And therein is the crux of Crisis Core's success: It's a game designed to feed on your nostalgic memories of Final Fantasy VII, and in that regard, it never falters. From the faithful 3D reconstruction of Midgar's slums to the fateful standoff in the Mako reactor, Crisis Core does a better job of putting players in FFVII's world than even the original game did.
And it manages to be a worthy experience in its own right rather than an empty bit of filler riding on a classic's coattails. It's a flawed, but nevertheless impressive, prelude to one of the most influential games of the past decade. As far as prequels go, it's one of the good ones...maybe not quite a Godfather Part II, but certainly miles better than your average Phantom Menace.