Final Fantasy VII Remake / Intergrade

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Tbone254
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Re: 494 - Final Fantasy VII Remake / Intergrade

Post by Tbone254 »

I have very mixed feelings about the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Since the original is my favorite game of all time, the announcement of a remake filled me with equal parts excitement and dread. For years, the internet has been filled with rumors and requests for a remake of the original. This only made worse by Sony and Square Enix with their tech demo for the PS3, demonstrating what a Final Fantasy 7 remake would look like on the console if they ever decided to make one, and by the announcement of Final Fantasy 7 coming to the PS4 via a port of the PC port. By the time they final got around to announcing an actual remake, my expectations of what a Final Fantasy 7 remake should be were impossibly high. I new the remake could never live up to what I wanted, and for the most part I was right, although I did my best to minimize my expectations prior to release. There were some pleasant surprises though. I think the voice-over cast did a pretty good job at making the characters sound the way I believed they would sound. The voice actors for Barrett (John Eirc Bentley) and Wedge (Matt Jones) were a couple of standouts to me. The environments looked great, although I think the overall level design is pretty weak. There isn’t a real sense of exploration throughout most of the levels. There are a few exceptions though, the journey to Aerith’s hometown is really nice and I think Wall Market is fantastic. But a lot of the other areas feel bland. Graphically though, they all look amazing. Enemy design is another area that I think the remake does well. The developers fully embraced the weird aspects of enemy design that the series is known for, and end up creating some awesome looking creatures; Hell House was probably my favorite. The music was probably my favorite part of the remake. The composers do an amazing job at using several of the classic motifs from the original in new ways, without feeling repetitive. The size of soundtrack alone is impressive enough, if you haven’t checked it out, you should, it is loaded with quality compositions.

I wasn’t a fan of the combat system, but I can see why they created what they did. There are probably a countless number of internet forums and discussions over what a Final Fantasy 7 Remake combat system should be, with those arguing for the removal of the turn based combat and those arguing to the contrary. Square Enix ended up taking the path of least resistance and tried to appease both sides by merging both an action game and ATB turn-based system. This just didn’t work for me. While I think the system they created is competent enough, I don’t think it does anything all that well. Both distinct parts are mediocre at best. The action elements aren’t really all that complex, it just devolves into button mashing, and as a result, the ATB system it is supposed to support suffers because of it. I would have preferred the developers pick a side and create an excellent system to support that decision.

The biggest grievance I have against Final Fantasy 7 Remake, are some of the changes to the story. Before I dive into this, I want to say that not all of the changes are unwelcome. The expansion to Jesse and Cloud’s relationship is done wonderfully, and some of the expanded dialog in-between certain areas is done very well. Cloud escorting Aerith back to her home after the church is a great example of this. Unfortunately, there are changes that alter some of the themes that were present in the original. Making Shinra responsible for the bombings of reactor number 1 does not make any sense from story perspective. Shinra uses the bombing of the reactor to justify extreme actions against Avalanche. In the original, these actions were taken because of Shinra’s inability stop Avalanche, but what is there to stop if Avalanche are too incompetent to actually cause worthwhile damage? And if Shinra had the ability to initiate an explosion on a whim, why not do it while the members of Avalanche were in the reactor? Shinra literally lets the members of Avalanche survive the explosion of the reactor so he can justify dropping an entire portion of a city on top of them to kill them later. This is not only out of character for someone that is all about money, it minimizes some of the internal conflicts the main characters have about their justifications for the devastation they cause.

Then there is the inclusion of the weird, time travelling Sephiroth meta-narrative and the changes it makes to the story. When I finished the game, I was so disappointed with the story changes that I immediately picked up my phone and began browsing internet forums looking for justification for all the furious anger I felt about the game. And I found plenty of it. But while browsing, I came across a post that put something in a different perspective for me, and I’m a bit disappointed in myself that I was so caught up in my own disappointment that I didn’t realize it. Basically, this poster said, that for the first time since the game released, we get to play through Final Fantasy 7 and not know what happens. We get to experience Final Fantasy 7 for the first time again, and while I think I would have preferred a faithful remake, I must admit I am a little excited for this new experience.

