After over a decade of anticipation and speculation, Square has announced they’re remaking Final Fantasy VII, one of the most popular entries in the Final Fantasy franchise. The Internet, as you expect, is in an uproar.
For me, Final Fantasy VII was my first introduction to the series, and since then, I’ve played almost all of the main entries in the franchise. The series has had its share of ups and downs, but I’ve enjoyed most of what the games have to offer. To me, Final Fantasy VII still holds up once you look past its eyesore graphics.
So where do I stand?
In spite of me being a fan of the game, I am a bit skeptical. Many long-time fans of Square-Enix, who have been playing since the company went by the name SquareSoft, can tell you that their games have been going downhill. Final Fantasy XIII, while it had amazing graphics and a decent story, suffered from linear gameplay and dumbed-down elements.
Gone were the days of exploring towns, worrying about hitting a save point, and having to recover your health after every battle. In that game, there were no towns to explore, the game autosaved every second, so there wasn’t any punishment for dying, and you had full health after every battle.
While I doubt the remake will mess with the sidequests and towns, I don’t want the game spoon-feeding me. Don’t make the materia system more streamlined, make us find Yuffie and Vincent on our own, and don’t make Emerald and Ruby Weapon easy. And please, for the sake of all gamers, make the game complete day 1. Don’t give us any pre-order bonuses, and especially don’t make us pay five bucks to download sidequests.
Now let’s talk about some other details about the remake. It’s been confirmed that there may be changes to the story. To me, this can work. I’d love to see them integrate characters and elements from the original game’s various prequels and sequels. However, one element I hope they don’t change is the humor. Final Fantasy VII had a serious in tone, but it knew when to lighten the mood. Fortunately, it has been confirmed that Cloud’s infamous cross-dressing scene will make a return, so that’s a plus.
Music-wise, I just want the developers to update the same score they had in the original. Nothing can replace Nobuo Uematsu’s OST, and if it’s changed to a generic orchestral soundtrack, I’ll be pissed.
Finally, there’s the voice cast. While the original game had no voice acting, there was a consistent cast in the game’s expanded universe. However, I want to see new blood taking control of the characters. Steve Burton, who has been voicing Cloud ever since the original Kingdom Hearts, has done the character justice, but I think it’s about time for someone else to carry the Buster Sword.
So that about covers what I want to see in the remake, as well what I hope the developers don’t change. As of now, I am quite eager to experience Midgar once again, but I’m skeptical until we see more information besides a teaser trailer.