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Photo copyright:Square Enix

Final Fantasy VII Remake

More padding, more Kingdom Hearts

Today
2024-05-15
gaming
Action-RPG

Game review

Release date2020-04-10
PublisherSquare Enix
DeveloperSquare Enix
PlatformPlayStation 4 (via PS5)
Playtime34 hours
ProgressCompleted + DLC (2,5h)

I take notes as I play the game for things that I think deserve a mention. If something was not mentioned, it is considered "fine" and not noteworthy in any sense.


Final Fantasy VII Remake

The original Final Fantasy VII is a good game, but it has never been amazing for me. I personally think Crisis Core is a better game in the FF7 universe, and after playing this, I appriciate Crisis Core even more. The presentation and characters in this remake is much better than in the original, but it has too much padding and too much kingdom hearts which does not add to any enjoyment.

Pros

  • Music
    As with most Final Fantasy games, the music is great, and this rendition is excellent in terms of the overall tone of the game.

  • Opening cinematics
    The opening of this game is very strong and gives a good sense of Midgar.

  • Characters
    The characters in this remake are overall much better presented than in the original. This is partly due to the bad translation in the original PS1 game, where characters like Barret were very black and white. In this remake, they show more sides of their personalities.

  • Avalanche
    The main characters of Avalanche in your party are incredibly well made and much more relatable. Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge all have personalities I recognized and connected with more in real life. I liked that we got way more story content with them, especially the whole Jessie section was some of the best parts of the game.

  • Out of Battle Equipment Swapping
    Many JRPGs and older Final Fantasy games failed at this, where you needed to know when a party member would leave so you could prepare. In this game, you can change equipment for any character at any time.

  • Boss fights
    This remake improved the boss fights significantly compared to what the original offered up to this point.

  • Atmospheres
    The environment and atmosphere overall in this game are very good for the setting it tries to portray.

  • Sephiroth
    He looks and is perceived as way more demonic this time around, as he should be.

Neutral

  • Jumping
    Like Kingdom Hearts, this game has a lot of air combat. But there's no jump button; instead, your character will jump depending on the action you take. This can be quite annoying sometimes, but for the most part, it's fine.

  • Flashbacks
    The flashbacks with Tifa and Cloud as teenagers/kids felt like something out of Kingdom Hearts.

  • Materia system
    I find the materia system overall suits the action-RPG formula better than the classic system. But compared to the original, it's lacking, possibly due to this being just the Midgar section.

  • Yuffie DLC
    People had been praising this DLC, but for me, the only good part was the introduction of Yuffie and then the Scarlet section and her boss fight. Everything else was uninteresting or felt like a chore.

Cons

  • Walking speed
    A lot of the time, this game will slow down your walking speed, making it a slog without a reason. It feels like story padding, but it's just annoying.

  • FFX connections
    I never liked it, as with Dissidia, when they try to connect multiple universes together. Once you get to the first store in the game, it plays the prelude for FFX. Why?

  • Roche
    It's like they added someone just to have a villain in the first half of the game, but he’s uninteresting, and then you never hear about him again.

  • Side-quests
    I did all the side-quests, but 90% felt completely useless and just like padding. What's the point of quests like finding cats?

  • Mini-games/segments
    So far, the mini-games in this remake is just as bad as in the original, and even worse since there's more of them, it's all bad. This includes story sections where you do a thing once.

  • Limit Breaks and Summons
    This game's limit break and summon system builds up too slowly. Once you finally build it up, it doesn't carry over to the next battle if you didn't use it. Getting either a limit break or summon was very rare.
  • Fast travel
    Unlocking the Chocobo system should have been done when you first reach Wall Market, but instead, it's added very late in the game where it barely serves any use.

  • Bad pacing
    Some of the writing does not sync with the pacing of the story. For example, when Aerith was picking up Marlene, instead of rushing, they stay and talk while the background music is in a hurry and you as a player is like "Why don't you guys leave, immediately?! Run ffs!"



  • No materia duplication
    Once you max out a materia, in the original game, it would duplicate into another one. This good gameplay feature is removed.

  • Bad AI companions
    The party members you're not controlling are not smart at all, often only using regular attacks and nothing more. At least add some strategy choices like defense or offense or a simple basic gambit-like system like in Tales of games.

  • Whispers/Ghosts sucked
    This is basically Heartless but inside of FF7. It feels very Kingdom Hearts and does not fit and is completely useless to the original plot and story. Using this as an excuse to redo story segments afterward is terrible. The whole scene with Barret's death being reverted is a good terrible example.

  • Too much padding
    The bombing mission, sewer section, Hojo Ward section, ghost train, and Mako reactor 5 with the sun lights etc. all feel like a slog that isn't fun at all.

  • Bad end bosses
    The Whispers and Sephiroth fights were completely unnecessary and just bad. They both felt very Kingdom Hearts. Instead of Heartless, it was these ghosts. Sephiroth could have just been a cliffhanger scene, showing him doing something insane to build hype for the next game. Instead, it's just a flashy, meaningless fight.

  • Terrible ending
    The game should have ended after the motorball battle at the highway. Everything after that should not have been in this first part. On top of that, they introduced multiple timelines with Zack being alive, completely disregarding one of the most impactful moments in the FF7 saga—the death of Zack.

  • Encounter rate and leveling
    This game basically has a fixed leveling system based to lock into the story. Trying to grind for more experience is really hard since there's barely any respawn, so you do side-quests, get some more experience, but other than that, there's barely anything. It’s not easy trying to get into random battles to complete challenges or level up materia. The story is lined up so your party always has similar levels. It's not made to be fun to do battles outside of the story.

Final thoughts

The presentation, characters, and combat system are great and fun. Too bad it's so padded with bad content. I never liked multiverses or multiple timelines, so seeing the ending does not make me hopeful that part 2 will be any better if they continue with this. I would rather imagine Cloud having dreams about Zack being alive.

Without the padding and bad side-quests, I wouldn't be surprised if the game would have been 20 hours and overall a better game and a better length as a "first part" to the meat that would be part 2.


Final score: 7/10