Content of the article: "Final Fantasy 7 – remake. Review and should you play it? (Warning – long post)"
First and foremost this review contains spoilers. If you've played the original game keep reading as I believe the additional story added to this game is nonsense and worth spoiling as it doesn't add value to this game.
FF7 remake is like the Mona Lisa with googly eyes and bordered by gaudy neon lights. You have what could be a masterpiece which is unfortunately marred by a number of poor design and story choices. I'm a big fan of the series and especially a huge fan of the original which was literally the first game I ever played so needless to say I was very much looking forward to this games release.
Quick synopsis: The game is based around the events in a huge dystopian city known as Midgar, as our protagonists Cloud, an unenthusiastic mercenary, and Avalanche, a group of eco-terrorists/freedom fighters, trying to save the planet from a shady corporation known as Shinra. They are responsible for the planet's lifeblood, or Mako, being drained as a power source and slowly killing the planet. Thus begins the adventure.
I'll talk game play and a few story points along the way.
There are a number of things I adore in this game, the foremost being the soundtrack. Nobuo Uematsu is back again and delivers a score that builds beautifully from the songs of the original game. Thunderous battle music that fits perfectly with the combat in this game, while some beautiful renditions of old classics bring some serious nostalgia to your play-through.
The games combat itself is also excellent in many areas and fixes the broken version of combat utilized in FFXV. It has a hefty feel that rewards clever strategy and taking advantage of your opponents weaknesses. Each character has a unique play style which you'll slowly perfect over the course of the game, be it Cloud's huge 'Buster Sword', taking heavy and powerful swipes, or Tifa's martial arts which are much faster and lighter but don't leave you feeling any less powerful. The boss fights are exhilarating and left me often feeling like replaying them, only moments after beating them. The fights have definite flow to them and attacking, blocking and dodging at the right time are key to your survival.
The game also has some beautiful visuals and many moments I stopped to appreciate the art that really brought the city of Midgar to life. The overall graphics are great and I loved seeing my old polygon pals brought into the world of modern gaming.
Is the story of this game good? Well yes but actually no… The game follows the Midgar section of the original game (aka disk 1) which is a 5 hour section of the original game turned into 30+ hours in the remake. The good points of this story are scenes I would know from the original. The rest is just fucking bad. They added a motorcycle section with some asshole who is seen once and then never again. There's some shit with ghosts in a train yard but again this doesn't add to the plot in any meaningful way. Sephiroth becomes an allegory for PTSD or something but wait no, he's real, or is he? Who knows and who cares, they butchered his involvement in this game. Yeah they kinda fucked up huge parts of the story in this game. Old stuff = good, new stuff = wtf man?
Oh and lets talk NPC's. The main characters are fleshed out rather well over the course of the game but man the extras were definitely underpaid. Many of them are just unenthusiastic plebs sending you on another fetch quest while other, more prominent characters are often poorly acted and overly eccentric. Many of them are just filler characters used to pad the already heavily padded story.
Which brings me to my next point. This game has too many shitty side quests that you need to complete to get some rather necessary gear. A series of mundane 'go here, kill that' or 'find my kittens'(literally) quests that ruin the flow of the game and pay no heed to any sense of urgency the game presents you with. The main quests themselves are fine and often very enjoyable in areas but many fall prey to poor level design which is often clearly a cut and paste job used to artificially extend your playtime. You'll often ask yourself, "why the fuck are we even here" and sadly I really don't have an answer.
Oh also the materia system is convoluted and frustrating to deal with.
Do you like anime? Like, really like anime? i'm taking weeaboo level shit. If so you'll love this game. I however hated it. Too many voicelines are these cheesy, poorly written anime moments with weird sighs and grunts placed sporadically and inappropriately throughout. The character Jesse is a notorious example of this and plays into some neckbeard's vision of the perfect waifu. Fuck Tetsuya Nomura for bringing this kingdom hearts bs into this game.
As mentioned the story is drawn wayyyy out. Its a hobbit scenario, with the original 1 part story being broken into multiple parts. It features way too much filler content and is the equivalent of trying to fill a 1000 word paper when you really only need 100 words to do the job. If the next game is a part 2 of 3, instead of a finale, I may give it a miss till it hits the sales pile.
The ending is awful and spits in the face of the original. Its game of thrones ending-esk. I'm not going to go into it too much but it involved these flying testicles that follow you around throughout the game and there's something about changing fate, meaning that this remake is actually an alternative universe scenario and hurts to think about just how terribly they pulled this off.
Oh and the game features an NPC called Chadley who deserves his own section. I honestly don't think I have ever felt true hatred for somebody who isn't real but this fuck deserves it. He's your weeaboo anime autistic-savant type character and every time he talks, I die a bit on the inside. Unfortunately you have to interact with him as he gives you vital equipment. I hope whoever wrote him accidentally puts diesel in his petrol car. Fuck you Chadley…
Should I buy this game?
I know I've talked a lot of shit about this game but I think the answer is yes, you should. It's a great game that needs a bit of polish and despite its flaws, it has some honestly amazing moments that make the game worth playing. Just don't pay full price for it.
PS: VideogameDunkey does a great review of this game and I've echoed a few of his points in this review. Link to his review here!
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