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raisinbman
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Re: 494 - Final Fantasy VII Remake / Intergrade

Post by raisinbman »

Tbone254 wrote: September 30th, 2021, 8:45 pmMaking Shinra responsible for the bombings of reactor number 1 does not make any sense from story perspective.


I'm a bit fuzzy on all the details, but I believe it's said they wanted to blame avalanche and restart the war w/ the (wutai?). You're still right in that they could've killed them and done this anyway, but just putting that out there

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Alex79
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Re: 494 - Final Fantasy VII Remake / Intergrade

Post by Alex79 »

Since the early 2000s one of the games I've most wanted was a Final Fantasy VII remake. Then with the dawn of the HD era, I wanted it even more. And when this was announced I cheered just as much as the people in the E3 auditorium. But then....it came out, and I totally ignored it. Just had no interest in playing it whatsoever. Still don't. It's the strangest thing. I think in my head, I basically wanted Final Fantasy VII painted over with nicer graphics. They changed it too much. Changed the story, the combat, the look of the game, everything. Now, I'm sure the game wouldn't have sold nearly as well if they'd released what I wanted, so of course they did the right thing. But I don't think I'll ever play this. Obviously, this is no good for the podcast, but I just wondered if anyone else had experienced anything similar?

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Nupraptor
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Re: 494 - Final Fantasy VII Remake / Intergrade

Post by Nupraptor »

I am one of those people who have been dreaming of an FFVII Remake ever since the PS2 was first announced. When it finally arrived, I couldn’t have been more delighted. I think it does such a superb job of marrying the essence of what people loved about the original with modern design.
I think this is best exemplified by the inclusion of the legendary Hell House! In previous years, when I’ve explained to people why I love the original FFVII so much, I have often talked about the quirky sense of humour that the game has and as an example of that, I reference this particularly bizarre enemy that appears as a random encounter in the Train Graveyard section in the original game. It’s a little house that comes to life and attacks you and even fires rockets at you. It is completely cartoony, inexplicable and just plain weird.
And you play some of the modern FF games like FFXV, which has it's moments, but is a bit po-faced at times, and you really can't imagine them including that enemy in a modern Final Fantasy game. But then the Remake finally arrived and all the bizarreness and campness and fun is there and even the Hell House is there! And it is there as an incredible boss fight! I couldn’t believe it and I was delighted when it turned up for what was an epic, ridiculous, completely over-the-top battle. It can even fly now!
I was grinning ear to ear through the fight and I’m so pleased that they managed to pull this off so well.

Tbone254
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Re: 494 - Final Fantasy VII Remake / Intergrade

Post by Tbone254 »

raisinbman wrote: October 7th, 2021, 10:53 pm
Tbone254 wrote: September 30th, 2021, 8:45 pmMaking Shinra responsible for the bombings of reactor number 1 does not make any sense from story perspective.


I'm a bit fuzzy on all the details, but I believe it's said they wanted to blame avalanche and restart the war w/ the (wutai?). You're still right in that they could've killed them and done this anyway, but just putting that out there
It's been a while since I have completed the game, but now that you mention it I believe you are right. I think that makes it sit a litte better with me, but I still feel like it is a way to make Avalanche seem like less of a terroristic group, which I think is a real shame. The internal group conflict that develops because of their actions was one of the things that I loved about the original. Now Barrett's "there's no gettin' off o' this train" speeches wont have the same heft. :lol:

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raisinbman
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Re: Our next podcast recording (7.11.21): 494 - Final Fantasy VII Remake / Intergrade

Post by raisinbman »

So with the extra time, I decided to go through hard mode in addition to finishing intermission. Looking back at my previous notes:

Still having camera troubles, and in fact both in intermission and in the main game some enemies seem to specifically exploit this(last boss of intermission, rarer ghost enemies, sledgeworm). Knowing exactly how most fights go at this point, I still ended up dying to Abzu and others. The camera isn't the most swift, and I don't know if its just rose-tinted glasses but I don't remember that sort of thing in KHI or II. There's already unblockable attacks, and so much of the high level combat is blocking correctly, it feels like a cheap way to endanger the player.

