Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is shaping up to be a perfect remaster
Square Enix calls Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion a remaster; but don’t misunderstand, this game is much closer to a full remake. Beyond the graphical improvements, the re-dubbed voices, and everything else - the game’s combat has been completely overhauled into a more traditional Action RPG. You’ve got an actual attack button, a proper dodge, a more traditional over-the-shoulder camera, and a whole slew of upgrades and changes to the User Interface.
We had a chance to play both the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch versions of the game during our recent trip to Square Enix’s pre-Tokyo Games Show press event. While the PlayStation 5 version certainly ran well - it looks to be 4K60 - what’s far more interesting is the state of the Nintendo Switch release. It retains most of the graphical enhancements of the full PlayStation 5 release, maintains a seemingly smooth 60 FPS, and targets 720p in handheld mode. Even with dips to the resolution, it still never drops to a low enough resolution to be noticeable outside of cutscenes.
Of all the games we had the chance to check out during the event, Crisis Core had the shortest runtime - we only spent about 15 minutes going through the end of Chapter 2. The encounters, the boss fights, the story beats are all a match for the PSP original; yet the various improvements that Reunion makes to the base experience seem primed to elevate the game as a whole.
I don’t want to gush too much about a game that I only had a small section to play, especially when everything else about the game outside of its presentation and combat are the same - but simply put, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion feels like the perfect remaster. Everything that could’ve conceivably been changed without transforming the game into an actual remake - level design, enemy encounters, the overall story beats - has seen such a drastic improvement that it’s hard to overstate it. The fact that the Switch version is such a solid representation of its bigger brother on PlayStation 5 is still something I'm coming to terms with - I'd even go as far as to say if you have a Switch OLED, that might just be the definitive way of experiencing Zack's journey for yourself.
As always, we’ll have to see how the overall game turns out before being sure, but it feels good to sit down to play a remaster of a game, spend only a short amount of time with it, and instantly understand that the original has so thoroughly been replaced. If you haven’t played Crisis Core yet, this will almost assuredly be the best way to play it.