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Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion Review


Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion Review

🖥️ Our PC Specs 

OS: Windows 10 64-bit
CPU Processor:
AMD RYZEN 9 300XT (12 Core Processor)
Memory: 32 GB RAM DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
DirectX: Version 12
Install Size: 30 GB

To the Core... 

So it’s funny, the PlayStation Portable was my least played handheld gaming platform, but it wasn’t my least favourite in any regard. If anything, it had some of the more memorable experiences I had within the handheld market, but suffered from lacking support. Aside Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, The 3rd Birthday, A few sporting titles and other notable spin-offs that never really held their own to a mainline counterpart, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII remained one of the most popular titles on the platform. It comes as no surprise given Final Fantasy VII’s infamy on PlayStation, and how fans yearned for a proper entry into its metaverse after Dirge of Cerberus received a mixed reception. My belief is that the PlayStation 2 exclusive was well ahead of its time, and ideas presented were just too complex to demonstrate on its housed hardware in 2006.

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Regardless, Crisis Core’s everlasting impact on the Final Fantasy series has been felt throughout the years, with its freeform role-playing archetype becoming the foundation of Final Fantasy VII: Remake’s gameplay loop. With massive improvements made in pace and presentation, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion has poised some parity, smoothing out some aging blemishes that put it close to par with FFVII: Remake. Although it’s not as detailed and definitely does not divulge the depth that was designed for platforms of the modern era, Crisis Core Reunion does a sustainable job at reprising an aged adventure with a fresh look, and if anything its a welcome display into how a remaster should be undertaken. But how does it deliver overall? Is Crisis Core Reunion a welcome throwback, or was this another get together that should have stayed well apart from this generation?

One-Winged Winner...

For the uninitiated, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII takes place a near decade prior to the events of its forefather entry, Final Fantasy VII. Portraying Zack Fair, the young, brash and cocky SOLDIER in training, we see the tumultuous journey our hero takes as he’s guided through Midgar alongside his friend and mentor Angeal Hewly, a first class SOLDIER, who is deemed one of the most respected amongst the elite. We’re also given a peek at Sephiroth’s relationship with Angeal, Zack and Cloud Strife later on. As a member of the SOLIDER faction, it is your duty to represent Shinra against the war posed by the Wutai clan, and their endless endeavour in taking down the despised organisation. During the war, Angeal and partnering SOLDIER Genesis go missing, and is it up to Zack to find them both.

Upon discovering both Angeal and Genesis going AWOL on the organisation, Zack and Sephiroth are instructed to track them down and kill them. It is then found out that Angeal and Genesis had planned this the entire time, with the help of scientist Dr. Hollander, to create an army of clones with hopes of destroying Shinra once and for all. For fans of the series that have played either the original Crisis Core, or Final Fantasy VII: Remake,  Reunion is easily adaptable and seamless to orientate yourself in. The UI itself is reminiscent, if not entirely lifted from the original with some additions made to suit Final Fantasy VII’s Remake multiverse. It can be a little confronting at first, with much of its UI demanding a squabble of button presses to activate certain spells and potions, not withstanding the melee that will occur while diving into each enemy encounter.

It’s not as clean as Final Fantasy VII: Remake, but it certainly gets the job done. By comparison to its gameplay loop countering its original, Reunion demonstrates a much more exaggerated offense with expeditious pacing that speeds up the campaign in terms of its action sequences. Holstering the legendary buster sword, Zack wields his way through multiple waves of Wutai and other enemies that your will encounter throughout the onset. Combination strikes are tutorialised, demanding precision timing to execute coordinated hits at certain speeds. With the action moving in real time, blocking and dodging will be a factor in avoiding multiple enemy attacks at once. The gameplay loop can be somewhat forgiving with most enemies moving at a cumbersome pace, however packing quite the punch.

The original will remain a cornerstone to the PlayStation Portable, but Reunion will now and forever be the perfect way to play this imperative chapter to the Final Fantasy VII narrative.

