Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion – a title I’m not typing out in full again – launches in between the main FFVII remakes, and while it can’t quite live up to them, it’s worthy of standing in the same crowd.
Rather than a full reimagining, this has been branded from day one as a straight remaster, and that’s a fair description of what you get. It does what any good remaster should do: make it look pretty, and touch up the gameplay with modern design.
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On that first point, this is a very pretty game. That hardly makes it stand out in the current triple-A landscape, but if there’s one word I’d use to describe this game above any other, it’s flashy. If you want special attacks that make you feel like one of two gods locked in eternal conflict, this is the game for you. These over-the-top limit break moves put a Smash Bros final smash to shame, and you’ll be knocking them out regularly when things get going.
Looking at the wider combat system, the modern action RPG genre has clearly got its teeth in, which makes life a lot easier. Movement feels smooth, attacking feels satisfying, and using magic is effortless. It also encourages you to change tactics regularly, often creating clear openings for you to rest or use magic before charging in with your sword. The fact that you can weaken or cancel enemy special attacks by being aggressive is a particularly fun feature, as it turns a methodical battle into a desperate dash for damage.
Surprisingly, with so much going on, the Nintendo Switch version of the game holds up pretty well compared to the PS5 counterpart. It’s far from perfect, often dropping frames in battles but – on a Switch OLED, at least – the rest of the game runs very well. The PS5 is still definitely the best way to play the game, but if you want to retain the Crisis Core handheld experience then you’ll be satisfied with the Switch.
Whether or not you like this version of Crisis Core comes down to what your gripes were with the original. If your issues were with the story, characters, or overall direction of the game then that’s not changed. However, if it was the combat and gameplay that put you off, then it’s worth giving this remaster a go, as it might turn your opinion around.
Ultimately, this remaster will become the definitive way to play Crisis Core for new players and veterans alike. Everything it does is either better than or just as good as the original; and at the end of the day, what more could you want from a remaster?
Written by Ryan Woodrow on behalf of GLHF.