I think we'll be finishing it this weekend. I'll share more thoughts then. For now I'll just write that this is the most fun I've had with a Final Fantasy in more than a decade. I hope Square learns from this game and they remember how to write characters once again (it's like revisiting VII for them has reminded them how to create good characters again!).
Be back with my fresh thoughts soon.
Posted April 17th
I think I've mostly liked the characters in the games of XII, XIII, and XV. None of them have that sort of iconic nature that older games seemed to just have. I dunno how much my nostalgia glasses color it though. Not in the sense that I like Cloud or Squall or Zidane or Locke because I "grew up with them" (because literally I didn't; I didn't even play FFVI until a decade after the game came out!) But more just like, by the time XII came out, I already had opinions on the franchise because I had played most of them.
But yeah. I almost feel like the decade's worth of pressure to even make this game in the first place really forced them to be very deliberate and thoughtful in their production. It feels focused in a way that not even XII did (which I generally consider the last "decent" FF; I enjoy XIII and don't mind including it in the pantheon, but that, to me, is really where the series shifts.)
Posted April 17th
by Jet Presto
What's your opinion about the sauna in the Final Fantasy 7 remake?
Posted April 17th
>You really do have to question the mental health of those dudes complaining about that aspect.
I expect better from you, Jet.
Have you reached the crossdressing part? If so, what do you think about how the subject is handled? And do they handle it differently than in the original?
Edited April 17th
>You really do have to question the mental health of those dudes complaining about that aspect.
I saw that as well and it seemed kind of stupid to me and while I haven't played either the remake or the original I think you're kind of going overboard as well. It may annoy you and it may not tend to come from well intentioned people but there's no need to label people who like big ol tiddies even if in a game as incels will mental health problems. At least some of these people just seem like the kinds to squabble over every little detail in games and want every little aspect to be as accurate as possible anyway. Hell, from what I noticed some of the same people don't like the remake at all for how different it is in some regards.
Again, I get why it's stupid and annoying but I think associating shit like this with virginity which is kind of what you end up doing by slapping "incel" onto the issue despite how it can be used in a more general sense as well is not only inaccurate but potentially problematic. But I also just kind of feel like people should stop using incel so generally because it kind of normalizes "incel" and by extension the extremely toxic cultural tendencies with it when it's used on uh... somewhat normal people. [i]somewhat[/i]. Weird as that may sound, I know there are at least a few like that. But anyway that kind of ruins the point of incel becoming such a generally used term anyway because in comparison to what the tendencies around incel culture are, this is fucking nothing. The fact is a lot of people are taking far more of an interest in fantasy stuff well... like that than ever at least at the moment and quite of it's also going to be people who fall out of the realm of virginity. And it's also potentially problematic imo to bring "mental health" into it too but also just associating mental health problems with in some way wanting big ol tiddies in a game, it's actually kind of insulting to people with mental health problems.
If you want to label it something or if you want to make a statement about objectifying women or something you could just call them a problematic brand of people who objectify and why you think fixating so much on it can be a bit of a problem.
Edited April 17th
by Grey Echelon
But have any of y'all actually played the game? Have any thoughts on it?
Posted April 18th
by Jet Presto
I have because I actually still come to GAMEtalk to discuss games!
We're on Chapter 16, about to infiltrate Shinra Tower. Almost done...
To be clear, I wasn't referring to the main cast of characters as much as I was the side characters. I liked the cast of XV and XIII. But it also helps that the main characters of VII Remake are actually written better than any Final Fantasy since X. But part of what makes Final Fantasy so great IS the weird and whacky supporting characters (much better than, say, any supporting characters in a Zelda game). Sqeenix took rhe weird out of Final Fantasy after FFX. In fact, a lot of video games in the AAA industry lost that essential weirdness which made games such a joy to play around that time.
Games aren't weird enough anymore. Except indie games.
Posted April 18th
>But have any of y'all actually played the game?
I'm considering trying it whenever it's apparently going to be released on pc a year later even though 7 apparently isn't the best place to start. The graphics look impressive (I know graphics aren't everything but they help) and and I hear pretty good things about it despite it clearly also having it's share of critics who think it shouldn't even have been remade and really don't like the remake for some reason.
