After years of waiting, the fan favourite Final Fantasy 7 gets the Hollywood scale remake it deserves.
The original game launched in 1997 and was an instant hit because of its beautiful characters, storytelling and script. It even paved the way for introducing the western folks to the JRPG genre, making it easily accessible and dipping them into the long format story-driven games with heart-warming characters.
This remake carries that legacy with a delicate attention to its source material, meanwhile bathing the game in monster-sized budget and next gen graphics for reimagining the whole thing.
The remake twists the turn-based combat into a party-based battle system. You are able to take control of every party member in the game during a combat. This is an action oriented approach, but it doesn’t filter down its tactical sense.
Each of the party members in Final Fantasy 7 Remake has a distinct personality which drives the story forward. And, in similar fashion, their abilities and gear push the combat away from button mashing because not all enemies can be slashed with Cloud’s massive sword.
The varying enemy types also push your brain cells even before entering a combat area. So restructuring your party member’s gears and abilities to have a smooth victory is always a looming thought, and in battle, it will surely cover up for what the other members are lacking.
Mako maketh man
The dystopian city of Midgar welcomes your curiosity with its graphical strength alone. It’s beautifully reimagined with the addition of a few new places to deliver this remake as a grand spectacle for returning fans as well.
Cloud’s a mercenary and his one-time run with the eco-terrorist group called Avalanche was always structured for something bigger, but the game does a fantastic job of never making you feel like it’s forcing its character out of their own personality and decisions. What we mean to say is the game has one of the best character scripts and don’t even get us started on the dialogues. Every little conversation between characters sounds authentic and sensible enough to be said in the first place. It’s brilliant.
All things considered, this is a JRPG, so expect those eccentric and totally overcompensating hand gestures to make its way into the cutscene.
Its 35-hour long main campaign is sliced into an episodic run. So this here is not the full story, but it’s surprising how it feels like a full-fledged game on its own. There are plenty of side missions to serve up a distraction too.
What’s the materia with you?
Switching out one big sword for another is fun, but it doesn’t fall into your hands like a typical RPG. There are only a handful of weapons to purchase and equip, and each one of them shifts your stats slightly.
Defence, attack and magic are the primary areas of focus when you’re increasing the stats. Materia also adds magical abilities to your characters and come as a round glowy ball of magic that can be slotted into weapons and armour. Adding a wearable that offers extra Materia slots can grant additional magical powers.
These powers should be thoughtfully used when facing an enemy. Every enemy has a stagger meter which is weak or immune to a certain type of attack. If you manage to fill it up, it will let you deal extra damage and take down a foe quickly.
It’s a good fantasy
The game’s graphical capabilities clearly show how far video games have come in just a few decades. Cinematic visuals and believable voice acting can hook you into its story even before you get a chance to fully experience the combat.
Even in longer mission arcs, the dialogues and new environments keep things fresh and interesting in its 35 or so hours. The story does take a breather after big boss battles but spices up the flow with cheeky dialogues, mini-boss battles, side quests and strange but befitting mini-games. All of this is not poured into the game but carefully placed as a means to experience the story world. Although it's an RPG of sorts, it's mostly a linear game. Don’t expect a world like Witcher 3 or Skyrim.
If you fear that remakes are setting a dangerous trend, then Final Fantasy 7 is a solid example of how it should be done correctly. There’s no better story-driven game in 2020 (so far) that delivers so much excitement with only its characters and storyline, let alone the combat.
The action-centric combat is fun and gets a sweet layer of strategic sense when other party members are included. It will make you use your head when you have to deal with a tough boss. Missing out on Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a blasphemy that all PlayStation gamers should avoid and add this to their cart immediately.