I haven’t exactly been silent about my concerns for the Final Fantasy VII remake. From the way Square Enix have decided to carve it up so they can sell us one game three times to the new combat system that is completely different from the original, I have made my displeasure known. So when I found out that Square Enix had released a demo I thought this was a perfect way to ease some of my concerns. But with the exception of the combat, I’m still just as concerned about this game if not more so.
Let’s get the good out of the way first, the combat. I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t happy when I heard the turn based combat system wouldn’t be making a comeback. For some reason AAA companies seem to think that methodical strategic tactics have no place in modern games when you could be break dancing across the screen like an epileptic gibbon. They are of course wrong but when has that ever stopped the AAA games industry from doing something (cough Final Fantasy XIII cough. But I don’t mind eating a little Chocobo (or crow if you don’t follow Final Fantasy) when I stand corrected. Yes, praise Ifrit, Shiva and everyone in between because the combat system in FF VII: Remake is awesome.(“Smash!”)
This frenetic combat system marries together turn-based and action to create something that is the best of both without sacrificing anything of which makes either fun. Using physical attacks the combatant builds up their ATB gauge allowing them to use magic, items or special abilities. This forces the player to think strategically about whether or not it’s worth forgoing their safety to build up to a stronger attack or playing it safe and healing up.
Another point in the demos (and hopefully the remake’s) favour is the extra character development they appear to be giving Biggs and Wedge. I always wondered about their motivations for joining Barret in his crusade against Shinra, fingers crossed that we see more of this in the full version. Unfortunately the same courtesy wasn’t extended to Jessie; it appears that Square seem content to make her into nothing more than a drooling fan girl who is happy to swoon over the cute ex-soldier, but again this could change in the main game.(“He’s so dreamy.”)
Okay, now that’s out of the way let’s get to the meat of this article, the bad stuff. Let’s start with what we’ll charitably call the dialogue; Oh My God is this some cringe worthy guff. From the swooning fan girling they have forced Jessie to display in a failed attempted to pad out this tripe, to the borderline offensive way Barret speaks (by the way Square Enix have you ever actually met a black person?) I’ve never felt so embarrassed. And I’ve played Final Fantasy X-2 a.k.a Final Fantasy Dress up.(“It’s Yuna Bitch!”)
Let’s do what Square obviously didn’t and linger on Barret a little while longer, while in the original he’s a little hot headed at times, he’s also cautious and reserved, especially in the opening mission. This version however is painfully elongating his opinions at the top of his lungs antagonising and belittling everyone in what can only be described as a white person attempting a stereotypical rap voice.(At least he didn’t call anyone mother-f**ker…)
This will seem like a petty gripe but I just couldn’t get over the fact that they stuck him in a pair of sunglasses, which he wears indoors like a knob. I mean he lives under a huge metal disk that blocks out the sun, that’s his whole thing, trying to take down a corrupt conglomerate that is forcing the underprivileged into sunless poverty. So what the fuck does he need them for? All I can think is that Square Enix are going to tack on some stupid side story about how his dead wife gave them to him or something equally ridiculous. (They can’t possibly help while he aims his gun-arm?!?)(“I GET dry-eye!”)
And finally we come to one of my biggest concerns that has now been all but confirmed, the Sepiroth/breaks with reality that Cloud experiences. This is by far the stupidest thing that Square could have done to the remake. Taking something that is built up slowly over the course of the game and shoving it in within the first 20 minutes because they don’t have enough content to justify this farce. Who cares if it strips impactful moments and characters of what made them affecting, no the audience is getting bored and the next game isn’t out for six years better show Sepiroth eating an ice-cream at the train station.(“I’m now a DLC Party member!”)
Demos are always difficult to judge given the limited amount of gameplay that you get and the uncertainty of whether something will even make it to the final product. But given what I have seen today I can’t say that I’m anymore hyped than I was before the demo, if anything I’m less excited. I could handle a crappy combat system if the story was still good, but let’s face it Square aren’t doing this to tell a good story. If they were, they would release it the way it originally was with better graphics.
Well, that was our thoughts on the Final Fantasy VII Remake Demo, do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel and if you’re feeling generous feel free to donate to our Patreon, thanks for reading.