Nu är det dags för en ny utgåva av det gamla Playstation Portable-spelet Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. Nu på moderna konsoler och med Reunion som tillägg till titeln.
“When the war of the beasts brings about the world’s end
The goddess descends from the sky
Wings of light and dark spread afar
She guides us to bliss, her gift everlasting”
For the purposes of this review, I will note that this game was played on a brand new PS5 running the deluxe edition PS5 version of Reunion. Any problems detailed below should reflect the current state of the game as a whole at the current highest performance.
“Infinite in mystery is the gift of the Goddess
We seek it thus, and take to the sky
Ripples form on the water’s surface
The wandering soul knows no rest.
Three friends go into battle.
One is captured
One flies away
The one that is left becomes a hero.”
Crisis Core Reunion:
After over 15 years Crisis Core finally has it’s fully remastered title on next generation consoles, it is important to note that Crisis Core Reunion is the prequel to the original Final Fantasy VII and not the most recent FFVII Remake edition, while Crisis Core Reunion shares a lot of changes with its counterpart this is a complete Remaster and Upgrade of the original PSP and unless retconned in the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
Crisis Core is the prequel to the original timeline.
Unlike its sequel Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core drops the turn based combat in favor of a fast based action style of combat, players take on the role of Zack Fair the mysterious secondary character that Cloud recalls numerous times through his travels. Crisis Core details the adventure of Zack Fair a plucky and somewhat cocky member of of Shinra’s SOLDIER program during the seven years that lead up to that of Final Fantasy VII and how his dream to become a hero much like his idol Sephiroth and mentor Angeal paves the way to a thrilling adventure of torment and growth along with a saddening realization of what is to come in the future.
Crisis Core’s Ending moments are a must see and fully put in motion the events of Final Fantasy VII and Cloud’s emotional journey that occurs afterwards. Crisis core is the glue that holds the story together and resolves as well as expands on the story of Cloud, Sephiroth and well as Zack himself.
“Dreams of the morrow hath the shattered soul
Pride is lost
Wings stripped away, the end is nigh
There is no hate, only joy
For you are beloved by the goddess
Hero of the dawn, Healer of worlds”
So we now have an updated version of the Original PSP variation and with any kind of remastering or update there are noticeably several changes that exist between every version, however some of these changes aside from the graphical updates can largely go unnoticed and I believe that a lot of these would be overlooked from both new and returning players to the series thus I will briefly cover some of the major changes between the PSP and PS5 version, please note that this is merely a small sample of the changes, there are far more changes that would most likely warrant its own review just to cover, see if you can notice these smaller changes on your next playthrough. For now below are some of the more major changes between the PSP and Reunion versions of Crisis Core.
Aside from the obvious graphical changes as well as upscaled of cutscenes – (FMW are still however the exact same as the PSP counterpart) many of the zones such as Slums have been complete asset overhauls to keep them in line with FFVII Remake’s graphics the UI has also been completely redesigned to fix the Remake’s aesthetic, cutscenes have also been designed to feature one model making the scenes more fluid overall compared to the PSP version of using multiple models to cover things.
The English audio specifically has been completely re-recorded using the modern FFVII Remake cast rather than the original PSP cast, this is most noticeable with the main character Zack having an entirely different voice actor himself as well as a vast majority of NPCs characters now have their own voices to go along with re-translated dialogue.
The Camera controls as well as the Combat system have been given major overhauls to fit better with the FFVII Remake setup, originally the PSP does not allow the use of camera controls during combat as the L and R button was required to make use of materia item bar which rendered the use of melee combat a struggle, also due to the lack of camera controls the PSP attempted to compensate for this by keeping enemies in the center of the screen the entire time. With Reunion these changes are now a thing of the past, while the L/R triggers are used each trigger has been changed and mapped to different buttons to make combat far more fluid giving far more control to the player than the PSP version ever could, this now means Zack is able to make use of the camera during combat as well as his melee attacks while quickly throwing out some magic as required.
These changes alone are already phenomenal and really change the overall experience making melee combat now quite relevant and bearable, be sure to look out for other smaller changes if you’re a returning player from the PSP version as there are numerous quality of life changes that will surely bring a smile to any player’s face.
Further changes between versions will be mentioned below in their own specific sections.
“My friend, do you fly away now?
To a world that abhors you and I?
All that awaits you is a somber morrow
No matter where the winds may blow
My soul, corrupted by vengeance
Hath endured torment, to find the end of the journey
In my own salvation
And your eternal slumber”
The DMW, SP and Materia:
The Digital Mind Wave or DMW for short is the main crux of combat upon entry into combat the DMW will begin spinning, consider this as a slot machine based entirely on the relationships that Zack generates throughout the story mode. These relationships also include that of summons as well as a few unique returning characters from Final Fantasy VII itself.