>I have because I actually still come to GAMEtalk to discuss games!
I mean to be fair that's technically what everyone was doing.
Edited April 18th
by Grey Echelon
I don’t like Clouds sword constantly onscreen I think it looks ridiculous, other than that it’s ok. Also I don’t understand the grunting that occurs before characters deliver their lines, this especially common among the females characters who’s grunts sometimes sound suggestive. Also I wish Tifa had slightly larger breast
Edited April 18th
Interesting. I was wondering how far the game would go up to. I've played about five hours and I haven't even gotten Aeris in my party yet. Just doing doing a mission that expands some other characters stuff, which is neat to play something new! (Was Roche a character in any of the spin-offs? That's the only thing. There are moments that feel sorta Advent Children-y, but that's the only "spin-off" I experienced. Or...actually just remembered I did play Dirge of Cerberus.)
I'm not sure that Square-Enix took all of the weird out of the franchise. XIII did have summons that were literally vehicles and was a story about people turning into crystals or whatever! XV wasn't weird enough, but it was also way too grounded in "realism" for its own good.
I'm appreciating that VII: Remake hasn't abandoned some of the classic goofiness of the series. X is maybe where they start to get away from that, but there's still a level of it present there, too. I think maybe that's it. XII and XIII have their share of weirdness, but they aren't necessarily "goofy" ever. XIII definitely isn't, though I think they tried with Snow.
Definitely agree that these characters are the best written ones in a long time though. So far, I would posit that they're even better than the original, but I will stipulate that, again, I'm still pretty early in the game.
Kinda wondering how summoning might work, though. Realizing that this combat system doesn't necessarily lend itself so easily to that aspect. I really, really hated how summons worked in XV (even if visually it was super impressive; it just rarely happened for me).
Grey, you've played the original I assume? Or would this be your first foray into Final Fantasy VII?
I know a lot of folks think you can't spoil the game since it's a remake of a 23 year old one, but I know plenty of people who never played the original. I think they probably know the big "shocking" moment, but that's about it. I wouldn't be surprised if a good chunk of players are coming into it essentially blind, having never played the original or, for whom this might be their first Final Fantasy.
And yeah, the graphics are great! I was noticing that lip syncing actually looked pretty spot on! And then I wondered...did they make it so the lip movement matches up with every spoken language??? Or, did the English translation take into account lip movement? I keep looking at it and just marvel at how impressive it's been.
I've had some more issues with the camera, especially as it pertains to locking on. It might be as bad as XV, but the battle environments are not, so overall they aren't obstructing my view and it is slightly better. I don't love that enemies can latch onto you, but I understand that's probably there to encourage players to switch to other characters in battle, so I can live with it.
Still loving it though. There's admittedly a part of me that kinda wants this treatment for FFVIII. But maybe with a better magic system. (I didn't hate "Junctioning," I hated having to "draw" the magic in order to do so.) But I'd be surprised if there's enough demand for that to happen. Feeling really spoiled by the quality of this.
Posted April 18th
by Jet Presto
>I don’t like Clouds sword constantly onscreen I think it looks ridiculous, other than that it’s ok. Also I don’t understand the grunting that occurs before characters deliver their lines, this especially common among the females characters who’s grunts sometimes sound suggestive. Also I wish Tifa had slightly larger breast
Actually most of the criticisms I saw of it were related to the gameplay for some reason and minor... story? changes.Well except for that last one.
>Grey, you've played the original I assume? Or would this be your first foray into Final Fantasy VII?
I still haven't even played a final fantasy game despite that I've been meaning to for a long time now.
Posted April 18th
by Grey Echelon
I'd recommend playing VI first. It was the last and best-developed of the original style.
Posted April 18th
It's been a while since I played a more traditional rpg so I'll at least consider it I guess. But if I do probably after I finish these other games I probably should have finished years ago.
Posted April 21st
by Grey Echelon
Yeah, Cloud's sword is comically large. Something pretty funny about the Avalanche crew trying to "blend in" to not seem suspicious on the train, meanwhile Cloud has a sword the size of his body on his back and Barrett has a literal gatling gun for a hand. Real smooth, guys!
