There Final Fantasy VII compilation it is always a rather sensitive topic of discussion among the fanbase. On the one hand we have all grown up a bit with his stories and characters, while on the other … well, let’s just say that there are some narrative choices that it is nothing short of an understatement to define “questionable”.
Whether you hate it or love it, if nothing else, almost everyone agrees that Crisis Core is its most successful “piece”. This action RPG for PSP with Tabata at the reins, in fact, is still considered a solid product, further enhanced by the qualities of its protagonist: that Zack Fair that represents a fundamental piece of all Final Fantasy VII.
But why is Zack so popular? And what are the characteristics that make it a very welcome return to Final Fantasy mythology? Well, today we try to explain it to you in general terms, also taking an in-depth look at the trailer for Crisis Core Final Fantasy 7 – Reunion, the graphic remake recently unveiled during the celebratory stream for the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII. Also because we suspect that behind this return there is not only the desire to revive a very appreciated game …
One sane man in a world of fools
Crisis Core is, to all intents and purposes, a Final Fantasy VII prequel centered on the character of Zack, which expands the narrative background of that title by going deeper into the organization of the Soldiers and putting a decent list of characters into the mix, including an antagonist forced into the original lore named Genesis Rhapsodos, modeled on the features of the well-known Japanese singer Gackt.
Genesis he speaks mostly by quoting a poem named Loveless, has exceptional powers and is a villain (to put it in the most delicate way possible) “quite divisive”. He is, if nothing else, a perfect counterbalance to Zack, given that Crisis Core already at the time had the ability to make the young Soldier look like the only sane person in a world of madmen (or complete idiots). Perhaps this is also why he is so popular today: the boy is the centerpiece of the plot of Crisis Core, and his bond with Final Fantasy VII and its protagonists is extraordinarily strong. Sure, in Tabata’s game (although there was a Nojima absolutely not in great shape at the writing) the focus on him is at the expense of other iconic characters (mostly Aerith, terribly featured here), but at least in the complex represents a more than worthy driving force to continue.
Considering that in the trailer the original script appeared to be followed without any variation, we suspect that Crisis Core has no significant changes to the story or the dialogue. However, there could be some rehashes, because in all sincerity we believe that his return is part of a bigger plan, in some ways anticipated by Tetsuya Nomura with his latest statements on Twitter. In fact, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth seems to want to detach itself badly from the original to propose a different narrative line and, if it gives us so much, the white feather that appears in the trailer is a clue for the return of Angeal (another Crisis Core character). We would not be surprised at all, since the intention had already seemed evident in Part 1, if there was one more compilation integration in the basic campaign with Rebirth, and this involved the return of characters like Genesis or Angeal together with Zack in the “remake” in three parts. Seen in this way, the graphic remake of Crisis Core would make more sense just for the desire to put the new fanbase on par with the events and characters belonging to the compilation to facilitate the understanding of the events. Being the tendency to spread information elsewhere and recover it with collections and remasters, however, a constant of Nomura and of him also for Kingdom Hearts, we are quite convinced that even here the plan is more or less this.
Do we appreciate it? No, indeed we consider it very questionable even in the series with Sora as protagonist, but a further clue lies in the Crisis Core remake quality. The primary character models are in fact completely redone, with a quality level that goes well with Final Fantasy VII Remake. Much less significant, on the other hand, is the work done on the maps (outside the initial one, where the assets are taken into account by Final Fantasy VII Part 1) and on certain enemies, where the graphic upgrade seems to be more marginal and mainly linked to brand new textures. Overall, however, it is far from superficial work and it seems to us to be made to become an integral part of the “new mythology” of VII that the current team is creating.
From the point of view of the gameplayinstead, the title seems to follow almost identical systems. It is still a real-time action RPG. We believe it will be significantly modernized in combat (especially in basic maneuvers), yet the matter system of the original is certainly intact and is still accompanied by that of the “slot machine”: a curious random system that offers bonuses or the ability to perform some devastating limit when three of the same figures line up during a fight. These are not extraordinarily intuitive mechanics, but they were not bad at the time, the random elements could be made more adjustable, and we believe that by rejuvenating some elements Crisis Core remains very enjoyable even today.
To make us turn up our noses, in truth, it was the dubbing in Englishwhich seemed to us much more robotic and unnatural than what we saw in the excellent Remake Part 1. It could be an operation in general more hasty and less accurate than that title, but it would be a shame if Square’s plan was actually better integrate Crisis Core and its events with Final Fantasy VII.
Overall, however, it is an appreciable return, which will allow many to face a title of excellent quality. Part of us would have preferred to leave Gackt at his concerts rather than see him in the Final Fantasy VII lore, but evidently the blood sacrifices to the pagan gods are no longer as effective as they once were. We will make a reason.
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