By Balabalalde 62 Comments
A remake of Final Fantasy 7 was made available on steam a couple days ago and I approached it with cautious enthusiasm. The price wasn't bad, and my copy of FF7 for the Playstation had been lost to the march of time, so I picked it up. Square has spiffed up the graphics a notch (so Cloud looks like a SMOOTH blonde version of Popeye) but that is about it. There are still many of the translation issues lingering from the original (Just where is that weapons shop over Tifa's Bar?) and the inclusion of a "Character Booster" feels like a vestigial addition at best (Though options are never a bad thing).
It feels like Square missed an opportunity to introduce the newer among us to a classic in the RPG genre. Why not update the graphics/interface with their more modern counterparts to appeal to the prospective buyers and have the option for a classic graphics setting for the nostalgia seeking ones? To their credit, they do have a "Original Graphics Mode" but this (like margaritas) amounts to whether you like it smooth or chunky. Even in-game there are some textures that have been re-done (the movable trains in the train graveyard for example) in stark contrast to what appears to be the original backgrounds in their full 1997 glory. The game is still locked in a 4:3 ratio, so get used to the black bars. A few modders have taken a stab at this a while ago and made an HD Remake of it for PC (can be found over at moddb). It has its flaws, but it's ambitious and brings a new perspective on an old classic.
In short, I can't tell whether this is another quick cash infusion for the Square Enix coffers, or a well intentioned olive branch to placate us after having released FF13 and 14. I have loved Square since I was a kid (especially that music) but they need to change their methods when re-releasing older titles. I want to believe in them, but the addition of cloud saves (which can take a lot longer than locally, though it is optional) is not going to sway hearts and minds back to your cause.