But it certainly doesn't bother me and I think mostly because it's a level of goofiness that I associate with the franchise from that era. It's not exactly like realism is what I'm looking for in a Final Fantasy game (*cough* Final Fantasy XV *cough*).
There are definitely story changes and expansions to the early stages. I'm pretty sure I can tell what they're going for and I suspect it'll be effective when the shoe drops. I guess I've always sort of taken the approach that I wasn't looking for a Gus Van Sant PSYCHO thing here. I didn't want a shot-for-shot remake with just "updated" gameplay. I'm willing to let it be its own thing that tells the basic story with focuses on new or different things. It's sort of the point of a remake, in my opinion. I do understand people being frustrated by it, but I've never operated that way when it comes to remakes. So far, I'm actually liking most of the changes. (Although I still prefer Sephiroth not showing up for quite some time and only being referenced. I just think that structurally, that's a cooler way to play it out.)
The characters are pretty spot on though, and that's always gonna be the most important thing for me. I enjoy Final Fantasy stories, but they're always kind of a mess and overly convoluted.
The thing I'm having a hard time with now is in the combat system, that every single action requires an ATB gauge. I don't mind this for most actions, but it kinda stinks not being able to use items, or at least, that there's a delay. I haven't found the game especially difficult, but I have died a couple times from being low on HP, waited for my ATB to fill, then went to use a healing item and literally after I cast it, there's that second delay, I take a hit, and die. So then I have to try and do the same thing with another party member to use a Phoenix Down, which revives folks with a rather pitiful amount of HP that almost always means I'm gonna have to use another Phoenix Down in a moment. Or if I cast a healing item on another member who is about to die, and they take a hit between when I select that and they get it, I lose the item AND a gauge bar.
I feel this way with Dark Souls as well, but nothing is more frustrating than dying because you appear to have time to heal, but healing takes a delay, and then you die despite your efforts.
Otherwise, I'm still enjoying it. Some stretches of levels are a little long. There are too many "dead ends" in the map. But the environment is beautiful and definitely feels more lived in than any town in any Final Fantasy prior.
Currently on Chapter 8. Keep trying to figure out where it's gonna end though. It's definitely not ending where I initially thought it would when they announced it would be a trilogy or whatever. I'm playing the original on Switch just before bed a little each night just to sort of refresh my memory of how events unfold.
Posted April 22nd
by Jet Presto
I think Chapter 9 was one of the best chapters.
I finished the game on Sunday. I have a lot of thoughts, but it's all mostly positive. The short of it is: It's the best Final Fantasy since X (to be fair, Square is working off a blue print of one of the best Final Fantasies) and the best Nomura-directed game since Kingdom Hearts 1. FFVIIR is also Motomu Toriyama's best effort at directing, plainly superior to his XIII trilogy. It might also help that Nojima, FFVII's original script writer, returned to pen this game's story.
I'll write and discuss more soon. Bed time.
Posted April 23rd
Did you finish your playthrough, Jet Presto?
Posted April 27th
Just checking in to say that I'm avoiding this thread until I finish the game. I feel like I'm close. On Chapter 14, and I imagine that the game ends pretty much once you leave Midgar.
Finishing up the (rolls eyes) "side quests." Then moving on with the story. Just defeated Type-O Behemoth or whatever. Heard it was a tough fight, but I actually found it one of the easier bosses, weirdly.
Anyway, I'll post back here when I've finished!
Posted April 30th
by Jet Presto
Was happy to see Jessie die. Which such an annoying reimagination of her character imo.
Yeah. I didn't want to say too much until you finished it.
Just gonna put everything in spoiler tags just to be safe.
I didn't care for Jessie's characterization, but I did think it was kinda funny just how horny they made the game and how that reimagining added to that.
That said, I'm annoyed that *only* Jessie dies. Or at least, she's the only one we explicitly see dying. It's not ambiguous like with Wedge. I do think the implication was that he probably died at the end, but we don't see it so they very well could bring him back. And we do see Biggs in that bed at the school, so he definitely survived. Just kinda seems strange that they decided to only kill off Jessie. I thought if they were going to keep Wedge alive, they should have just kept him alive.
