Final Fantasy 7 Remake - Reviews & Discussion

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glots

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#1  Edited By glots

After over two whole years of development, Final Fantasy 7 is finally here and my eleven old-self couldn't be more exc...oh wait.

So after five (or so) years of waiting, the FF7 Remake is finally here, or at least the first part of it is. Fortunately it seems to have been worth the wait, for the most part at least. I haven't heard much from GBeast yet (maybe they talked about it on today's Beastcast) but just about everyone on the West coast seems to be liking it, with Ben especially sounding like he enjoys it a lot.

I have played the demo and enjoyed it enough to give the full game a chance now, but before that, my experience with FF7 was limited to being confused with the pc-demo back in the day. I have actually never played any other Final Fantasy beyond those tries, so hopefully this ends up being a very good entry point into the series for me (even if I'd never touch any of the other parts).

Funnily enough, even if I haven't played FF7, I still do know of thatscene and I'm likely not the only one in this community either. Thankfully it doesn't lower my enjoyment, more just makes me curious over how they'll handle that whole thing, when we finally get there.

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Axersia

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Beat the game yesterday and absolutely loved it. It met all my expectations and even exceeded them. I would've been content with a 20-30 hour experience like the KH games and FF15, but I ended up getting this 45-hour epic, as promised. Kinda crazy. With all the time and money they've sunk into creating this incredibly detailed world (it's a 2-disc game, ya'll!), and its troubled development cycle where it was initially farmed out to CyberConnect2 before bringing it in-house, I wanted to keep my expectations low in regards to the amount of actual playable content it had. Not to mention the entire story is set in Midgar, normally a 5-hour prologue. But it earned its playtime and by the end I really felt like I went through an incredible journey.

I never beat the original and only played through half of it, but I'm still quite familiar with the story through osmosis and other products in the "Compilation of Final Fantasy VII." I can see why certain die-hard fans would take umbrage with some of the liberties they've taken, but I'm 100% down with what they're doing here, and I likely would've felt the same way even if I had that strong of a connection to FF7. After all, the original still exists (and there's a bunch of fan remasters out there already). That said, I'm a KH fan first and foremost, and only a casual FF fan somewhere down the line. So yeah, this was basically the FF7 remake made for me.

In any case, really looking forward to playing FF7-2 on PS5 where they no longer need to resort to hiding load times behind a myriad of tight corridors. If there's anything in this game I could've done without, it's that. Let's hope Mark Cerny was speaking the truth.

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Humanity

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As a PC gamer back in the day the PC demo of FF7 in ..1997 I think it was? Completely baffled me. Never had a console up to that point so I only ever played PC RPGs like Fallout 1, Diablo, Baldurs Gate, Silver.. I load the demo up and it's all so weird. I'm running up a hill then out of nowhere I'm in a battle.. ok.. then I do a summon and it's this incredibly long animation. The detailed backgrounds and very cartoonish but simple characters. I never touched it again.

Now all these years later.. this thing looks pretty damn cool.

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xanadu

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I played for over 2 hours...Just got off the train...I love it??

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doctordonkey

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After 5 hours, it is so far exceeding my expectations. Really great characterizations of these old classic faces, well thought out battle system, good pacing. This feels more like a re-imagining than a remake, and I think it's better for it.

Shame about the texture issues, hopefully that gets fixed one day. Or maybe it never does and the PC version fixes it a year later, who knows.

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Nodima

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I did not expect to be so upset I had to go to sleep so I could wake up in time for work last night.

This game might be really dope.

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SilverSaint

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After 8 hours of FF Corridor Remake I gotta say, the backdrops are gorgeous.

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Efesell

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By and large..having a great time.

But man, some of the details when you end up in places they don't expect you to look closely at..

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jamjyo

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Like the combat. But the overbearing amount of anime cliche/linearity reminds me that this is a post-ff6 final fantasy game after all.

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Nodima

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One thing about this game that really sticks out, and I don't know if it bugs me or I find it oddly charming, but the music and the cutscenes are not really in sync at all. At least early on. I ran around and did a bunch of side quests in Chapter 3 and no matter who I was talking to or what the context was, that huge, beautiful orchestral score was just blasting through my headphones at the same volume or louder than the vocals.

In quieter moments, the voices sound super clean too - there doesn't seem to have been a lot of work done on the ambiance side of things. On the other hand, because I'd played the PS1 games as they came out, it feels comfortably nostalgic and due to all the ambient dialogue I find myself reading all the subtitles (which I almost always turn off but had to leave on due to the aforementioned soundtrack blaring) and kind of getting taken back to that time.

To that end, one of the things I'm finding endlessly funny, at least in a "what hubris!" kind of way, are all the 10-second dialogue exchanges that are nothing but gasps and grunts. I'm enjoying how some of the side quests seem written as if the writer was challenged to take an average Yakuza exchange and cut all the nuance from it. I love how earnest this game can be at times, and at others how everyone involved with a cutscene from the animators to the writers to the actors seem to be in on this slick joke, winking at the audience and muttering, "you said you wanted these cutscenes fully animated and spoken aloud..."

