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Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion is a vital reinvention in the revered saga

Experiencing one of the most crucial components of the praised final fantasy 7 saga has been more difficult than it should be in recent years. Until recently, playing the original Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7, which came out 15 years ago, required the long-discontinued PlayStation Portable. If you didn’t already have it, you’d probably have to pay around $250 to experience a game. Fortunately, we now have Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunionthe definitive (and accessible) way to experience the prequel to one of the most revered games of all time and its exciting modern remake.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion It’s not a complete remake, at least, not in the ambitious form of 2020. Final Fantasy 7 Remake I was. Nor is it a simple remaster. Instead, it’s somewhere in between: a charming reimagining that confidently portrays core of the crisis in modern terms, flaws and all, and asks you to come along for the ride. Is that ride perfect, or anything up to it? Final Fantasy 7 Remake or even the original final fantasy 7? No problem. Is it worth taking? Absolutely. Especially now, as these characters head off in exciting directions in the next Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.

The story of core of the crisis It follows not the iconic Cloud Strife but Zack Fair, an outgoing man who is just as capable of doling out exceptionally warm kindness as he is of decimating any target the Shinra corporation assigns him. He becomes a rising star among the ranks of the paramilitary organization known as SOLDIER, falling in love and gaining the confidence to shake off his pessimistic boss. In other words, he is in his prime. It’s hard not to immediately fall for his boundless optimism and overly anxious nature. But those dreams are complicated when he finds himself entangled in a web of mysteries when his mentor, Angeal, suddenly disappears. Zack is tasked with finding him and Genesis, a First Class SOLDIER member who has defected from the organization and is, crucially, a well-known friend of the war hero Sephiroth.

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Zack Fair, the protagonist of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion, looks below the camera as the sun covers him from the front

Image: Square Enix via Polygon

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It’s a jargon-heavy story, but it’s easy to follow, especially once you get past some of the blemishes in the writing. Genesis is an irritating main antagonist who can’t stop quoting lines from a work of fiction he’s obsessed with; some character motivations are flimsy; many quiet and emotional moments do not have enough room to breathe. Nonetheless, it’s a moving story about identity, the frayed bonds between friends as they change irrevocably, and the legacies we leave behind. In the end, he gets all the emotional beats necessary to make the ending one of the most memorable in the Final Fantasy series.

In an aesthetic sense, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion It’s impressive. Sometimes the visual changes are enough to make you forget you’re playing 15-year-old content. The old images never captured how the sunbeams kiss the leaves of a Banora White tree, for example, or Aerith’s raised eyebrows that conveyed her uncertainty at a time when she was younger, more naive and fell in love And while some new scenes are sharpened to the point of grainy, the overall higher level of detail results in a core of the crisis that is altogether more expressive than the original.

The original core of the crisis stands out for its quirky combat system and has been refined to flow more smoothly in 2022. As was the case in the original, materia, the items that allow you to use magic and perform combat moves, are tied to certain spells. and skills. and allows you to play with different builds. For example, you can go for a low AP build that is based only on materia that uses AP. (This makes the game more difficult, but admittedly easy on Normal mode, and some players may want a bigger challenge.) your heart’s content. While you only play as one character, you can bend the rules quite a bit.

Zack Fair uses a jump attack with his sword in combat in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion

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Image: Square Enix

The core combat mechanic, Digital Mind Wave, weaves together narrative and gameplay to provide characterization bits along with caps, status buffs, and even level ups for Zack or his materia. It’s a bit like the convoluted final fantasy 8 union system in the sense that it’s inelegant and more complicated than it should be, but refreshing in its unconventionality. Final Fantasy 7 Reunion it also adds a new combo system and a time window in which you can interrupt an enemy’s most powerful attack. Finally, there is a new context menu for your matter. These changes may seem minor, but they transform a battle system I was once ambivalent about into an absolute explosion.

it is vital that core of the crisis It’s really fun to play, because you spend a lot of the game fighting, and the intuitive upgrades help the pacing between important story beats tremendously. The side quests, which unlock new materia and equipment, play out exactly like the original: you enter an isolated area, kill some monsters, and get your rewards. But thanks to mechanical improvements, these detours are not endeavors to be feared; instead, you are likely to find yourself doing solo one more before going back to the main story. When you do, you’ll be loaded with rewards that may seem too good for the amount of work you put in.

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Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion it’s a short and sweet affair, arriving around 12 noon. However, it is vital to the canon of final fantasy 7especially when taking the shocking ending of Final Fantasy 7 Remake consider. It’s a journey worth taking in 2022, if only for Zack alone, as a modern opportunity to meet the man who has profoundly shaped Cloud, Aerith, and many of the saga’s iconic characters. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion was never going to be as shocking as the fantastic Final Fantasy 7 Remakebut as we get closer to Final Fantasy 7 Rebirthit’s worth the foray, especially now that so many rough edges have been smoothed out.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion will be released on December 13 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. The game was patched on PC with a pre-download code provided by Square Enix. Vox Media has affiliate associations. These do not influence editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. You can find Additional information on Polygon’s ethics policy here.

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