Every single DMW as mentioned contains a different effect, these are classed as Limit Breaks, and with the Reunion changes these no longer are triggered automatically unlike the PSP edition. In Reunion Zack is now able to hold for the duration of battle a Limit Break as well as a Summon should they have occurred during a spin which leaves it now entirely up to the player when to use these effects for better benefits. However take into account that these effects only last for the current battle and can not be carried onto a further encounter so make sure to use these powerful abilities before clearing an encounter otherwise they will be wasted.
Explaining the DMW
Besides the different Limit Breaks and Summon available throughout the story the DMW also contained a series of numbers that are also spun when a corresponding number occurs at the correct point an effect is generated regardless of if a Limit Break occurs. This is another of the key mechanics to look for in combat as these spins, while you have no control as to what is spun, keeping an eye out for certain numbers combinations will allow players to make better decisions overalls in combat. For example: Spinning a 555 on the DMW will trigger a “Null Physical Damage” effect for a short duration, whereas a 333 will activate a “Null Magic Damage” effect.
Spinning three copies of the same number or character image will trigger their own unique effects starting from 1 and ending at 7 however there are also further unique effects based around the number 7 alone for fans of series you’ll know the reason by the importance of the number 7, however to keep this review from getting out of hand I will leave this as is for now. Here are some further examples of DMW spins that can occur during combat focusing on the number 7.
Example Spin 1: – Angeal/Angeal/Angeal – 7/1/7
In the above instance this would trigger the Rush Limit Break as well as producing a “Null Physical Damage” instance depending on the placement of the 7 in the spin you will notice that you can have instances of triple same numbers occur as shown in the previous example
Example Spin 2: – Sephiroth/Angeal/Sephiroth – 7/3/4
In this instance no Limit Break for either character will occur, however since a 7 has been spun within the first number a “AP Cost Zero” will occur for the duration of the encounter
Example Spin 3: – Sephiroth/Sephiroth/Sephiroth – 4/3/7
As with example spin 1: A Limit Break will occur here as well as offering a buff called “Endure” which prevents Zack from being interrupted during casts or Command effects
While this may seem overly complicated and over the top this is not something that the player truly has to worry about unless you’re attempting one of the game’s harder achievements which can easily be covered by playing the game multiple times or simply farming certain encounters until they occur. The DMW is completely fluid with the combat system and whether the player chooses to go deeper into this or not will not impact the overall gameplay presented throughout the story. Keep an eye out for those elusive 7’s to better play around the harder encounters, sometimes all you need is a correct set of numbers to trivialize an encounter you previously had trouble with, just don’t run out of that all important SP!
SP and Materia Fusion
So what exactly is SP? SP is everything in Crisis Core, SP (Soldier Points) are gained throughout the entire game, complete an encounter? Gain SP, Achieve a Limit Break or Summon? Gain SP, open a random chest? Gain SP, it is very hard to completely run dry on SP but there are instances where this can occur.
SP is required to make use of the two most important mechanics in the game, one being the DMW which uses a mere 10 SP for every spin (it is really negligible amount overall) without SP you are unable to make full use of the other returning classic mechanic in Crisis Core, that of Materia. What is Materia? – Materia is essentially crystallized mako that allows the user in question to achieve feats of magic, augmentation, debilitation effects as well as the series titular Summons (Although in Crisis Core Summon materia is entirely tied to the DMW as is not included within the extensive roster of abilities and magic that Zack can acquire).
As you progress through the story Zack will unlock a variety of materia either through discovery or for purchase in one of the many shops that Zack has access to at any time he needs from the humble beginning of Thunder to the true endgame of Flare and Ultima every materia has their own unique effects and can within time grow to become that of a Mastered Materia, a powerful maxed out variation that not only does the maximum amount of damage for it’s type but also offers additional stat buffs to Zack during his travels, correct use of the thousands of different materia combinations can make the story incredibly easy by negating enemy status effects or even breaking the HP/MP and AP limitations so be sure to experiment with as many different combinations to find what best suits your current needs.
Once you’ve decided on your preferred spells it’s time to look into Materia Fusion, this is not however unlocked right away (otherwise you could break the game for the first chapter) bringing two different materias together will result in a new materia being created from the two, should one of the materias used in the fusion be of a Mastered variety the result will be an entirely different materia from its unmastered form. Materia fusion is the keyway to increase Zack’s frankly low stats throughout the game, feel you don’t have enough HP to survive mechanics? Mix materia together with +HP% into each other to increase the resulting materias HP benefit.
