Now I'm horny for Cloud like everyone else in this game.
Zack Fair > Cloud
Held back by some frustrating design choices related to difficulty(or the lack of it, at times) in enemy encounters.
Pacing was also a downside.
Final Fantasy VII Remake has fresh things to say about the nature of remakes in a medium that is increasingly flooded with them but is unfortunately retrograde in more ways than one, resulting in a mixed experience.
The fact that Final Fantasy VII Remake (hereafter FF7R) exists and is as good as it is is a small miracle, given the notorious development hell of Final Fantasy XV and the mixed bag that was Kingdom Hearts III. Many fans desired but might have been afraid to expect a competent modernization of one of the most beloved games of all time. For many, FF7R did everything it had to do—namely, put a fresh coat of paint on the opening hours of the 1997 classic. The new action RPG combat system is one of the best Square Enix has produced since Kingdom Hearts II and is a great iteration on the original game's Active Time Battle system (which, for the diehards, is included here, though I have not tried it out myself to see how it compares to the original). There are some expansions of certain areas, most notably Wall Market, that work really well and help to justify the extended runtime the game gives to Midgar.
The graphical updates are a bit uneven, unfortunately. Cloud's character model looks ready to be reused in FF7R's sequel on the PS5. Other named models are generally good, and the character design choices for these folks basically all hit. For the most part, however, NPCs are a bit uncanny when they aren't outright lazy. Lips flap across stationary teeth in one too many places for comfort, and body types and faces are reused like a game from much earlier than 2020. The most egregious offenders in the graphics department are the numerous textures that bafflingly just plain didn't load upon release, including ones you're guaranteed to see very early on such as Cloud's apartment door. I am not sure if they've fixed these bugs in the intervening months, but they dampened the experience somewhat.
Where the game suffers most, though, is in its vision of what expansion is. For every Wall Market—where Cloud gets to participate in Yakuza-lite traversal and minigames and sidequests are at least entertaining for the characters and situations if not the gameplay—there is a quest hub that just wants you to run through old MMO filler sidequests. For every Shinra Tower—where you get to experience the lore of the Final Fantasy VII universe in an all-new way—there is a Train Graveyard, where a somewhat charming traversal section in the original is padded out to be hours long. FF7R genuinely deepens the experience of the Final Fantasy VII mythos in more ways than one, but it does seem like the twin goals of having a proper-length AAA RPG and focusing exclusively on Midgar led to a great amount of redundancy and wheel-spinning. For the amount of sidequests there are, it's doubly troubling that the quality is so low. There's really only a handful in each of the few quest hubs, and if this is the best Square Enix can offer from what ostensibly would have been a larger crop that got cut down, it's worrisome what we'll be doing in future installments in the series.
The most controversial part of the game, of course, is the ending and what it reveals about an ongoing story element that players of the original will note is decidedly out-of-place—cloaked figures called Whispers that seem to intervene in moments of potential digression from the plotline of the original. In the end, it is revealed that these creatures are guardians of the original timeline of Final Fantasy VII, in which Aerith dies, Sephiroth summons Meteor, and Holy saves the world, potentially at the expense of humanity depending on your view of the original game's ending. At the end of the game, Cloud, Barrett, Tifa, and Aerith march forward against Sephiroth, destroying the Whispers and apparently unshackling the world of FF7R from the original game's chronology. Sephiroth ominously shows Cloud a potential future that he wishes to work to avert. The most shocking scene for longstanding fans of the game (and most confusing for neophytes) is the reveal that in some timeline somewhere, Zack has survived the battle in which he died in the original chronology and is marching arm-in-arm with that universe's Cloud towards Midgar.
It's all very vague, and fan theories are numerous about which characters are clued into this metaphysical catastrophe, potentially because of insight from the original game's timeline or others. Without getting too far into that territory—I'm sure with Nomura at the helm, none of us will be able to deduce precisely how batshit this series is going to end up being—one thing I can say for certain is that these new additions to the plot are pretty cool to me. The Whispers are obviously a very thinly-veiled stand-in for vocal fanbases that actively resist change to beloved franchises, and while FF7R will need to stick the landing to justify this kind of glibness, it's refreshing in a space where media companies seem to be constantly hedging back and forth trying to figure out the most delicate way to give fans whatever they demand.
That said, the particular plot choices made are not without risk. The early reveal of Sephiroth has been explained as metatextually necessary given his ubiquity among video game fans, and I can buy that. But the survival of Zack is much more troublesome to the elegance with which the original weaved Cloud's character development, potentially one of the peaks of storytelling in video games up to that point and still a masterstroke to modern eyes. The potential for party members such as Aerith to have insights into the changes that are occurring in real time might complicate the ways in which this game was able to tease and poke series veterans without fundamentally damaging character arcs. But overall, there's quite a bit of new ground to chart and it could be done wonderfully.
