Let’s Talk about the Final Fantasy Seven Remake. First, I will try to make this review mostly spoiler-free that way those who have not played can go in and experience it fully for what it is. Which brings me to the very first point, make no mistakes Final Fantasy 7 Remake is just that, a remake. For those of us who loved the original 7 I’m sure this can be a bit of a struggle. I for one was excepting a simple remaster when I first heard about his game. I mean, Square Enix has been giving us solid remasters ever since Final Fantasy 15 came out. 12, 10, and 10-2, 8 all got remasters, and they are all solid games with updated graphics and just enough added content to keep old players satisfied and new players drawn in.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake has all of that, but it is so much more. Let me start by saying the graphics are stunning, the landscapes are beautiful, the characters are almost lifelike (akin to their animation from Advent Children for us movie lovers). There are certain scenes when the camera shows us all of Midgard and has someone who played the old game my heart leaped out of my chest, to see blocky pixel turned into almost lifelike 3D pictures was almost too much for my nerd heart to handle.
I was a bit angry when I found out the remake was going to take place in mostly Midgard, I mean come on Square Enix you took what was basically the tutorial from the original game and stretched it into an almost 40 hour game of itself, and that’s without side quest. But, it worked. The world building of Midgard gave us a great depiction of the setting of this game, even in the original. Midgard serves to give us a look into the way this world works, the system of power that Shinra has instilled over the entire planet. So I can say that it was actually really fun to get to explore this city that served such a central plot in the original game but that we got to see so little of.
Worldbuilding is always an essential part of any story, and the remake got it right. One of the things I loved the most about the Remake was the expanded roles of many of the Side Characters. People like Jesse, Biggs, and Wedge got to shine a lot more in this game than they ever would have in the original. We really get to see an in-depth look at what makes them tick, we have a chance to grow with them and feel them as not just characters but as people.
The central part of any game, especially a roleplaying game is having characters that the player can attach themselves to, someone they can identify with. The original game would never have had Biggs, Wedge, or Jesse be those characters but the Remake took that extra step. They no longer felt like just side characters but actual beings that we could connect with. That’s a win in my book.
Players of the first game may feel discontent with the word remake, but they should not fear. Without giving away spoilers I can fully say that the story mostly stays the same. All the moments you may have loved from the original 7 are still there, the humor, the wit, the drama, it’s all present, it’s all updated. The story divulges only slightly from the original, and the more side quest you do the more of this you get to see. For those of us who have played the game I do not need to discuss the differences, and I won’t for those of us who haven’t (Spoilers).
Just know you can rest your weary hearts, everything you loved about the original 7 is still present, and everything you love about games, in general, is either added or present still from the first game. The combat system is smooth and easy to learn, the skills are flashy, the magic is awesome. The battles are tough but not overly so to the point where you want to rage quit (Save for a few, I’m looking at you house boss battle)
I’ll end by saying this, I know it is an unpopular opinion but I never really thought of the original 7 has the best Final Fantasy Game. Sure it’s one of the best, and even more so it’s one of the best RPGs ever in general. But I was never on board that particular bandwagon. I loved 7 (But my favorite is Final Fantasy 10 for those of you who are wondering). With that being said Final Fantasy 7 Remake restored my love for the original game, it made me want to go back and play it in fact. Returning players can be reassured that the game they know and love is still intact, and new players are in for one heck of a ride. I for one am waiting in barely contained excitement for the next installment to come out.