Here are some examples of some basic materia fusions, do note however that each materia fusion does require SP to generate and this is what makes SP so important to the game as to fully achieve maximum stats you’ll need to invest a ton of SP to create perfected Materia that suits your needs.
Blizzard + Thunder = Fire
Cure + Silence = Regen
Poison + Power Blade = Poison Blade
Thundara + Jump = Thundara Blade
Stop + HP UP = Status Ward
There are hundreds of way to fuse materia so take the time and choose carefully regarding what you truly need, a massive quality of life change that was presented in Reunion is that players are now able to see the result of a materia fusion before committing to it, originally the PSP version did not allow you to see the result so each fusion was a complete gamble unless you where already well versed in the system, does this make Reunion much easier overall? I don’t think this is the case as finding the best materia combinations is quite easy from experience alone and this change merely saves on SP overall thus forcing players to grind less overall which is greatly appreciated, at least by this reviewer.
“My friend, the fates are cruel
There are no dreams, no honor remains
The arrow has left the bow of the goddess
My friend, your desire
Is the bringer of life, the gift of the goddess
Legend shall speak
Of sacrifice at world’s end
The wind sails over the water’s surface
Quietly, but surely”
While the main story of Crisis Core could be considered quite short the real time-sink between both versions has been the Mission Mode, a series of side content quests that are unlocked through the story mode. Take careful note when traversing the main story as there are chances that you will miss out on some more elusive mission unlock requirements and thus be unable to complete the 100% mission log until your next playthrough.
What are Missions?
As mentioned missions make up the bulk of the game, you can easily spend up to twenty hours just covering this side content. Upon reaching any save point Zack will have the option to either Save or opt into one of over 300 different missions each with their own unique challenges, while a lot of mission zones are reused throughout being one of several different maps just generated in a slightly different configuration due to this mode being pulled entirely from the PSP version these still hope up within this Reunion version and are still thoroughly enjoyable purely for the challenge some of the later missions present.
Mission Mode is the main intended way for Zack to improve his abilities, each mission will garner different rewards upon completion ranging from simple potions to accessories that augment combat by for example – Preventing a series of status effects or even rare items that break the limitations of HP/Damage/MP and AP.
During missions be on the lookout for chests containing helpful item and rare encounters that could lead to further bonuses or even entirely new materia setups for Zack to experiment with Missions have also seem quite a few quality of life changes in general to better suit the updated systems in place, originally if Zack where to fall in battle he would immediately be forced back to his most recent checkpoint will all data beforehand removed, thus forcing players to once more venture forward reclearing mobs that they may have already cleared out beforehand.
With the Reunion changes upon falling in battle Zack is now given the option to either “Retry the Battle” or “Adjust Equipment before retrying” this is a welcome change for some but for others it can trivialize some of the more harder content on offer as you can simply waltz into an encounter with the incorrect materia setup, die on purpose and readjust your materia for that encounter specifically making some of the harder options a little too easy in my opinion.
However to counter this new and powerful technique if Zack opted to leave a mission for any reason he is immediately reset to his status prior to beginning the mission, this now means that in order to retain items and levels gained while on said mission Zack must clear the mission for any rewards and level up to remain intact, for returning players this also means that there is no longer a way to infinitely horde phoenix downs from a certain late game mission.
“Even if the morrow is barren of promises
Nothing shall forestall my return
To become the dew that quenches the land
To spare the sands, the seas, the skies
I offer thee this silent sacrifice”
In conclusion there is very little I can say negatively towards this remaster of the classic PSP game, this is a true masterpiece of a game and while I did run into a few glitches and portions that made me scratch my head. It didn’t diminish my love for this game, sometimes Remasters can ruin a classic with the need to update and rush content out to the consumer but Reunion has seen nothing but improvements from this remaster and will hopefully bring in a host of new players to the series that really expands on the already classic Final Fantasy VII.
This game is one of the all-time greats and while not as well known or polished as it’s technical sequel you owe it to yourself as a fan or even as a first time to pick-up this game if only to fully understand the story and the massive impact that Zack had during not only the main instance of Final Fantasy VII but as well as all the spin-offs that have since come from the original 1997 release of Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core is the glue that holds the whole thing together and it was once more an honor to witness the story of “Zack the “Puppy” that went from the bottom all the way to the top achieving his dream of becoming a Hero.
– “My honor, my dreams… they’re yours now” –
- Excellent Story that flows well into its follow-up
- Likable characters and amazing background information
- Interesting Combat style and systems
- Story is quite short overall
- Mission Mode makes up the bulk of the game
- Combat can become stale