Prequels never have it easy, especially if tasked with being the prequel to one of the best JRPGs of all time. But in 2008, Crisis Core proved to be up to the task and became a game as memorable as Final Fantasy VII for many.
Since its release, Crisis Core has been confined to the PSP. This complicated access for those who could not grab this console back in the day.
If you think about Zack’s importance in the Final Fantasy VII universe (or multiverse?), a prequel seems essential for the Remake.
Just as essential are all the changes this Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII Reunion brings. Because although I had great memories of the game, I had to remind myself of two things:
- It was a PSP game, so it had limitations.
- It’s been more than fourteen years.
So what’s it like to return to Crisis Core after all this time? What’s it like reconnecting with an old friend I could never forget? Does it still pack an emotional punch with the strength of a Supernova, or has the Buster Sword gone blunt?
In Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion Review of Crisis Core Final Fantasy 7 Reunion, let’s dive into these questions.
A (Perhaps Excessively) Faithful Recreation
Plotwise, there is little room for surprise. Each and every event has been kept intact in this remaster.
This story takes place a few years before Final Fantasy VII. It’s a great way to know the origin of certain characters, add a more significant background, and discover what became of the actual main character of the Final Fantasy XVII universe: the Buster Sword.
The plot stars Zack Fair, the only main character with a unique personality. As you go about sharing memorable, dramatic, and comic moments with him, it’s hard not to emphasize with this SOLDIER.
A member of Shinra, Zack will have to locate some soldiers who have gone AWOL. It’s up to you to uncover the truth as he travels and meets new and familiar characters.
I found myself in the presence of pre-Final Fantasy XVI Sephiroth and Aeris. These encounters can understandably send anyone into fangirl rage.
In any case, the plot’s pace is splendid but short-lived. The main story is not long, so do not expect to find yourself playing for dozens of hours, like in the main Final Fantasy entries. That is unless you turn to the extra content.
Main plot aside, the game offers plenty of extra content. Sidequests will engage you in your typical fetch, escort, and item delivery endeavors. You’ll just be enjoying a casual stroll through the land of Gaia when an NPC decides to email you with a random request. It’s fine at first, but it starts feeling like spam after the 102nd email asking you to grab this item from that location and deliver it to a random NPC.
I mean, not that it happened to me or anything.
The narrative of Crisis Core now unfolds through carefully recrafted cutscenes. The renewed graphics gives the scenarios and characters a much cleaner look. Final Fantasy VII characters were taken from the game’s remake to be more consistent. Truth be told, everything looks great.
Only some aspects made me go, “Hey, this is not a remake. This is a remaster.”
The cracks show in the game’s animations, as they have been left untouched. This leaves the 2022-2023 gamer with video sequences starring characters spinning on their axis, Zack opening and closing his mouth with little to no lip movement, and other details that pull them out of the gaming experience.
What is more questionable is the decision to keep the CGI cinematics as they were. For better or worse, they are precisely the same.
I would be inclined to say this is for the better. They are still impressive and make you want to watch them again and again.
However, I’m leaning toward the negative side. Not upgrading the GCI cinematics means the resolution differs from the rest of the game. They are not on the same visual level as the remastered gameplay.
The standard sequences have been remastered. Those look sweet and are well worth watching again.
The UI has been completely redesigned to look like Final Fantasy VII’s. There is no trace of the old UI, for which I am immensely grateful. The new UI looks clean. It’s clean and easy to understand.
The art style is so congruent with the original you’ll get used to seeing it very quickly and practically forget that this is a remaster. That is until you notice that characters barely move when they speak.
After all, it is a game that dates back to a pre-motion capture era.
In other words, it’s a noble remake, but underneath all that makeup lies a 2007 game, and it shows.
Tetsuya Nomura’s One-button Games
Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion shares the same issues that other Tetsuya Nomura games have. You feel like you can finish them with a single button. And you can!
Mind you; this isn’t just any action RPG. You have an attack button, a roll button, a spending button, and combinations to roll out spells.
Nomura has gone as far as designing a unique upgrading system for weapons: the Materia system.
When you learn to use the materias, develop them, fuse them, and so on, the gaming experience becomes entertaining, challenging, and versatile, like Metro Exodus weapon modding but for RPGs.
It seems like a solid experience, full of options. But it falls apart when you realize you could win a fight with a single button.
Sure, choosing this playstyle is stupid.
Still, it’s achievable. That’s the bummer.
This isn’t a deadly sin or anything like that. Also, it’s a 10-year-old combat system. The limitations were confined to a portable game shell. Nevertheless, it garnered much entertainment as it was.