If you want the original Final Fantasy VII, play the original Final Fantasy VII. It's a better game anyway. But I for one am excited to see where we go from here. Let's just hope that we don't have to kill too many more random rats along the way.
Preface: I have not played the OG. I am familiar with certain story beats, but nothing else. And I loved this. Little to no filler (I am of the mind of appreciating the mundanity as intended flavour), an engrossing main narrative, and an addictive combat loop where you are always striving to fill some kind of meter and unleash the perfect sequence of events (these inherent goals are what drive the combat). Like building the perfect domino line and a single, satisfying push.
FF7 Remake is telling us the Children are the Future. Embrace the hope, the optimism, the community, and the wonder. I'm worn out by and uninterested in modern games (and associated cynicism and routine) but this thing had a little magic that won me over. It enveloped to turn what people saw as flaws into pros, for myself, personally. And I'll be there for the next one, certainly.
The game recreates the characters, feel, music and story of the original brilliantly. It updates the combat in a satisfying way while retaining elements that are fondly remembered. The biggest issue is that the game covers about a third of the original games story and is overly bloated with some boring and tedious filler gameplay to stretch it out. New sidequests feel dated and "gamey" in their implementation. It left me excited for next part though.
While part of me still wishes for an actual RPG remake of FFVII, we got a pretty damn good action game remake. The battle system, especially on hard mode, is extremely well considered and rewarding. Sidequests and "filler" in the main story are of questionable quality, but don't ruin the experience by any means. The true success of FF7R is in how faithfully and beautifully it brings the environments and characters of the original game to life. I can't wait to see the likes of Junon, Cosmo Canyon, and Great Glacier. Ditto for the rest of the party.
Completely acceptable remake of FF7.
The story is the exact same as the original so if you liked that story you'll like this story.
The gameplay is broken down into several modes I played the game on normal which entails a gamplay system that is closest to Final Fantasy 13 with a little Kingdom Hearts mixed in. Battles play out in real time but throughout battles characters fill up their action gauges and spending those gauges allows you to perform abilities and cast spells. Most combat boils down to finding a enemies weakness and then exploiting it which can get kind of monotonous but overall the gameplay is perfectly serviceable. I'm aware there is also a classic mode for a more turn based style of combat.
My main gripe with the game is it's somewhat shallow mechanics. Almost all character progression is done though weapons, their assigned skills trees and the materia you equip to them. But what becomes very clear is that each weapon is designed to fulfill a certain role by the options you are given in the skill tree. IE the basebal bat weapon is obviously ment for a crit build because all it's upgrades are about increasing crit chance and crit dmg. This leads to some what narrow gameplay.
This game is also pretty linear which I welcome. I've grown way past the need for large expansive RPGs with 3 million npcs and 2 thousand side quests. It's nice to play a game that just lets you play it without sending you on a bunch of busy work in order to make itself feel expansive. Long sense have gone the days of me making fun of Final Fantasy 13 by calling it "Final Hallway 13" after years of being battered with Skyrim derivatives.
The dialogue is also downright terrible but I give the game a bit of leeway in this department and chalk it up to a poor translation more than anything.
The new graphical coat of paint also kind of sucks a bit of the character from the world and the characters. Everything looks dusty and/or rusty. The textures on the main cast look great but there are some NPC and environment textures that look beyond terrible. It's a graphical game of highs and lows.
Audio wise the game is amazing. The soundtrack is all remakes of ff7 music and they are all done really well.
But all in all this game is pretty solid. It feels a bit shallow at times but it never feels downright bad. It's systems are serviceable just don't go in expecting to have your world set on fire.
Exceeded all my expectations by actually living up to all my expectations. Now let's get that sequel.
Surprised to say I loved every second of it. Did not do sidequests per general consensus online. Excited to see where it goes! Need to play original, as well.
It definitely happened, this game will go from a 5/5 section (Wall Market) into an awfully boring section right after (the sewers, I hate sewer levels).
graphically stunning, pretty music, a lot of fun moments for sure, combat system was fine. the story went off in some odd directions for the sake of expanding the original which again is like... fine, i guess. the voice acting was mediocre and threw me off tbh. no judgement to the cast, they all seem brand new - just not sure why you'd hire amateur VAs for such a high profile game, (especially since they literally have prolific VAs doing additional voices) but whatever. my main gripe with this game is that every single minor boss battle was absurdly, tediously long. idk, overall it was fun, not bad. didn't feel like the original ffvii to me but maybe it wasn't supposed to. i'm not quite getting the hype but maybe i need to play it again.
