And here we are finally: our review of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion has arrived and brings with it a mixture of emotions, considerations and reflections that we wanted to collect at the end of a highly anticipated journey
Embrace your dreams. If you want to be a hero, you need to have dreams. And honor.
Zack Fair’s heroic epic has recently returned to shine with Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion, a “Remastered +” (because if calling it a Remake is too much, calling it a simple Remastered seems reductive to us) on PC and current consoles and last generation. A return that many have been eagerly waiting for, ever since the Final Fantasy VII Remake project was announced and it became practically obvious that sooner or later it would also be the turn of the prequel released many years ago on the PSP. And so it was, and so we got excited again.
In fact, we have told you about the emotional vortex that Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII was for us, back in 2007, a title deliberately built to milk one of the most loved chapters of the Square Enix series, but objectively with great strengths. From his announcement, Reunion has promised to file not only the graphics sector, but also some backwardness on the gameplay front (of which the main exponent was the OMD), going to create a re-edition that could once again bring a tear to longtime fans and bring the new generation closer instead. Welcome to our review of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion.
Fragments of Memories
Zack Fair is the friend we all wish we had: cheerful, helpful, kind-hearted and above all, honest. At the beginning of Reunion, Zack is a young Soldier Class II who aspires to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Soldier Class I Angeal. Along with Genesis, his colleague of the same rank, Angeal is close friends with the war hero Sephiroth, old acquaintance of all who played the 1997 Final Fantasy VIIbut also of those who have approached the franchise even with the Remake.
Zack has great potential to achieve the longed-for career dream, but he seems to have not had the opportunity to express it until now. However, when, in the very first hours of the game, Genesis and a large handful of Soldiers abandon Shinra, for not yet well-known reasons, it is Zack himself who has to solve one of the long-standing problems that the well-known Company has had for some time: the war with Wutai, a small nation that has always opposed Shinra on the ideological front. In fact, the big company exploits the Mako, the vital energy of the planet, for its own economic and expansionist purposes (and it is precisely for this reason that, while the events of Crisis Core unfold, “terrorist” groups such as Avalanche are born).
Dreams and Pride | Review Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion
In short: Zack is immediately thrown into the fray, and it will be up to us to demonstrate the boy’s great value, supported as always by Angeal. We don’t want to reveal more of the plot, also because as we continue situations unravel that go a long way to deepening and tangling even more the already complex skein that is the universe of Final Fantasy VII. However, everything is very functional and will also be very useful in view of the release of the second chapter of the Remake, Rebirth.
This is because, already at the time, Crisis Core was used to deepen and get to know some iconic characters of the franchise better, such as all the members of the Turks or Aerith herself, in aspects different from those treated by the original. So yes, it goes without saying: Crisis Core was created to milk Final Fantasy VII, but however, it has an excellent coherence and insights that we can only enjoywithout complaining unnecessarily. The only thing that still made us turn up our noses is the will, expressed from the very first bars of the game, to make Sephiroth a lovable, sympathetic and above all sane character. Very out of character.
Burden of Truth | Review Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion
At the time, Crisis Core was almost unanimously voted the best JRPG ever released on the PSP, by both critics and audiences. If, obviously, from a narrative point of view, the game has not been touched in the slightest, Reunion has gone to streamline some mechanics which, nowadays, would actually have been too invasive and not very exciting for today’s audience. For example, the awkward selection menu at the bottom right of the screen of the old Crisis Core on PSP has been eliminatedwhich forced us to use the back buttons to choose the action for Zack to perform, interrupting the flow of combat.
In its place… nothing was put. Reunion is through and through a third-person action that takes full advantage of the combat system created with Final Fantasy VII Remake and which allows you to use the Objects and Matter (Magics and Abilities) simply by combining the controller’s back buttons and front buttons. For the rest, Zack will be able to attack, dodge and parry with the simple press of a button, while he moves nimbly on the battlefield. What we have noticed is, again, the slight cumbersomeness of the Paradewhich still today is not very responsive and, therefore, functional.