All of this stuff could be really bad, but for some reason it's really charming the pants off me right now. I even love the weird low-effort polygon stuff: there's something really human feeling about looking up at this hugely detailed skybox of metal piping and sunrays, then angling the camera back down to your apartment which looks like a garbled mess of N64 textures, or watching a cutscene with hugely detailed foreground art married to a ton of dive bar kitsch that might as well have been ripped from a Medal of Honor Underground level.

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Kemuri07

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I'm about 10 hours into the game and my experience is pretty mixed right now. On the one hand, this game is absolutely gorgeous. Even though I pretty much expect SE products to have great production value, this is definitely the best looking Final Fantasy game to date. The characters, at least the core characters, work pretty well together. And having just come off of FFXIII, it's nice to hear some decent dialogue and not just extended bouts of exposition. Also, the combat is legit great. Despite my worries that this would be just another KH, I think SE found a way to mix the combat ARPG with the strategy of traditional turn base combat. And yeah, the nostalgia factor is pretty hype here and it's great hearing modern renditions of songs from the older games.

The problem, for right now is where they're taking FF7 REMAKE from a story perspective. I don't need this to be a 1:1 recreation of the original; I'm totally on board with a reimagining of the game. My problem is that, so far, so many of the changes seem superficial at best. I played the crap out of FF7 when it was on the original playstation; did that thing that kids do where I if you got stuck in an area, you just restarted the entire game over. So I know a large portion of the game by heart. Because REMAKE is only focusing on the Midgar section of the original game, REMAKE has to take what was essentially a small part from the original game and make it its own 40 hour game. So far--it all seems like bloat intended to drag out the run time. None of it seems to change the overall plot of the game as it still hits the intended marks it's supposed. It's just because I know exactly where the story is supposed to be heading, it feels like the game intentionally slows down to artificially fill that run time of 40 hours with side quests and unnecessary diversions. It makes you really question why is this being split into multiple games in the first place.

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Efesell

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@kemuri07: The side quests I would agree feel like its a bit of padding, the new character moments and threads though I appreciate a lot because it's doing a lot to flesh out parts of Midgar that honestly I didn't really care about at all in the original despite the game really wanting to make it seem like a very big deal.

If we take a long view at the end of this whenever it's all finished and whatever that looks like..yeah a lot of them might not be pivotal necessary moments but it's doing a whole lot of good work to make me way more invested in this initial dive back into Midgar.

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Fear_the_Booboo

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I got it fairly early so I managed to put 13 hours in and so far, I really don't like it and I have a hard time seeing what some praise about it?

I did play the original twice and loved it, but I'm not prone to nostalgia so I see this game as a new game and I feel like it falls short a lot. I still like some JRPGs here and there, but I don't think I love the genre as much as when I was younger.

My biggest issue is how linear and contrived it feels, most area are just one long corridor and the two times it opened up it was just barely, with a few off the main path area that were basically another corridor circling around. I love my JRPGs for how they make me feel like I'm exploring a big world and there's none of that here so far. Obviously the original really opened up after you got out of the city, but I feel that by having this game only be the part before, they could flesh out the city enough for it to be interesting. As much as people hate on FFXV, I always liked the open world and the feeling of the road it gave at first. FFVII feels just extremely linear in comparison, the level design makes me think of XIII which is not a good thing.

I'm on and off on the combat. With some enemies it clicks, but other enemies feel like they can pull off attacks that the combat is not responsive enough to actually manage. I'm also someone that hates when you need to time menu options in real-time battle, that you have to use menus in combat feels pretty weird when the spell just whiff cause you got interrupted. It makes sense in a turn based game but I find it just annoying here, so I try to use mostly the shortcuts for my main so it feels closer to a Tales game. Also getting repeatedly stun-locked in combos then sleep spell feels just annoying.

I'm not too fond of the characters either, but obviously this is just the start of the game. That said, Cloud's stoicism felt less weird in a game where you didn't have access to his facial expressions. Here he just feels like a blank slate or a complete asshole. That again, I expect to change a little as it progress.

We'll see, I really do hope it opens up. I'll play it out of straight curiosity at worst, but if it wasn't for the fact that I'm stuck at home, I don't think I would've pushed forward.

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Stryfeman

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I enjoyed it until the final 2 chapters. The last in particular ruined the whole thing for me. Whenever I think of the game now, it's not the 35 hours of good game I remember, it's the last 2 hours of slaps in the face that I think of. At this point I don't think I want part 2 if this is where they are going with it.

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Sandyman

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So far I am 13 hours in and gotta say, I share the mixed feelings the others have here.

Conversations feel dragged out and sometimes redundant. The level design might as well be straight line for the most part and did I really need a hub area where the quests are: kill some rats or fetch some cats?

I agree with @fear_the_booboo that I am mostly remined of Final Fantasy XIII. Hallway design and heavily padded story. I am 13 hours in and I just met Aerith. That's like 4% overall story progress for the whole FFVII-story (seriously, go look at a walkthrough of the original game. I was actually shocked that I am just at part 2 of 40-part walkthrough or so). At the pace this is going, it seems like we are in for at least 5 or 6 parts to cover the whole original game.

And what for? So that I can just walk along a hallway at a snail's pace listening to dialog? For a forced focus on side characters that amounts to: Aww, aren't the adorable. Wouldn't it be bad if something happened to them? Being forced to stay in a hub-area where the story just stops in a section that was (originally) designed to be fast-paced? And that for killing some rats?

