Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – The Perfect Portable Experience


Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is set to release soon, and you might be wondering which platform to purchase it on. With availability on PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X, and more, each option brings its own advantages. While a PS5 or Xbox Series X copy promises a smooth and reliable experience, a PC copy allows for ultra-high frame rates. However, after playing through the first three chapters of the action-RPG, I have a recommendation: prioritize portability over power.

Why Choose Portability

Crisis Core may seem like a flashy remake, but it still maintains the essence of the original PlayStation Portable game that launched in 2007. As a result, devices like the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch are better suited to capture its design philosophies. The game’s pick-up-and-put-down nature resonates more when you can take it on the go, rather than being tied to a TV.

Embracing the Portable Experience

If you weren’t aware of Crisis Core’s PSP origins, it becomes evident when playing the remake. While Square Enix has added modern touches to align it with Final Fantasy VII Remake, the game remains a fresh coat of paint on the classic structure. The original framework remains largely untouched, with improvements focused on smoother combat and a cleaner UI.

The mission structure exemplifies the handheld origins of Crisis Core. Main quests are bite-sized, offering compact maps with only a few side routes to explore. Linear traversal, static conversations, and boss battles like Ifrit provide a straightforward experience. Despite visual similarities to Final Fantasy VII Remake, Crisis Core thrives on a simpler approach. The original game was designed for shorter play sessions, rather than long stretches in one sitting.

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Zack slashes an enemy in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion.
Image courtesy of Square Enix

The side missions in Crisis Core further emphasize its handheld nature. Like the original, the game features numerous optional quests that follow a similar formula. Each quest takes just a few minutes and tasks the protagonist, Zack, with defeating enemies on small maps enclosed by red barriers. Attempting to complete multiple missions in one sitting on a PC may lead to restlessness. The repetitive nature of these missions, such as encountering multiple bosses like Bahamut without notable variations, can make them feel like a chore in the wrong context.

However, when playing on a handheld device, these missions immediately click. During my Thanksgiving trip, I decided to download Crisis Core on my Steam Deck and transfer my PC save data. Instead of investing long periods of time, I played casually while watching TV with my parents. During commercials or halftime breaks of football games, I easily completed a few side missions. This natural flow aligns perfectly with the experience portable games were designed to deliver.

Power Boost Is Not Essential

Considering my time with the game so far, you don’t necessarily need the power boost that consoles like the PS5 offer. While the visual enhancements make the game look cleaner, it still retains the original’s stiffness. Characters have a limited set of animations that are often reused, and environments lack intricate details. The most notable technical upgrade comes in the form of summon animations, which add a touch of flair. Square Enix optimized the remake to run on various platforms, including the Nintendo Switch (although it hasn’t been personally tested) at a reduced 30 frames per second.

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

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Regardless of the platform you choose, it’s crucial to set realistic expectations before diving into Crisis Core. It remains true to its portable game roots, thriving when played in short bursts rather than grinding it out like a lengthy RPG. I’m personally excited to continue exploring the game’s next chapters at my own pace, comfortably lounging on my couch.

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

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