Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion review – A faithful and emotional remaster

Published: 2022-12-06T10:00:00

Updated: 2022-12-05T23:35:57

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion remasters the original PSP title for modern consoles while staying true to the original experience. A mix of updated graphics and mechanics makes it a joy to dive back into, even in a post-Final Fantasy 7 Remake world.

Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core was originally released for the PSP in late 2007. The game followed Vincent Valentine’s PS2 cult classic Dirge of Cerberus and took players on one of the most emotional journeys the series has seen to date. Players step into the shoes of Zack Fair and learn about the origins of the iconic Buster Sword, Sephiroth’s rise as one of gaming’s greatest adversaries, and SOLDIER’s difficult sign-up process.

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Crisis Core Reunion returns to Zack’s story and updates the visuals, mechanics and cutscenes for a modern audience. While there are a few graphical bumps in revisiting the original title, Crisis Core Reunion is a faithful and sensitive update to a timeless story, and the improvements add even more depth to an already emotional journey.

Please note that we’ve done our very best to keep this review spoiler free.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion – Key Details

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Price: $49.99 on various platforms
  • Publication date: December 13, 2022
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC via Steam, Nintendo Switch

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion trainer

New graphics transform the story

One of the most notable aspects of Crisis Core Reunion is the fully remastered character models and location designs. The fuzzy, blocky models and fuzzy textures of the 2007 PSP era have been replaced by sharp and recognizable visuals. This is especially noticeable when exploring environments such as Wutai or the 7th Sector Slums. Trees, grass and buildings stand out, aiding both navigation and narrative immersion.

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In addition, Crisis Core Reunion has updated settings that allow gameplay at 120 FPS on PC, Xbox X/S, and PlayStation 5. While the overall gameplay and character models are nice and move smoothly through the updated environments, the remastered cutscenes can come across as clunky and clunky. stiff. This is especially noticeable when characters try to emote during dialogue.

However, by lowering the FPS to 30 and the graphics quality to medium, there was a significant difference in the stiffness of the models. Lowering these settings also helps with motion sickness, as the high settings can create a dizzying effect when changing camera angles in playable spaces.

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Crisis Core Reunion streamlines combat

Crisis Core Reunion FF7 Zack Angeal ReviewSquare Enix

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion also overhauled the original title’s combat and movement mechanics. Iconic aspects such as the DMW (Digital Mind Wave) system with buffs and Limit Breaks have been updated to run smoother – and are easier to understand. In addition, the menus have been updated both in and out of battle, making it easy and intuitive to use a potion or access Zack’s loadout.

Combat has also been improved, with health bars displayed more clearly over enemies, and the camera angle zoomed in closer behind Zack to aid in both landing attacks and hit dodging.

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However, fans playing on PC should note that at this point it might be better to use a Bluetooth controller, Steam Deck, or mobile phone controller with Steam Link instead of mouse and keyboard controls. Currently, the PC port is a bit clunky and requires players to use different keys across the board during combat. This is much less intuitive than the controller’s excellent mechanics and can affect the overall fun of exploring and battling around Midgar.

Difficulty updates invite new players

Crisis Core Reunion makes a major series of updates to the combat difficulty levels of the original title. A combination of more balanced enemy encounters, adjusted difficulty levels, and user-friendly controls can make things easier for new and returning players alike

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However, for those who have played the PSP addition Crisis Core, it may be a good idea to select the “Hard” difficulty setting when starting a new game. The patterns of most bosses and enemies have remained unchanged, and this combined with the balance of the battle system can make important battles less challenging.

A fully voiced narration adds depth to the story

Zack Fair FF7 Crisis Core ReunionSquare Enix

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion is now fully voiced and features a new English cast bringing each character to life. In the original, only the cinematic cutscenes were voiced, but now players can hear Zack’s witty dialogue with Kunsel or listen to Angeal grumble about Zack’s enthusiasm outside of the cutscenes.

This decision to add additional voice actors to Crisis Core Reunion is one that greatly enhances the story and makes it that much more engaging. However, for those who played the original, or who are familiar with the 2000s voice cast for the FF7 games, the transition can be difficult when playing in English. However, the original Japanese voice cast reprized their roles and returned to portray the many beloved characters.

Personally, it was lovely to turn on the Japanese voice option and hear Zack take on challenges with all his bravado and bravura translated into new dialogue. The additions are a real treat and make replaying fresh and exciting.

The verdict – 4/5

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion is an emotional barrage of nostalgic gameplay and renewed fun. The tenderly overhauled cutscenes and improved combat mechanics make diving into Zack’s story a real treat for FF7 fans new and old alike.

While some graphical updates aren’t completely ironed out, every aspect of the game is sensitive to the original content while bringing it up to speed for modern consoles. I’ve always wanted to play this game like it’s new again, and this remake fulfilled that wish.

Dexerto got a PC steam code for this review

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