Final Fantasy VII Remake- Square Enix
Nickname- “Everything I Imagined”
This nickname is pretty straightforward- the game is everything we all imagined as a kid. While playing through a game as old as the original, you often had to imagine a lot due to hardware limitations. Well, the new Final Fantasy VII Remake game takes all of the content you had to imagine in your head, and finally makes it a reality with the PS4’s much more powerful graphical capabilities.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is a remade version of the original Final Fantasy VII game and part 1 of a 3 part planned remake series. The game features the protagonist Cloud Strife as he traverses the land of Midgar, taking on various jobs as a mercenary for hire.
Cloud eventually gets attached to a group that calls themselves Avalanche- an eco-terrorist organization looking to save the planet from the evil Shinra corporation from sucking the planet dry of all its’ resources.
Where the original featured the whole world, this game features the first part of it- taking place solely in Midgar and expanding upon the areas you can explore that the original glossed over due to limitations of hardware at the time. This remake turns Midgar into an expanded and fully explorable world that the player can interact with.
The gameplay is where this game really shines. With a newly revamped combat system, the game really engages the player in every situation and makes them really experience the tension of each moment first-hand.
The original Final Fantasy VII was a turn-based RPG, meaning that the player would take turns with the enemy team and choose different fighting moves to use on each foe. Modern gaming has taken a step away from this style and tried to modify that formula to be more exciting for the player. Games like Persona 5 do this by adding button mapping to different battle options and adding random events that can happen in-battle. Final Fantasy VII Remake takes a very different approach to this and totally overhauls the combat system. Square Enix has modified the fighting so that the player is always in control of whichever party member they choose and is free to attack the enemy however they want, and dodge whenever they are able. Instead of totally doing away with the turn based aspects of the Final Fantasy series and the original game however, Square Enix has also added the ATB gauge, which will slowly fill up as the battle progresses. Landing hits on enemies will fill this gauge faster as well. Once the gauge is full the player is able to call upon more traditional turn-based moves to use in combat such as Fire or Ice magic whenever they need to.
Cloud Strife is an interesting character to say the least. Cloud is a mercenary for hire and it definitely shows. You pay the man or you don’t get his services, simple as that. There are times where Cloud’s own morality prevents him from charging certain people or taking on certain missions- but the guy is great at what he does that’s for sure!
Tifa Lockhart is a fist-fighter and a member of Avalanche. She is kind hearted and will go out of her way, and Cloud’s, to help those in need. Acting as a potential love interest, her and Cloud share a similar upbringing and have a lot of history together. She also runs the Bar called Seventh Heaven in the Sector 7 Slums.
Barret Wallace is the badass of the main cast and serves as the guy who’s always on mission. Barret HATES Shinra and will do anything to stop their planet-destroying exploits. Barret is also the father of a sweet little girl names Marlene, who means the world to him. Oh and he has a gun for a hand, what more could you ask for?
Aerith Gainsborough is the sweetheart member of the bunch and not always concentrated on the immediate threat. Aerith boasts a very peaceful nature and is very in tune with the world around her. Aerith strikes us as the kind of person who wouldn’t hurt a fly unless she had to. Aerith is also someone Cloud has shown an interest in- depending on the player’s choices throughout the story.
Reno is a member of the Turks, a division of Shinra similar to Men In Black, and one serious badass you do not want to mess with. Reno often fights with a security baton which has been modified by Shinra to augment its offensive power. Reno does not really seem to care much for his safety if angered enough and will pursue his target until the very end.
Rude is another member of the Turks and another serious badass. Rude is much more level-headed than Reno and often fights using only his fists. Rude is actually a pretty nice guy, despite what his work has him do, and if he is not ordered to do something bad, he will usually not do it. That being said, if he is ordered to, he will carry out any mission without hesitation.
Tseng is a baaaaaad dude. We don’t really get to see too much of him in this game but we definitely will in the coming installments. Tseng is an evil dude plain and simple. He will always carry out his mission and go the extra mile to humiliate his enemies and make sure they have to hope of ever coming back from their loss. Tseng is ruthless and extremely dangerous.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is a great game for sure, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention some of its shortcomings. Despite being a very detailed and fast paced action game, there are times where the action will grind to a screeching halt. This comes in 2 main forms, side-quests and load-screens.
The typical formula for this game seems to be that you complete an intense and climactic story segment, and then find yourself all of a sudden running around town finding missing cats. While this can be fun in small doses, it becomes a serious chore really fast especially since the maps themselves are based off of an old game. That means that you’re running down a lot of hallways that only ever lead to another boss fight and that makes sidequests really uninteresting, really quick.
The second shortcoming worth mentioning also involves slow pacing but in the form of load screens. While this game basically has no load screens to speak of, it has a lot of forced slow-walking down narrow pathways.
Typically this is done to hide a new area from loading, while it’s being loaded. While this is ok in small doses, it can be a KILLER when you’re chasing something down in an intense action sequence, only to be halted by a wall you need to shimmy past. Modern games shouldn’t need to slow down this frequently- just look at The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Overall Final Fantasy VII Remake is a fun game. It has a heavily engaging story that will keep you entertained throughout and takes place in an interesting steampunk-esque and futuristic setting. Though the game struggles with pacing from time to time- it is definitely worth playing and we highly recommend you pick up a copy.
This game is available exclusively on Playstation 4