Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion review: sealed by fate

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

MSRP $49.99

“Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion looks like a modern game, but the old PSP gameplay is no match for the HD overhaul.”


  • Still an impressive story

  • Interesting DMW system

  • Powerful RPG customization

  • Welcome to visual and audio tweaks


  • repetitive combat

  • Boring side missions

  • Dated general feel

If you’ve moved away from the 2020s Final Fantasy VII Remake Hoping for a more faithful modernization of the classic RPG, then by the books Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion for you.

Square Enix’s latest visit is a game of safe guard, as if it were made to throw bones in the ranks. 2007s take Crisis CoreA prequel exclusive to PlayStation Portable Final Fantasy VIIand some new visuals, quality-of-life improvements, and a few tweaks to create parity with it. Remake of FF VII. It’s not an ambitious remake that will surprise players with narrative changes or extra content. I’m guessing this will sound like music to some fans’ ears, but there’s the simple truth that comes with a restoration project like this: a fresh coat of paint only does so much when it covers the growing mold.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion It offers a perfectly suited way for fans old and new to experience an essential part of the rich story of the RPG series. All upgrades are welcome and necessary additions for such a faithful remake; They don’t do much to help an aging portable gamer that stands out more when its flaws are only concealed by the illusion of modernity.

basic experience

Square Enix embarks on its ambitious project to completely redesign Final Fantasy VIIa Crisis Core Republishing has become a necessity. The PSP game was previously a completely skipped, world-expanding prequel, but its narrative now plays an important role in the future of the remake universe. This happened thanks to the main character, Zack Fair, who seems to defy fate towards the upcoming adventure. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

But I’m getting over myself. To understand why this is important, you need to know Zack’s original story. exactly this version Crisis Core This makes it a fundamental achievement regardless of its ultimate ambitions.

Fifteen years later, Zack’s saga stands out for how complete it feels compared to most games of this scale released today.

Crisis Core‘s story remains completely unchanged. mergerDamn the timeline antics. Set seven years ago FF VIIfollows the bright-eyed soldier Zack as he tries to rise up in Shinra’s private army in pursuit of a deserter named Genesis. As a prequel, the narrative has always had the unenviable task of creating both a piece of connective tissue to engage fans and a standalone adventure that can be rooted in its own merits. The first could be hit-and-miss. In more dazzling moments of fan service, Crisis Core “How did Aerith get the flower cart?” He does his best to answer questions that no one asks.

Still, the other pieces are much more attractive. Its best scenes provide crucial context for events. Final Fantasy VIIadds more depth to the evil Sephiroth and gives Cloud Strife a heartfelt background that opens up his emotional range. Considering we’ve only left behind a third of the current remake experiment, the new version Crisis Core especially well timed. It feels less like a decade-overdue renegotiation in 2022 and more like a natural break in a story that’s popped up in multiple versions.

Genesis on one screen.

Even though divorce is hard Crisis Core from Final Fantasy VII and if you treat it as its own story, there is some independent value in the narrative when revisited here. Fifteen years later, Zack’s saga stands out for how complete it feels compared to most games of this scale released today. Since the original release was never intended as an open-ended franchise start, Zack is getting a full arc of characters that most game heroes can’t afford these days. Still, I sometimes found myself hoping for a surprise payoff. Final Fantasy VII RemakeShocking ending, after all, I’m glad Square Enix stuck to the script here. Doing this allows me to focus on what is actually moving Crisis Core: the story of a young soldier who learns that heroism is not about fame, but about sacrifices you can never celebrate.

over and over again

While its story is timeless, its combat didn’t quite hold up either – it’s been reworked to resemble modern Final Fantasy games, especially when placed alongside them. Hacking-and-slashing is largely a one-button event that has me crushing my thumb on my controller until it hurts. There’s a block and a roll to add a bit of defense, but the repetitive nature makes the battles feel a bit flat overall.

A magic system would help alleviate this a bit, but it wouldn’t quite fix these problems. Zack can equip up to six spells that simultaneously consume both magic and ability points. These can bring extra strategy into battle, especially thanks to a deep Materia compositing system that adds extra RPG depth, but they remain largely one-note. When I encounter an enemy with an obvious electrical weakness, I send out a blackout attack until I run out of ability points. Even in big boss battles there isn’t much incentive to mix attacks.

