Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion
The iconic battles and iconic music against Sephiroth will continue to tickle our minds with this newly restored version. Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII. Originally developed exclusively on the PSP console in 2007, the game has now become more democratized, as it is available on PC, PS5, Xbox Series, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch from December 13, 2022, a few days before its 35th anniversary. The Final Fantasy game was released on December 18, 2022. A great opportunity to bring a new generation of players into the Final Fantasy adventure. Discover it Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion review on Switch.
A great facelift job with the right improvements where it seems to be needed
A great return for those nostalgic for the Final Fantasy VII saga
Released in January 1997, the epic saga Final Fantasy VII was one of the most significant successes for millions of players on Playstation. Due to the strength of its success, the universe of Final Fantasy VII has been developed in several chapters: Pre-Crisis, Catastrophe of Cerberus, Crisis Core, The First Soldier on Mobile, as well as by the cinema with Advent Children and soon, Ever, scheduled for the summer of 2023 on Android and iOS. Crisis.
After the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake in April 2020, the studio Square Enix decided to make room for its prequel: Crisis Core.
Crisis Main Story – Final Fantasy VII – Encounter
The story of Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion takes place 7 years before Final Fantasy VII., and tells us the story of Zack Fair, the founding character of Final Fantasy VII. Zack is a warrior destined to save the world.
While the restoration may at first appear to be mostly a graphical overhaul, we discover through gameplay the magnitude of this type of work, both in terms of sound and the game itself. The restoration does not change the structure and story of the game, but noticeable improvements allow it to smooth out its gameplay.
Crisis Core is one of the first Action-RPG Final Fantasy games. The principle of the game remains the same: the basis of a series of attacks with Zack’s sword, to which we added OCN (Digital Brain Wave) allows you to randomly either special attacks, a combat upgrade (eg: zero PM/PA hit), a summon, an upgrade on your material, or a level up. This redesign isn’t meant to be revolutionary, but it does improve the gameplay. These improvements may seem like small details, but in my humble opinion, they make the game more enjoyable thanks to better game pacing. Attacks chain more smoothly and hotkeys have been added to make combat easier.
Gaining fluidity in the combat system
Namely, Crisis Core on PSP is pretty long because it’s a game with a lot of animated cutscenes, especially during combat where we have cutscenes every time OCN starts up. The redesign significantly reduces the number of hours of gameplay, as it allows players to skip these scenes by pressing the X button or going through the Pause menu. This makes the fight more lively.
We feel less immobilized by OCN, which we can say is a controversial element. Now that we’re totally addicted to the random side of OCN, it’s really nice to be able to skip the battle scenes. On the other hand, the cutscenes are more “integrated” into the battle scene, while the cutscenes before it are “to cut“. This improves the pacing in combat with less of a suffocating feeling.
On the combat side, you can also attack more accurately. Combos, OCN activated summons no longer trigger automatically. Now we can use them whenever we want. The camera has also been redesigned to make the combat experience more effective thanks to the lock system.
The second notable advance is how to use it.materials“. In addition to his sword attacks, Zack uses his “materials”: objects that allow you to use magic or perform special orders. Now the update allows you to do sword + magic or special team combos. Shortcuts are “materials” faster than the original version.
Following the desire to make the game more fluid, the new version improves the map to facilitate our movements, to help us feel the direction and, above all, to better track our evolution. For example, now we know the number of crates per mission. We have pointers on the map to help you find the mini-bosses for these missions. There are also markers on the map to easily know the objectives of the main adventure and side quests. A nice feature for meticulous players who like to complete their missions 100%.
Another important innovation: less frustration when losing a battle during a mission. No need to start from the beginning, the game gives us the option to leave or start the ongoing fight. In addition, it is now possible to change your equipment before restarting.
The game benefits from a facelift, mirroring the design of its predecessor, Final Fantasy VII Remake. A successful return to Midgar. The interface of menus, inventory and battle pop-ups has been redesigned to be more readable.
A remarkable visual facelift
Graphically, it’s a classy facelift. I imagine the facelift will be even more noticeable on the PS5, but the Nintendo Switch version is nothing to be ashamed of. The original game, already exceptional for its time, is even better. Lights, blur games between foreground and background, and colors have been reworked down to the last detail. Because of or thanks to the quality gain, I have the impression of rediscovering the faces of certain characters. Indeed, their 3D models have been completely redesigned. In any case, we appreciate the more vivid display of the latter’s emotions. Mythic shed a small tear for the emotional final scene.
However, some cutscenes don’t get the same facelift, creating transitions in grain and texture from scene to scene. This is a shame!
The game’s soundtrack is composed by Takeharu Ishimoto in collaboration with Kazuhiko Toyama. This composer, who is known by fans for his involvement in many projects such as Kingdom Hearts (CoM & II), other Final Fantasy (X, FF7 Before Crisis), participated in the game’s sound design. This remastering aims to make the sound more effective. Unless you have a high-end sound setup, you won’t notice a huge difference, but Final Fantasy music will always have the gift of making you shiver.
To take the remastering a step further, all character dialogues have been dubbed into Japanese and English. I played the Japanese version without hesitation. It’s a great way to get back into the game for those who only know the English-language PSP version.
We’ll count around 30 hours of gameplay to complete the story mode and side quests.
My take on Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion on Nintendo Switch
Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion retains a retro touch with the linear aspect of the game, which is not at all unkind to the open world trend. A great facelift job with the right improvements where it seems to be needed. It’s a success for both Final Fantasy fans and adventure seekers alike. It’s a very nice modern adaptation that brings fluidity and readability without losing the uniqueness of the original game..