Real Talk – Final Fantasy VII Remake

In case you missed it, Final Fantasy VII is getting the remake treatment.

Fans have been clamoring and begging Square for this damn remake for nearly a decade. The news came out during the Sony E3 press conference as Adam Boyes revealed the trailer. As expected fans went mad, the internet blew up with nostalgic tears, it was like everyone Final Fantasy fan collectively won the lottery. Get HYPE!

its-happening

Wait a sec, should we get hype?

My personal opinion: No. I think hyping this remake could potentially lead to disappointment. Allow me to explain my reasoning. It’s been 10 years since Sony trolled everyone with the PS3 Final Fantasy 7 tech demo. I believe this tech demo is the primary culprit for getting peoples’ hopes up for a remake, the desire has been insatiable since. It’s almost been 20 years since FF7 released on the original Playstation. Square Enix is a much different company now with a different design philosophy and different standards. In the 90s, Square could do NO WRONG. They were on fire releasing countless RPG classics that have become timeless to many fans. For brevity let’s take a look at the shorthand list.

  • 1992 – Final Fantasy V
  • 1993 – Secret of Mana
  • 1994 – Final Fantasy VI
  • 1995 – Chrono Trigger
  • 1996 – Super Mario RPG (developer)
  • 1997 – Final Fantasy VII AND Final Fantasy Tactics
  • 1998 – Xenogears
  • 1999 – Final Fantasy VIII
  • 2000 – Final Fantasy IX
  • 2001 – Final Fantasy X
What Square considers their golden age.

What Square considers their golden age.

Many would argue this time frame was the golden age of Square. Relentlessly releasing titles that were critically acclaimed and beloved by fans. In my opinion things started to slump a bit after this point, then Square would merge with Enix in 2003. Now let’s see what they brought to the table in the last 10 years or so:

  • 2003 – Final Fantasy X-2
  • 2004 – Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
  • 2005 – Kingdom Hearts II
  • 2006 – Final Fantasy XII
  • 2007 – Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
  • 2008 – The Last Remnant
  • 2009 – Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
  • 2010 – Final Fantasy XIII
  • 2011 –  Final Fantasy XIII-2
  • 2012 – Bravely Default (published)
  • 2013 – Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
  • 2014 – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Comparing these lists, I have less faith in Square Enix as the last decade has transpired. Unpopular opinion coming: As an old ass man, I think I missed the boat on being a Kingdom Hearts fan. The story seemed disjointed, needlessly melodramatic, and reliant on cameos (which in all honesty is the only draw to the game). I always thought the battle mechanics were clunky and lacked real strategy.

FF12 grew on me, but took some adjusting initially, looking back it is probably my favorite title released by Square Enix in the last decade. I couldn’t get into FF13, I probably got 20 hours into it before quitting what seemed to be a never ending tutorial, it didn’t help that I disliked all of the characters. I haven’t started the Dragon Quest series yet, which I hear is phenomenal. Bravely Default was a return to a more classic battle system, which I LOVE, although the last few chapters are tedious and dare I say.. LAZY… Last but not least, FF14 A Realm Reborn had an embarrassing release which the company later apologized for. I personally never got into it, since it was an MMO.

How many of the people who worked on FF13 are working on this remake?

What will they change?

“The reunion at hand may bring joy, it may bring fear…”

I can’t help but think the narrator of this trailer is directly addressing us the audience preparing us for changes to come.  This is a REMAKE not a Re-MASTER. So there will be changes to story, gameplay, and the aesthetic of the game. Let’s look at what they have given us so far:

 Aesthetic and Style:

 

The trailer looks beautiful, I will fully admit. A cleaned up next gen Midgar:

  • The Train system looks so modern and populated.
  • The upper city clean and industrious.
  • The lower slums look like shanty towns and a nice inclusion with the funny looking children’s slide.
  • The Mako reactor  and Shinra soldiers are in modern gen glory. The soldiers are not clumps of blue polygons.
  • Barrett and Cloud walking through the sector 7 slums resembling their look from Advent Children.