Also, while the graphics are great, there are a lot of patches where the textures are at a N64-quality and sometimes even models themselves seem from PS2-area (I had an encounter with at six-sided cable roll and that was directly in sight of a main-story mission). I am not a big graphics guy, but this makes the quality seem really inconsistent.

I am also not quite sure why some of this wasn't brought up in the impression videos that I saw? FFXIII was critized for similar points and here it is fine all of the sudden?

The only thing I enjoy in this game so far is the combat. Trying to stagger enemies and finding a good way to exploit there weaknesses is really satisfying. Especially experimenting with Materia, managing the different roles of the party members and managing the ATB bars is fun.

It took a while to click though and I feel this could have been better managed with better difficulty scaling. Too often the enemies in the beginning (and by that I mean the first 5 or 6 hours) can be compeletely swiped with Cloud in Punisher-Mode and even after the bosses now, I find myself in scenarios where simply swiping is often enough.

So yeah. I will probably finish the first part, but I get the feeling that this didn't have to be a multi-part remake. This could have been done as one game and I honestly don't feel like paying 60 bucks 5 more times to see it through. I probably will play the original game through again.

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AV_Gamer

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#17  Edited By AV_Gamer

I've played a good amount of it, and so far I'm liking it a lot. For people who aren't sure if the remake is worth it, because it only covers the Midgar portion of the whole saga, think of it this way: When Star Wars: The Clone Wars came out, it was a 2 plus hour movie. Not long afterwards, a more detailed Star Wars: The Clone Wars CGI television series came out that spans several seasons with the final season running on Disney+. The original FFVII was the movie, the remake is the more detailed mini-series, and each game is an episode of the series. This means the story is more drawn out, the characters are given more development, characters that weren't in the original material are introduced and more. They claim the game is 40 plus hours long, I don't know because I haven't finished it, but judging by what I've played so, it seems to be the case.

All the main cast is likeable and an improvement over the original, especially Barret, who while still hammy, is a lot better character than he was in the original. The gameplay is fun and you can approach it in the action way like the later Final Fantasy's, or use the command menu method like the classic ones, and they both work well and flow almost seamlessly. The soundtrack is very well done, so much so, that I now have a new respect for the original one, which I thought was one of Nobuo's weakest works. They do this cleverly by remixing the classic music to fit the action on screen and the mood of the settings. It works very well. For example, the classic battle theme slowly builds up while Cloud is fighting and running from Shinra soldiers, when the major battle happens, the whole theme starts to play and its very effective.

I could go on, but I'll end with this, If Square-Enix plans to put this much production and hard work in the remaining episodes of FFVII, then I'm completely on board until the end, and I hope they do the same for Final Fantasy VI, IV I believe was already remade. Since SQ-E clearly can't come up with any new ideas for future games, go into the past and remake some of the most beloved classics. I can get down with that, and so can many fans.

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Seikenfreak

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#18  Edited By Seikenfreak

Just finished it myself. About 33 hours? Pretty sure I did all the side stuff I could, unless there were hidden things.

Ummm.. Hmm. So many thoughts on this, in reference to the old one, the new one itself, and everything up, down, and around it all.

I'll say the combat system was a bit weak IMO. Note I did play on "Classic" mode though. I'm one of those old farts who would've just been fine with a incredibly pretty and fancy turn based combat system. Take the isometric view, make battles flow in and out seamlessly, make the battles look cinematic and cool.. but still keep the more methodical strategy of the old games. I haven't been a fan of FF combat since 13 where they tried to make it all action. I hated FF13. Skipped 15 for all the reasons. There were brief glimpses in FF7R of the combat system like.. working and feeling good? And that almost always happened in 1v1 fights where I could actually see wtf was going on and had time to react to things. Otherwise, its just a giant fireworks glitterbomb fart of everyone zipping around the screen and the camera whipping back and forth etc etc.

I haven't played the original in maybe 15 years so my memory is rusty. I'm fairly impressed how they were able to turn what essentially felt like the tutorial of the original and flesh it out into a whole standalone experience. Maybe too standalone. I would've liked them to have ended it in a different way? I don't really know wtf was going on in the last hour or so of the story.

I feel like I'm rambling because I am. I'd say overall I liked it? Maybe because I'm eager to see where they go from here.. gameplay wise.. because as far as I remember, Midgar was like the total drag, boring part of the original game I never liked. Depending on how they handle adapting the rest of the game will decide how this remake goes down in history.

Some of the music was good. Right from the start, I thought the voices and sound FX were waaay too loud so I ended up dropping them down to like 4-5 and left the music at 10. Then cranked up the volume and it seemed like a pretty normal balance through the whole experience. Very few times was there dialogue I could barely hear and it was just some distant character saying something of no importance. Not sure why the game volume levels are so weird by default.

Oh oh and as usual I disliked how summons worked in this. They seem so inconsequential and pointless. Ever since 10, when they decided to make them function like party members, they've sucked. Although 12 did at least have some gorgeous finishing moves.

That's all I'll say for now. It's 1:20 AM. I really want to watch a long discussion video talking about the narrative and visual differences between the games, because as I said my memory is rusty.