Not perfect, but pretty satisfying. A technical stunner as well.
Story gets wacky af at the end.
I should preface this review by stating my history with this game. That is to say, I have none. Not only did I never play the original, but this is also the only Final Fantasy game I’ve played to the credits. I’ve played about half of FFIV and FFVI and I have my own thoughts on those, but that’s not what this review is about. Suffusive to say, this perspective will be discussing FFVII REMAKE as a game on its own. If there’s anything that this game does that is different from the original, I don’t know about them, and if there’s anything about this game that originated in older Final Fantasies since the original, I don’t know about those either. With that out of the way, here are my thoughts.
I think the first thing to touch on is how gorgeous the game looks. I’m not one to play every newly released game as soon as they come out, but from what I’ve played, this is probably the best looking game I’ve ever seen. It’s not perfect; some smaller details are very poorly rendered and obviously NPCs don’t look as good as the main cast, but the model quality, the animation, and the environments look absolutely astounding.
I really like the story. For a fantasy RPG, especially one made by Square Enix, it has a very down-to-earth and realistic premise. The plot touches on the corruption of corporations and governments, the horrors of war and terrorism, and the contrast between the upper and lower classes in ways that are very relatable and applicable to the real world. Seeing Cloud doing jobs in the slums of sector 5, watching the aftermath of the mako reactor explosion in upper sector 8, these moments have a real somberness to them that made me stop and soak in the weight of the tragedies that were happening in this world. That’s not to say it doesn’t have completely ridiculous, bonkers moments — it has plenty of them and I love them just as much — but it’s refreshing to play a game in a genre (and from a studio) usually known for its outlandishness that feels very grounded.
I also love the characters. Cloud isn’t an amazing protagonist, but I enjoy seeing his cold, hard-ass personality being tested not only by the much more outgoing, bubbly people surrounding him, but also by the harsh, cruel events that he’s involved in. He’s also just plain cool. Tifa doesn’t have a particularly captivating personality and she’s probably my least favorite of the main cast, but she isn’t bad at all and I really like watching her personal struggle with the morality of Avalanche’s actions. Barrett is awesome. He’s so over the top and I love pretty much all of his lines. He has a great dynamic with Cloud, and I like how they make him a big softie with his daughter and the people close to him; he isn’t a wuss (in fact he might actually be deranged), but he’s got a heart of gold. Aerith is almost as good. When I saw her in the opening cutscene, the way she moved and acted gave me the impression that she would be timid and soft-spoken, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. She’s perky and sassy and is always trying to help people out (I also really appreciate how she never sides with Avalanche, and even though she has similar interests, she’s just doing her best to be an ordinary person). She’s the polar opposite of Cloud and it’s great watching them play off each other, especially seeing her read Cloud like a book. All the minor characters like Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie, the Turks, Chadley, the heads of Shinra, Red XIII, all of them were great as well.
Gameplay wise, it took a while for me to get a hang of the combat. I’m used to playing Kingdom Hearts, so I usually approach ARPGs with that kind of gameplay in mind. Needless to say, that did not work here. The focus of the combat in Kingdom Hearts is identifying patterns and punishing openings; it’s very reactionary. Here’s it’s a lot more methodical. You have to analyze what you’re capable of that can stagger your opponent in order to cripple their defenses and deal a lot of damage in a short amount of time. In Kingdom Hearts you have to figure out WHEN to attack enemies. Here you have to figure out HOW to attack enemies. And once I understood that difference, I fell in love with it!
I think the turn-based format transitions really well into a real-time 3D system. I think the balance between combat and menu navigation was really well handled. I like how summons and limits were handled, only giving you access to them when you were in a pinch; they definitely change the tide of battle into your favor but you have to be at a pretty big disadvantage in order to access them, and that made it feel like you weren’t given free damage. The fights that really take advantage of your knowledge of how the game works and puts your skills to the test were awesome (the fight against the Behemoth being my favorite boss easily).
Outside of combat is where my opinions become a bit more mixed. I absolutely loved the more linear sections. I already mentioned exploring sectors 5 and 8, but I also loved chapter 4, the second reactor in chapter 7 and especially infiltrating Shinra HQ in chapter 16. These more linear segments were the highlight for me; they feel like such a tightly designed narrative and gameplay experience. I also really like the slower, more puzzley elements like the awkward platforming and lever-pulling segments. Usually these moments would break a game’s pacing in half, but I oddly enjoyed them. They fit in really well with more realistic approach of the plot, so I don’t mind them.