Collecting materia will be another factor that’s beneficiary to Zack’s arsenal, equipping up to six at once. You may collect, find, or purchase said materia from different locations across your journey – you may even be gifted some. Different to the freeform role-playing like action we’re used to in other titles, Crisis Core utilises the Digital Mind Wave system, that ultimately makes the game feel somewhat dependent on a luck based slot-machine trade-off. As long as Zack has a minimum of ten SOLDIER points banked – which are earned through each battle – the roulette wheel spins and may activate special abilities toward Zack’s skillset, such as unlimited SP or automatic heal without the use of potions. Landing on the lucky “777” will earn yourself a an XP boost along with the aforementioned abilities and other limit breakers that essentially render Zack an ultimate warrior for a limited time.

A Perfect Reunion...


✔️ Remaster Mastery. Paced beautifully while keeping fundamentals intact.

✔️ Keeps original lore intact for fans of both timelines.

✔️ Sensationally stunning. One of the greatest remasters in gaming of recent memory

❌ Steam Deck suffers some framerate dips.

Playing in part of its enemy waves, the gameplay loop itself feels fresh from the original giving the player a little more wiggle room to roam within the environment. Camera qualms have all but been quashed here, with no issues arising from terrible angles or one frame fights that were a little deterring on the PlayStation Portable version. Marketed as a remaster instead of a remake, Crisis Core Reunion doesn’t do any major disassembly to the original in terms of its presentation, that completely erases any semblance of its past iteration. If anything it pays homage to it in spades, but developers understand who they’re tailoring this entry toward.

It’s a fresh-faced feel that ultimately sets you up for something different from what you have to come to expect from mainline Final Fantasy entries, while keeping a distinct aura of FFVII’s meta intact. Now lets talk the artificial changes. Yes, the original voice over dialogue has been replaced by new vocals that adhere to Square-Enix’s new vision, with actors from the modern FFVII era reprising their roles in Reunion. There was one scene that did glitch out on me, and played the original voice of Zack which was hilariously heartwarming, but I’m sure that will be patched very soon.

One minor gripe I had was the pre-rendered cinematics looked completely washed out, with obvious upscaling tech used to sharpen the low-resolution that the original platform outputted. While they still look fine, it broke the immersion a little and could have been re-done completely to fit one; character models of Reunion and two; a smoother framerate to match the in-game action. Dipping and escalating FPS between each of these moments are now considered passé and weren’t something I was perturbed by, but definitely not satisfied with. Performance wise, on PC the title plays perfectly with no hitches apart from the one sound bug mentioned. The entire campaign was a smooth escapade at a solid 60FPS. However, on the Steam Deck there were some performance dips that reared its ugly head, which forced me to down the framerate to a locked 30FPS from avoiding any further bumps on the road – hopefully a patch can fix this.

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By part, a comparison between the aesthetic changes made toward Crisis Core from the PSP to modern platforms are very impressive. I was almost worried that the presentation that were to come out of Reunion was almost of Kingdom Hearts-like calibre, not that it’s bad but for Final Fantasy VII, it needed that added detail and boy was I elated to see how gorgeous this game looked. Re-modeled, retextured and redefined, you could easily see the heart and soul of the original be perfectly depicted through this emphatic improvement. While you won’t see the waving follicles of Sephiroth’s Maybelline mane, it most definitely details what’s important on a focal point while playing the campaign with many crucial moments demanding those serious close-ups. It’s all about the fundamentals remaining while improving on presentation and Reunion demonstrates this to perfection.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion is essential gaming to those that adore the Final Fantasy series. Whether you’re a fan of it’s seventh chapter, an admirer of the PlayStation Portable iteration or just wanting to experience a new form of role-playing mastery, this is one of the best action titles to release this fall. Without a doubt, a revisit to Midgar that will leave you with questions that will hopefully be resolved in Rebirth – for fans of the alternate multiverse – or for those that love the original timeline but have yet to play this absolute classic. The great thing about Reunion is it keeps the narrative intact without dramatic change so those that are faithful to the original can experience this campaign without qualm of the current multiverse experiment. The original will remain a cornerstone to the PlayStation Portable, but Reunion will now and forever be the perfect way to play this imperative chapter to the Final Fantasy VII narrative. 

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII


Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII[a] is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable. First released in 2007, the game is a prequel to the 1997 video game Final Fantasy VII.




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