Seeing the buster sword and hearing the new, yet familiar, theme in the background brings back so many memories as I prepare to dive back into the world of Midgar once again in the new Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Having played the original many times, and it being the only game I personally own on every video game system I have owned both past and present, I’d gather to say I’m an FF7 fan, but I won’t lie with all the “remake” craze lately I was kinda nervous. That was gone quite fast as the intro started. Square Enid has delivered what I would say is the best remake I have seen to date (Resident Evil 2 a close second), breathing fresh life into a game that has made such an impact in the past.
The 40-hour remake covers about the first 4 hours of the original, but in much greater detail. The game focuses a lot on the relationships you build with the characters you meet. You’ll dive a lot deeper in detail with fellow avalanche members, making both Cloud and myself have more of a connection with them.
The Sectors of Midgar are vast with so much going on and so many corners and alleys to explore. I sometimes find myself spending time just wandering about, taking in the scenery or visiting the shops and old, yet diminish, locations I may have visited in the past while playing the original. However, although some locations are more linear than others it still feels big. Unlike the first game, the enemy is visible on screen so you can prepare for the battle that is ahead.
The combat system is new and active like Final Fantasy 15 with an option for “classic” mode, which has Cloud and other members of your party auto battling and lets you focus more on direct attacks and Materia usage. Another cool feature they have added is skills. With new weapons come new weapon-specific abilities that, once mastered, can be used on any weapon in that characters arsenal. Materia still plays a big part in the game, helping greatly in staggering powerful foes.
And let’s not forget Summons! Having bought the Collector’s Edition of the game I got access to 2 summons right away, who are both cool and fun in their own way, but I was really looking forward to seeing Ifrit. The summons don’t just do a massive attack like a spell, they fight alongside you, letting you use any characters attack bars as their own. They can also cast a powerful attack before they drop one massive powerful attack.
All in all this remake of a game that holds a special place in my heart hits all the right notes. I look forward to seeing what the future installments may bring. It will hit home with fans like myself but also bring forward a new fan base of their own.