However, the game will frequently pause from these more linear moments and give you open areas where you complete a bunch of side quests. Perhaps this is more of a personal issue since I usually hate side quests in any game, but these were some of the worst moments for me. I hesitate to call them padding because for the most part they’re all fun, rewarding, narratively rich, and (most importantly) optional. I did enjoy doing them, but they’re such a stark contrast from the more intricately designed linear sections that they ruin the pace in my opinion. I can say that the game handles side quests better than most games do, but I’m a very direct and simple man; I usually want to experience the game that the designers have created and not waste my time with stuff like this unless it’s in the post-game (which it isn’t in this case).
The only part of the game that I outright didn’t like was chapter 11. It’s a very cliché sub-plot about a haunted trainyard. It introduces and resolves a conflict within one chapter, has no influence on anything that happens before or after, and is so thematically inappropriate considering how much tension there is in the story at that point. It is purely filler; it could have been removed entirely and the game would have been better for it.
That’s most of my thoughts, but I want to briefly talk about the ending. I know there’s some sort of controversy about the ending but I don’t know what that is considering 1. I avoided it for spoiler reasons and 2. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with how it was changed from the original which, again, I don’t care about. What I want to talk about are the themes of destiny and fate that show up at the end. Personally, I thought these were completely out of nowhere and undermined a lot of the story’s weight up until that point. Shinra was a great villain, and for them to ultimately be cast aside for some spiritual mumbo jumbo about altering destiny was really jarring.
Truth be told, I’m not against the idea of religion and spirituality being a factor in the plot. I think that the idea of Shinra looking for a prophesied land being the motivation behind their terrible acts toward the public and the planet was a really intriguing and unique idea. It’s just that the themes of fate and destiny wasn’t what the story was about up until that point.
But maybe that has more to do with a different, potentially controversial issue I have: Sephiroth is a terrible villain. Not to say I don’t like him. He’s really cool, genuinely intimidating and thought-provoking. The problem is that we know nothing about him, and I think that problem stems from the fact that there’s a lot of background information that the game doesn’t tell us about. Who even is Sephiroth and how did he supposedly die? What was the war about and when/where did it take place? What is a SOLDIER and why is it capitalized? Why did Cloud want to become a SOLIDER, and more importantly, why did he quit? Why does Cloud have mako cancer or whatever causes his headaches/hallucinations? Who is the creepy old test subject guy that keeps showing up and who everyone thinks is Sephiroth? Why is the world going to end and what makes Sephiroth the greatest threat to the planet? And most importantly, what is the relationship between Sephiroth and Cloud, and why is Cloud seemingly traumatized by Sephiroth’s existence?
I know that some of these questions may be there for us to think about for future parts, but a lot of these feel like essential background information that the game doesn’t tell us about. Sephiroth isn’t a great villain because we know absolutely nothing about him or his backstory, and for him to ultimately take the spotlight away from Shinra, who was not only the main villain for the entire game but also very well fleshed out, is odd to say the least.
That’s pretty much all I have to say. The only thing left to talk about is HOT DAMN the music is incredible! 10 hours of gorgeous compositions that fit the game perfectly and are great listens outside of the game as well. Probably one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard, if for no other reason than how much there is. I’ve been learning how to play Hollow and Jessie’s theme and have had them on loop for days.
Also, my favorite moment of the game was Cloud dancing with Andrea in the Honeybee Inn. I could not stop laughing that entire time, and it was easily my highlight.
Overall, Final Fantasy VII Remake is a phenomenal game. It is easily my favorite game that I’ve played so far this year, and unless Breath of the Wild 2 comes out in 2020, this will probably be my game of the year. It also has its hooks really deep in me; not only am I excited for future parts, but this is the first game I’ve played since A Link Between Worlds seven years ago that I immediately wanted to play again once I finished it. It’s held back by some pacing issues in the gameplay and an underwhelming conclusion, but it is nonetheless fantastic.
A really, really, really good game. Kind of flawed and extremely littered with filler, but I really, really enjoyed it regardless and I'm excited to see what they do with the rest of the Remake series.
Square deciding to revisit their most beloved game by rinsing off literally any of the original themes and replacing them with the most generic template shit imaginable about fate and destiny is genuinely so funny I can't believe they actually did it. It's like they wanted to make literally anything *except* FF7
more remakes and remasters should go down the end of evangelion route. god is canon and god is dead.
Really great! Let down by some pacing issues right near the end, but it's a really confident game that captures a lot of what makes the original so beloved.
