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5 Big Improvements Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion Makes to the PSP Original

Image Source: Square Enix
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5 Big Improvements Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion Makes to the PSP Original

More than just a simple remaster.

The release of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is an exciting one. It’s a mega revival of the original PSP game from 2007, and it’s not just a simple remaster, either. Here are five major improvements that Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion comes with.

Way Better Graphics

zack in crisis core
Image Source: Square Enix via Twinfinite

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a hot minute since I last looked at the PSP version of Crisis Core. It looks great in my flawed memory bank, but if you actually look up some screenshots of the original game, you’ll quickly find that the character models all had jagged edges and even a few lifeless facial expressions here and there.

The environments were bare and muddied in some areas as well, but Reunion completely cleans all of that up. Reunion makes the game look incredibly modern, and the graphics look almost on par with something like the Final Fantasy VII Remake. The game just looks and feels cleaner as a whole, making it a wonderful visual feast for the eyes.

Full Voice Acting

zack and aerith in crisis core
Image Source: Square Enix via Twinfinite

Aside from the improved graphics, it’s worth noting that the entire game now has full voice acting. The original PSP release featured voice acting for key story cutscenes as well, but you’d also have to sit through lengthy periods of silence as you tapped through dialogue boxes for the rest of the game, which can certainly be immersion-breaking.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is completely voice acted, and the best part is that the voice acting is actually good, too. It’s nice being able to sit back during longer cutscenes and just enjoy letting the story play out as the voice actors bring life to all the colorful characters of Crisis Core.

Ability Gauge

ability gauge in crisis core
Image Source: Square Enix via Twinfinite

One of the biggest quality-of-life improvements introduced in Reunion is the Ability Gauge. Fans of the original game will remember that there were various bosses who could absolutely one-shot you or bring you extremely close to death with a big attack that wasn’t necessarily well-telegraphed. This made the game a lot more difficult, and frustrating.

However, the Ability Gauge allows you to see when a boss is charging up an attack, and more importantly, it also lets you react to it. By attacking a boss, you can deplete the Gauge to decrease the damage dealt from the attack, and if you deplete it completely, you can cancel the attack itself. The good news is that the Ability Gauge isn’t as broken as it sounds; depleting it completely is no easy task, and it really just gives you more of a fair shot against the tougher foes.

Smoother DMW Effect Triggers

healing wave in crisis core
Image Source: Square Enix via Twinfinite

The Digital Mind Wave is back in Reunion, and it still works pretty much the same way as it did on the PSP, but with one crucial difference: the game no longer pauses to show you every single minor effect that gets triggered.

The game will still pause when you land on matching portraits for key characters like Cissnei, Angeal, Aerith, and the like. But for minor effects like no AP/MP cost, Endure, Null abilities, the list goes on, these just pop up at the bottom of the screen to let you know they’re in effect, and it really helps the flow of combat.

Not only that, summon and limit break abilities won’t get triggered automatically, and you can instead hit triangle to activate them manually. This lets you use them more tactically, and gives you more control over what happens in combat.

Crunchier Combat

new menu screen in crisis core
Image Source: Square Enix via Twinfinite

Speaking of combat, this is one improvement that’s tough to notice on a visual level, but once you start playing the game for yourself, you’ll see what I mean.

In general, Zack’s movements are just a lot more fluid and free-flowing than before. Dodging and guarding feel responsive, turning Reunion into a much faster-paced –and fun– action game. The transition between combat and exploration is still a little clunky, but when you’re in the thick of things, it just feels amazing.

Stringing combos together has never been more fluid, and combat only gets even more satisfying once you start unlocking more interesting Materia fusion combos to add to your repertoire.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion may still sport a few rough edges that have carried over from the PSP era, but these major improvements definitely help to make it more palatable for a modern audience.

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