Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Reunion is a prequel to the iconic Final Fantasy VII. This version of the game is actually a remake of the original Crisis Core which released for the PSP back in 2007. It tells the story of Zack Fair, a character very important to the story of FF7 despite hardly appearing during the game. It released for PS4/5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC on December 13th 2022.
The story follows Zack Fair, a member of SOLDIER, an elite army from Shinra, a hugely important organization in FF7. Zack is tasked with searching for Genesis, a member of SOLDIER who seemingly abandoned the organization. Along the way he finds out the truth of Genesis’ apparent desertion and how it connects to two other characters: Angeal and Sephiroth. The game delves into the backstory of Sephiroth, the iconic villain of the original game and really fleshes out the events leading up to the game.
I wouldn’t recommend playing Crisis Core as your introduction to FF7 as a whole as not only does the game assume you understand who some characters are and their relevance to FF7 but it also spoils one of the original games biggest twists. However, if you have played FF7, the story is incredibly compelling. Iconic characters from the game appear throughout the game such as Aerith and Tifa and Zack quickly becomes one of the best characters in the series with his story being one of the series most emotional storylines.
Overall, the story of the game is fantastic and players of the original FF7 will find a lot to enjoy with the backstory of the game being really fleshed out and the game also stands on its own as a great story.
The game plays out as an action RPG, with you controlling Zack as he battles all the enemies in his path. The games combat feels smooth with a lot of customization for the abilities of Zack with everything from your typical fire and blizzard spells to combining these spells with slashes for extra damage. Enemy weaknesses make having a variety of spells in your materia slots a must. The combat has its own twist on the genre in the form of the Digital Mind Wave (DMW) system. This system is a essentially slot machine that depending on what numbers and pictures you get, activates different bonuses such as no MP cost for a limited time or even invincibility. If you get 3 pictures of the same character at once, that characters limit break is activated for you to use at any time in that battle. Frustratingly, getting 777 on this slot machine is the only way to level up which if you finish battles fairly fast can leave you underlevelled at times.
Outside of the level up requirement making it feel gimmicky at times, I liked the DMW system as being able to use different characters limit breaks is fun and having unlimited MP allows you to let off all your best magic to get rid of any tough enemies. The game itself feels quite linear throughout the story, with it mostly consisting of Zack going to each of his missions in different fairly small areas to explore and returning to Midgar and the Shinra building as a central hub of the game.
The games side content is almost entirely based around the missions you can undertake from save points which put you in a small area with an enemy you need to find and defeat, these missions can get repetitive after a while but can offer good rewards and unlock new items. Some of these missions have a little more substance to them, allowing you to take on bosses to unlock new limit breaks for the DMW. Overall, the games combat is very fun and while the main story can feel linear, the story itself makes the missions exciting with great boss fights.
The visuals of the game got a huge overhaul over the original game with the visuals now looking close to the level seen in FF7 Remake Intergrade. While not quite on the level of that game, the visuals of the game are fantastic and really bring the world and characters of the game to life. Strangely, the original PSP cutscenes for the big story moments are still there, albeit at a higher resolution, which can be at odds with the games new visuals.
The soundtrack of the game is fantastic, which is par for the course with the Final Fantasy series. Boss themes and themes for some of the games areas are particularly good. The game also features English and Japanese voice acting. Zacks VA is different to the original game to bring it more in line with FF7 Remake, while this could be an issue for fans of the original version of the game who prefer the original voice actor, I didn’t find this to be an issue and feel the games voice acting was good. Overall, the games remake has dramatically improved the presentation of the game and made it look and it looks and sounds fantastic.
Overall, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Reunion is a fantastic game with one of my favourite stories in the series and a must play for fans of the original Final Fantasy 7. The game has great combat with beautiful visuals which make the story of Zack Fair a great experience throughout the game
An action RPG with an amazing story that has been remade with improved visuals and gameplay which makes for a great experience.