Coming into this game without playing the original might have been the best way to play. The story in this game, while a copy of the original, adds so much more that you almost have to treat this version as a standalone game.
The soundtrack is unreal, the effects are as beautiful as ever, and the graphics are oh so nice!
I've never been so obsessed with the minor details of a game.
I cannot believe this game was worth the wait. The original Final Fantasy VII is one of my all-time favorite video games. It felt like a game that was mine even though it’s one of the most popular video games ever released on the original PlayStation, which itself is one of the most popular consoles of all-time. It’s not a niche title. But I followed its development in gaming magazines, and because my PlayStation belonged to me and not my brother (unlike our Super Nintendo, which we had to share), Final Fantasy VII felt like my game. I got lost in its story and characters and gameplay and I’ve played it through multiple times and purchased it on multiple consoles.
There were rumblings of a remake since the early 2000s when Final Fantasy VII was used as demo fodder, and over the years Square-Enix has kept the property alive with sequels and spinoffs like Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus, and Crisis Core. But what the fans really wanted was Final Fantasy VII: Remake–a game that would give them the Final Fantasy VII story they loved but with the polish of modern graphics since FF7 was rendered with blocky, cartoonish character models due to the technical limitations of the programming. Final Fantasy VII: Remake was officially announced in 2015 and it was finally released on April 10, 2020. Or, should I say, the first episode was released, since Square-Enix decided the game would be too massive to release in a single installment.
Now that I’ve beaten it, I’m kind of in awe of what Square-Enix and the developers accomplished. Without spoiling anything, Final Fantasy VII: Remake walks the line between a trip down memory lane and a completely new experience. It’s a “remake” in the sense typically reserved for movies–they took the original story and used it as a launching point for a new adaptation. This isn’t just a remaster or polished graphics. This is artistically a new and daring thing. Even the things that comically don’t work (looking at you, Barret’s character and dialogue) still kind of work and are part of that original Final Fantasy VII charm. Throughout my time playing Final Fantasy VII: Remake, I kept wondering: okay, when is this going to fall off the rails? When’s the inevitable disappointment? Instead, I was intrigued every step of the way.
Is it a “perfect” game? That’s hard to say. I’ll put it this way: I really have no interest in trying to conquer it on the harder difficulties (I beat it on Easy because I wanted to enjoy it for the story) because that’s not the kind of video game I enjoy. I don’t like working to become good at video games. And if I can’t beat the game on hard, I’ll never collect all the trophies, so do I really want to go back and just do more combat stuff? The combat is solid for what it is; I’m very impressed at how they mixed action-RPG fighting with menu-based combat. But do I really want more of that? How many Final Fantasy VII: Remake trophies do I want to get when I know that hard would be a serious uphill climb? And yet part of me is tempted to do it! I had so much fun with this game that I’m a little hungry for more and the only things that are kind of pushing me away are 1) If the hard difficulty makes the game not that fun; 2) Thinking about all the other games in my backlog. So that’s kind of what I’m toying with right now, but based on my first play-through, I loved Final Fantasy VII: Remake. It can’t replace the special place I have for the original, but it surpassed my highest expectations.
I'm at roughly the halfway mark, and I think I can safely determine now that I Love This. FF7 is one of my personal most important games, and this remake does it pure justice in almost every way.
The only thing I take issue with here is the pacing, which for a guy like me who can only play games 1-2 hours at MOST in a day where video games are possible...well it can be a little trying. The Midgar segment of FF7 is essentially burned into my DNA, and I find it a bit jarring just how stretched out the various bits of that chapter become in this remake. Some segments that only last several minutes in the original game become entire hour long chapters here. I think this is mostly successful but it can be a bit repetitive when all it does is string together a few more one off puzzles (robot hands, i am looking at u) or connect a few more samey rooms together with corridors and fights. At the same time, this thing has blown many of the original set pieces right out of the water and I absolutely cannot wait to see how it finishes.
The character designs, plots, personalities, voice overs -- all are wonderful and I have fallen in love with them all. Nothing more to say there.
I think that the side questing is handled well enough for a modern final fantasy. They sorta play out like FFXV, but with some actual continuity and character and a whole lot less tedious travel. Plus, the side quests lead to some excellent battles. I like them, and they don't overstay their welcome. They even contain little bits of meaningful world building that I appreciated very much.
I was also pleasantly surprised at just how engaging and challenging the combat can be in this game. The materia system has plenty of depth, and there are far fewer stat-related consequences to experimenting with different combinations than there were in the original. This game actually has defeated me a handful of times! That is more than can be said about FFXV, ha. There are a couple of boss battles in particular that have some NASTY moves late in the fight. Again, can't wait to see how the late game bosses play out.
