is that Square didn’t screw up the FF7 universe, but neither did they add anything especially awesome or what-not. anyways, in this game you only get to control Zack and Zack only, meaning to say character development and the whole story revolves around him and to some extent, those he met on the way.

Gameplay (??)

Although I have alot to say about the gameplay, I shall not give it a score since I’ve not gotten to the materia fusion part and I’ve not mastered the DMWs too.

when you’re not in battles, you will be controlling zack running around the whole place with the camera directly behind him, you can rotate the angle by using the L and R button. there are oso quite many side missions to do, so i guess it keeps you occupied if you are those kind that likes to stray off, like me. Missions ranks from very easy to FUCKING UNBELIEVABLY HARD LIKE DING DONG CHEESECAKE CHEE CHEONG FUN OF A SPRINGROLL! and that is on NORMAL ok! you try playing hard mode, you will cry like a wussy I tell you. as for battles…

This time, Crisis Core uses a whole new battle system (ok not THAT new if you’d played FF12 before) Its a action rpg, you control zack, get into ‘random’ enemy encounters, and battle just goes real time, that means, you whack them, they whack you, no holds bar, no wait time. who can mesh the button faster wins!

Basically I myself don’t have much qualms with how combat system goes, give me ATB, give me real-time, I’m perfectly adaptable. but for Crisis Core, there is some issues that I don’t really like.

Firstly, its quite easy to ‘exploit’ the combat system, all you have to do to land a critical hit, is to run behind an enemy (preferably when he’s/she’s/it’s trying to hit you.) and whack him/her/it. Its BOUND to be a critical. and critical is really critical lor. no joke man. at least 3x increase in damage. this makes battle a bit tad too easy. ALTHOUGH there are still some enemy fights that are quite a pain in the ass, or thats what I’ve heard over at the forums.

Secondly, note the ‘random’ in my above statement. say is say random, but actually, its kinda predictable to know when enemies will pop up, as long as you run into a big space you’ve previously not been into, theres a 110% chance enemies will pop up, and whats worst, if you exit and reenter, you WILL fight enemies at the same place again! but there is a cheap way to avoid this. (but I recommend you don’t lar. i mean whats the point if ya not gona fight in a RPG?? lol) just hug the wall. 90% chance you will avoid the encounter. haha

all right, next up, the BEEF of the combat system, I shall now introduce you to the world of Digital Mind Waves. (DMWs)

Let me first show you a SS of the combat system:


The upper left is the DMW reel, which spins constantly as long as you have SP(SP is also use for materia fusion, and can be gained 2 ways, one of which is to kill enemies, the other i forgot) each ‘slot’ is connected to your HP, MP and AP(NOTE: In CC, AP is not used for materias, its for Command skills and dodging), denoted by the color and the lines as you can see. more on that later.

the bottom right shows your actions(attack, use items, use materias, use commands, etc), you scroll through the cursor by using the L and R button, which can be a pain in the ass, since as mentioned previously the L and R is used to rotate the camera when ya not in battle, and this can cause you to accidentally press it and used up some good items if you so happens to have the urge to rotate the non-rotate-able camera in battle. the rest are pretty minor stuff, no need me to say.

Now lets get to the Digital Mind Wave, or DMW, your savior and your downfall.


Its a fucking pain in the ass. thats what it is. LOLL

ok, the DMW is something that is newly introduced into the world of FF. It is, to put it in the simplest way, a fucking slot machine! and like all slot machines, luck plays a MAJOR part in how it works. (or so it seems.)

In crisis core, no longer do you gain experience points or APs(for materias in ff7), no longer do you need to get whacked a kazillion times to activate limit breaks, and no longer can you summon summons at your own will.

ALLLL of this is dependent on this fucking pain in the ass thing called DMW. Now take a look at the reels, you will see 3 character portraits and 3 numbers.

