If you follow all of the different spinoff releases within the compilation of Final Fantasy VII, you’ll remember that Crisis Core FFVII was a prequel released on the PlayStation Portable. Beforehand, fans of Final Fantasy VII never had a detailed backstory about Zack Fair, an important character that has a significant impact on Cloud and his friends from that game. Crisis Core fleshes out the events prior to the RPG classic and what led up to the start of the story we see play out, which received a lot of praise. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion on the PlayStation 5 is a remastering of the original PSP game, with a big upgrade to the visuals and soundtrack. But that’s not the only thing you’ll find that’s different about this new version of the game.
The presentation of Crisis Core feels more in line with Final Fantasy VII Remake. Not only are the character models and backgrounds during gameplay much better looking than the original, but the music and sounds have also been remixed. While there are a few tracks Crisis Core fans may prefer from the original over the remixes, one cannot deny how good Crisis Core Reunion looks and sounds overall. For a remastering of the original game, every edges closer to remake territory in terms of quality. While Crisis Core Reunion is on multiple platforms, the fresh presentation really shines on the PlayStation 5 where you can get the full effect of polish and smooth framerate. The story itself is the same as before and still a rollercoaster, especially if you know anything about the story of Final Fantasy VII, but it benefits from the visual overhaul very nicely.
Another part of this however is the recasting of voice actors. Everyone sounds different than their original release counterparts, for better or worse. Zack still sounds carefree and serious when he needs to be, which is good for the story, but there is some dialogue that isn’t always delivered very well. The same goes for other characters like Sephiroth as well, along with a few others, who have some very awkward line delivery at times. Some of the dialogue in the original had the same issue, but within Crisis Core Reunion it can occasionally sound worse.
The Japanese voice track does remedy some of this, but the subtitles may not always sync up with the spoken dialogue. Whether you like the new voice actors in their roles will be entirely different for everyone, but voices are more consistent with what we get in Final Fantasy VII Remake and the new games from Square Enix related to Final Fantasy VII overall.
But that’s not the only thing different about this version of Crisis Core. The gameplay has undergone a few changes, specifically the combat. You still have the ability to equip materia and use their abilities in battle, which is exactly the same as the original release. However, now combat isn’t sluggish and feels more like a fast-paced action game. Zack can attack enemies and combo into AP attacks or magic for extra damage, as well as stun enemies and exploit weaknesses at critical moments.
The DMW slot from the original game is still here, but it feels more effective and un-intrusive despite its randomness. When the slot triggers a Limit Break you have the choice of using it at the moment or waiting a bit before executing it, giving you more control over the flow of combat and saving your big attacks for key moments. It also helps that every Limit Break you gain looks great and can sometimes trigger a small cutscene you can skip at any time.
Moving around with Zack feels so much better than before, with the ability to sprint ahead and explore the area around you a lot faster. The camera also feels smoother to move around when getting a view of the environment, even though it still has moments where it can get blocked by objects or enemies. Luckily you can adjust things faster, smoother, and not get stifled by its viewpoint. Some of the quirks from the original release are here as well, including the ability to avoid battles by hugging the side of the area to skip encounters in most sections.
The tougher enemies and sections are still as tough as before, so you’ll have to do a bit of grinding by finishing the side missions you have access to via the menu and at save points. Leveling up feels a bit faster than before as well, despite not much changing with how you level Zack up by defeating enemies. The randomness of the DMW and uncertainty of leveling from the original Crisis Core is still here, but it doesn’t come off as prevalent as it did before. If you do more side missions or finish more encounters, you’ll definitely feel like progress is being made with Zack’s overall strength.
As a total package, do players need to play anything Final Fantasy VII related to enjoy Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion? No, you can go into this with a basic understanding or shallow knowledge of that game. You don’t even need to play Final Fantasy VII Remake to follow this story. But you will get the most that Crisis Core has to offer if you have beforehand. The gameplay and presentation are a huge step up from the original release, making this the best way to play through Crisis Core if you haven’t yet, especially on the PlayStation 5.
What do you think of Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion? Are you a fan of role-playing games and enjoy Square Enix titles? Post a comment down below and let us know your thoughts!
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion
This is a great remastering of the original game, with a big upgrade to the presentation. While there are some quirks from before, the combat and exploration have been given nice quality-of-life upgrades that make the experience much better than the original release. The story is interesting to follow, even if you’re not a big Final Fantasy VII fan. If you didn’t play the original game before, this is the absolute best way to do so now.