How much of an influence will the aesthetic of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children have on this remake? The music used in the trailer is from the Advent Children soundtrack. My early impression that the remake will be fully envisioned using the style of Advent Children. Of all the problems I had with Advent Children, the aesthetic and look were not among those issues. I feel like the updated graphics can help convey certain things that were lost in the original. I love how crowded the city is in the trailer, it looks so full of life and activity.

Story and Characters:

How much will they change with the story and characters? Somethings that worked in the cartoony polygon FF7 will not fly in the modern gen remake. Will Cloud still have to fetch a list of women’s garments to infiltrate Don Corneo’s brothel? Will there still be scenes that allude to Cloud having sex with men in a bath house? I can’t see that flying over too well with the social justice crowd…

Deviantart by: Pauli-Ta

Deviantart by: Pauli-Ta

According to Final Fantasy VII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura there won’t be any new characters. How about the existing ones? Will changes be made to beloved characters to make them less edgy or more sympathetic? Cait Sith already looked ridiculous in 1997, he will look even more out-of-place in 2017, will they change his look? What types of stories will they add or supplement? Will they leave it open for multiple sequels like FF13? If these characters are given full voice work, will the voice actors match the voices in your head after 20 years? These are all potential areas that could be affected by the remake.

I didn’t love Advent Children. I thought the fight scenes were fun to watch, it was pretty melodramatic, and I didn’t care for the direction they took the story. Overall it was something I didn’t consider canon. So I’m hoping that we don’t have too much melodramatic hyper-rhetorical philosophy shoved into the remake. I’m hoping a lot of the tone, humor, and dialog is kept from the original. I know they won’t keep it all, but perhaps they will keep most of it and add more stuff. What if they took that annoying kid Denzel from Advent Children and made him a more prominent character?

Fuck that kid

Fuck that kid

Will the politically correct culture and SJW ring leaders effect what elements get left in the past? Will Cid still be constantly smoking? Will he still mistreat his female assistant? Will Don Corneo and his mansion still be populated with drooling misogynistic assholes? I would like to think these things still make it to the cut of the remake… but you never know these days.

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Gameplay:

How about the gameplay? Will they touch the sacred Materia system? Will they tinker with the turn-based combat? Will random encounters be replaced with avoidable encounters? Will the look and proportions of the world map be altered? Will your party members run behind you, or will they do that magic trick where they walk into your body and assimilate into you? Will the game feel more expansive, or will it feel like a long hallway (like FF13)? Will the mini-games be redone or omitted completely (Snowboarding, submarine, Golden saucer)?

final-fantasy-vii-mini-game

The tedious basketball game SUPER DUNK!

 

Approach with Managed Expectations

My advice is to be a pessimist for the next few years until this puppy comes out.

Best case scenario: The game is incredibly brilliant and you are pleasantly surprised.

Worst case scenario: You can tell your friends “I told you so”.

I’ve been a Square fan since the early 90s, some of my greatest memories in gaming were with Square titles such as Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, or Final Fantasy VII. My inner child wants this remake to be outstanding so that I can let out manly tears in the shadows of my room when Aeris dies in 1080P, so I can watch the Nibelheim story with my jaw open, and I can laugh when Cid is cursing his ass off. Seeing the announcement of this Remake actually gave me a tingle in my old withered husk of a heart; that scares me and delights me at the same time. So that is my take on the remake situation, let me know what you think in the comments below.

Follow me on twitter: @mcballz

Also check out my “Schlock Casting of Final Fantasy 7”

We also had a Final Fantasy discussion a few years back which was a lot of fun.

One Comment

  1. […] Overall this trailer was pleasant to me and regardless of the battle system I will be playing this game when it is released. For my thoughts on the previous FF7 Remake Trailer  CLICK HERE […]

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