This is the first proper JRPG I ever played (back in 2008) -- and LOVED it ... even though it was in Japanese (the English version wasn't released yet). While I managed to get through a good part of the story/ game, I didn't finish it cos neither did I understand the ins and outs of RPGs then (doh!), nor what was really going on, well, not enough knowledge of the language to complete the game (I don't think I was strong enough to tackle either Genesis or Sephiroth).
Fast forward to present day; I'm quite an expert in the genre (having played so many since then) and -- hurrah -- the English version of the game has been out for years. I was actually given a copy but for some stupid reason, I sold it (after I gave my old PSP, Dissidia special edition, for the first generation Vita). I've always wanted to replay Crisis Core but it'd have meant getting myself and old PSP, which I didn't wan to do...
Until I saw an (unused) Crisis Core special/limited 10th anniversary bundled edition on sale on eBay (like, I had an OMG moment) and for around US$350 including shipment/postage ... which, seriously, is a bargain. Another seller offered the same thing for US$750 (!) but I noticed that has now been sold too. These editions are hard to come buy (even on eBay) so I ordered it straightaway ... I think it makes more sense to get a special edition than, say, get an ordinary (old) PSP and the game separately. Anyway, it wasn't all smooth sailing. When the game arrived - sure, it's spanking new as promised - but the battery had already expired (it was bloated, in fact) and after I bought a new battery for it, the screen kinda quickly died. Thankfully, this city being, well, this city, I could get that fixed pretty quickly (and hour!) so have been playing the game for a couple of days. The beauty of it wall is that I actually started playing the game some weeks ago, after a friend lent it to me, and I successfully transferred the (digital) save onto my new machine. So a happy ending!
Now that I know how to play the game properly, I can beat that horrible axe-wielding Vajradhara monster quite quickly (boy, did that thing used to give me much grief!!!) by dodging and spamming Blizzaga *LOL* I have also completed as many side missions (300+ in total) as poss. at this stage (Chapter 5, half way through the game) and got my Zack to Level 29. That's the thing, levelling in this game is all a bit random but I hope I'm just slightly over-levelled, while my "DMW" (digital mind wave) is in "sky high" at the moment, good to get back into story mode (to meet Cloud ~ yeah!) Doing the missions can be quite tedious, especially when you stumble into those random battles all the time >< but some of the items are quite worth it. But over all, I think I missed playing such a fun Final Fantasy game!!! I mean, FF X-2 was fun with the dressphere and stuff but I think by the time I unlocked all the mascots, I started to lose interest in the gameplay ... and the game is so full of missables that I just got tired following the YouTube playthrough. And it's in Japanese.
With Crisis Core, I like the randomness of that DMW wheel and its challenging battle system (non turn-based). Oh, this is Hajime Tabata's first PSP title and I've since played his Third Birthday as well as FF Type-0 ... I think he's quite a genius, always introducing something fun in his games. The story of Crisis Core is also excellent - great characters such as The Turks - so I'm really looking forward to completing the game this time round. And I think I'll just play this game on the special edition... it deserves to be special!!!