Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 1: The First Part

I don’t think there’s a dedicated thread for this game yet on the forums? Please mark your spoilers sensibly; I trust you guys.

Does anyone have thoughts on the demo? On the previews? On the cross-promotion with Butterfinger?

My secret hope—which will never happen—is that they pull a Rebuild of Evangelion on us. The first part will be a fairly by-the-book retelling of the early story. The second part will introduce minor interesting twists along the way and end on a major deviation from the original story. The third part will deal with the ramifications of that deviation and go in a brave new direction. The fourth part will never come out in our lifetimes. Make it happen Nomura. Do one visionary thing for once in your life.

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I’m not super excited for it, but I am very interested to see what character development comes from hours and hours of side quests and new content. Even from the demo footage I saw on Giant Bomb (which is the same level as the demo on the PS4, but it includes a couple of extra cut scenes), there is clearly going to be some changes to the story. Or a lot of nonsense to force things back to the Status Quo by the end.

All that said, I hated the combat in the demo and I’m still wary - after Dragon Age: Inquisition on PS3 didn’t get the (crucial!) DLC - of buying a huge game that will take years to finish right at the end of a console generation.

And I’m still mad at Nomura about Kairi.

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The demo was incredible, beautiful, and a wonderful nostalgia trip. I mentioned this on the Discord but it was genuinely impressive to see my launch PS4 put out these kinds of visuals at near 1080p and a solid framerate (plus some great HDR implementation). But I don’t think I’m gonna buy the game. The demo slice provided me the best part of the game, and I don’t think I should be playing a 40 hour expansion of something I played in 6 hours back in the 90s. More power to the people that want it, but I just think that I’m drowning in RPGs I haven’t played yet, so why spend my precious gaming time on something I’ve already experienced in glorious 32-bit graphics?

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I’ve been yo-yoing in and out of love of this project for awhile. I actually wrote a piece two or three years ago saying that the remake isn’t necessary. I’m crazy into FFVII, it’s the game that made fall in love with classic turn-based JRPGs. It was just the right blend of Evangelion mindscrew with cyberpunk with fantasy that teenager me needed in his life badly.

So I’m one of those people who will complain about every little detail like Austin talked about on the podcast this week. The elevator is too big. The Reactor isn’t foggy enough. The music is mixed too low so the heavy MIDI bass hits that made it really foreboding and intense. I will be that kind of insufferable fuck. There’s no way a remake works for me that isn’t just the original game with slightly better graphics, a revised script, and maybe a bit more balance in the combat so you can’t cheese it all with Materia load-outs.

And… the remake doesn’t work for me. It isn’t even for my nit-picking, the combat just feels bad. I don’t like these half-measure semi-action semi-JRPG things. Either make an action game or don’t. Barret in particular feels like dogshit to play as, you can’t properly aim his gun. Cloud’s combos are very stiff, you just hold down Square and he does a spinslash that kills most basic enemies. I didn’t feel like I actually mastered anything but still tanked through the boss.

So yeah, just make Kingdom Hearts in the future, Square Enix. Stop being cute with it.

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Yeah I really liked the demo and it was really interesting to see that old world brought back in new ways. I hadn’t thought about it as much but the voice acting adds much more character to people than I expected. Made Biggs, Wedge and Jessie a lot more interesting to me than I remember them being.

I also really liked some of the redesigns on Heidigger and President Shinra when they were there. The design of Heidigger reminded me too much of Bluto from Popeye in the past, it was very goofy which was fine for the tone I suppose. This one makes him kinda barrel-chested and menacing which was neat. Makes the Shinra crew a lot sinister.

Similarly I feel Barret was a lot less goofy? I feel like they were really trying to evoke Marvel’s Blade with his voice (and especially the shades). It’s fine and again I think it matches the serious tone they are trying to strike. If anything it really makes me look forward to his ‘arc’ because I think Barret gets some great emotional arcs in the original and I’d love to see them fully enacted with this budget behind them and good voice acting.

As for the Combat I didn’t mind it so much and I liked how there’s still clear tactical elements with the ATB system. Going forward I might wonder if it’s too easy? I felt like potions were so plentiful there was never any danger. I also found the boss fight in it rather clunky? We were expected to get behind the giant boss but that kind of mechanic without any particular way of drawing aggro felt kind of awkward. It generally went on for too long because of it I feel. I did like the thought of making these RPG bosses have action elements in some way and I bet it’ll really make for some amazing setpieces down the line! Just this implementation felt a bit difficult. If there IS a way to draw aggro later on (maybe a rework of the “cover” materia or something) I think it would work especially well for Barret who can be a bit defenseless.

