Since it was first revealed, one of the most common questions regarding Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is the choice to call it a remaster when it could easily be seen as a remake. The game uses new assets to recreate the original PSP game after all. We were able to interview Crisis Core producer, Mariko Sato, and Creative Director and Character Designer, Tetsuya Nomura and ask them about the game’s status as well as a few other details.
Tetsuya Nomura needs a little introduction. Starting his career at Square as a monster designer for Final Fantasy V and going on to be the director of the Kingdom Hearts series and Final Fantasy VII Remake. Nomura has also acted as the character designer for the original Final Fantasy VII and the original PSP release of Crisis Core, giving him a pretty deep connection to its cast of characters.
Mariko Sato joined Square Enix in 2014 as the project manager for World of Final Fantasy as well as the HD remasters of Final Fantasy VII on Switch, Final Fantasy VIII, and Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition. Here’s what they both had to see about the upcoming Reunion.
Remaster or Remake?
We started the interview by asking if Crisis Core Reunion was a remake or a remaster. According to Nomura, he sees a remake as something that entirely recreates the original story while Crisis Core is still based on “data” from the original game.
“Personally, I have always thought of a “remake” as a recreation of a title using almost none of the original data. In that aspect, while the majority of the data for this title have been newly created, some elements, such as character motion, do reuse data from the original title. Having been involved in a number of “remastered” title releases, though, I can certainly say that this title is much more of a “remake” than any of those were. As it falls between both categories, we decided to use neither of the words in the game’s title”.
So instead of remake or remaster, they chose the word “reunion”. We additionally asked him if there was a reason the prefix “Re” has been used in so many Final Fantasy VII projects. Nomura says this was more or less to show that all the projects were connected to the same universe.
“While there was no specific intention at the beginning of the series to ensure that all titles featured the “Re” prefix, we have inevitably ended up using “Re” words in all the remake project titles when we aimed to hold the meaning of remake. While each title in the trilogy is different, we also wanted to make sure that they could all be abbreviated to “FFVIIR” to suggest the commonalities they share in terms of world and story”.
We should note that it has been confirmed that Crisis Core is canon to Final Fantasy VII Remake. The story of the game will also be unchanged from the original game’s.
The Updated Combat
Square Enix has previously said that while the story of Crisis Core Reunion will be unchanged, the gameplay will be getting an update. Zack’s swordplay will be a mixture of the original Crisis Core’s battle system, the Digital Mind Wave (DMW), and that of The Final Fantasy VII Remake. Producer Mariko Sato told us more about the revamped combat.
“A number of improvements have been made to the battle system, including enabling standard attack combos and introducing shortcuts for the selection of abilities and magic. Also, the Digital Mind Wave (DMW) system has also been revamped, so instead of interrupting the battle to display the effects of the DMW across the entire screen, it now rolls seamlessly in the top left corner. A “skip” function has also been added. Other improvements have also been made to the “hit stop” mechanic as well as adjusting the magic speed for the improvement of feel”.
Gackt is Back
Another surprise of Crisis Core Reunion was that it was confirmed that the popular musician Gackt would be returning to voice the main villain of the game: Genesis Rhapsodos whose face was also modeled in the singer’s likeness. One of our questions was what it was like to work with Gackt again, but according to Nomura, they didn’t really work with Gackt. The game instead uses his pre-recorded lines from the original game.
“All of Genesis’s lines were already fully voiced in the original and therefore, was no need to record any new lines for this title”.
Well, it makes sense. If you’ve got all his lines pre-recorded then there isn’t a need to do it again. Still, it’s cool to see Gackt make a return to the series in some form. In fact, Gackt voicing Genesis again was such a nice surprise that the singer started to trend on Twitter when Reunion was announced.
The Multi-Platform Launch
The final point we were interested in was that Crisis Core Reunion was going to launch on so many different consoles. The game will be appearing not only on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC but also on the Switch. Sato says that it was pretty difficult but they believe that players will be “satisfied” with the final product.
“To be honest, yes, it did pose a number of difficulties. However, every member of the team was fully committed to ensuring that “CRISIS CORE” would reach as many users as possible. After various types of trials and errors, we are confident that we have produced versions for each platform that users will be satisfied with”.
Regardless of what it is, it’s great to see Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII on modern consoles with Reunion. Zack’s adventures and how they led to Cloud’s path made for one of the best RPGs on the PSP, one that deserves to be played by more people brought into the series with FFVII Remake. We wish Mr. Nomura and Ms. Sato the best of luck as they see the world of Gaia Reborn.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion will be available for PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on the 13th of December 2022.