So it's kinda hard to figure out where exactly to start. The ending is so overwhelming in terms of how it's designed to instigate a reaction that the earlier 35 hours can go out the window or fall to the side.
I suppose I'll start with the overall gist of the game:
I was really impressed with it! I thought they did a really great job merging more classic Final Fantasy game trends with more modern gameplay sensibilities. I thought the combat was fun (and waaaaay better than FFXV's action-oriented style). Being able to swap characters was great! Each character having their own unique skills was really smart for mixing up combat. I don't love how summons work, but again, it's streets ahead of XV. Honestly still can't tell all the mechanics of it. Once you summon, it's pretty straight forward and self-explanatory. It's being able to summon in the first place that didn't feel like it had any rhyme or reason to it. There must be one, but I never figured it out.
The characters are pretty well written and portrayed, which is good because characters are always the strength of these games. I enjoy Final Fantasy stories, but I'm not sure I would argue many of them are super well written. They often get very convoluted, and VII especially can be. But I thought they built upon several elements really well. After about ten hours in Midgar, it was pretty obvious that the game was going to entirely take place there, which is a little bit of a bummer because it means you don't really get many diverse environments. It's just all the same aesthetically and that kinda stinks. But they definitely made Midgar feel genuinely lived in and alive, which was key for making the plate collapse feel even more brutal (though they kinda undercut their own effort there by having way more people live than should have - they want to make you feel so much worse when the plate collapse and feel the human cost, but you don't actually really see or hear anyone die save one quick shot of some random strangers bracing for the debris. The feeling remains, but they sorta do water it down after the fact.)
They go in some pretty weird and dark places at times, too. It's almost surreal to see how quickly they can go from the campy comedy of having to do a dance routine to how uncomfortable it is to get even more of a scoop into the fucked up reality of Don Corneo and his treatment of women.
I was digging the idea of the conspiracy to renew the war with Wutai. I can only imagine how they'll work in Yuffie at this point. Probably will be more interesting (especially since she's an optional character in the original, if memory serves correctly).
Really, I just thought it had great character writing, solid performances, balanced the darker tones with the campy goofiness well, and - despite some frustrating elements of the combat that feel cheap - was fun. (I don't think I would say that the elements that felt "cheap" were terribly different than how the old ATB system sometimes felt "cheap" too.)
So that's a lot of the stuff I really liked, and that makes me pretty excited for the future.
There are, however, some things that I didn't much care for and has me a little worried, too.
So one of the things was its structure, particularly when it came to the villain. From the get-go I've made sure to approach this with the understanding that even a "remake" is not simply a remaster of sorts. They're going to add things, remove things, change things, re-order things. I wanted to give this team the benefit to re-tell the same basic story with the same characters however they felt they should do so. And more or less, I think they've done a pretty good job! However, it's hard sometimes to not compare the new version with the original. Most notably, I think about how the original handled Sephiroth.
Well, first of all, this Remake takes about 40 hours to get to the point that in the original, it takes 5. Obviously there's a fair amount of padding with narrative and character expansions. But one thing they do is constantly have Cloud see Sephiroth. He pops up pretty constantly during the game, although for the first 35-ish hours, he's just apparently in Cloud's head. It doesn't really matter much, but I prefer the way the original did it. Sephiroth gets name dropped a few times, but he doesn't show up until about five hours into the game. So we hear about him and get some idea in our heads, which. makes it even more a deal when we finally get to see him. I also prefer the way that killing the President just happens off-screen. That was such a rad and intimidating moment in the original. And it gets kinda turned into a boring reveal here.
I kinda also didn't love how frequently I would die while healing. There's something really frustrating about taking a hit, going to heal, having it use my MP AND the ATB, but then I don't actually get anything out of it if I'm interrupted. It doesn't help that Phoenix Downs are practically useless with the pitiful amount of HP they give you. More often than not, I'd have to use three or four Phoenix Downs before a party member was actually revived because once they're up, they'd get attacked and would not have anywhere near enough health to survive another attack.
And the level designs had a tendency to drag just a liiiiiittle too long for their own good. I mostly liked the levels, but yeah, there are many that just seem to keep going. Being able to save at any point is great given that fact. Definitely appreciate that. But yeah, didn't totally love how long it would take to get through places sometimes.
