Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion Review: A missed opportunity to remake the story

EVERYONE who played the original Final Fantasy 7 knows what grinding looks like.

Go back and forth for encounters, then wait through the combat transition, which takes a bit too long to click your turn and hit the enemy with one shot.

Zack and Cloud before two became one.


Zack and Cloud before two became one.Photo credit: Square Enix

However, this process doesn’t always feel boring; If you’re drawn into a gripping story, the grind won’t bother you.

This is not the core of the crisis. Unlike the original FF7, which had its confusing bits, the story here is almost incomprehensible.

Additionally, with numerous optional – but not actual – missions, it’s lengthy.

When you take a JRPG like Pokémon, the path often feels linear, but it’s filled with so many battles and monsters to catch that you feel a sense of progression with every step.

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Here the progress is all numerical. What chapter are you in? How much of this chapter is left? What percentage of missions have you completed?

It’s not as satisfying if you don’t have the same sense of gains and progression as in many other JRPGs.

We’ve been waiting for more background on Zack Fair, the SOLDIER member whose memories were mixed up with Cloud’s.

However, he does not get much depth. He is naïve, keen, someone who just wants to help, but there are no hopes, dreams or vulnerabilities.

It’s a prequel to FF7’s main story, so you’ll want to know that before you dive in, because the whole story here revolves around trying to figure out why Sephiroth is such a grumpy goose.

Crisis Core clearly wanted to introduce new and interesting monsters to fight, but doesn’t add the context that makes the story meaningful.

It’s all well and good to say that the evil Shinra scientist invented these beasts, but why they’re allowed to roam the city without turning public opinion against the company is bizarre.

Although we know from FF7 that Zack is Aerith’s friend here, it’s never made clear. There is no intimacy between them and interactions feel forced.

Many story scenes are hidden behind a slot machine like the one used in Cait Sith’s Limit Break in the main game.

However, triple-sevens won’t let you one-shot the final boss like you can in Cait Sith’s slots. Instead, you level up.

Fans of the history of FF7 will not find anything here. More about Cloud’s background and who Zack really was.

The fact that the original Crisis Core was on PSP is evident here. Chapters are short, but due to the slot reels, optional missions feel necessary to level up.

Combat has a new twist that makes fighting fun at least. You can fuse materia for early powerful attacks and mix attack slots with stat buffing effects.

Overall, the battles are more accessible to modern audiences, bridging the transition from handheld to home console.

The remaster is probably more appealing than the original, as the visuals and voice acting are up to modern standards.

However, the old editions are not outdated. It’s a far cry from the prequel that fans wanted, but if you’re as immersed in the world of Midgar as Zack is, then you’ll still enjoy it.

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Written by Dave Aubrey and Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.

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