Each portrait corresponds to the limit breaks and summons that you can activate. There are quite a few portraits in Crisis Core, but initially you only have access to 2, Sephiroth and Angeal.(zack’s mentor and original wielder of the buster sword. as for sephiroth.. what? YOU DON’T KNOW WHO IS SEPHIROTH?!!? YOU PHAIL LAR) more can be unlock as you continue on with the story and meet new people.

the numbers on the other hand, works two ways, i’ll get in-depth on it later, but basically it affects your character levels, materia levels, and some other minor perks.


The short answer will be: luck.

the long answer will be: No one fucking knows exactly. Some claim that there is some kinda hidden experience indicator, meaning to say once you reach a certain ‘number’, the reel will always let you level up(OK this have been proven to be a fact, following an interview with director Tabata by 1up).

As for limit breaks, there are basically two ways to increase your chances of striking it.

the first way is apparently story-based, as you move along the game, you will sometimes chanced upon a msg saying that ‘zack has experience a surge of emotions’ or something like that. Then you will notice that beside your DMW, there is a portrait of a character and a small digit at the lower right hand corner, this if i’m not wrong should always be 5.

So what does this mean? This means that chances of you striking all 3 of this particular character’s portrait(and thus activating his/her/its limit break) increases by 5x!

the second way is by getting your limit gauge redder, there are 5 levels, and the probability of achieving limit breaks are:

– Heavenly -> 18.8% of achieving modulating phase (activating your limit break)

– Sky High -> 7.8% of achieving modulating phase (activating your limit break)

– High -> 6.3% of achieving modulating phase (activating your limit break)

– Normal -> 4.7% of achieving modulating phase (activating your limit break)

– Low -> 2.3% of achieving modulating phase (activating your limit break)

All credit goes to kenzhao

NOTE: HOW exactly do you raise your limit gauge, I’m not very sure, so if you know, then any help will be greatly appreciated. (or perhaps i should play further? hah)

and of cause there are the speculations, some is based on my experience, others are based on other people’s:

– random based on your SP? i.e. Low SP lower chance? high SP higher chance?

– Level based? Higher the level less chances of getting limit verge? lower the level higher chances?

Anyways lets get onto the GIST of the DMW.

Limit breaks – How do you activate them?!!?

Ok, this is a two stage process! now firstly, look at the reels on the SS above(not below!), there are 3 slots and 3 portraits, in order to activate limit breaks, you have to obtain the same portrait for the left and right most slots. (A B C – A and C must be same portrait) Once you get that, this ‘limit verge screen’ will activate:



Now the middle slot will start to spin, and you may get to see some scenes involving you and the character in the portrait some time in the game previously, what purposes it serves I don’t know lar, other than the fact that it just refreshes your memory? (it can be skipped btw)

once you see the scene you have a higher chance of getting the 3rd matching portrait, but if you don’t well you still can activate it, but not that good of a chance lar. and once you activate it, you will get POWER SURGE! which is just another word for limit break. Again, each matching character portrait gives you different types of limit breaks, if you managed to get 3 identical portraits that you’ve not yet unlocked,(it will be a shadow of the character instead of his/her/its photo) you will just perform a generic limit break.

You will also get a chance to ‘break’ your max HP, MP and AP, how exactly does it work I’m still trying to figure out, but its just a small bonus lar, basically it just lets you exceed your max hp/mp/ap. I.E. 100/100 hp becomes 110/100 hp

of cause you still take damage and using skills and magic will deplete it away.

The same principle applies for Summons. thats why i say it sucks! no longer can you summon summons as and when you like! everything is luck luck luck! grrr.

Moving on,

Character levels, Materia levels and other interesting status effects

Now this one is slightly a bit tad complicated. I noe i suck at elaborating, so either you stop now and avoid a headache, or bear with me. I apologise first hand if you need to use axe brand.