Sky-Blue Eyes | Review Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion
Even the enemies have been “enhanced” in terms of Artificial Intelligence and offensive potential: in addition to being much more aggressive, in fact, they now also boast some very powerful techniques that can be interrupted by consuming, with beatings, the purplish bar that will appear in some more demanding fights. If we fail, the enemy will carry out a powerful special attack that will inflict massive damage on the poor Soldier.
Well yes, of course she’s back too: the WCO. Always placed at the top left, the OMD is a sort of slot machine that determines a long series of fundamental parameters within a JRPG, such as the increase in level of Zack and the Materia he wears based on the values numbers that will appear on the screen. If, on the other hand, the OMD stops positioning itself on three images of the same character, a powerful special offensive or support attack can be unleashed, based precisely on the selected character. Unlike the original, special attacks will not be triggered automatically (which again went to break the flow of the battle), but they can be used at our discretion by pressing a front button.
Truth behind the Project | Review Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion
Thank goodness the “Modulation Phase” of the old Crisis Core has also been eliminated, or at least when two identical images appear on the sides of the OMD and you have to wait for the central third to appear, the battle will no longer be interrupted. In addition, the cutscenes of summons and special attacks can also be skipped, thus eliminating the feeling of frustration in having a battle lengthened unnecessarily by OMD interruptions.
For the rest, Reunion is in all respects Crisis Core: therefore the Fusion of Materials returns, the Shops selectable from the Menu and Zack’s Equipment with a maximum of four accessories and six Materials. Of course, the hundreds of Side Quests also return which will be unlocked during the adventure and by completing main or side tasks. They are all (and we emphasize all) low-grade Fetch Quests, but which will inevitably lead you to spend hours and hours of play in order to obtain this or that more powerful accessory, or that key object that is needed to complete a secondary of little account. Damn JRPGs.
The Face of Lost Pride | Review Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion
We got to try Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion for this review on an Xbox Series S. The rock-solid 60 fps and a Full-HD resolution (we remind you that the game runs at 60fps4K on next-gen) allowed us to relive Zack’s epic in a more than satisfactory way, but we are obviously not at the technical and graphic levels of Final Fantasy VII Remake. Although the polygonal models of the main characters are satisfactory both in terms of detail and general expressiveness (and the hair is now finally believable!), the same cannot be said of the NPCs and secondary characters, who have remained much more PSP times.
The backdrops and environments have also undergone a simple graphic upscale, as well as the interlude cutscenes that quite clash with the level of graphic detail of the game in Unreal Engine. In short, surely more could have been done, but we are still talking about technical details that in no way affect the enjoyment of the game.
A round of applause to Square Enix (it feels strange to say it) that has decided to completely redub the original Crisis Core in both English and Japanese (not present in the 2007 game), which for obvious reasons didn’t have all the lines of spoken dialogue. The soundtrack is always eternal, but unfortunately it is not present in its original versionbut it has been remodeled. And perhaps this is really the only major flaw that we can attribute to Reunion.
We conclude this review of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion with the awareness of having talked a lot, but perhaps having expressed very little. The reissue of the great classic for PSP is very successful from the point of view of the gameplay, which has been streamlined and facilitated with new mechanics and some revisions, a little less from the technical front. The rocky frame rate and a good graphic detail are however coveted by all those who, back in 2007, lived and fought with Zack in an epic that gave rise to the myth that is, was, and always will be Final Fantasy VII.
I have twenty-three tiny wishes. You probably won’t remember them all, so I made them into one. I want to spend more time with you.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is currently available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. Let us know if you’ve played it below in the comments, we will continue to keep you updated with all the gaming and tech themed news, guides and reviews! And if you are interested in game keys at advantageous prices, we advise you to take a look at the InstantGaming catalogue!
- Gameplay smoothed out and streamlined
- Emotionally always touching
- Narrative that goes to deepen the universe of the franchise
- Graphic and aesthetic restoration definitely present…
- Always great soundtrack…
- … but not as much as we would have hoped
- … but the original one is missing!