Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion review: A welcome return to a forgotten chapter

Square Enix
Square Enix /

Title: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion
Developer: Square Enix
Publishers: Square Enix
Platforms: PlayStation 5 (reviewed on), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: December 13, 2022

Full disclosure, I loved Crisis Core when it first released all the way back in 2007. I had always loved Final Fantasy games but my problem was that even when I was younger and supposedly free of most obligations of an adult, I rarely had the time to invest in them. But when Crisis Core dropped on the PSP, I found an RPG capable of something that, at the time, was not a word often a focus in gaming; accessibility.

Suddenly there was a game that took the interesting story of Final Fantasy VII and added a bit more color to the world. It looked impressive. Hell, just last year I used an emulator to play Crisis Core on my TV and was blown away by how pretty the game still looked.

Crisis-Core-Backwater /

Not only that, but I could play it in small bits. Despite having a long story like any other Final Fantasy game, Crisis Core is experienced in small missions. No exploring some ridiculously huge map designed to fluff out a game time. Instead, I’d go and select a mission and be whisked away to it. If I had to do something in a desert and then something else in an abandoned facility I could get it done in under half an hour because I knew I would just go there, do what I needed to do, and then be done. It was great. I felt like my time was respected.

When I found out Crisis Core was going to be remade as “Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion” I actually started to get a little worried. I was wondering if they were going to completely remake it as they did with the aptly named Final Fantasy VII: Remake. If they were going to change the gameplay style to keep most of the story but turn it into more of a “traditional” JRPG. Luckily that was not the case.

For better or for worse, Crisis Core is just a very cleaned-up and shiny remaster of the original game, complete with its distinct play style.

Better because the game looks so nice. The cut scenes have been remodeled and cleaned up and made to look way better. The summons are absolutely stunning. The cut scenes, even to someone who beat Crisis Core three times already, are fascinating to watch as I have never seen them look like this. The gameplay has been cleaned up a lot so it is actually a lot more easier and fun to fight, especially if you are working a complicated mix of action moves and magic into a combo.

The bad only really comes because, well, if you haven’t played a JRPG from this era in a while (or never) you are not ready for how absolutely stupid dialogue from these types of games can get. You think the infamous scene in FFX where Tidus explains laughing to Yuna is bad? Let me tell you about when you have to listen to rants about dumbapples.

This game will straight-up drop stuff on you and then just walk away laughing. It might come back later, it might not. There is a LOT of bad dialogue in the game and it’s something that even as a fan of the original, I gotta say could have been fixed.

But that’s honestly my only complaint. The project is an absolute work of love. It’s not only a fully faithful remaster but many tweaks to improve playability were added to make it more fun and easy to play.

Also Cissnei is in it and her, alongside Rude and Reno, will always be tied as my favorite Final Fantasy character. Get this game. Get it for Cissnei.

(video contains spoilers but also Cissnei)

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Reunion (PS5) Score: 8.5/10

While not a remake like the appropriately named Final Fantasy VII: Remake, Crisis Core is a 100% labor of love, taking the original game and cleaning it up while only making a few changes that allow people who never had a PSP to experience this somewhat hard to access chapter of Final Fantasy’s lore. The graphics are gorgeous, the gameplay is smooth and fun, the structure of the game respects your time, and Cissnei is in it which is worth the cost of admission itself.

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.