In thinking more about the camera, in Kingdom hearts, sora's a bit smaller than cloud(or was, at least), so once again I agree with myself(is that legal?) that they should pull the camera back some.

Also, Fort Condor is the best minigame, I don't know why they've got me breaking boxes and exercising lol.

Still need to give the rest of the soundtrack a proper listen, but I got accepted into a teaching program so my spare time just went away. I do give credit on how much....weird stuff there is. They could've just redone tracks, which they did, but you get weird, experimental stuff(hint: when you can take the stairs or the elevator, taking the stairs should NOT be missed).

Some other materia isn't explained well, and proficiency can be hard to figure out with some weapons.

Aerial combat is a bit better with Yuffie, and I also like the fact she can adapt her elements w/ Ninjutsu. Rearranging my materia in hard was a regular occurence, to the point I wish they let you do presets.

The side content isn't horrible, in fact, some of it is downright weird. In a good way.

Speaking of hard, hard turns the game into an MMO, because the battles are LONG. Long to the point you can get limit breaks and summons vs normal grunts or minibosses. The problem is, it's not all that interesting, and like an MMO, it's mostly a test of 'dodge this, don't stand in the fire'. I would rather boss battles be much shorter and based around weaknesses, or like the Rufus fight later on. Of course, this is me saying this after electing to go to Hard mode.

There's also weird difficulty spikes(boss before chapter 18, Hell House), in particular when they make you split your squad up. Solo Cloud stuff can be brutal.

Restarting fights is a breeze at least - since I couldn't remember what was next(besides bosses usually), if I found myself overwhelmed I'd restart before the fight, equip the correct materia, and move on with my life.

I don't think anyone should be going for hard unless they absolutely want trophies or to squeeze every last bit of content out of the game. There is of course the tradition of the secret boss that you need to do everything for(doubly so, if you grab intergrade). I'm probably just going to watch a youtube video of that despite doing mostly everything, though I was surprised that for the most part on my own I was able to go through most of the 'hard' content. Who knows, it at least gives me something to look forward to if I ever want to go back.

Overall, if you enjoyed the main game, intermission is more of that. Don't expect anything huge, except for the fact that Yuffie is a dork, and some callbacks to things you might not've thought would be coming back, at least anytime soon. Of course, we saw Sephy in the main game so...

A bit of a disappointment was in the side quests, there is a character that calls cloud a 'sissy'(and amusingly, will also call Tifa a sissy later on, possibly), when such lengths were taken so that Andrea's setup with Cloud Crossdressing wasn't just some harmful joke. Very minor thing that doesn't even happen if you're mainlining the game, and something from a character that's shown to be a meathead, for what it's worth.

Also, they have a parry that's not a parry? I guess they wanted to give people a 'parry' in the form of materia without the game becoming dark souls-esque?

I'd give it a solid 8/10. Definitely good to play through at least once.

__________________________________________________________
Also, Squeenix's yearly report on FFVIIR's financials:

https://www.gameinformer.com/2021/11/03 ... ual-report
"Avengers wasn't the only game from Square Enix that had a rough time during the early days of the pandemic. In reference to Final Fantasy VII Remake, Matsuda says, "At one point, even whether the release would be possible was thrown into question." While COVID is mentioned directly before this, it could be in reference to the troubled development the game faced in its infancy. Regardless, FFVII Remake was released in April 2021 and turned out just fine."

This is interesting as FFXIV was crowned their most profitable game, though of course that was not without trials.

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