Final Fantasy VII Reunion — 10 Best Changes In The Remaster
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is finally here, and sitting somewhere between a remaster and a full-scale remake of the prequel that made for one of the PSP’s most iconic games, it’s an awesome treat for Final Fantasy fans this holiday season. Final Fantasy XVI and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth remain a long way off, but Reunion should go some way to plugging the gap.
It helps that it boasts a ton of upgrades compared to the original, with better graphics, smoother gameplay, and fully voice-acted dialogue just scratching the surface of what the game brings to the table. These are the changes that make Reunion worth picking up.
An Updated UI Similar To The Final Fantasy VII Remake
It might seem small but paying attention to the small details is what makes the difference between a decent and a great remaster and that’s likely why Square Enix thought to update Crisis Core‘s UI. Instead of using the old UI, which would likely look out of place with the upgraded graphics anyway, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion overhauls its design.
If it looks familiar to some players, that’s because it’s far closer to the User Interface of the Final Fantasy VII Remake. This remaster clearly isn’t meant to replicate for Crisis Core what that game is doing for Final Fantasy VII, but having that extra bit of cohesion between games is a nice touch.
Crisis Core Reunion Boasts Brand New Summon Animations
It can be hard to get excited about small technical changes, but there are some updates included in this remaster that are extremely easy to get hyped about. One of those is the brand-new summon animations for when Zack calls on the likes of Ifrit, Bahamut, and Odin to aid him in battle.
Anyone who’s had the chance to check out the new gameplay footage will know just how gorgeous and over-the-top these new animations are, giving the powerful summons the dramatic entrance they deserve. It’s the perfect upgrade for anyone that loves Final Fantasy‘s summons and how powerful they can make the player feel.
A New Ability Gauge For Higher Agency In Battles
Crisis Core‘s tough bosses are a part of what makes it distinctive, but that doesn’t mean the fights were always fair or that they can’t be changed for the better. For Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, instead of nerfing the devastating super-attacks they would sometimes throw at the player, they have smartly chosen to buff the player to help deal with them.
That buff comes in the form of an Ability Gauge that appears whenever a boss is about to make its big attack. The player then has the opportunity to strike the boss to reduce the Ability Power of the attack. Even better, taking the gauge all the way down to zero cancels the attack completely.
Crisis Core’s Newly Arranged Soundtrack
Updated soundtracks in remasters can sometimes be a mixed bag but, if any series can be relied upon to deliver when it comes to music, it’s Final Fantasy. In order to achieve the best possible soundtrack, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion brings back original composer Takeharu Ishimoto.
The result is a soundtrack that manages to capture the roaring heart of the original while also sounding brand new. Heavy guitar riffs and thumping drums dominated the game’s trailers, but there were plenty of quieter moments for music fans to enjoy as well.
Crisis Core’s DMW System Has Been Adjusted
It simply wouldn’t be Crisis Core without the Digital Mind Wave system always spinning in the top corner of the screen during battles. In the original game, hitting certain combinations on the counter would trigger events that paused the action in order to take effect, but these are now skippable for the smoother experience that fans wanted with the Crisis Core remaster.
On the more fun side, the powerful Limit Break attacks can now be stored instead of activating them immediately, meaning the player can hold onto their strongest attacks for when they’re needed most. Overall, it means a fun system now flows a lot better with the more modern, fast-paced combat style.
Crisis Core Reunion Has A Vastly Improved Camera
Crisis Core is an imperfect game and while it wasn’t the title’s worst flaw, the camera was certainly something that a lot of players found annoying to deal with. Clunky and often awkwardly situated, it was something that Reunion had to upgrade for a better player experience.
Luckily, it’s something the developers didn’t neglect. As well as being at a better height and angle for fights, it follows the player closer and is far more maneuverable. Although it’s more or less the quality expected of a modern game, it still feels a world apart from the original in a good way.
Impressive Upgraded HD Graphics
There have been tons of video game remasters that look a lot better than the original but that doesn’t make the visual upgrade that Crisis Core has been given in Reunion any less stunning. The original PSP title was hardly a bad-looking game for its time. and they would have been forgiven for going with a minimalist approach to upgrading the graphics.
However, considering it’s inevitably going to be compared to the massive Final Fantasy VII Remake, they were smart to give things a proper visual overhaul. The graphics obviously can’t compete with that game, but the new HD graphics still look amazing on modern consoles. The highly detailed backgrounds could easily trick a player into forgetting that it’s ultimately still just a remaster.
Reunion’s Dialogue Is All Fully Voice-Acted
Perhaps one of the biggest signs of the effort that Square Enix has put into Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is the fact that the game now features voice acting for all the dialogue in both English and Japanese. Whereas the original only had voice acting in certain scenes, Reunion goes all-out in this department.
The voice cast isn’t half bad either, with Cody Christian returning to the role of Cloud Strife that he killed in the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and it gives the entire game a big-budget feel despite its more modest scale.
Smoother, Faster, And More Satisfying Combat
One of the biggest things critics have noticed with the Crisis Core remaster is just how different combat feels compared to the original. This is thanks to a variety of factors, from small things like attack timings to far more prominent things like incredibly slick combat animations that make attacks feel more satisfying.
The result is that combat is now significantly faster-paced and smoother than the original. Given just how many massive JRPGs are coming out this year and next, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion needed solid combat to make it stand out, and it delivers on that.
More Detailed Character Models
Although technically just a small part of the massive graphical overhaul Crisis Core received with Reunion, the new, detailed character models are a huge change for the game and fans will likely already know why. Final Fantasy is nothing if not a narrative-focused franchise and Crisis Core is no exception.
With all new and far more expressive character models, the story of Crisis Core feels like an entirely new experience. Even though it’s likewise not quite at the level of the Final Fantasy VII Remake, each character has had new life breathed into them, and it makes playing through Zack’s story all the more fulfilling.
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