Cut Loose in Crisis Core Remaster

“Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion” is being released Dec. 13 as a remaster of the classic PSP game.


Sarah Kueking, Managing Editor

Normally, a single gunshot would send most people screaming and running for their lives. Yet, with bullets flying around him in every imaginable direction, one man with spiky black hair and an oversized sword strapped to his back decides to casually answer his phone.

“I can cut loose, right?” the character, Zack Fair, asks with a smirk, his head slightly tilted to the side.

“Within reason,” a gruff voice replies.

That’s when Fair proceeds to slice and dice over a dozen gunmen into oblivion. 

“Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion,” the remaster of the previous PSP exclusive, will be released Dec. 13 on PS5, PS4, XBox Series X and S, XBox One, PC on Steam and even Nintendo Switch. After the first game in the “Final Fantasy VII” remake saga was only released on PlayStation, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the remaster of the prequel, “Crisis Core Reunion,” would be released on XBox, and I am ecstatic the game will be on my system of choice, the Switch. Having the option to hack and slash my way through enemies whether I am on the train to Chicago or sitting on the couch is quite appealing and stays true to the game’s PSP roots.

I am a huge fan of “Final Fantasy,” although my introduction to the series was entirely by accident. When I was 10 years old, while reading “Guinness World Records 2011: Gamer’s Edition,” I turned the page to a list of the top 50 video game characters of all time. At No. 32, I stumbled upon Sephiroth, the main villain from “Final Fantasy VII.” Then, No. 5 was Cloud Strife, the hero from the same game. I immediately called my cousin, who already knew of the game, and we argued over which character was the most attractive–with me insisting on Sephiroth and her sticking with Strife.

As a kid, since I didn’t have any systems that I could play “Final Fantasy VII” on, I spent hours staying up at night reading plot summaries online so I could get to know the story and the characters. I loved them almost as if they were my own.

Being a role-playing game (RPG), “Final Fantasy VII” as an entry in the larger “Final Fantasy” series has quite a complex story, which becomes even more complicated when the “Remake” is considered. “Crisis Core” and “Crisis Core Reunion,” which take place around seven years before the events of “FFVII,” tell the story of Zack Fair, Strife’s mentor, who wants to make his way up in ranking in Shinra’s elite army until he can be Sephiroth’s equal. Although the prequel wasn’t initially necessary to understand the original “FFVII” story, the trajectory of the “Remake” makes it much more important to know Fair’s background.

Even though I have never played the original “Crisis Core” or “Final Fantasy VII” all the way through, I know their stories and characters well enough to be beyond excited to see “Crisis Core Reunion” on the Switch. Not to spoil too much of the story, but the plot of “Crisis Core” really puts into perspective how Sephiroth wasn’t always as evil as the main game made him out to be. I even sympathize with the villain of “Crisis Core” as well, who finds himself in a situation similar to Sephiroth’s. If you look hard enough, the game is showing you morals, such as how evil people aren’t born that way. If a game with that message isn’t a good game, then I don’t know what is.

From what I can see in the trailer, I expect the graphics will be an improvement from the original game. However, the animations might still be a bit sluggish due to coming from the PSP. Combat should definitely be faster and easier with a wider range of buttons to use.

If you want a game to play over the holidays with a satisfying story, well-developed characters, hidden lessons, and plenty of other games in the same story thread to play afterward, “Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion” is for you.