Monday, June 15, 2015

[E3] I Don't Want a Straight-Up Remake of Final Fantasy VII

So one of the biggest jaw-dropping, pant-shitting moments of E3 so far has been Sony's announcement that an FF7 remake is finally on the way. Here's the trailer from YouTube if you haven't seen it:

Chills, right? The right music, the right visuals, the right levels of suspense, and the reveal at the end make the child inside me scream in joy and weep in anticipation. FF7 was released over 18 years ago. 18! There are adults out there who are younger than this game.

The thing that made FF7 for me was the music, the characters, and the story. To be brutally honest, the gameplay is kinda dull. It's very classic Squaresoft JRPG, and don't get me wrong, I actually rather enjoyed the trappings of the Materia system. Hell, I managed to nail Ruby and Emerald Weapons to the floor with Cloud sporting 12 fully leveled Counter Attack Materia, along with a couple HP Plus and Cover, which meant anytime someone attacked, Cloud would counter for 12x9999ish damage. I broke that system inside-out.

But the system is quite simple. Combat is mostly just holding down the Confirm button and letting your party auto-attack its way to victory. Swapping out Materia sets was annoying. Having a 200 Materia limit was archaic. Aside from gysahl greens, elixirs, and maybe an ether or two, your inventory was largely ignorable.

I think the game has some solid underpinnings, but the execution of combat just wasn't that great or exciting to be perfectly frank. FFX's combat system is a bajillion times more engaging and complex than FF7.

So here's my hope: that Square Enix takes a few liberties. Don't screw with the characters or the story, aside from redoing the translation (Final Fantasy Tactics shows a redone translation can heighten the game story from Great to Magnificent). Make the art all pretty, fully 3D zones to explore rather than the pre-painted areas (though even FFXIII had some areas that may as well have been hand-painted, so perhaps they won't change that too much).

But combat? Jazz it up. Modernize it. The sacred cow of FF7's combat in my opinion is the Materia system. Keep it, expand upon it, modify it. Don't just leave it as is.

We see remake upon remake, but what I want from FF7 isn't just a remake, but a re-imagining from a game design perspective. I think there's just so much that can be done here, and it'd be a shame to just deliver the exact same game with better art.
#FF7, #E3


  1. All I know is the second I saw that, I screamed so loud that my neighbors came running outside. I do not regret it.

    1. Ahahahaha, I was at a restaurant when the announcement came out and I nearly choked on my burger!

  2. Maybe you are right, but I don't trust Square Enix to change any thing, so I'd rather it stays 100% the same but prettier.

  3. While FF7 isn't my favorite game in the series (FF4 takes that award), I both send my congrats and best hopes for a good remake of this game... because I know it means a lot to a lot of people. I'm also sending all my hopes that S/E does it right... and if they use some creative liberties, they don't mess it up.

    I'm still very sore about what they did with the FF4 remake(s) and how they decided 17 years or so after the original to screw with the canon by adding on a very terribly written sequel (which I refuse to play). So, as an oldskooler who has been through this with my favorite game in the series, I sincerely hope S/E has learned their lesson and recognizes how important it is to stay as true to the original as possible.

    It's been a loooong time since I've played FF7, but I'd give it another go if this comes to PC and it does the original justice!

  4. It was a little dull, I'll agree. An upgrade of the combat heart would be appreciated.

    ...and can we please excise the stupid Don Corneo/Honeybee nonsense?