Oh and I do not have a strong attachment to the original FF7. FF9 is my "classic" FF of choice. And a few of the older ones are good. FF7 falls somewhere maybe around #4-5 on my list. Though playing this remake reminds me why the FF9 and older stories are so much better than anything 10+

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Seikenfreak

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#19  Edited By Seikenfreak

Couple other things now that I've had time to sleep:

I think I really enjoyed the first third and the last third (aside from the last end section/boss)

In terms of linearity.. That's complicated. Are we talking about the areas themselves or the overall gameplay? I, like a lot of people, hated FF13 because of the areas. And yet it felt appropriate for FF7R. There were times where I felt slightly impatient having to run back and forth finding treasure stuff, but then I reminded myself that actually, this is how all those old games were so it's fine. Maybe I couldn't handle it in FF13 because there were no like towns or anything. Or that I wanted to smash every character in the face with a ball peen hammer. Or that I didn't give a shit about the story. None of that applies here. Also maybe because the city and various environments you traverse felt very cramped and industrial so naturally the pathways would be very structured and linear.

The fact that they don't have a compass/cardinal directions on the little radar bar thing up top is ludicrous. Had to constantly open my map in the town areas to figure out wtf direction I was facing.

There were some very high highs in terms of music. Most of the boss battles I'd say or other intense scenes, I actually put the controller down mid-fight, and cranked up the volume even more before continuing to play. Then there is a lot of other varied styles if you're into that thing, which I'm indifferent on. But my friend who is always listening to game music and likes listening to various professional-tier song covers/remixes and stuff.. This will be right up his alley. For those people who wanna hear like.. weird jazz fusion versions etc lol

The Materia system is still great and I'm glad they kept it the way it was as far as I can remember.

On the other hand, the implementation of a weapon/stat buff grid thing is exactly the sort've useless junk they shouldn't waste their time implementing. I looked at it for like a minute and thought.. wait.. they put some sphere grid crap in this? Allocated my point manually exactly one time and then thought.. Why? And just set it to auto. The old game was fine in this aspect. No need to bolt on extra junk. The Materia system and gear are how you customize your characters.

Yet, the weapon system of using the special ability (with the bonus) to learn it was great and is why the gear system in FF9 is fun. I actually kinda enjoyed having a reason to take a break from the main story, go to the arena, actually try the different characters and get the skills for the various weapons.

Every time Biggs is on screen and talked, charlie sheen is all I could think of (I guess fitting to have Jessie in there sort've):

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maskedlovewarrior

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I like the game quite a lot. It's making me nostalgic, but not really about the old game, as I've never played it.

I was never a fan of the original FF7. I played final fantasy 2 USA when I was very young and watched my older sister complete it, but that's about the extent of my relationship with the series. I do recall being on a boy scout trip and some 12-16 year olds talking about it (mostly about Tifa's boobs). I saw that Advent children movie and thought it was kind of bad.

I've only just beaten the airbuster boss but I feel like I sort of understand the materia system and the battle mechanics and I think they are pretty enjoyable. I like the variety of things you can do with the materia and the fact that old weapons can still be pretty good for whatever build you're after by leveraging the upgrade system.

I really liked fighting motorcycle man, and Jesse reminds me of a girl I went to college with who flirted with everyone.

The other characters are great and I'm kind of down with the cheesey anime dialogue. Barrets va is fun and Biggs is just a young skinny Charlie Sheen. I thing Wedge sounds like Badger from Breaking Bad, so that's fun.

I've never played FF7 and mostly didn't have any interest in it before. I like the story and the world this game is building. I think it's linearity is actually a nice change for me. I see why people like it.

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Nodima

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Played a bunch yesterday, I'll try to be a little more concise than I usually am with my thoughts.

• The subtle way they lean into old camera angles and animations is really trippy. I was always more of a FF8/FF9 kid, but I spent a lot of time on IGN's Final Fantasy forum so FF7 is still plenty iconic for me. Every time I see some movement or set decoration rendered at this fidelity, I can only imagine how people who really loved this game feel because it even gives me butterflies sometimes.

• The combat is really, really fun. Once the difficulty ramps up it still nails that old PSX-era feel of constantly balancing Pheonix Downs, Ethers, Potions, Cures and attacks of the old ATB and yet all the moving around and subtle/kinda janky dodge/parry mechanics keeps things real sweaty.

• The writing is officially pretty bad to me, but I can tell that it's intentionally this way so it's easy to roll with. Like I said before, it's kind of astonishing how much value they've put on the original work and only cleaned up the most egregious stuff. I know a lot of in-too-deep anime presents itself this way, but I choose to interpret it as an inside joke anybody who made up voices for the text-based RPGs of their childhood knows - FF7 has always been thematically rich but textually poor.

• The environments are actually pretty awful and I'm surprised I didn't see anything about this in reviews. I have to imagine reviewers just assumed the hi-res textures would be coming in a Day One Patch?

• That said, I love it and I hope they don't change it. There are times where I'm looking at the screen and see all four 3D generations of gaming on a single screen and it's incredible. A door will look like it's straight out of Perfect Dark, a poster will look like it's right out of Max Payne, an NPC's face will animate right out of Fallout 3 and then Aerith will nearly look like CGI and all of that is right next to each other in the same fram. In. Credible!

