The hype is almost out of control. Will FFVII live up to it?
Final Fantasy VII is an iconic video game that some regard as the best in the series. Others think it is overrated. Personally, I loved every bit of the game, even the part where you have to get Mr. Dolphin to toss you up in Junon. It was fun, it had great moments of levity, and the graphics, for the time, were pretty good.
Like a lot of people, I was thrilled to see the Final Fantasy VII Remake announcement. Yet, as the release date gets closer and closer, I have a couple of nagging thoughts about the game that are keeping me from getting too hyped.
Let me start off by saying I’ve seen quite a bit of what has come out concerning the game, but not everything. So, maybe these questions have answers already and I’m worried for nothing.
Are There Any Surprises Left at This Point?
When the Final Fantasy VII Remake was first announced, fans went nuts. After all, we’ve been sitting around waiting for a Final Fantasy VII remake since we first wondered what the game would look like with PS2 graphics. We got the teaser at E3 in 2015, heard the opening music, and we were instantly craving more of the game.
Through all the delays that we’ve gotten, Square Enix has tried to do the right thing and keep us interested. We’ve seen character models, bits of gameplay, and gotten plenty of information on the expected play style.
However, in my opinion, they’ve gone a bit overboard. At this point, we have the complete opening of the game online for all to see. We’ve seen many of the character models, too. At some point, seeing too much of the game is going to negatively impact the experience.
I understand why Square Enix did it, too. They have to show their player base that they’re still working on the game and give tidbits of information to maintain interest. Their fear, of course, is that the game won’t sell. Seriously, though, we’ve gotten the equivalent of a five-minute movie trailer. You gotta leave something new to show us at launch.
One thing that I was particularly disappointed to see was the whole Don Corneo reveal. Why? Because it’s one of the things that we wondered how the studio would handle it in the game. Is Cloud going to look pretty or ridiculous? Would they keep that scene in the game at all since our culture is more sensitive about making people the butt of jokes? Well, now we know. Because Square Enix spoiled what could have been – what should have been – a great surprise.
I’m sure we’ll have some scenes that are going to be absolutely stunning in the remake, but we also have a few months left until the game is launched in which more can be spoiled.
Will The Writers Make Better Dialogue?
We can blame it on translations all we like, but some of the Final Fantasy VII dialogue was just awful. I’m not even just talking about the infamous “This guy are sick.”
Conversations were clunky, some of them didn’t provide a clear resolution, and some use language that was silly then and stupid now.
Now with the remake, they’re adding another dimension: voice acting. So, if they don’t fix up the writing, then we’re in for heaps of trouble.
Fortunately (or not), we’ve heard some of the dialogue from the game already. For the most part, I’d say it’s an improvement, especially in the case of Barret. While he still curses and pontificates, his voice matches what you would expect a man his size to sound like.
Final Fantasy VII Remake apparently has a lot of side conversations that you didn’t get in the first game. Now, Cloud and Barret talk trash to each other between battles on the first mission. It’s pretty funny and gives you a good feel for the characters’ personalities. Yet, there is some dodgy writing in there. I’ve only watched some of the videos, but one gem I found was:
Barret: “What are you, twenty-something?”
Cloud: “SOLDIER, First Class. Doesn’t go into the twenties.
Barret: “The hell you talking about? I meant your age, not your goddamn rank”
I’m trying not to cherry-pick poorly written dialogue to make a point, but that was some ham-handed exposition if I’ve ever seen it. Square Enix has to make it a point to have sensible dialogue, even if it’s Barret and Cid just cursing at each other.
Is Anything Significant Getting Changed?
We know the world, we know the characters, and we know the story. Is it worth coming back to do the same thing again, or will we see some new things along the way? Sure, we know that there are going to be new side quests to fill out the story. Hell, I’d be mad if we didn’t get little extras since we’re getting an episodic game.
Yet, the question that is lingering on my mind is: Are we getting any significant changes to the story or not? I’m not expecting us to be able to (spoiler) save Aerith from Sephiroth’s sword, but there is potential to change elements of the story and mix things up a bit.
I see two paths before Square Enix: the company can either add enough details (new battles, fresh graphics, etc) to the game to make the remake worthwhile or the studio can change plot and character elements to make it a fresh story. I think they have to do one or the other if they’re going to get really positive reviews.
At first glance, it looks like the story is staying the same because so much of the focus is cleaning up character models, giving them voices, and not deviating too far from the original plot. I’m not saying that’s a bad way to go about things, either.
The real question is whether they can strike a balance of old and new elements that will keep players interested while not tampering too much with the story. It’s a fine line, and it’s going to be impossible to please everyone.
Where Does it End and How Long Is the Wait for Part 2 (or 3)?
I didn’t mind that they pushed back the game release date. Seriously, if the studio thinks they need time to make it perfect, then I’d take that over an early, failed release any day of the week. It would be very bad for them to pour their resources into this game and then release a buggy mess.
That being said, we’ve already waited for this for a long time. So, how long is it until the next episode of the game? Remember, Final Fantasy VII was a pretty long game even without spending hours Chocobo racing and sitting through a hundred Knights of the Round summons.
According to one interview, the first part of the remake just covers the time you spend in Midgar at the start of the game. Then we get the second one in…what? Another year seems acceptable, right? Then, if that ends at the end of the first disc from the original, we have to wait another couple years for the game’s ending at that rate?
I’ve been going back and forth in my head over this. Gamers have been telling EA and Bethesda to “release complete games”. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but shouldn’t we want a complete game in this case, too?