I also feel like the down side to breaking this game up into three full games is three-fold.
1. We don't really get to play around with party make up. The cast of characters, while great, is not really the big, diverse, interesting cast we came to love in the original. And while Aerith, Tifa, Barrett, and Cloud are all rad, and it was nice to see Red XIII, we never get to be in control of the party itself. When they split up and you have to rotate between teams (which is smart and I love when they do that), you don't get a say. Fortunately, every character plays differently, so combat can be spiced up and varied depending on who you want to control. They create a fair amount of diversity through a rather small selection of characters. But man do I hope Red XIII becomes playable in the next game. I get why they didn't, given he's introduced with like, 7 hours left of the game. But it's going to be really disappointing if he isn't playable int he next one, and/or they don't figure out a way to give you control over the party make-up. Especially since each character plays differently, being able to select your team is gonna be extra useful.
This is also true of environments. We are never really introduced to truly new-feeling worlds or towns. The world feels very contained, which works for this game because that's what it's like to live in Midgar. But as a player, I tend to enjoy the actual physical journeying, too. Always enjoyed seeing new places and meeting new people and seeing the fictional world come to life. They do a great job with Midgar, but it's 40 hours of only Midgar. Not the biggest deal, but I do think that is part of why people really like Final Fantasy games.
2. You don't really get the good materia or the equipment for exciting combos. The materia system here is slightly different, but functionally the same. It's pretty intuitive, even with the slight differences. You also definitely get more of it than you do early on in the original. That's good. But because it's still "early" in the overall game, there just aren't enough weapons or armor sets to allow for cool materia combos. Though Remake is a full length game, it does still feel like they hold back a little bit because they treat it like the "first act" of the game, which makes sense when all that story happens in the first five hours of a 30 hour game!
And since I imagine they're going to "reset" everything for the next game - so you'll start at level 5 or whatever, have next to no materia or good equipment, have to re-learn abilities - it's just confusing as to why they did it that way. There's a lot of materia in the game, for sure, but they don't allow for many interesting combos with the equipment. It'll be weird to have to re-acquire the summons that you get. (I also didn't love how you obtained summons, but it's fine. I liked Chadley or whatever the kids name was. Thought he was a neat addition.)
3. Most importantly, there's no real sense of closure.
Obviously, there are going to be a lot of dangling plot threads given that this was an expansion of the first act of the original game. We aren't going to get closure on Sephiroth, or on Shinra, or on Cloud's mysterious condition.
But we also don't really get closure on Avalanche. Wedge is maybe dead? Biggs is evidently alive, but unconscious? Jessie is probably dead? They literally go out of their way to prevent closure there. Wedge survives the plate collapse, but only to be subjected to evidently being shoved out of the Shinra building where it is implied he dies, but they don't show us. So. No closure. We thought Biggs was dead for sure because we saw him severely wounded and also, he was still there when the plate collapsed. But then ten hours later they go out of their way to show us him lying in a bed all bandaged up. So he's alive, but we don't know more than that. Not really closure there. And of course, both Wedge and Biggs then gives reason to doubt Jessie's death is a permanent condition, either. This one I feel more confident about because they definitely played up the emotionality of it, but I mean, if Biggs is alive, why can't Jessie be? Does the fact that Tifa cried give enough certainty to the idea that Jessie is dead that we can call that closure? I think probably, but I don't know that exactly *because* they brought Wedge back and then they brought Biggs back.
Really the biggest one I have issue with is Don Corneo. I don't entirely remember his storyline in the original game. I know he comes back. I want to say he kidnaps the lady Turk? Or something? I can't entirely remember.
But the thing is: by the point you get to Don Corneo in Remake, it's already pretty clear they're changing things up from the original story. Which is fine! But they made Corneo soooo aggressively gross (I mean, he innately is in the original, too). They make that whole arc even darker and messed up. You even fight his pet twice! Only for him to get away.