• I said this elsewhere about Jeff playing Phantasy Star, but I find the ambient dialogue and NPC quips pretty charming. Sometimes I'm reminded of when I really fell into the groove with Destiny, where the music and the carnival barks and everything just coalesce into this very zen, affirming feel.

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Kemuri07

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The thing about modern Square Enix, they really hide a lot of the iffy parts of their games with polish: REMAKE is a pretty game--to an extent. But after being wowed by the graphics, you do start seeing the issues with the game. The biggest issue is the big focus on Midgar, and the denizens--which is not a bad idea. I'm at the Honey Bee Inn section and, there's a reason why Square was making that one its standout area when they were advertising the game--Tonally, it really does feel like a fantasy version of a Yakuza game, and the fact the area completely embraces the seedier side of Midgar made makes feel different to other JRPGS.

The problem is, REMAKE just doesn't have the same effort as the Yakuza games. And you really feel it when the game, again and again, slows things down to a crawl because it has to make the first act of FF7 last an entire game. But many of the side quests are fetch quests that lack any of the personality and humor of Yakuza. It's just dull.

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ThePanzini

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#23  Edited By ThePanzini

@kemuri07: I would say the main reason part one is just Midgar is probably cost, creating art and assets is the highest cost/time in development. The Remake doesn't have that many locations and what is has got is very similar to each other.

One of the reasons SE was so against remaking seven is that it would be too expensive, and given it was being developed externally before being scrapped due to quality issues, then restarted as a split project echos this thought.

The slow crawl is the game background loading cutscenes because the areas are reused is has a few of these slow crawl sections for later cutscenes.

The remake may be uneven but it definitely has personality tonally the original was always all over the place and the remake is no different. Cloud's dickish charm is exactly how I imagined him 20 years ago and I can only smile at Barret singing the victory fanfare after a fight. Its trully wonderful seeing Biggs, Wedge and Jess more flesh out as characters, and seeing the main cast grow with each other is great.

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Seikenfreak

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#24  Edited By Seikenfreak

Eh, so I just watched something that explained the ending and various deviations in the game..

I am now faaaar less enthusiastic about the future of this series. Ugh, modern SE just can't do anything without finding a way to screw it up.

Earlier today I watched some story stuff about the original game and was like.. Wow, I don't remember any of this.. This is some pretty solid stuff. It'll be great to see it remade.. And now I am even more saddened.

My opinion on the game is now retroactively soured.

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SilverSaint

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36 hours on normal to beat the game with all side content. My takeaway is 7.5/10 and FUCK Dementors.

Positives:
1) Gorgeous backdrops
2) Great aesthetic

Main Negatives:
1) the constant slow walk / shimmy, sometimes you load into a zone, then crawl under a beam, then shimmy through 2 crates, then shimmy across a beam....all in a row
2) the corridors, god the game is so closed off, even the "towns" are just a few corridors that lead to battle areas for side quests
3) boss health, they are just sponges and need like 30-50% less and it becomes just annoying when you start fighting numerous in a row
4) the padding. There are so many unnecessary scenes, short cutscenes (like 3 secs with 2 secs load in and out), boss fights, side quests, longer then needed dungeon, back tracking etc that I would estimate 10-15 hours could of been cut EASILY and the game would of been better off.
5) not being able to choose your party, its always pre-determined

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I’m 22 hours in and I’ve so far had a really good time with the whole thing, excluding some small annoyances here and there.

There is a WHOLE lot of anime in there and the story has some really thick cheese to it, but surprisingly it has bothered me very little and I’ve been enjoying it greatly instead.

The gameplay has been fun and challenging enough, especially for someone like me who forgets to use items a lot of time and could probably set materia way more ideally.

If forgetting about the very muddy textures popping up in various places, I really like the graphics and the overall style of the game. The music’s also generally good and incredibly good at places.

Maybe there’ll be a fight that ruins the whole thing for me eventually, but so far this might be the best thing I’ve played whole year.

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So I asked some reviewers on Twitter about this, none of whom answered - how is this game for people that have never actually played the original?

I was just listening to Kotaku Splitscreen where they were talking about the Remake at length, and they all had played the original. Jason Schreier even goes on to say that this is specifically made for people who have played the original and people that haven't won't even understand what is going on.

The thing looks gorgeous but I keep thinking I should watch some sort of playthrough of the original in order to be able to not only understand but sort of appreciate this game on some level?

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Nodima

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#28  Edited By Nodima

Note that none of what follows is really meant to dissuade you from playing the game. It sounds like the people who didn't play the original are actually by and large enjoying this game more than those who played it before. I'm having more fun with this game than I have anything since Spider-Man PS4. I'm more addressing my interpretations of some specific anxieties I've seen bandied about over this game re: old players worrying over how new players might react to it.

@humanity said:

So I asked some reviewers on Twitter about this, none of whom answered - how is this game for people that have never actually played the original?

I was just listening to Kotaku Splitscreen where they were talking about the Remake at length, and they all had played the original. Jason Schreier even goes on to say that this is specifically made for people who have played the original and people that haven't won't even understand what is going on.

The thing looks gorgeous but I keep thinking I should watch some sort of playthrough of the original in order to be able to not only understand but sort of appreciate this game on some level?

