Long ago, we looked upon a foreboding sky. The memory of the star that threatened all burns eternal in our hearts. In its wake came an age of silence. Yet with each fond remembrance, we knew those encountered were not forgotten, that some day we would see them again. Perhaps it was no more than wishful thinking. But after the long calm, there are the beginnings of a stir. The reunion at hand may bring joy, it may bring fear, but let us embrace whatever it brings. For they are coming back. At last the promise has been made.

The game flips the script on the very idea of nostalgia being the only guiding creative force behind a remake, making it another enemy to be slain.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is the best JRPG from Square since Final Fantasy VII. It takes a classic, carefully builds on it, and although certain changes made to the story may not be as well-received by all players, overall there’s no denying that it’s a massive success.

Final Fantasy VII Remake walks in the shoes of the cult-classic leaving new footprints. Faithful in spirit, debatable for changes, this is a colossal attempt to retell the original story. Considering the legacy Square Soft left behind, this is a job well done by Square-Enix.

All the 0 rated reviews so far are people who failed to even understand what this remake project was. The remake is the first portion of the original game due to how big the original game was. The developers really wanted to add to the experience that’s why they’ve added so much more lore and events!

The Remake has genuinely improved on the original by fleshing out the story and the characters especially! The music is something else too… some of the best arrangement I’ve heard in a long time!

Final Fantasy VII Remake is a great game, excellent, even, for today’s standards. And for the most part, it is exactly what fans have been asking for during the past ten years. But the truth is that this isn’t it; this isn’t the game that was promised.

FF7 Remake had the unenviable task of following a gaming juggernaught, needing to both appease the fans of the original whilst giving the same service to modern gaming sensibilities. Square Enix is a shadow of what Squaresoft where back in the 90s, when FF6, FF7, Chrono Trigger and so on where being churned out – legendary game after legendary game. So hopes were not high for me, especially after the somewhat disappointing FF15.

But here we are with the remake. Is it as good as the original? No. In many ways it doesn’t even come close to it.

But is it better than any reasonable person could have hoped for? Absolutely yes.

I’ll start with my complaints. First, this really didn’t need to be episodic. The padding is borderline criminal – particularly the numerous pointless side quests – just to expand the Midgar section into a ‘full’ game. Midgar in the original was actually just a few hours long; it just felt longer because of teh quality and depth of content that was crammed into that location. Remake simultaneously fleshes out the world of Midgar but makes it much more shallow feeling at the same time.

That said, you don’t really have to worry about avoiding spoilers for the next few years until the next part, because this isn’t a straight up rehash of the original. Instead, the story – initially following the original beat for beat – goes off on a mad tangent towards the end, and honestly I feel this is to the detriment of the game. It feels like they were in a desperate rush to introduce certain characters. The story also lends itself to another issue the game has – extreme linearity. Not as bad as FF13 with the endless corridors, but not far off from it either, because the game wants to hit story notes one after the other and therefore has little time to allow the player some individual expression.

They are flaws – and big ones – but it would be remiss of me not to now focus on the positives, of which there are many more. The combat system – my biggest fear of all going in – is beautifully done. The incorporation of materia into a live battle system has been majestically done. I thought I’d miss ATB in Remake and it would sour the game for me; remarkably it hasn’t. The characters are spot on – again, my fear was they’d be diluted and taken too seriously, but no; the comedic element is there, the voices (for the most part) are perfectly fitting and the expansion of the side character development here is a definite improvement over the original. Graphically, this is absolutely gorgeous – Midgar feels alive, the characters are animated wonderfully – it is in every way the world you imagined in your minds’ eye when playing the original with those blocky little characters. The anticipation to see Cosmo Canyon etc. in the next episode for me now is HUGE!

I have long felt that the soundtrack for Final Fantasy 7 was the most beautiful, complete, awe-inspiring soundtrack in gaming history – one that tells a story in its’ own right. The remake reaffirms that view for me – it is glorious. Yet… for me, not quite as impactful as the originals. I think the music is too… smooth? It’s hard to explain, but I think the lower quality “abrupt” notes from the original left more of an impression, especially in the flow of the game in Remake and when the sound effects in battle seem to drown out the battle theme.

Overall, despite my fears about it going in, FF7 Remake is an easy recommendation to make. At least for me. I feel that a lot of your enjoyment of it is going to depend on your expectations going in. If you’re a FF7 veteran, try and bare in mind that this isn’t a replacement for the original; it’s a reimagining of it. The original still exists for you. It was never going to be as good as the original for you.

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