Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
A remake of Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is the new story in the Final Fantasy VII remake project, a reimagining of the iconic original game into three standalone titles by its original creators. In this game, players will enjoy various new elements as the story unfolds, culminating in the midpoint from the original Final Fantasy VII.
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This review contains spoilers
- The Zack prologue is an absolutely wild narrative gauntlet to throw down, fracturing the timeline much more than the last game's 'we don't have to be beholden to the original' ending implied.
- That would seem to undercut the drama of the original story beats being re-enacted, but so far (I'm about to get a chocobo) it's managed to continually surprise by accelerating certain elements of the original. Tifa confronts Cloud about their mutually exclusive memories the same night he tells his story, and Cloud goes on a date (with Aerith) in the first town outside Midgar.
- The flashback, and it being used as the game's demo, is very similar to the opening of FFXVI. That game was able to sell a lot of it thanks to Ben Starr's committed performance. I've not been as big a fan of how Cloud and Sephiroth have been directed in these games, as an extension of Advent Children, but hearing Cloud fully losing it with Sephiroth really justifies his aloof deliveries elsewhere.
- The 10:1 scale model of remake:original in both story and geography basically means there's no way they could remake the full original with only one more game to go, so I wonder if there will be more composite storytelling.
- Kalm's Renaissance European design feels like an FFIX remake we'll never get outside of dedicated fan projects.
- Ditto the innkeeper distracting the guards while you climb over and past them, an identical echo of a moment in FFVI.
- Love the context-sensitive overworld music, switching between exploration and battle on the fly.
- This might be the balance in map size that the series, at least in its single-player entries, has struggled with ever since they went more or less fully 3D with representative graphics. Big enough to feel like a world to explore (FFXVI felt like it took place on an island rather than a continent), but not so big that there isn't a ton of empty space and dead time spent traversing it (I bounced off XII twice on PS2 because its huge spaces are only tolerable at 4x speed).
FF7R is the perfection of the classic ATB system. It has the most balanced combat system ever; end game utilizes abilities & spells from early on even on hard mode.
I'll die on the hill that FF7R has the best modern FF combat systems by a wide margin and should serve as the basis for future titles.