Lets start with status effects:

note the DMW reels (NOT LIMIT VERGE SCREEN!) you will see numbers for each slots. get this numbers to activate interesting bonuses for your character for a limited time in battle:

7 7 – : AP and MP cost zero

7 – 7 : Null physical damage

– 7 7 : Null magic damage

7 – – : AP cost zero (note that this slot is linked to AP)

– 7 – : MP cost zero (this is linked to mp)

– – 7 : Endure (you don’t jerk/fall down when hit, though u still take damage (this is linked to your hp))

EVEN MORE status effects:

7 7 7 : Invincible

6 6 6 : All attack critical

5 5 5 : Null physical damage

4 4 4 : AP cost zero during battle (yes all the way)

3 3 3 : Null magic damage

2 2 2 : MP cost zero during battle

1 1 1: Invincible (again.)

Character and materia leveling:

Once you have activated the Limit verge screen (NOT DMW REELS!), apart from the portraits, the numbers will also be there, but this time, they are used for leveling up your character and materias. Much less combination to obtained, its basically very simple:

7 7 7 : Zack levels up

Any 2 identical numbers representing the materia slots : materia up one level

Any 3 identical numbers representing the materia slots : materia up two levels! ( 7 is excluded as you only have 6 slots for materias)

Ok if you don’t get it regarding how materia leveling works, i shall try to explain as best as i can:

look in your equipment, at first you start with 4 slots for materias. as you progress through the game, you will obtain 2 more, making it 6.

lets say you have a Fire materia placed in your 1st slot, and during the limit verge screen, you get 2 number 1s(regardless of where it stops at) your fire materia will up 1 level. if it’s 3 number 1s, your fire materia will up 2 levels.

again, say you have a cure materia in your 3rd slot, and during the limit verge screen, you get 2 number 3’s(regardless of where it stops at) your cure materia will up 1 level. If it’s 3 number 2s, your cure materia will up 2 level.

so on and so forth. hopefully you get it. if you don’t have any materia equipped in that particular slot, then nothing will happen if you get 2 or 3 identical numbers of that corresponding slot. (say materia slot 4 is empty, you spin 2(or 3) 4s, nothing will happen.)

And that basically sums up the role of DMW, as you can see, it really is just like jackpot, just spin spin spin and pray pray pray! you may cry or you may rejoice, for me, I am anything as I’m adaptable. Its just that I’m kinda pissed off at first as I took quite a while to get used to this system, and i just kept thinking to myself: ‘Why?! what is wrong with the old progress bar thingy way of leveling up!?’

Furthermore, I’m not a very lucky person. thus i have to get into more battles and endure long battles by standing there and letting the DMW reels spin till I level up or see nice nice Limit breaks! haiz oh well, it still is a great game nevertheless.

If you still do not fully understand how DMW works, then go over to youtube and search for some Crisis Core combat clips, there are quite a few, I’ll give you one:


1. The DMW reels(spinning slot at the upper left corner of the screen in battle) functions independently from the limit verge screen(the reels that enlarges full screen when you have two same portraits on the outer reels).

2. Limit breaks are a two stage process –

a. the DMW reels while in battle, will constantly spin as long as you have SP, one spin cost you 10SP. (If you don’t have any SP left, or is under the effect of Curse, the reel will not spin, thus disabling your limit breaks and ability to level up.) The character portrait controls your limit break.

b. once both outer reels have the same character portrait, the limit verge screen will activate, getting the middle portrait to match will activate limit break.

3. On the DMW reels, the numbers determine what bonus status effect you’ll have.

4. On the limit verge screen, the numbers will affect Zack’s level and his materia levels.

5. After getting a power surge(3 matching portraits) you will also get a chance to increase your current HP, MP and/or AP, even to the point of exceeding the maximum, this is called ‘Break’. What exactly determines which gets what, and by how much, I am still not sure. (its not indefinite and can still be used up.)

the DMW option in your menu

As of now, I only know that the flashbacks is = to the percentage, the more unique flashbacks you see during power surge, the more your percentage will increase.

