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The reunion is at hand…
It’s been eighteen years since we began our journey through the world of Final Fantasy VII. Now, after years of teasing, from the countless spin offs, the tantalising Playstation 3 tech demo to the straight up slap in the face of Final Fantasy VII for Playstation 4, a remake is finally on its way.
It wasn’t until the now infamous tech demo that fans started begging for a remake of Final Fantasy VII, after which dreams were promptly shattered as Square Enix labelled the demo as a stand-alone piece. Strangely enough, Final Fantasy VIII never got such recognition after it was the subject of a Playstation 2 tech demo …
The cheers in the crowd say it all really. I’m sure even Kingdom Hearts III‘s initial announcement didn’t achieve that level of excitement.
Square Enix had said they didn’t want to remake Final Fantasy VII until they felt they had surpassed the original. Needless to say, based on fan reaction, Final Fantasy XIII hasn’t been that game, and with Final Fantasy XIV being an online only game in a completely different ball park it seems Square aren’t too optimistic about achieving that record. Perhaps with Final Fantasy VII‘s 20th anniversary coming up, Square decided to go back on this promise (and hopefully that means we won’t be waiting a good half a decade at least, the current average Final Fantasy development time).
The wounds from the Theft of the Rise of the Tomb Raider are beginning to heal. In a big middle finger move (to themselves… Square Enix is in an odd state), Final Fantasy VII‘s remake will be coming exclusively to Playstation 4, at least for now.
Whilst those overwhelming cheers may suggest an all around happiness, I can 100% guarantee that 100% of fanboys of the original game will be in uproar right now. That’s my major worry. After Final Fantasy XIII, a game which I defended for its effort at the very least, a group of Final Fantasy purists began to make it known that they were the ones that could decide what Final Fantasy is, and what it isn’t.
See, what I love about this trailer is that it isn’t a carbon copy of anything we’ve seen of Final Fantasy VII before – everything looks familiar but new and unexplained. Instead of just being presented with a lovely new version of the opening to Final Fantasy VII, which we’ve seen remade several times now, we have entirely new content. That’s everything I wanted from this remake and more.
This is what will set the purists off: “Why isn’t it just a pretty version of Final Fantasy VII?! Why aren’t Square-Enix reading our minds?!” Sorry guys, but if that’s you then go ahead and get yourself Final Fantasy VII for Playstation 4, or Steam, or even for Playstation 3 and PSP from PSN. In fact just get yourself a copy of the original game and be satisfied. This remake is for those of us that want a new twist, not just the original game with an HD gloss. I just hope that these fans don’t tear down the project before it even gets off the ground.
Showing off this new content, knowing that the fan base can often be quite whiny, took balls on Square Enix’s part. Not only because of that – Final Fantasy VII was a HUGE game! Taking on the task of remaking it faithfully won’t be an easy one, and I’ll be interested to see what tricks Square have up their sleeves to ensure nothing vital gets cut.
Midgar looks just as dark as ever, if not darker this time around. It also looks more alive than ever as we see a much more crowded street than we did in the original game’s opening, or even in the updated tech demo – along with a glimpse of Cloud and Barret weaving their way through the crowd. Perhaps we’ll get a new opening to the game entirely.
Despite the current dark tone we see here, and in nearly every Final Fantasy VII spin-off since, lets not forget that the original game had a variety of locations. The story wasn’t always totally serious, doom and gloom – anyone remember the time Cloud had to get all up in drag? Or having a giant cat doll as an ally? These are the moments I’m really looking forward to reliving. Perhaps we’ll finally have a moment more awkward than Final Fantasy X‘s infamous laughing scene.
With Final Fantasy VII‘s huge world, diverse cast of characters and endless list of sub-quests, Square Enix have quite the task ahead of them. That’s before we’ve even considered game play – will this even be altered? Maybe all the changes will be completely aesthetic, who knows? What we do know is that to expect a carbon copy of Final Fantasy VII photoshopped to perfection will lead to disappointment. Expect something new, something interesting, something REMADE.
The game that introduced most of the western world to the Japanese RPG, and this writer to video gaming in general, is finally getting the modernisation it deserves.
Take a look at the E3 footage below and be jealous you weren’t there to see it in person (unless you were… jealous):
Final Fantasy VII Remake will be coming to Playstation 4 … well, when it’s ready. So be patient.