In 1997, Sq. set the gaming panorama on hearth when it launched Ultimate Fantasy 7. Gaming city legend says the deceptive adverts brought on the core JRPG to grow to be essentially the most returned videogame of all time. Nonetheless, given its gross sales numbers and large cultural influence, there’s little question it was a breakout success.
In 2004, the newly-merged Sq. Enix would start increasing the world of Ultimate Fantasy 7 by a film and a number of spin-off video games. The perfect obtained of those video games was the 2007 PSP entry referred to as Disaster Core: Ultimate Fantasy 7 – an action-oriented RPG that serves as a prequel to the unique Ultimate Fantasy 7.
In June 2022, Sq. Enix held a twenty fifth Anniversary celebration of the unique Ultimate Fantasy 7 and revealed Disaster Core: Ultimate Fantasy 7 Reunion – an Unreal Engine 4 remaster of the 2007 sport destined for all present consoles.
The fluorescent-soaked metropolis of Midgar is house to the headquarters of Shinra, a strong organisation with an equally dominant non-public military. Zack Honest is a gifted younger soldier within the military’s SOLDIER elite unit. With assistance from his mentor, Angeal, and revered SOLDIER hero Sephiroth, you play as Zack as he begins investigating latest disappearances of fellow SOLDIER colleagues.
The opening seconds of the intro film scream excessive manufacturing values, and when the preliminary menu display masses up with its stunning music, the care that has gone into this remaster (and the unique sport) is clear.
Alongside remade graphics, fashionable rendering strategies and a thoughtfully rearranged soundtrack from unique composer Takeharu Ishimoto, comes a refresh of the core gameplay expertise to deliver it updated with fashionable sensibilities.
With a linear marketing campaign that lasts round 15 hours, Sq. Enix did nicely to greater than double the play time with non-compulsory “missions” accessible from save factors. You’ll spend a few of your time in hub-like areas that include small side-quests that unlock these missions, however most of them play out the identical as the remainder of the sport does.
The majority of your time is spent in battle corridors that work as both a hyperlink between the hubs or because the entirety of an non-compulsory mission. These may be explored to search out merchandise chests in-between the frequent random battles that can happen. These random battles are the principle a part of the gameplay, and luckily, they’ve extremely satisfying mechanics and responsive management. As you solely play as Zack, the sport goes into element on what magic, assault, particular assault and stat-boosting gear (referred to as Materia in Ultimate Fantasy lingo) Zack can use. By utilizing them, Zack and the Materia will degree up, with extra highly effective variations of every discoverable as the sport goes on. By selecting to discover among the non-compulsory missions, you’ll have the ability to get forward of the issue curve and discover new Materia to make use of and pace up your progress in the principle marketing campaign.
Battles happen in real-time moderately than being flip primarily based, they usually take heavy inspiration from the system that’s utilized in Ultimate Fantasy 7 Remake. Assaults and Materia are assigned to the face buttons, with potions obtainable by a carousel selectable with the ZL and ZR buttons. Enemies can are available waves or in a set quantity and have primary patterns of assault. One of many adjustments on this remaster is the dodge button. Having not performed the unique, I can’t touch upon the distinction, however I can let you know that dodging an incoming assault is gratifying. Swinging Zack’s iconic Buster Sword into an enemy delivers a meaty sensation (particularly when selecting the heavier assault variant) and is one thing you’ll get pleasure from doing repeatedly.
There may be additionally the power to fuse Materia to create new sorts, opening the door to customization and fruitful experimentation. Combine Hearth with Ice and also you get a special elemental, or Hearth with an motion command Materia and create a heavy assault that additionally offers hearth harm.
Lastly, there’s the sport’s distinctive battle characteristic referred to as the Digital Thoughts Wave (DMW). That is principally a slot machine that consistently rolls within the high left-hand nook throughout a struggle. If it lands on three matching icons, you’re going to get a standing enhance or a particular assault associated to the icon. As you full extra missions and progress within the story, extra characters, summons and Materia might be added to the DMW. It’s an odd addition, because the DMW results are random, which means it will possibly’t be relied upon throughout a struggle. On the similar time, when it does offer you a bonus, you recognize its presence.
The gameplay loop is addictive in essentially the most pleasurable method, and because it was initially designed for the PSP, the sport is custom-made for brief bursts of transportable play. Extra so than different third get together efforts, this makes enjoying Disaster Core uniquely suited to the Swap. I misplaced days going by most of the bite-sized missions and at all times felt a way of development on the finish of every one.
Fortunately, the technical presentation of Reunion is likely one of the finest to be discovered on Swap too – so long as you’ll be able to abdomen Unreal Engine 4’s picture reconstruction strategies, that’s. My private bugbear of Temporal Anti-Aliasing Ghosting is seen all through, and the decision in handheld can drop to SD ranges. That mentioned, the picture has a sharpness to it that’s uncommon for UE4, the lighting is superb, the graphical belongings are excellent, and the framerate is a stable 30fps with no noticeable drops even within the warmth of essentially the most intense battles. The areas in Reunion are much more constrained than those present in FF7 Remake, however they do examine favorably, and a few locales are even current in each. This does inevitably lead me to dreaming of a port of Remake to Swap, regardless of how unlikely that’s.
The ten-chapter story that ties the complete expertise collectively may be very melodramatic. Absurdly so at occasions, even for Ultimate Fantasy. It’s additionally complicated, with many seemingly aimless storylines deserted partway by, however relaxation assured that revelations close to the tip tie issues collectively and apparently forgotten mysteries resolve properly.
The characters in Disaster Core are at all times pleasurable to spend time with. No matter the place you’re within the gameplay loop, you’re by no means removed from an electronic mail, cut-scene or little bit of banter that can flesh out the characters and the world. The writing may be uneven, however Zack is continuously charming and humorous. Supporting characters worm their method into your coronary heart too, with just a few returning characters from Ultimate Fantasy 7 going by their origin tales, together with characters created particularly for Disaster Core. Zack’s finest good friend Kunsel is a 2nd Class SOLDIER who communicates by way of telephone and electronic mail for the entire sport. The blossoming friendship is heartwarmingly written and avoids feeling pressured or rushed. Every time an alert got here up saying I had an electronic mail from Kunsel, I smiled and seemed ahead to studying it. Whilst I kind this, I hope Kunsel is comfortable and secure!
The emails come from many various individuals and organisations, however the way in which all of them are available and the way their content material displays the development you make do nicely to anchor you to a sense of participation in an ongoing world.
Reunion involves us marketed as a Remaster, but it surely’s a lot extra. There are high quality of life enhancements, gameplay adjustments, a complete and full graphical overhaul and all-new voiced dialogue.
The precise sport itself occupies that AA house that has been left unfulfilled for just a few years, full with nice manufacturing and tech behind it, however with out the funding of a AAA launch like Ultimate Fantasy 7 Remake. It additionally harkens again to a time when massive online game IPs might nonetheless be designed with transportable play at their coronary heart, with chunk sized mission buildings and a marketing campaign that doesn’t count on hours of your time in a single sitting.
I loved all of my time with the expertly-designed battle system and the participating forged of characters, however rolled my eyes barely on the sometimes clunky storytelling and dialogue selections. Should you can cope with these minor gripes (and the TAA!), then there’s quite a bit to like on this bundle – one which’s core design could even be skilled finest on the Swap.