The game is incredibly generous when it comes to difficulty.
Even in hard mode, if you fail an encounter, you can restart it immediately without going back to your last save point.
The game goes as far as letting you adjust your build and change skills and keep trying the second you die.
The fact is that, regardless of whether you like the combat or not, Square Enix wants you to unveil the game’s real charm: the story.
Shut Up; I’m Trying to Listen
The OST was also renewed. The revamped OST has been arranged in a way that surpasses the original. Unsurprisingly, this Final Fantasy game excels in producing a top-tier sound that elevates your gameplay.
I do miss the original Zack, though. Caleb Pierce undertook the task of voicing Zack for the remaster. He sounds good, but his juvenile pitch sometimes makes Zack seem arrogant and clumsy.
Again, it’s a good job; it just takes some getting used to after hearing Gomez as Zack for over a decade.
A Leveling System in which Leveling Up Doesn’t Make a Difference
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, a portable game, had to be moved to the TV for Playstation, Xbox, or a display with better resolution than a PSP like the one on the Switch or a Steam Deck.
With that in mind, the experience needs to be much faster, more compact, and more immediate. The goal is for you to have short gaming sessions, like the ones you would have on the train or bus. That’s why level-ups are immediate, and progress is undoubtedly fast.
The good thing is that Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion is about more than just leveling up. It’s more about finding the correct items and materials to improve your stats and beat the game in the best way possible.
Materia is key. Those shiny pearls help you to cast spells. My precious.
The more you use them, the higher level they attain. Then, you can merge them with other materia, create new ones and use them again.
Not all of them are basic green ones with a kind of element. Some of them affect your stats directly or perform actions in combat.
Making progress in this feature gets you instantly hooked.
At the end of the story, you can start a new game+. This version keeps Zack’s level, materias, and other aspects. Unfortunately, the progress in the secondary missions is not preserved.
As a completionist, this drives me up the wall. The main story is relatively short, so most of your gameplay time will be spent on sidequests. Having your sidequest progression poof like that when your start your new game+ is rude.
If you enjoyed Crisis Core Final Fantasy XVII Reunion or just like JRPGs in general, here are some other games you should try out:
- Kingdom Hearts 3
- Final Fantasy 10
- NieR Replicant
- Xenoblade Chronicles
- Dragon Quest 11: Echoes Of An Elusive Age
- Tales Of Vesperia
Square Enix brings one of the PSP’s most beloved games back to life in a formidable way. Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion’s visuals couldn’t be better. This is especially true for the current consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series).
However, the game mechanics should have gotten a significant tweak to make the experience more modern. Still, Zack Fair’s story is worth enjoying again, especially if you finished the Final Fantasy XVII Remake.
- The visual aspect was revamped and looks phenomenal.
- The soundtrack sounds better than ever.
- A key piece in the compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
- Repetitive side quests.
- Some cinematic scenes were not reworked at all.
- The combat could have used more tweaks.
According to my PS5 logs, I’ve been playing Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII reunion for almost 38 hours. Though I must admit, several minutes may have been spent running around Gaia, aimlessly looking for missable content in each chapter.
Though my play log beats the main storyline and side quests, there is still plenty of progress to be made. Perhaps I’ll stop pumping hours into this game once that “My Living Legacy” trophy pops up.
Question: Should You Buy Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion?
Answer: Yes, Square Enix is exploiting the re-release of many of its franchises as of late. Sometimes they release incredible experiences, but sometimes you can tell that the idea was to tweak the production and make it playable once again on new consoles.
Crisis Core is a particular case because you can tell that it is a severe project in which there was an investment in the team and research and development. If you are a fan of FF games, especially Final Fantasy VII, this one is definitely for you.
Question: How Long Does it Take to Finish Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion?
Answer: As for the length of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII Reunion depends on how you play. However, since many original elements have been sped up, the story can be completed relatively quickly, in about 10 or 12 hours.
However, if you get caught up in doing side missions, the length of the game can be pushed up to 70.
Question: Is Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII – Reunion Difficult?
Answer: Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII Reunion has two selectable difficulty modes from the beginning: normal and hard.
The Normal one is relatively straightforward. However, remember that this is a JRPG, so it depends significantly on the level and the objects you have obtained.
On hard difficulty, the game can get quite intense, especially with some of the optional challenges of the adventure. However, it is also true that by taking advantage of the materia fusion system, you can get combinations that completely break the game.
I don’t mean this in the wrong way. On the contrary, discovering the fusions that give you access to skills and spells that shred enemies is amusing.