Haven't We Been Here Before?
Updated: May 20, 2020
Hello Infinity Bros Universe, Callie here. For those of you that don't know me, I'm Infinity Bro Jarret's big sister. I am a lover of Final Fantasy and have been waiting a long time to share my thoughts with you on Final Fantasy VII Remake. I am no stranger to the world of Final Fantasy VII, from the original game to the spinoffs/sequel like Dirge of Cerberus and Advent Children. When the whispers of a Remake caught my attention, I was nervous and excited, both of the previously mentioned attempts at reviving this series fell short of my hopes. Here we are now, just a month post-launch and 2 play-throughs under my belt, I'm finally ready to share my thoughts on this Remake. I will do my best not to compare it too much to the original, but there are some points where I would like to point out the differences. So, buckle up, 'cause you're in for a *SPOILER* filled ride.
The Good, the Bad, and the Disappointing:
The Good - There's a lot that I love about this game, some of which surprised me. One of the biggest things I love about this game is you can be a life-long lover of Final Fantasy or First Time Player; this game is perfectly balanced for both.
Like most of the Final Fantasy series, the music in this game is incredible, they brought back some of the classics, like the victory fanfare and the title sequence. If you are an Advent Children fan, they also brought back my personal favorite, "One-Winged Angel" for the battle with Sephiroth. They also added some new songs or revamped some classic themes. During the game, you collect music and can play them on random jukeboxes. One of the funniest parts of the music in this game is you often hear Barret singing the victory fanfare himself in the after-battle dialogue.
That’s not the only reference to the original that we see in this game. Besides following the same basic storyline, you get a lot of little nuggets that fans of the original have learned to love. One of the best examples of this is when Cloud and Jessie are on the train after the first reactor explosion. In the original game, you have 2 opportunities to view the model of Midgar on the train. In the Remake, as you approach Jessie, she makes a joking comment about “getting this out of the way”. If you are just playing the Remake and never had any exposure to the original, this wouldn’t mean anything to you. That’s what I love, you’re getting little easter eggs that don’t tamper with the story for someone who’s never played Final Fantasy VII.
The final “good” take away from this game is the rich backstory you get for minor characters. You get to meet minor characters along the way, and they each have a story to tell. Like Leslie, one of Don Corneo’s henchmen, he helps Tifa and Aerith escape the Don’s other henchmen, and later in the game you learn why. Instead of the game leaving you to try and fill in the blanks, they circle back and tell you a beautiful story. My personal favorite is getting to know members of Avalanche, Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge. Each one has a unique story to tell and this game lets you dive into their lives.
The Bad - It pains me to say this, but there were several things I didn’t like about this Remake. Although it is still my top-rated Final Fantasy game, I wouldn’t be honest if I said I loved it all.
The first big thing I didn’t like was the boss fights, they all felt very unbalanced. For example, I breezed through the final battle against Sephiroth but struggled in a “simple” fight against Reno and Rude (Turks who you fight both individually and together). Instead of the boss fights increasing with difficulty (as most games do) this Remake was all over the place with challenges. I’d like to think that I’m pretty clever in figuring out the patterns to a boss fight (like don’t attack the scorpion when his tail is up). So, it was very frustrating to struggle in certain battles and not feel challenged in others.
The other big thing I had a problem with is one I hope isn’t repeated in the rest of the series (next game? Seriously, Square Enix give me some answers, how long you gonna torture your girl?). When you finally meet Red XIII, he’s not even a playable character! He battles alongside you, but you can’t control his attacks or make any changes to his equipment/Materia. As a big fan of Yuffie (an optional character you meet in the original), I’m hoping we don’t see this happening in the future game(s). One of the best parts of the original was being able to build your team with a list of characters. The controllable characters in the Remake are limited to Cloud, Barret, Tifa, and Aerith.
The Disappointing - This is pretty rare for me because I usually either love something or I hate it. As I hinted at previously, I am disappointed that this was only a section of the full game and that we don’t have any indication of when future games will come or how many we are waiting for. Final Fantasy VII was a 3-disk game and has a lot of story to it, so I understand the reasons for doing it this way. However, I would like some answers to what we should expect.
Another disappointment is the side quests in this game. It’s not listed as bad, because I do enjoy the side quests and there were a good amount of quests that you could do along the way. My disappointment comes mostly because of my love for the original. This will be my biggest comparison so stick with me if you haven’t played the original. When you get to the Wall Market in the original game, you do a series of quests, which determine who the Don picks to be his bride that night. I love puzzles and I had a blast piecing things together so Cloud was the one picked. There are several examples of these puzzle-like side story in the original game. In the Remake, although some of your choices dictate the dresses Tifa, Cloud, and Aerith wear, they make no impact on the overall storyline. You can also choose to ignore the side quests (to a degree) and breeze through the game. I would like to see the side quests build on the main storyline as you see in the original or games like Fallout.
This game was a blast to play and a pretty easy play-through. I played the game on Classic because the battles felt most natural to me. This won’t be a game I play through over and over again, but I did enjoy it and see myself reliving it down the road. Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, I rate this game...
4.5/6 Infinity Stones
Callie Curtis is a lifelong Final Fantasy fanatic, and a pretty cool person