I think it’s more acceptable to people who have played Final Fantasy VII in the past to wait because we know how it ends already. But if I was a new player and had three individual releases of a game, I’d feel a little cheated. Especially when you consider that Square Enix has told massive stories with beautiful worlds in a single release in the past.
Hot take: What would we do if the sales weren’t good enough for Square Enix to release part 2 or 3? Then we would really be
Depending on how big the scope is with each part of the remake, we could be looking at years and years of waiting. A lot can happen in that time, including Square Enix suffering a bit of a downturn and not seeing the series as viable.
Square Enix can make me eat these words and squash any of my troubling questions by delivering an amazing game experience and getting the episodes out in a decent amount of time.
In the meantime, it’s hard to wonder how they are going to handle this endeavor. Are we getting a quality product that is interesting and fun without harming the legacy of the original game? Or are we getting a cash grab? I’m hoping that we get the former.
(Check out Kyle’s article, 4 Things Bethesda Must do to Make the Elder Scrolls 6 Great)
19 thoughts on “The Final Fantasy VII Remake: 4 Questions That Keep Me From Getting Too Excited”
I love how THESE are the things that keep one from being excited. Not the fact that this has little to nothing to do gameplay-wise to FFVII… Naaah, that is not important. The story, the surprises, the wait towards other parts coming out. Those are somehow more important then a remake changing from turn-based JRPG the original is into a straigh-up action game.
I will never get you people. You literally betray the thing you claim to love and are so completely oblivious to it… Just amazing.
Uh, but it’s not straight-up action…
The wait is a serious issue. I think it’s insane to insist that your audience waits on a full game to be released in three parts over a period of years — and that it pays full price for each part. Square used to release complete games all at once. For all the issues I had with FF13, and I had a whole lot of them, at the very least we got the complete game all at once.
I liked FF7 a lot when I played it back in the day, but I’m not looking forward to this remake considering that wait together with the dive in quality the FF series has taken in the last decade plus.
You’re not waiting years for the full game. You’re getting a full game in each part. You seem to be confusing “full story” with “full game,” and I’m not really sure why. I didn’t get all of Xenosaga’s story in the first game; it was told over three separate, full-priced titles. XIII wasn’t much different: it presented the Fabula Nova Crystallis over the course of three games. They’re standalone, but part of the same story.
As for there being a dive in quality, that seems to be entirely down to whether nor not you actually LIKE the newer games, rather than an actual change in quality.
In that case, they’ll have to really expand on the story to fill three whole games. Which is possible, in which case sure, I’ll gladly eat my words.
And yeah, when I say “dive in quality” of course I’m talking about my own taste, not an objective statement of fact. I don’t know what else you could mean by “actual change in quality” other than my opinion of it.
So now that the game has released..how do you feel about lying? It definitely did not feel like a full game when I played it. In fact, it felt like the longest and most frustratingly boring tutorial level in any game.
“Square Enix has to make it a point to have sensible dialogue, even if it’s Barret and Cid just cursing at each other.”
I actually, genuinely, really really really want that to $&%#£& happen. It probably won’t, but just imagine haha.
Barrett and Cid were the angry old men the first time I met them; they’re now a blursed reflection of me and my friends…
From what I’ve seen in the released footage, everybody says “S***” a lot. Maybe we’ll get to hear them drop the F bomb once in the game? I can think of a couple good places. Like when meteor appears and it could just be Cid or Barret “What the F*** is THAT”
I know the first thing I was concerned with in September 2009 right before the release of Uncharted 2 was…….. when is Uncharted 3 coming out lol?
But seriously, the games are being treated as significantly large separate games. This is not going to be a 2 hour “episode” game with the next part expected to be out in 4 months time, which you are CLEARLY insinuating it is.
Why even ask when the next installment is coming? Oh right, because you are clueless gaming journalist that used the silly overused and incorrect “episode/episodic” phrase.
All credibility gone. Just because a lot of morons out there called the game episodic the day THIS press release went live https://press.na.square-enix.com/FINAL-FANTASY-VII-REMAKE-SHOWCASED-AT-PLAYSTATION-EXPERIENCE doesn’t mean you should too.
And there already is footage of Cloud actually in his dress in the Remake lol. Why use a crappy fan version……….oh right, I keep forgetting, the dumb gaming journalist thing.
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Ummm, the graphics were NOT great for it’s time. When it came out, everyone that had played FF6 (deceptively named FF3) that I knew hated how horrible FF7 looked. Even when compared to other playstation games at the time, FF7 was and still is Fugly. FF was known for it’s beauty. FF1 looked wonderful by 8-Bit standards and FF2+3 slightly improved on that. FF4 was beautiful when it came out in 16-Bit form, FF5 had worse overworld graphics than FF4 but much better sprite art. FF6 was and still is a piece of 16-Bit art. FF7 was and still is a very graphically hideous game. Some monsters are just terrible and others look much better put together…in the same game with the same graphics engine, overworld feels like they didn’t even try. Town are better put together but that’s because of pre-rendered backgrounds that make up the entire town, unlike the overworld. well anyway, you are VERY wrong about FF7’s graphics being good for it’s time. Very wrong.
First off the game is not episodic you are looking at 30+ hours of gameplay just in midgar alone. Second you say you think everything has already been revealed when in actuality we have only seen about 8 or 9 minutes of gameplay and that’s including the opening trailer. And finally this is for the first commenter the game is not meant to be a 1 to one 1 remake it’s meant to be a retelling of the story with content from the compilation and cut or unused content being added back in but if you are one of those people expecting a straight up remake nothing I say or nothing you see will change your mind
I think you mean 30+ hours of waiting. Total “gameplay” was more like 10 hours.