Square Enix has for years (many years even!) An authentic gold mine hidden in its pocket, in the form of an HD re-launch of Final Fantasy VII, the most popular and most loved game in the studio's famous gaming saga. We are talking about a title that originally came out for PS1 in 1997, had some spin-offs, and was even entitled to some films to advance the story a little. (In my opinion, FF VII: Advent Children is just brutal!)
Very briefly, Final Fantasy VII is remembered as one of the best games ever! That being the main reason why Square Enix has never been in a hurry to launch a remaster or remake. The studio wanted to wait to release the perfect game! But did he succeed?
(Analysis) Final Fantasy VII Remake – Finally back to Midgar!
As I said above, launching a Remake of a super popular game doesn't always go well. Just look at the recent Resident Evil 3 Remake, which in our opinion is an excellent game on the part of Capcom. It is a title that did not fall in favor of the fiercest fans of the original game, having been the target of some serious hate on social networks. Something perhaps a little unfair to the studio and the team behind the project, but completely normal in the world of ‘classics’. That's basically why you have to be careful when deciding to move in this world.
However, this Final Fantasy VII Remake is not just a facelift!
Square Enix didn't just do a face-lift and put silicone on its maiden. The studio didn't just decide to take the game into the world of High Definition graphics. It also changed the gameplay of the characters we love so much. In short, the new game expands and re-imagines the original game, but without ever losing its essence, which is undeniably the most important.
In fact, just the beginning of the game (mission in which Cloud Strife joins the environmental activists Avalanche to blow up a Mako reactor), it seems to be 100% equal to the original game. Even so, so far, it is obvious that the entire first part serves to introduce players to the new combat system. (The big risky bet on this game)
A system that at first made me a little uneasy, since it is so different from what the original game offered (turn-based combat), but that quickly won me over, and actually brings a new dynamic to everything we do during the many fights, whether be they miserable mice, or the famous bosses. Still, we still have a little bit of the shift mode present, in the form of bars that will load as we fight. Bars that will be needed to use special abilities, spells made possible by the Materia equipped in our equipment, or items to restore HP, MP and resurrect teammates.
The original story is here, but in a slightly different way! And maybe even better told than in the original game
It is undeniable that the story of Final Fantasy VII was what led this game to success. So, changing this aspect a lot could result in an unprecedented mistake on the part of the studio.
Still, Square Enix decided to take a little risk, expanding the famous plot even further. Thus, the small sequences of the original game in which it was only necessary to walk from one scenario to another, now have a completely different feel, almost as if it were a quest, with a few more crumbs of history appearing along the way.
In addition, in a very curious way, the 1997 story that already touched the souls of people concerned with the environment, remains very current. Probably even more up-to-date and with more impact than before, which is certainly super interesting, and shows how well the game was designed and written over 20 years ago.
Of course, some more purist fans may not find much of a joke to the added story, wanting an experience closer to the original. However, I have to say that if you happen to be a fan of FF VII, the whole story that is presented to us is always welcome! Especially if it makes sense and helps us to understand the theme of the game even better, which is the case in this remake! Everything is well fitted, like a gigantic castle made of small legos.
Final Fantasy VII Remake: The team and combat
Just like in the original game, as we progress through history, we are bringing more and more allies to our team. Something that will improve the game experience even more, since each new character will have the great mission of complementing the combat style of Cloud.
We see this right from the first mission, in which Barret (strikes from the distance with a kind of machine-gun hand), helps us dispatch several flying targets or too far out of Cloud's reach. Later on we also have Tifa, who has an even closer game style than our hero, and Aerith, a kind of mage who attacks or helps from a distance. Learning how to use all the characters at the same time is essential for success in the game. (Just like the original!)
Final Fantasy VII Remake: The graphics
The first impact it will have is brutal, with cinematics and beautiful scenery, as well as extremely well detailed models. (Where I have to highlight Cloud and Sephirot, who are just brutal! And who present us at the very beginning of the adventure with some super detailed cinematics, capable of taking any fan of the series to a ‘nerdgasm’.)
However, as soon as we entered Undercity, and we started trying to make a name for ourselves as a mercenary, it is easy to notice that the textures of the houses and stores are a little under the expected, which is strange … Quite strange indeed! Since the frames, bottles, and other items seem to be taken from a PS1 or PS2 game … But it is certainly something that will not have much impact on the gameplay, especially when the models of the characters and enemies are super detailed and the fights are fluid.
Still, I would like an update for these parts, since it is something that makes little sense to see on a PS4 or PS4 Pro. (Is it the limit of the hardware of the current generation? Hmm…)
Final Fantasy VII Remake: Conclusion
In short and in conclusion, FF VII Remake takes the original game and takes it to new heights! The game is beautiful, the gameplay is modern and able to grab us, without ever losing track of what was the classic 1997 experience.
In addition, if you were upset by the fact that Square opted for episodic releases, that is, that it decided to separate the original game into several 'Chapters', you need to be calm… We are talking about almost 30 hours of content in this Chapter 1! Of course, I also believe a little in the conspiracy theories, which point to the studio's greed … After all, as I said above, Final Fantasy VII is one of Square Enix's biggest gold mines. Still, the truth is that FF VII is really a game too extensive to fit (with quality) in a single release. To be aware, the recently released Resident Evil 3 only offers 8 ~ 10 hours of gameplay in comparison.
In short, FF VII is surely one of the games of the year, being impossible not to recommend!
Rating: 9.5 / 10 – Recommended!
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Since I was very young I became interested in computers and technology in general, I had my first PC at 10 and at 15 I built my first tower, since then I never stopped. Whatever technology is, I'm in the front row to find out more.