So yeah! Looking forward to more from them!

I never played FF7 back in the day but I liked how this felt to play, deliberate enough to not feel mashy and using the menus felt nice enough (probably would’ve liked them incorporating some of those in real time too). It’s also just a gorgeous game with great artistic design, and didn’t feel constrained by running on my base PS4.

My biggest problems will probably come down to voice acting and translation, it feels like a very typical anime dub, with characters mouthing every little expression and going full ham with lines. At least it flows, compared to Kingdom Hearts where literally every line has a weird inflection and a jarring pause between them.

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I was impressed with the demo! From the previews I was worried that the bosses like the Guard Scorpion would be a slog, but in practice it felt like the right length. I’m very interested in seeing the extent of the Kingdom Hearts Meets Final Fantasy ATB formula; it was really smart of them to slow down the world when you go into your menu.

What I worry about right now is the voice acting, specifically all of the “filler” noises. The little grunts every scene is littered with. It was over the top in 15 and it looks like they are sticking with that style for this, and I am just not a fan. It’s such a small thing but when it happens all the time it gets grating. Like they can’t trust a moment to be silent. The actual delivered lines are fine. Not the best and not the worst dub I’ve sat through, though definitely far from Final Fantasy’s best dub (I actually really like 10’s voice work, that would probably be the top of the voice FF games for me).

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I feel so validated to see someone else complain about all the damn grunts between like every other sentence. I don’t know if these sorta things translate better in Japanese media, or if the writers/director had no trust in the scenes’ visuals and thus wanted the VO to hammer home a character’s hesitation/surprise/etc.They break the flow of dialog so much that there were definitely more than a few convos that sounded like aliens wrote them.

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So I feel like it’s both. Anime definitely does have that idea of “miscellaneous” sounds (watch any fight scene in Dragon Ball Z for side characters going ‘oo-OO-oh!’), but it feels much more pronounced in this and FF15 than that. Even Kingdom Hearts 3, whose voice direction has other problems, doesn’t have it to this extent.

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Maybe that’s my main problem (other than the combat which I still don’t like). FFVII has no dialog between cutscenes and lets the atmosphere of the dungeon do all the storytelling. Barret yelling “suck it” every battle is not the same feeling at all.

Wait, FFVII absolutely had dialog between cut scenes. A lot of the dialog during FFVIIR’s mako sequence are the same as the speech bubbles that popped up as you were going through the facility. Granted, the dialog drops off considerably once you get to the open world, but for the intro it definitely had tons of non-cutscene dialog.

I was only tangentially aware of FFVII growing up. I was more of a Crash Bandicoot kind of person. The demo was gorgeous (and I applaud them for even having a demo in the first place - bravo), but everything bigger than the standard grunts felt bullet sponge-y (and some of that writing is A LOT).

There’s almost no dialog in combat is what I mean (except for various notorious bits like “attack while its tail is up!”), and WAY WAY WAY less talking throughout the Sector 7 Reactor. It wasn’t like Barret needed say something every time he casts Thunder is what I mean. You can have long sections where nobody says anything, that’s way not the case this time.

Ah ok, yes I agree with that. It is a bit much this time around but I get it given the expectations around AAA games nowadays.

The big story change in the demo where Shinra sabotages the reactor himself is so unbelievably fucking stupid that i didnt actually consider nomura would go for it. literally reworks the entire dynamic of half the story to absolve the player from ever feeling bad. ridiculous

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I was kind of hoping for an “attack while it’s tail is up” goof.

Oh yeah and the Shinra thing was super weird to me. Like I get if they wanted to foreshadow the plate dropping at the end of the game, but it needlessly robs Avalanche of their edge as antiheroes. I bet they’re going to change things around the Turks (specifically, make it so Reno doesn’t hit the button dropping said plate on the slums) for the same reason, to absolve them of villainy since they’ve basically become team rocket.

In the original Shinra sabotages the pillar holding up Sector 7 to kill AVALANCHE, killing everyone on it and under it. I’ll wait to learn more about this new President Shinra and his machinations to decide if this makes sense. He was a maximalist in the original, using scorpion tanks as a security measure in a combustible reactor, keeping a planet-destroying being in a big jar in the middle of Midgar, etc.

I’m here for what this is doing. I will still do my bi-annual replay of the original, or the remaster going forward. I will also play this remake and treat it as its own thing. It’s like 3:10 to Yuma, I like both version of that movie for different reason.

When I was young, I thought it was ridiculous that the sword is big. Now that I have grown, now I respect and admire that the sword is big.

Also love that they nabbed stagger from ff13

The grunts. Oh my god the grunts.

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