Straight combat just isn’t dynamic enough to justify so much repetitive padding.

On top of all this is an extra layer, which is Crisis Core’s divisive Digital Mind Wave (DMW) system. During each battle, there is something resembling a slot machine fixed to the upper left corner of the screen. It automatically plays in battles, trying to match pictures of the characters and numbers that Zack interacts with. When slots are lined up correctly, Zack can activate boundary breaks, use summons, or get buffs like invincibility for a short time. Pros and cons are equal. He takes most of the control out of the players’ hands, which is why Zack’s set of moves is so infrequent. Even leveling up is frustratingly at the mercy of random spins (though there’s a logic to when this will trigger).

At the same time, DMW works as a high-concept idea – something that recent Final Fantasy games have really sought. Crisis Core It is a game about fate, played by a character whose path is decided long before the game even begins. The fact that Zack is at the mercy of the universe’s random number generator fits his journey. The fight becomes tastier when you accept this idea as it is. Zack’s actions are governed by an unseen force, giving him buffs to take advantage of. When the wheel tells me that spells are free for a short time, I take advantage of that moment to heal myself and release as many spells as I can. When he tells me that I am resistant to physical damage, I fearlessly attack my enemy. This is what is in my destiny.

Zack does a bouncing slash.

Despite this, the combat system still feels too weak to sustain the whole experience, especially when it comes to sub-quests. merger It contains about 300 side quests that are almost identical in nature. Each sends players on a short dungeon crawl where they must defeat several enemies with little change. They’re incredibly annoying, but important upgrades like additional item slots are locked behind them. Straight combat just isn’t dynamic enough to justify so much repetitive padding.

The main story missions at the very least have some variety, with quick mini-games here and there, like a robot sniper episode, but even those are pretty basic interludes. The most fun I had in Reunion came in the menus while crafting the mighty Materia or optimizing my accessories. Yet none of this really made a difference when I jumped into battle.

Remake or remaster?

When entering an older game, I always arrive with my expectations set accordingly. I’m not installing a Sega Genesis game and I’m not assuming it will have the modern improvements of a Nintendo Switch game. But that expectation is changing as the game is packaged to look modern. If something looks like it was made in 2022 but plays like it’s over a decade old, it can often make a game feel a little bad. That’s the problem Square Enix is ​​running into here.

It’s a chapter from a book stapled from a completely different book.

A lot of work has been done to upgrade Crisis Core for new consoles. Its images benefit from the following sources: Final Fantasy VII Remakegives him an instant leg. The UI has been improved overall and DMW has become much less invasive overall. Audio is a particularly high point, with new audio performances to match. redo and great new musical compositions that make the experience feel so much more grandiose than a PSP game.

But she is is a PSP game.

I don’t mean this in a derogatory way. Sony’s handheld contained many excellent experiences (Crisis Core included), which took great care to make large series run on a much smaller scale. Stripped down combat and a plethora of fast side quests made it a good choice for the limited technology of the time. The truth is that these design decisions are hard to separate from the platform on which they were built.

Zack cuts down an enemy in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion.

Part of the problem is that this version Crisis Core feels stuck between remake and remaster. Its high-end visual overhaul makes it look like a remake of the original from the ground up, but that’s a bit of an illusion. Their new presence is imprinted on the old ones, which really stands out considering how dead-eyed the characters are and how sparsely animated everything is. Square Enix uses the word “HD remaster” very eloquently in its marketing, but when this is a project built to create parity with a wildly redesigned version of the game, it’s hard to see it in this light. Final Fantasy VII. It’s a chapter from a book stapled from a completely different book.

Like Zack Fair, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is at the mercy of his fate. With no major picture changes in its structure and gameplay, the success of the remaster is predetermined by how old its 2007 counterpart is. merger It’s a textbook translation of the original, and this is great news for history buffs who want to experience its standout story unchanged. though for anyone who resonates Final Fantasy VII RemakeThe philosophy that the world is not a static place ruled by destiny, merger It will come to the fore as an ideological counterpoint under the guise of compliment.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion Tested on PC and Steam Deck.

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