Like I said earlier, there's plenty of moments where the game will tweak your nostalgia for the original, but I think the critics who've said things like what you mention from the Kotaku podcast are being a little hyperbolic. The story of Midgar in both the original and the Remake, 15 hours in, is pretty straightforward. I think what Schreier is really trying to describe is a two-pronged problem that will hit different people different ways:

The first, as I've pointed out a couple times in this thread, is that much of this dialogue doesn't play very well spoken aloud as opposed to read in your head. If you have a high tolerance for anime bullshit, or you just need an escapist fantasy right now, there's a certain charm to it. But I'd say I can count on a single hand the number of scenes that have felt tonally consistent for more than, oh, 10 seconds and a lot of that has to be dumped on the shoulders of the dialogue because the performance and animation are both top notch. If you're familiar with the story, you might worry those who aren't will be spending a whole lot of time gasping and grunting alongside their anime buddies.

The second is I think what someone who has played a lot of FFVII like Schreier is really getting at, and it's that I'm doing things in hour 15 that take place maybe 4 or 5 hours into the original (I always tended to grind levels early so my time-memory of these games is rough).

To put it another way, I'm at Part 19 of ZombiePie's Final Fantasy VII blog, a blog which wound up having 154 parts; I'm 40-50% into a game that's so far given me roughly 10% of the primary ideas its interested in. A lot of what's taken place interstitially has been quite fun, but if I wasn't already familiar with the plot of this game, I'm at a point where I would have no idea what the point of it all is. This is a thing the original game did so often that it's less jarring there because FFVII was really just an exercise in diversions and excess every hour or two, but given the timeline restrictions of this game it gets pretty easy to ask yourself why are we doing this that I think someone could easily project onto something who hasn't played FFVII before as why did I do that? once the credits roll.

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Efesell

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@humanity: I feel like with that comment Jason is stuck in a state of mind of knowing a lot about FFVII and how it goes and not really looking outside of that mentality. The moments in this game that are dramatically different from the original are that way specifically to catch people like that off guard, this is true, but it isn't as though all of that isn't built around an already impressive game. I don't see how you or anyone else that's completely new would have any real difficulty going along with this.

More people should consider this as something worth its own merit and not as just some extension to FFVII.

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chaz934

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I just bought it, but I might not start it for a bit, as I’m working through a few other games. The demo was great so despite my lack of experience with the series I’m looking forward to this.

I’m not a Final Fantasy guy and I’ve only really enjoyed a handful of JRPGs. I’ve only ever played the first act of og FFVII, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this is fleshed out.

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#31  Edited By GunstarRed

I think it's a fantastic game. I found it to be a real rollercoaster of emotions, nostalgia, and big intense set pieces. The Boss gauntlet the game falls into towards the end is kinda exhausting, and while I'm a mixture of excited and conflicted by the final hour, I loved the game, and I'm super curious about where this is all headed now. I'm a little shocked by Square having the balls to fuck with their most famous game in this way. I've seen comparisions to Kingdom Hearts, and that's never good, but I think I'm on board with this, They should have probably held back on Sephiroph as the final boss, but those fans need their wank material... That knowing look at the camera he does.

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#32  Edited By Seikenfreak

@humanity: Hmm, yea there are potentially layers to what Jason is saying.

I think people who have never played the original can enjoy the remake for sure. It's a very impressive piece. You may even like it more than someone who is familiar with the original, though that really depends on the specific persons nostalgic tastes. Jason may be specifically referring to either scenario:

  1. The new player has seen an incomplete story. [REDACTED]. The narrative in Midgar was only the tiny tip of the iceberg. Stuff at the end may seem weird but fine. I'd compare this to when I saw LotR: Fellowship of the Ring in theaters and then it just ended and I was like.. wait wtf? I had no idea it was a multipart series.
  2. The other guess is Jason is talking about how new people won't understand the meta-narrative. In the game itself and the discussion outside of it. This portion was intended for people who played the original or already knew the story. This is where all the hot takes are happening. New people might say.. "I don't understand what the big deal is.."

Honestly, I think a person would be better off playing this first without knowing the original. If then, you want more after finishing it (which you almost certainly will) then you could watch the original. But also, there may be no point to doing that. I wish they would've just ended it like they ended the original.. but they didn't because probably two weak ass reasons.. They figured new people would've been disappointed and confused if it just ended and didn't have some big dumb final boss fight. And it sounds like they might've written it all up in a way thats a big middle finger to fans of the original, and now they want to just make a completely different game, rewrite the story, and turn this into some Kingdom Hearts level narrative clusterfuck.

@gunstarredI was pretty disappointed that they had to shoehorn him in. Was way better in the original when he was more mysterious and an unknown up to this point. But of course, SE assumed the weirdos would've been crying hysterically if they didn't get to have some sort of fight with him, even if it was for no reason.

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@seikenfreak: I guess we are into the unknown at this point. Aerith's fate could be drastically changed, hell, Sephiroph might not even be the big overall villain now. That version of One Winged Angel (that's pretty close to Advent Children's minus the metal) Is pretty damn good though... But then again all of the music is really good. There's some fantastic versions of old tracks... All 7000 versions of Let the battles begin.