Getting all 100% for all portraits will grant you the Genji Armor, an absolutely pwning equipment.

What other effects are there, I’m not sure.

How to increase your chances of getting unique flashbacks, I’m also not sure. By luck perhaps?

ConclusionAs it took quite some time for me to finish the DMW part, im basically expended and don’t have much to say for conclusion, also I’ve not really fully played the game to its maximum, so to give a half ass opinion is bad. Therefore,

Get this game if ya a FF 7 fan.

Try out this game if ya not a FF7 fan but is intrigued by my review.

I may or may not update this review once I’ve finished the game. See my mood lar.

And feel free to leave a comment if you have anything to add,correct me in and/or have any questions. 😀


Posted by on March 23, 2008 in Uncategorized


14 responses to “Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Initial experience / Beginner’s FAQs, tutorial.

  1. wtf

    April 16, 2008 at 11:23 PM

    Yes i totally agree with what you’ve written.

    Its damn fucking annoying to fight those vvery hard missions in the game. When you’ve it, lady luck you can get almost (….) lv.5 combos or summons..

    One thing i’ve tried……JUST kEEP MASHING THE X button during the DMW spin.



  2. dingo

    April 16, 2008 at 11:49 PM

    lol i have the exact same tactic as you. but I think it’s just placebo. haha

  3. joker

    May 23, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    how the hell do you get more item and materia slots

  4. dingo

    May 23, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    Moar Materia Slots are unlocked once you get to 1st class.

    For armor/accessories slots, you’d have to finish certain missions. can’t remember which exactly.

    You may wanna try reading some guides online. is a good place to start.

    Gd luck.

  5. joker

    May 24, 2008 at 10:39 PM


  6. joker

    May 26, 2008 at 6:37 AM

    do you get item slots the same way as materia slots

  7. Dingo

    May 26, 2008 at 8:16 PM

    Materia slots are gained instantly once you get to first class.

    For item slots, there’s 2 key items ya will need to get through missions. 1 key item unlocks 1 item slot.

  8. aaron

    June 20, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    i can answer some questions, the dmw goes up based o certain limits llike lucky stars or the moogle poket. there are also items that boost it. and to get more items you have to do missions and find the keychain and backpack items. some limits are bonus ones you have to get with items in quests. so check every chest and spot. expecially in plains and marine caves. and another thing, at one point there is a point of no return. when they start talking about nibbleheim and they tell you to go talk to aerith, don’t until your sure your ready for a long ass time running away from every thing in the damn game and plenty of ridicules boss fights.

    well I hope i helped someone with this 🙂

  9. Dingo

    June 20, 2008 at 11:48 AM

    @aaron –> thanks for your input! 😀

  10. kevin

    June 24, 2008 at 3:42 PM

    i like the game very much unlike some prequlaes this one does not reck the ff7 name

    i very much like the summons attack movies they are relly well done and the fact of the limt slots i think it is based on cait shiths limet in the frist game. favouret limt attack is assalt rush.

    best battle is at nebilhime agentst sephiroth

    and playing in hard mode and completing the game 100% just bring me to the statment

    you get bragging rights and prove you likey the game very much me i am at 19% in hard on missions

  11. kevin

    July 4, 2008 at 8:22 PM

    to get limt up from normal one way is to get lucky stars limt it goes to max every time

  12. Dingo

    July 5, 2008 at 1:47 AM

    @Kevin –> thank you very much for your input! =D

  13. kevin

    July 11, 2008 at 6:38 PM

    all done 100% on hard =D i hated the last missions on normal GOD Dam it they were nearly ****ing impossible is hard mode

  14. robbie

    October 9, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    In my opinion the chance of activating a limit break de-creases as the charicter % in creases, untill it reaches 100% when they start happening every 5 seconds.

    also (you probbable havnt reached these yet) you can buy materia that increases your chanses by x6-x10. there is also chocobo mode whitch is like summon mode but it is random as fuck and a good laugh.


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