I might even bump this up to a 4.5 after finishing the game, but as a Dad With No Time To Play Games, I felt the need to say my piece about it now. The game is GOOD and a real love letter to everything FF7.
Loved the combat, and was surprised by how much I liked the writing. With how the FF7 spin-offs look like they often don't really handle the original characters all that well, I actually liked the character writing in this more than in the original. Also the twists on the original story are incredibly ridiculous and I love that.
that was a fun ride.
Quickest I've ever played a RPG in my life.
I loved it; had me completely enraptured from start to finish.
Man. What a nostalgia trip. But also, so cool. I love surprises and this delivers. I'd be pissed if I waited 20 years for the same game.
Jogo algum é perfeito, tampouco FF7R. Contudo minha experiência com ele foi tão majoritariamente (90%+) maravilhosa, que é impossível não conferir 5/5.
Em relação à criticidade, é inegável o quão confuso o final pode parecer para quem não jogou o original. Além disso não gostei do uso de recursos de interação irritantes, como segurar botão por alguns segundos para ativar interruptores/chaves/disjuntores, uma prática até comum.
Fora isso, não gosto também do trancamento de modo de dificuldade extra (hard mode) pra somente após o término do jogo. Acho um recurso ruim pra forçar o replay e esticar a duração de um produto de forma artificial em demasia, ao invés de oferecer uma opção de dificuldade pra quem estiver achando o jogo muito fácil (eu achei fácil).
Fora isso tem tbm mto recurso de interação/movimentação no cenário meio que desnecessário, onde o personagem fica "preso" em uma posição esperando você apertar um botão pra prosseguir. Trata-se de um recurso muito pobre de interatividade, parece ter sido colocado só pra ter mesmo.
Mas conjunto de coisas positivas é tão avassalador que não cabe em notas rápidas. Combate, sistemas, ambientação, tudo é maravilhosamente construído e serve não só como revisitação de luxo pra quem já jogou FF7 original, mas também como fundação para novos jogos de JRPG AAA.
Damn this game was good, I easily put 100 hours into it.
No other game has this strong a concentration of lived-in-ness - these towns feel alive in a way that compels me to do the impossible - actually slow-walk through environments of my own accord. All the flaws in the combat system feel obvious enough to assume they'll be polished out in future iterations.
I'm in the wait-and-see camp about the ending. A definitive shark-jump, but an impressively lofty one that has raised many, many questions most fans *think* they have the answers to - but probably don't.
Best action RPG combat since Kingdom Hearts 2. Square Enix did it again!
Just a shame everything outside the combat is mediocre nonsense.
Never before have I been so conflicted and so in love with a game before. Final Fantasy VII is my absolute favourite game of all time so to finally have my wishes granted and be gifted a full fledged modern style remake, I just couldn't believe it. I waited 5 patient years since its announcement and the moment I booted it up and saw that title card with the amazingly redone soundtrack, I absolutely shed a few tears. This is a game that has meant so much to so many people, and you could tell that SE really understood that and wanted to deliver to fans the experience they wanted so badly for nearly 20 years now. Well, until about the last 10% of the game where they really change up how the story goes and leads into what could be a completely new experience going forward. The game is so amazing up to that point though so I can't deny that I think this game is incredible, but every time I think back to that last bit of the game I have to second guess my true feelings here. There are moments in my first playthrough that I had tears in my eyes because of the joy I was experiencing, constantly thinking "this is what I've been waiting for and they've delivered on everything I wanted and more," which makes that final part of the game all more of a punch to the gut. I'm worried about the future of the FF7 remake's series, but I can't deny that this first entry blew me away in a way I didn't think I would get to experience.
it's kind of a shame that square-enix had to revisit the most iconic final fantasy to get the franchise back on track. it's "probably" a 4/5 but it's a personal 5/5 for me
Final Fantasy VII Remake is now my all-time favorite 8/10 game—it’s highs are so incredibly high that it could easily have earned a 10/10 rating if it weren’t for the padded out chapters that offer nothing but extended play time.
Where to begin... The characters in FFVIIR are each given compelling stories to draw the player through the game, with moments of pride and reckoning that always manage to pay off. As the game reaches the climax of its Avalanche-Shinra storyline, the ways that the beloved team characters wrestle with the fallout of their actions is compelling, and it challenges players to consider the ways idealism paints over reality with too broad a brush.
