Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion works best as a portable game

WITH Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII ReunionWith the release date fast approaching, you might be debating which platform to buy it on. It will run on all devices, from PC to Nintendo Switch, and there’s a good reason to get it on each of them. The PS5 or Xbox Series X copy will provide a smooth, reliable experience, while the PC copy will let you run it at ultra-high frames per second if you want.

CRISIS CORE – FINAL FANTASY VII – REUNION | Launch date announcement

After playing through the first three chapters of the action RPG, I came away with an initial recommendation: prioritize portability over power. Although it may look like a flashy remake, Crisis core it’s still very much a PlayStation Portable game that first launched in 2007. As such, devices like the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch are much better suited to its design philosophy. Its pick-up-and-drop nature just holds up better when you’re wearing it on the go rather than jogging in front of the TV.

Keep it portable

If you didn’t know that Crisis core was originally exclusive to the PSP, that fact will become immediately apparent when its remake begins. Despite its modern details that should give it equal value Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square Enix isn’t going for a high-concept reimagining here; it is simply applying a new coat of paint. The basic structure of the original remains almost completely intact, with changes that only make the combat smoother and the user interface cleaner.

The contrast is immediately noticeable in what looks like a console game from 2022, but feels like a handheld title created for relatively modest hardware in 2007. Take, for example, its mission structure. His main missions are of a more minor nature, sending Zack Fair to compact maps with only a few side routes to explore. They usually have linear movement, a handful of fairly static conversations to move the plot along, and a big boss fight against enemies like Ifrit to round things out. Despite looking closer Final Fantasy VII Remake thanks to certain asset sharing, everything is a little simpler. I feel like the original was originally made to be played in chunks, as opposed to several long sittings.

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Square Enix

I especially notice this in the game’s side missions. Like the original, Crisis core it contains hundreds of optional tasks that are all somewhat similar in nature. Each lasts a few minutes at most and tasks Zack with cutting down several enemies on several small maps surrounded by red barriers. If you try to sit down at your computer and fire off 20 of these at once, you might get cabin fever. Their repetitive nature (I’ve fought bosses like Bahamut multiple times before with no noticeable variation) can make them feel like a complete chore in the wrong context.

However, they click right away when you play the game on a handheld device. Since I was traveling for Thanksgiving last week, I decided to download Crisis core to my Steam Deck and upload your PC save data. Instead of spending long chunks of time with it, I’d pick it up while casually watching TV with my parents, throwing out a few side missions during commercials or the halftime break of a football game. That flow was much more natural, which makes sense considering that portable games like the original were designed for that kind of experience.

It’s not like you really need the power boost that a console like the PS5 will provide here based on my time with it so far. Although a cleaner looking game, it still builds on the more solid nature of the original. Characters generally have a limited set of reusable animations – Zack sure likes crouching – and environments are rarely detailed. The main technical upgrade comes in the form of summoning animations, which give the game a bit more pizzazz, but it’s easy to see how Square Enix managed to run the remake on everything up to the Nintendo Switch (I haven’t tested on that console yet, but I can’t imagine it struggling there while running to a reduced 30 frames per second).

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Ifrit stands tall in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion.Image used with permission of the copyright holder

Regardless of which platform you decide to buy it on, I recommend calibrating your expectations before taking the plunge. Crisis core it still very much has the soul of a portable game, one that works better when you can pick and choose its quick missions instead of grinding them out like a long RPG. I’m looking forward to digging into the next chapters at my own pace while lazing on the couch.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion releases on December 13 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch.

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