Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion Preview – “All Fair In Love And Strife”

WHILE Crisis Core begins, trumpets blare and Zack Fair slams his sword onto a train in some sort of choreographed dance, kicking down soldiers in Shinra gear.

It’s specifically designed to invoke nostalgia for the original Final Fantasy VII, and much of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion aims to repeat the trick as much as possible.

Follow the origin story of Zack and Cloud.


Follow the origin story of Zack and Cloud.

A new remaster of a 15-year-old PSP game, Crisis Core Reunion follows the story of Zack Fair, Cloud’s “mentor” in a way, along with Sephiroth and the larger Shinra company.

The graphics have been completely overhauled, all voice acting has been overhauled and the combat system has been improved to bring it closer to what you’d expect from an action game in 2022.

Of course it’s not perfect.

The way short side missions are spread out feels short bursts for handheld play, but when it comes to long console sessions the repetitive maps can quickly feel too familiar without the help of a combat system , which can either feel exciting or boring.

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Combat is aided by the DMW system, also known as Digital Mind Wave.

Depending on your emotional state and your bonds with other characters, you have a chance that a slot machine style reel system will line up something good in the corner.

Sometimes you fight and get absolutely nothing, other times you get healed, get unlimited AP or MP for a short time, or even summon a creature like Ifrit to attack for you.

The DMW system makes an otherwise fairly simple combat system seem more dynamic as you change your tactics to match the bonuses you’ve been granted.

If you’ve saved up MP but now have unlimited MP for twenty seconds, it’s time to start spamming spells while holding back.

Aside from the times you just don’t get anything, the DMW system also presents a weird roadblock: to level up, Zack has to land a triple seven.

You have a decent chance of landing a triple seven on bonus spins after completing a fight, but you’ll likely feel like you’re overwhelmed with unused experience, especially if you’re leveling up multiple times in quick succession.

It’s immersive, however, and the improved graphics and camera angles now make it feel like a far more modern game. However, this is best shown in cutscenes.

Scenes that were previously derided for being incredibly cheesy are now…less cheesy in general.

Antagonists feel more serious, and while dialogue certainly doesn’t always land, it’s easier to embrace camp than deny the creep.

With the Final Fantasy VII franchise being more popular now than it was in the ’90s, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion has given the infamous prequel a spitshin, making it easier to accept as a canon part of the story rather than a cynically born product to abuse nostalgia.

If you’re a Final Fantasy VII fan who hasn’t seen where Zack and Cloud begin their journey, this might just be the last game you need to buy in 2022.

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Combat has been visually and mechanically overhauled in Crisis Core: Reunion.


Combat has been visually and mechanically overhauled in Crisis Core: Reunion.

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

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