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Flawed but good prequel.
While it's a fun game with a enjoyable battle system with it's own twist on the Materia system, the missions are unbelevably repetitive and outside of {{100%Completion}} or fighting the Bonus Boss, there is little to no appeal in finishing all 300 missions.

Zack Fair is easily one of the best Square protagonists and is a nice subversion to the Flanderization of Cloud and it's nice to get to understand Shinra as well as it's employees (Cissnei, Tseng, Sephiroth, Lazard) a little better. Angeal and Genesis on the other hand are the weak links in the chain, because after the first two or three chapters of the game, you want Angeal to shut up about honour and Genesis to just shut up altogether.

Despite this, the game is a fun exploration of the Final Fantasy VII world and Zack is a great protagonist.
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There's a crisis at the core of this game, all right...
This spin-off of Final Fantasy VII for the PSP is for the most part, a very good game. It's well designed, the mission-based gameplay and battle system are incredibly fun and addictive, the music is great, as is the voice acting (with the exception of Paul Eiding's ever awful Hojo in the english dub), and it tells an interesting story of a likeable lead character, Zack Fair, telling of how he grows from an overeager boy to a more confident, mature, and heroic SOLDIER first class. Seeing how Zack was a little more than an interesting plot device in the original game, it's very interesting to see him get his own story and character development. The story also sets in motion the core plot of the original game.

HOWEVER, this being "the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII'', noticeable flaws were to be expected and in an otherwise good game, they really stand out. Instead of simply telling Zack's life story the way it should've, the game includes this nonsensical bullshit story centering around an uninteresting Mad Scientist villain named Hollander and his "Project G" rip-off of Hojo's JENOVA project. Filled with unoriginality, clones, dumbapples, and LOVELESS recitals, this storyline is incredibly contrived and tedious and only serves to make the backstory of Final Fantasy VII more convoluted than nessecary, especially evident when even the famous Nibelhiem incident is retconned to fit in with this nonsense.

Half of the new characters included didn't appeal to me either. The less important ones, Director Lazard, Cissnei, and Kunsel, I liked. But Hollander, Angeal, and Genesis were horrendously written characters whose motives and actions made little to no sense through the entire course of the game. Angeal's talk of "HONOR" got especially irritating and Hollander was just such a bore. At least Genesis' laughably bad Purple Prose play recitals could be funny.

And I may be in the minority, but I did not care for the way they handled Zack's death. By having Zack go out as a Bad Ass hero fighting a whole army, they pretty much turned it into the "Hollywood ending" that the original game was so good at averting, and Zack "passing his memories" on to Cloud was bullshit.

The game's still fun to play, so it's recommended. But the plot REALLY ought to have been better.
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