The character work is only enhanced by FFVIIR’s soundtrack, which I do not hesitate to name among the great video game soundtracks of all-time. One of the trademarks of so many JRPGs is a thematic soundtrack, and the ways this game’s music rehearses and remixes character and plot themes ensures you feel the weight of every huge moment.
I also need to mention that the cinematics in this game are gorgeous, especially during Chapters 12 and 18! Contrary to many skeptics’ expectations, the game stands on its own as a story, introducing so many compelling characters and storylines within the large city of Midgar that it satisfies even the most story-focused critic.
And finally (for the positives), FFVIIR contains an incredibly diverse and complex action mechanic, creating some of the most proud moments of my gaming career. Somehow, the devs managed to take the real-time action at the core of the game and introduce an easy-to-navigate, difficult-to-master command system that keeps combat diverse, while also creating tension moments when players most need their action bar to fill up so they can restore their party’s health. I personally have never found combat more central to my enjoyment of a game!
With so much positive to say, I still feel like this game should be a 10, but I cannot forgive a few large errors and one catastrophic error the game made... The large error is the way they padded this game out. The game generally follows a structure of “1 setpiece chapter, 1 traversal chapter, 1 open world chapter, 3 story chapters,” and then rinses and repeats. The setpiece chapters and most of the story chapters are brilliantly written and paced, but the traversal chapters and open world chapters are bogged down with side quests that ultimately contribute nothing to the story or the characters. For me, the especially bad chapters were the traversal chapters where you simply moved from A to B in the world map—I know these should have been times for character development, but I don’t remember any of these conversation that happened while I was mindlessly walking around boring environments like broken-down tunnels and junk yards.
And then there is the catastrophic error—botching the end of the game mechanically (I personally loved the end-game plot). As with many games that keep me highly-engaged, I set out to beat the game in a single sitting, realizing I had only a chapter and a half left. Unfortunately, the penultimate chapter was far more padded than I expected it to be, and then a series of crazy, over-the-top plot points and gameplay mechanics started firing off in rapid succession. During all of these cutscenes and gameplay novelties, I was unable to save the game, and when I needed to put it down to do some work, I lost all my progress. This was no fault of my own—the game should never require more than 45 minutes of play without offering some opportuity to save! Eventually, I made it past that, and playing the final moments of the game late into the night, I was all the way in on the plot, when I died due to a cheap boss move and it reset me 5 cutscenes and 35 minutes of gameplay back! Naturally, with my resolve to beat the game, I started it right back up, but now I found myself skipping any cutscene I could just to make it go quicker... It is such a shame for me that I loved the story for 30 hours of this game, and then they made me resent it by implementing uncharacteristically long progression barriers.
So is the story of how one of my all-time favorite games went from a certain 10/10 to an 8/10 in a single day playing its final 5 hours. If I were willing to spoil this game for y’all, I would share even more how awesome I think the conclusion of this game is for launching into this Remake Series, but I hope you all will discover that for yourselves!
it's been such a long time since i've played a game that felt like homework. i really wanted to like this game, i don't enjoy being the person who now hates square and the games they make. but good christ is this one just such a misfire for me.
and that's fine i guess, because the reception for this has been mostly positive. i just hate the direction square's taking with its games. instead of giving us solid JRPGs, now they keep trying to shove down the action RPG/JRPG hybrid that just does not work for me. they're watering down both genres to make this messy combination that fails to embrace the highs of either genre while being stuck in a land of mediocrity. your party AI is just outright horrible; party members will only attack whenever they feel like it (read: once every 30 seconds). and jesus christ every boss encounter now has to be this big epic ordeal. every single boss is about 60% longer than it needs to be. i think what's worse is that you give such special significance to random bosses like the airbuster. the airbuster was a random throwaway mech, now it has a chapter's worth of buildup and hype despite still being a random throwaway mech. who requested this?
i'm very on the fence about the narrative being told here. on the one hand, yes it's cool that they're developing and fleshing out characters like biggs, wedge, and jessie. on the other hand, to what fucken end? we all know that bwj have next to no impact on the main plot, and sure enough, that remains the same here. the remake introduces a bunch of superfluous characters that don't add anything to the plot instead of focusing on developing the ones that we already care about. i think worst of all is just the god damn padding that's rife throughout this game. so much time is dedicated to stretching out existing segments of VII to fit a 30-40 hour playthrough. remember the motorcycle minigame that no one liked? well now you have to play it twice, and each time you have to fight a boss. remember the don corneo plot detour that took like, 10-15 minutes to take care of? now you have to do a bunch of pointless arena battles and sidequests just to get it done.
