When Disaster Main: Last Fantasy VII first came out in 2007 as element of Square Enix’s considerably indulgent (and simply so-so) FF7 Compilation job, it was intended to fill in the backstory of a single of the primary game’s most mysterious and spoilerific character twists. Specifically that FF7 hero and perpetual mopey boy Cloud Strife wasn’t fairly who he assumed he was, and that he basically owes a great deal of his daily life (basically and figuratively) to the peppy, squat-loving ShinRa go-getter Zack Truthful. (And if you are mad about me spoiling that 25-calendar year-outdated story beat, wait right up until you see what they have performed with FF7 Remake).
It truly is with FF7 Remake in brain, while, that quite a few of you will likely be wanting to know where this swanky new remaster of FF7’s PSP prequel suits into the significantly up for grabs timeline of Squeenix’s ongoing Remake trilogy. And just as the original Crisis Main was nearly unachievable to talk about without the need of getting into big spoiler territory for the main game of Closing Fantasy VII, so it goes for Crisis Core – Closing Fantasy VII – Reunion. For the spoiler-averse, I am going to say this. If you do not currently know the backstory of Zack and his relationship with arch mega villain Sephiroth, this is a perfectly fine action activity which is gained a large amount of welcome polish for a 15-calendar year previous PSP title, but is possibly nevertheless most effective skilled via a comprehensive YouTube retrospective as opposed to forking out £40 / $50 for it. For all people else out there, while, let us get into it.
Or alternatively, is there even something to get into? Alas, if you had been hoping for some kind of rationalization about FF7 Remake’s canon-breaking ending, you’ll be unhappy below. As a prequel, Reunion would have been the best prospect to seed several of the tips later explored in FF7 Remake, but this is pretty considerably a simple remaster of the PSP original. No noodly ending rewrites, very little.
In lots of methods, it displays amazing restraint on creative director Tetsuya Nomura’s component (who’s also the major instigator powering the whole FF7 Remake trilogy), despite the fact that offered that Disaster Core’s principal villain nonetheless spends 99% of his display screen time quoting lousy poetry at you even though gesticulating with a substantial, purple apple in his hand, possibly which is not indicating significantly. It’s achievable, of course, that this is intentional. Immediately after all, just as FF7 Remake form of necessitates you to have played the unique FF7 to know how they have meddled with its seemingly immutable lore, you could argue that Crisis Main is now the skeleton vital that unlocks them equally, not just in how it sets up important plot points for the latter phases of vanilla FF7, but also how they’re then twisted and morphed in the last times of Remake.
The finish consequence, having said that, is finally the similar. Even now, you will find little purpose to find out Crisis Core Reunion unless you are definitely in it for the Sephiroth ‘was in fact when a excellent guy’ lover assistance. I never played Crisis Main on the PSP, but I have absorbed sufficient FF7 nonsense about the many years to know who its important gamers are and how they connect to its overarching story. Actually participating in Crisis Core did very little to change or strengthen my belief of these figures, and unless FF7 Rebirth is likely on a wild tangent somehow, I’m not sure there is certainly significantly reward in finding to know the rest of its supporting cast who (for apparent motives) will not make it earlier the conclude credits.
Credit score where credit score is owing, at least. This is rather the handsome glow-up from its PSP initial, and if it weren’t for the rigid, linear corridor style of its original maps, its artwork route and visual structure would come to feel quite a lot of a piece with FF7 Remake. The freshly rearranged soundtrack by Takehiru Ishimoto is also yet another welcome addition, and Square Enix have even long gone to the difficulty of re-recording all of its dialogue with the now existing voice cast to definitely make it feel like its element of the same universe.
Sadly, they did not extend the similar courtesy to modifying that script, for this reason why emo poetry boy Genesis nevertheless will come throughout as a overwrought caricature of a villain somewhat than any genuine menace. Its abnormal use of cutscenes and flashbacks to provide its apparently vital backstory also will get in the way of it attempting to be a very good match a ton of the time, way too. You can scarcely just take three steps toward an aim marker right before staying thrown into however one more cutscene – even though I’m thoroughly keen to confess that this it’s possible feels even extra exasperated in 2022 specified the compact dimension of its PSP-hampered maps.
Don’t get me improper. Closing Fantasy online games have demonstrated time and again that pretty excellent things can happen in exceedingly pretty corridors (X, XIII, heck, even FF7 Remake) if the bordering overcome is very good enough to keep your curiosity by means of it all, but sadly Crisis Core would not pretty deal with even this. Its actual-time beat is an interesting curio, for confident, with lots of of its quirks and chaotic electricity governed by a consistently spinning roulette wheel in the best left corner. In fairness, I might actually really like to see this technique crop up once again in the Ultimate Fantasy sequence at some place, as the way it can cause several stat buffs and limit crack qualities based on what blend of quantities and character portraits it lands on is infinitely extra attention-grabbing to me than the hybrid true-time / switch-primarily based battle observed in FF7 Remake.
When the right figures cut down the price tag of magic assaults to zero, for illustration, you know it is time to whale on your Firas and Thundagas like there is certainly no tomorrow. Equally, you can also achieve temporary spells of invincibility or boosted magic defences, and if Zack’s emotion specially pumped about a character he’s just fulfilled – say, Aerith or Sephiroth – their character-themed limit breaks are a lot more probable to occur up in the wheel’s rotation. It’s particularly this sort of spontaneous havoc that can breathe new daily life into age-old JRPGs, but its in excess of reliance on low-priced as chips things to replenish your magic and motion level bars (as opposed to getting carried out via the overcome by itself) signifies it is really very uncomplicated to exploit, major to repetitive magic spamming and ether bottle chugging that successfully robs it of all its improvisational brilliance.
There’s also the slightly interminable slog of acquiring to struggle the exact same enemies in excess of and about yet again in Crisis Main Reunion. It can be not even for the standard color palette swap factors possibly. The full plot revolves all around Genesis (and finally Zack’s bestie mentor Angeal) creating clones of himself to wreak their deluded havoc on the globe. There are some honest to goodness monsters thrown in there as nicely, but holy chocobo warks, it certain does get tiresome by the close of its 12-hour storyline, in no way thoughts the bloated, maze-like side missions on give that can internet you much more effective merchandise and materia. In truth of the matter, you don’t actually have to have interaction with these aspect missions to total Crisis Main. I dabbled in a handful of them to get a couple of crucial summons materia, but swiftly lost any urge for food for pursuing them even more. They may well be prettier corridors than they had been 15 yrs aged, but their repetitive, duplicate-paste layouts and warren-like patterns are however a recipe for some primary mid-00s grind.
So sure, when there are some bits of Disaster Core well worth salvaging for a modern, overdue tune-up, Square Enix and co-developers Tose Co Ltd simply will not go far sufficient in bringing this up to date for a article-Remake viewers. Some could uncover the easy character of this remaster instead comforting right after Nomura efficiently ripped up the rulebook with Remake, but personally, I’d alternatively one thing new and bold than a activity that simply retreads old ground again. And in Crisis Core’s situation, its pretty aged ground, its key story beats obtaining been repeated, regurgitated and repurposed so quite a few periods about the years that every guy and their moogle now is aware of what Zack’s offer is with out getting invested a one minute playing his precise prequel. And if you you should not, help you save oneself the hassle and enjoy a TLDR retrospective on YouTube (I can propose a good a single). You will get all the gain of what Disaster Main indicates to the broader FF7verse with no the ache of basically getting to sit as a result of all like its button-mashing fight, turgid facet missions and naff, Shakespearean apple boy speeches. Does run superbly on Steam Deck, while, I am going to give it that.