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#34  Edited By Kemuri07

@efesell: But that's all but impossible when the game constantly invokes that nostalgia for effect. REMAKE can't have it both ways. So of course people are going to compare this game to the original because--that's the whole point. It very much is an extension to FF7.

So pretty much my entire playthrough thus far has been me either enjoying all the recreations or me getting frustrated because the game is doing all it can to drag out stuff that the original game wrapped up quickly.

It's one of the reasons why I don't think Square should have ever come back to FF7 because it's not possible to capture what it was that made Final Fantasy VII such a big deal. Because the gaming industry was so different in 97, and many people were just getting into anime when VII was release. It was a perfect storm that pretty much ensured that FF7 would be a hit. You can't really do that in 2020. So while I think newcomers can enjoy REMAKE, it's not the same experience.



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Efesell

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@kemuri07: I dunno, I shoved the original in the corner pretty effectively. It's interesting to see where is adheres and where it makes its big deviations but overall I think it stands well on its own.

I don't think it matters all that much whether or not its the SAME experience.

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Kemuri07

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@efesell: That's not necessarily what I meant. I don't need REMAKE to be a 1:1 recreation. What I mean is that I don't believe at all that FF7 REMAKE gets what made that original game so special or makes newcomers understand what was so interesting about the original game. As it is, it's just a solid RPG, not any different from any other RPGs that get pushed out on a daily basis.

And in the context of modern Square Enix and their penchant for completely shitting on their storylines, I think it's fair that people are worried about where they plant to take this franchise.

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Efesell

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@kemuri07: Well I guess part of the disconnect here with me is that I also would have mostly categorized the original, now and at the time, as kind of just "A solid RPG".

At least from its content and not its technical leaps of the day.

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#38  Edited By someoneproud  Online

@seikenfreak said: "Remake generally covers the story of Disc 1 of the Original"

Seems to be a common conception but this is just plain wrong. Midgar is only the introductory section of Disc 1, there's still Kalm + flashback, Fort Condor (optionally), Junon + the boat journey, Costa del Sol, the Golden Saucer + Corel Prison, Nibelheim, Rocket Town and the Temple of Ancients (as well as some dungeons between) before they get to where Disc 1 finished.

Frankly, I'd be amazed if they get to the end of Disc 1 by the end of part 2. They aren't anywhere close to that point yet.

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Efesell

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@someoneproud: I suspect the the same level of granularity they're giving Midgar here will not apply to much of the rest of FFVII. This whole project will conclude faster than I think most people are anticipating.

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@efesell: I mean, that's fair.

It's not so much that I think FF7 is the greatest game ever. Hell, it's not even my favorite Final Fantasy (FFIX4life!) but I appreciate what that game did for the genre, as well as how it told its story. For me, that's the most important part: even now, the original FFVII is a weird game and I think that's largely due to Squaresoft willing to be extremely experimental during that time. Could you imagine Square Enix today putting out something like Parasite Eve?

I have a feeling that 10 years from now, we'll still be talking about VII while REMAKE will just be a footnote.

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Efesell

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#41  Edited By Efesell

@kemuri07: There will almost certainly be a generation of players who will always remember FFVII in that way because to them it was definitely a very foundational game.

That said this is a very ambitious project and I very much doubt it is ever relegated to being a footnote exactly. I think it'll absolutely be remembered..for better or for worse.

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someoneproud

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#42 someoneproud  Online

@efesell: 100%. Even in the original Midgar was by far the largest single location in the game. The rest were flown through in no time and I'm sure that won't change too much. I was more thinking that them just building all those locations with the sort of fidelity seen in part 1 is kind of a massive undertaking.

As it stands I'm hopeful for the story, so long as those lame shadows of fate stay out of it from here, I just hope I get to see all these locations realised so beautifully. They could cut Fort Condor and Costa del Sol from part 2 without sacrificing much in the way of plot relevance but the rest have some iconic shit happening in them that really shouldn't get cut imo.

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Seikenfreak

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#43  Edited By Seikenfreak

@someoneproud: Oh is it? Then I stand corrected. My memory is definitely off.

I actually popped my original copy in yesterday having this weird feeling of wanting to relive all the stuff I couldn't remember. I played up until you reach the bar, was amazed at how well all of this was translated into the new title, down to the horny couple standing outside the train station talking about the train graveyard, and then I stopped. A sudden feeling of being overwhelmed by the true scope of the original, but also since the new one is so exact, I'd feel like I was playing through the same thing over again right after doing it the other day lol I don't really play games over again, especially massive RPGs.

It would be incredible to see them handle the rest of the game world on a level similar to Midgar. You'd hope that now the production pipeline of the game would be setup for the most part and they could start tackling the larger scale. Except, as mentioned, it looks like they've written themselves a way out of that, and thus I could see this turning into another FF7 spin off that is.. frustrating?

I don't understand why SE doesn't have faith in their previous work. And I despise the "well, FF7 already exists for those people" perspective, either from the devs or whomever. Pretty much all of their new stories/games are junk (FF14 and Bravely Default are the exceptions). Fine, they could go back to the well then, take something that is already done and well regarded, update it and tweak minor things, and find their feet again. It'll sell like hot cakes, be critically acclaimed, and prove that people still like the old stuff, thus giving them the confidence to lean back more on their classic roots.. you know, the thing that made them a success to begin with.

