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Analysis

You will be asked to create a new character upon commencing the game. You will be allowed to chose two characters at a time, although this may change in the future. You have the ability to switch between characters during the game freely. After this the game will begin and you will start out as a rookie Turk, with you first task consisting of patrolling Sector 8.

Materia

The Materia system has changed greatly from FF7, to use Materia here you will have create it. To start off, select the Materia option in the main menu. From the resulting submenu, select the "Create Materia" option. To your surprise this will activate the camera on your phone, rest assured, this is just the rather clever materia system at work. The game will analyse the image produced by the camera and from determining the more dominant colour in the image, a relevant materia will be produced (e.g. taking a picture of a red image, will probably create a fire materia.

Once you have finished creating your materia it will be stored in your inventory. Your rank and performance throughout the game will determine how many you can keep in there. As in FF7, the materia will level up whilst in use, and generally you will be able to equip to weapons and armour is 3, two for armour and one for weapons. The number of times your materia is used as well as where you slotted it will have an effect on its growth rate.

Materia will also effect your attacks. Materia slotted onto your weapons will affect the element of your attack, and as the strength of the materia increases, your physical attack will carry more e

ffect of that element. This is useful when enemies have certain elemental weakness. Summons are available in this game too, but not as you know it. There are no specific summon materia, instead you will need to use three top-grade materia (i.e. Curaga, Firaga and Thundaga) to create a summon like effect. As you increase in rank in the Turks, you will be able to store increasing ammounts of materia. Also the option to produce higher grade materia will become available. Using several top-grade materia at the same time will produce a summon.

You will now be able to start your first mission. You'll find you'll have some specialised attacks which are attributed to which character you chose. These attacks can be activated by pressing your phone's keys in a certain way. Your character will also affect the methods and strageties you'll use to fight your enemies. Before Crisis also features an 'Auto Attack' system where you are able to let the game guide your attacks, which will further affect the strageties you will be able to implement.

Gameplay

There are three main modes to Before Crisis; Episode Mode, Rescue Mode and Free Mode. In Episode mode you will follow the storyline of the game. Upon finishing an episode you will sometimes have to wait for the next episode update for the game, but you may find the game has been updated before you have completed the one previous. At the end of each episode, you will be evaluated for your performance by Tseng or Veld. Acheving a high performance is more or less a necessity to moving up ranks and unlocking the full potential of your chosen character.

Rescue Mode consists of having to rescure a Turk who has failed on a mission, generally they have been captured by Avalanche. IF you yourself fail this mission and are KO'ed, you will also be captured by Avalanche and will have to be rescued by another player on the network.

Free Mode leaves you placed in a specific location and must achieve certain objectives. You will get a prize for completing these objectives. In later episodes you will get the chance to get a Dio metal. Unlocking special events and prizes at the Gold Saucer is your reward for collecting enough Dio medals.

Before Crisis has an RP (Rank Point) system to determine you rank. After each mission you will collect a certain amount of RP, which will improve your rank and also is important in regards to upgrading weapons and purchasing items. Performing an action will cost you some RP, upgrading a weapon or a character will roughly cost 1000RP each.

Finally, a note on the save points. These differ from traditional Final Fantasies as you will not find save points. The game will automatically save after the last episode brek in Episode Mode, which is one of the few parts each episode is divided into. There is only one save slot in Before Crisis, so you can forget running simultaneous games.
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