like the general plot beats are all the same, they're just inflated with padding to stretch out the game's length. we know the story that's trying to be told here, why waste time fucking around? when people said "i wish we saw more of midgar", they didn't mean like this. the worst part is that we don't even SEE more of midgar. we still explore almost exclusively the same exact locations, just in HD graphics. why not use this remake to explore the other sectors of midgar that never get seen? or just like... give more plot beats to work with. this game gorges on nostalgia for original so hard that it loses focus on actually being fun to play. so much of this game just feels like an exercise in excess.
again, it's cool that people get value out of this game and enjoy it in ways i only wish i could, but this has really just killed any faith i had in square making a JRPG i would enjoy again.
the sword was just as big, if not bigger, than the good ole days, justifying my rating
It's unbelievable that we are actually playing this. The game's fantastic and captures so well the essence of the original, all while adding great and exciting things.
Warning: Major Spoilers
+Characters are all made to feel a lot more unique from one another. From different unique skills, to abilities that you can unlock via their weapons, and even how they battle. If there's one thing I can't wait to see from the sequels it's how the rest of the characters will play.
+The music is as good as ever. FF7's soundtrack is my favourite game OST ever, so it'd be hard to mess it up.
+The game looks visually stunning and has some great cutscenes
+Being able to fight the summons is a cool idea.
-Ever since I found out this game would end at Midgar I knew it would be held back. They tried to turn 1/5th of a game into a full game and it really shows. There's so much filler content added to sections in the original that were paced correctly. Like the annoying sun lamps in the second reactor, or the moveable arm puzzles, or how chapter 17 just starts with the cast getting split up for no reason so you're forced to spend an hour wasting time in samey-looking corridors. The pacing has just been massively upset.
-Related to above, they seem to try to overcompensate for the lack of length by also adding in side-quests, but the problem is the section of the game they're remaking is mostly linear, so they just kinda shoved all 26 side-quests into 3 total chapters. It's so obvious that they wanted to add more open-worldy feeling sections in those few chapters where you do get some freedom, but it's just so out of place.
-I'm not a fan of the battle system. Your allies don't use their abilities by themself, so you have to manually select something for them to do every single time one of their ATB gauges fill up (which happens fast), and slow down the battle. Also the dodge and block options don't seem all that useful defensively. Dodge roll doesn't actually allow you to dodge most attacks, and block seems way too slow to be able to use in response to anything.
-This game does something I hate in a lot of story-focused games. Forced walking sections. Just random sections of the game where your character starts walking at horrendously slow speeds.
-Any enemy attack that can stun you (and there's way too many of them) lasts way too long.
-There's only 4 enemy skills to learn. I feel like they threw it in at the last second.
Mixed/Not important enough to be a pro or con:
~All the story additions. Some of them are nice, like the avalanche trio getting way more development, and focusing far more on the destruction of sector 7. But then we have all the "fate" and "whisper" crap. The entire ending feels like it was ripped right out of Kingdom Hearts and I don't like it. After looking it up and fully understanding everything, I get what they're going for and do find it kind of interesting, but I think they went about it all wrong. This game may only be "part 1", but it's still a full fledged game, and it'll now always look like an attempt at properly remaking the OG game, while every other game will, presumably based on the ending, be going in its own way, making it essentially NOT an FF7 remake. The lack of consistency and how they split it all up like this really spoiled what could have been an interesting idea.
•FF7 is my favourite game of all time, and this was so disappointing.
•The camera is zoomed in too much by default. Like you can change it to an acceptable position, but I don't get why they made the standard one that you start with so claustrophobic.
Never in my life would I have ever thought we'd get a FFVII remake, and never in my life would I have thought it'd be this good. The legendary became real, and it was glorious. Cannot wait for the sequel.
A great combat system, great visuals, and a phenomenal soundtrack... But Square Enix butchered the story and flipped off people who wanted an actual remake. This is such a big "Fuck You" to everyone who thought they'd get a proper remake -- all because of the absolutely garbage ending. The writing went completely off the rails at the end and didn't fit in with the rest of the story at all. This is just Nomura going batshit crazy again because no one at Square Enix keeps an eye on him.
The ending honestly makes me want to give this game a 1/5, especially because the marketing for this game is absolutely misleading and this shouldn't be called a Remake. The reason it's getting a higher rating than that is because the rest of the game is actually pretty good (minus the extra padding and dumb sidequests), and I want to be fair.
Had lots of fun with this game, excellent combat if you keep switching characters, some slower parts that dragged on and some of the quests are boring, others aren't, but the dialog was a nice upgrade from the usual jrpg stuff. This game focuses more on the characters than the overall story so I assume the later entries will be more story heavy.