And I understand he gets away because in the original, he does and comes back later. But the problem here is that we won't get any closure for years on one of the most messed up storylines. It really felt to me like if they were going to make it darker AND change things up anyway, they could have given us at least that one. All the other villains are still on the lam. The President is dead, but he's been replaced by his son who seems even worse. Sephiroth is now fully in the picture for real. And also Don Corneo is out and about, too. I kinda wanted just that ONE moment of catharsis, especially knowing that those other things were coming, too.
This is certainly going to be a criticism probably unique to me, but I kinda didn't want every bad guy to win the day at the end. And Don Corneo is the obvious one to give a conclusion to. The problem with these types of stories that are broken up this way is that not only do you not get any real closure; you also don't really get much gratification by the end either.
None of that breaks the game or makes me less impressed with the game. I really, really did have a great time with it and, yeah, I think it's safe to say I loved it! Overall, I do think it's the best Final Fantasy since X (although I do enjoy XII, but VII: Remake is definitely way better than XIII or XV).
Visually and narratively, there's a bit too much of Tetsuya Nomura's sensibilities for my tastes, but I didn't think it detracted too much. But obviously, that leads to the big question:
What about that ending, huh???
The funny thing about it, from my perspective, is that a lot of the things kinda made no sense in terms of the game's established narrative. But it makes a ton of sense from the meta-narrative. There's no in-game reason to be fighting the physical manifestation of "destiny," but obviously the idea is that the developers want to be able to tell their own story and not strictly adhere to the original. You aren't so much "killing destiny" and creating an unknown future (something the game specifically notes at the end) as much as they have created a "canonical reason" to make major changes to the original's story. (Something that I think is, frankly, unnecessary given that this is a remake and they had already been making changes.)
I think the big concern is that they did all that just to save Aerith. And I think that will be a big mistake if they do. I'm also concerned that - given who is at the helm - what this does is unnecessarily create "parallel universes" or some other nonsense. I dunno why they would feel the need to create a canonical reason to explain that this remake is not the original. It's a remake. No where do we expect a remake to be *exactly the same* as the original, just with different shots or updated visuals. Like, when they remake a movie, they don't need to create a reason *in the movie* that it's gonna be different. Sometimes I think this obsession with "canon" or only being able to view stories in "larger universes" is the worst thing to happen to art. If we will only consume stories that fit into some other larger canon, then that means creators feel they have to do that, and then you get hot messes of hyper-convoluted, nonsense exposition dumping to justify a new piece of media's very existence, and it's just so exhausting and unnecessary.
I didn't necessarily get the impression they were specifically saying that the original game "still exists" just in another dimension or parallel universe, but I have seen some fans online posit that. And given Nomura's involvement, I wouldn't be shocked if that turned out to be the case.
So those are sort of my two big concerns. I worry it's about to get unnecessarily convoluted and try-hard, as Nomura is wont to do. (There were already enough moments that conjured the memory of Kingdom Hearts for my preference.) And that maybe all this was ultimately to justify "saving Aerith." Which will take away from one of the biggest and most major plot elements of the base story. I can appreciate them wanting to create an experience where players don't simply know exactly what is going to happen next, but not having Aerith die would be a bit like if you remade Star Wars and didn't have Obi-Wan Kenobi sacrifice himself on the Death Star. Like, that was pretty essential for the development of Luke and his connection with the force.)
At the same time, there were certainly plot elements that I was really digging; chiefly the looming war with Wutai. Although I imagine that will also now take a back seat since Sephiroth has been clearly established as the absolute biggest threat to the world.
But in some ways, this game kinda just pulled the rug out from under fans at the end. It was very subversive, and kind of brilliantly set up. The first 35 hours are almost *exactly* the first five hours of the game. Sure there are changes of various degrees, but more or less, it's pretty much exactly what the fans wanted. And then in the very last couple hours? BANG BANG BANG! Totally different and essentially tell you outright that the next two games are not going to be the same thing. That you're not just about to get the next 10 hours of the original, but with a few minor changes. They pretty literally have you kill that expectation! It's fucking wild!
I haven't seen much in the way of reaction, but it does feel like for a lot of fans, this very well could be like a The Last Jedi situation!
So. How are you feeling about the future? Concerned? Excited? A bit of both? Were you satisfied with the game overall? Disappointed by the end?