Instead, it's like they thought.. Well, we did FF7 and no one would want to play that again, am I right?. And if they do, they can go play the 23 year old game (which the majority of young-- or even old fans like myself--obviously won't do). So let's alter it to undermine the previous work, then try to write in a reason that allows us to undermine it, open the possibility to work it into other cross media crap, bend to the will of the people who whined unreasonably about the story 20 years ago annnd.. Hopefully people will like it?

The video game landscape has changed. But that is in terms of gameplay and like.. "quality of life" elements or.. racist/sexist stuff. Random battles don't need to be a thing anymore. Reduce some of the grinding. Tweak the original work. The core story was fine as it was. Are they going to flesh it out like they did with Part 1? Awesome, they did a great job from that perspective IMO. But there is no real reason to change the rest of the story other than for the sake of doing it.

Sorry, went on a rant lol I don't have an emotional attachment to FF7. I just get pissed off with these companies and their decisions. It's like Bluepoint or someone should've been in the directors chair. Not the guy who made this game 25 years ago and is thinking "Eh, I don't really wanna do all that again.. Let's wing it!"

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Efesell

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@seikenfreak: Honestly I think the original would be pretty replayable.. it's actually quite small? I dunno everyone talks about massive scale and all that but it is absolutely a shorter game than I think everyone remembers it being. It was a little before the days of every JRPG needing to be 70 hours or whatever to avoid fans screaming about it.

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#45  Edited By Seikenfreak

@efesell: Probably also true but half the awesome-ness of the original that I remember was all the side stuff and end game content. So I'd feel pressured to do that. I actually got down into my shelf of strategy guides that I have almost zero reason to look at anymore and.. viola, I have an FF7 brady guide lol Flipped through it a bit. Was surprised how small the book was. Looking at my memory card from way back when, my FF7 save has 90 hours on it.

Then I started watching a playthrough on youtube and that didn't really keep my attention. Probably because what I want now is to experience the game again, but in the beautiful framework that is Remake.

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RubberBabyBuggyBumpers

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I have started wondering if I'm playing Kingdom Hearts with some touches of crap-ass FFX-2. The dialogue is awful, the action is fine when it's happening, and then I'm right back with some stupid slow walking corridor section with all kinds of senseless dialogue I wish I could skip right through. As soon as I saw those wraith thingies, I started shaking my head. Every time I want to go off the chosen path, I am restricted from doing so. There is currently zero desire to continue playing this one. I suppose Cloud will be stuck and Aerith's house forever.

I have no faith in the future episodes. The best part of the game was the first hour and a half. It went down the shitter after that.

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someoneproud

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#47 someoneproud  Online

@seikenfreak: It's happening a lot lately and I don't blame anyone for not remembering stuff from decades ago. I played through the original a couple of weeks ago and have played through it an absurd number of times over the years so it's pretty firmly set in my mind.

I have a few issues with the adaption but I agree that often the attention to detail goes above and beyond what they needed to do for this thing to sell. It really does feel like a love letter to the original to me.

I can see why folk are concerned with how they ended this one (it certainly could've been handled better) but I just can't see them throwing away everything post-midgar after absolutely nailing 90%+ of this part. Time will tell I suppose but I expect the later parts to hit all the key story beats.

@efesell: It's definitely has a short playtime compared to modern RPGs but there's so much crammed into that 50/60 hours. The story moves at such a good pace and new areas, music, people, enemies and story beats are around every corner. I'm probably more than a little biased but I still haven't tired of replaying it after all these years.

On a related note the mod scene for FFVII is in an extremely good place these days. 4K backgrounds, improved models (some really nice main character models that look just like Nomura's concept art), orchestral music, balance changes, translation fixes and it's no longer a massive pain to mod with the release of the '7th heaven' mod manager that basically expedites and self contains the whole process.

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Oh yeah...for better or for worse, it's going to hit all of the key moments of Final Fantasy VII. And I think that's the double-edge sword. It has to hit all the main points of the story because that is the selling point of this game. But there's clearly some desire to be different, and I think that struggle is going to hurt REMAKE in the long run.

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someoneproud

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#49 someoneproud  Online

@kemuri07: I was thinking the same originally but I've been surprised by how much I've enjoyed most of the changes/additions they've made so far. There's some good (cheesy but I like it) emotional moments added, the Wall Market section was marvelous and the extra Avalanche stuff was well worth it.

All the references to the war with Wutai and the mongering for a fresh conflict is something they expanded on that I also really liked.

The time-ghost BS is just god-awful and it feels like they chickened out of having Avalanche actually blow up any reactors and Sepiroth's bloodbath. Sepiroth really didn't need to be in this game at all imo, felt like they were pandering to people that only really knew the memes of FFVII and gave them a pretty boy, big sword sword fight.

I can definitely see where you're coming from and they could really fuck things up from here but I can live with Sepiroth showing up more and toning down the brutality for the rating as long as the key moments are all there. If more time-ghosts turn up that might be a deal-breaker for me, not sure but we'll see.

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Efesell

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See.. I lean more towards the 'remake' portion of this being done. This is the MGS2 twist and it's all new bullshit going forward and that's what I'm gunning for. Not worrying about what key moments they hit or how they fit it all into so many episodes.. cause it probably doesn't matter.