Posted May 4th
by Jet Presto
I loved it, personally. I have gripes, but it's not enough to make sway my opinion that this is the best Final Fantasy in almost two decades.
I think Nomura hates killing characters off permanently. It has always been a weakness of his as a story director. But I've been saying for years that Nomura is a character designer, not a storyteller. He does not and probably will never understand how important the permanence and consequence of death is to character growth. I find his and now Nojima-san's (who actually wrote the original FFVII script) knack of letting people live to be disgraceful to the themes of FFVII. If they even give players the OPTION to save Aerith like so many children wanted in the 90s (most of us were dumb kids when we first played FF7), then that will be a complete betrayal of what FF7 was about.
That said, with the original writer helming these games' scripts, I don't think they're going to screw up the characters. For the first time since the original games, Cloud, Aerith, Tifa, and Barret are exactly who they are supposed to be and not those weird, whiny aliens in the stupid-as-fuck Compilation (I did like Crisis Core though). I am less worried that they're going to fuck up Red, Yuffie, Cid, Cait Sith, and Vincent niw that I've played Remake. I also loved the side characters. I actually loved how slimy Don Corneo was. I liked how disgusting Hojo was, but they could have gone further! I miss the scene where he tries to make Red XIII and Aerith mate....just shows how insane he is!
I hated the padding. I hated the Whispers. Too many side quests that drag on. I did enjoy learning more about certain characters such as Jessie and Leslie...just hated the padding that came with it. Like, it takes WAY too long to get Cloud in a dress once you get to Wall Market. But I loved seeing how Cloud got into a dress. But I also miss Cloud taking a bath with the muscular Bubbys to get some underwear.
The combat was excellent. The near perfect blend of action and old school Final Fantasy elements made this game's combat a joy to play. I kind of wish I could jump though. With some quality of life changes, part 2 can be even better!
I actually didn't hate the ending. It could have been a lot worse. Sure, it was stupid. But I was just happy the Whispers were dead. It was just all so unneeded....that fight with Sephiroth (while cool) came way too early and I imagine no one who hasn't played the original will understand who Sephiroth is. I just hope they don't stray too far from the original narrative....
So yeah. I'm optimistic for the future...more so than I was 5 years when they announced it. Hopefully in part 2 they cut back on the anime grunts and sighs in the voice work (voice acting was great otherwise). The only question now....how are they going to do the world map and airship?
If they even do the world map or airship. Or like, what about the more elaborate summons? If they add Knights of the Round, that's gonna be almost like XV, I imagine, in such a visually exciting and yet totally disappointing from a gameplay perspective.
To be clear about my stance on Don Corneo, I liked that they made him so unbelievably slimy and disgusting. He always was, obviously, and they ratcheted it up. (Also, uh-oh, I guess those Japanese developers are soy-boy SJWs now too because they definitely tried to be more non-binary friendly with how they handle Cloud in the dress. They literally say something like "beauty goes beyond gender" or something like that. I still don't know how to really feel about the sequence overall even in the original, but I definitely am not mad about it because they clearly recognized that element didn't really age well and at least tried to be a positive update.)
The thing is: they made him soooo uncomfortably slimy that the complete lack of conclusion feels deeply unsatisfying. I think it would have felt a little better to at least give that guy his comeuppance at the end here, especially given Don Corneo is pretty non-essential to the larger story at this point. Yes, I know he connects to it again, but it's not an essential element. So that's kinda my thing. I thought it was great and well done, but given just how uncomfortable it was, it really felt like that needed closure at the end of this game. Or at any rate, I think it would have been preferable.
Side quests are a blight on video games at this point, in my opinion, and I honestly don't know if Final Fantasy has *ever* done them well. Or at least, not since VI. All of them have been awful since X, easy. (And XV is almost nothing but side quests.) At least here, they don't give you too many at one time, and they overall don't take up that much time. Chapter 14 does, but as much as I rolled by eyes, it never got to the point where I just felt like quitting because who cares about these things?
Putting this thought in the tags:
I really do think they're planning to save Aerith. I see no other reason to have you fight the physical manifestation of "Destiny" while showing you glimpses of the original game's story if not to establish that they can do whatever they want, thus don't be surprised if Aerith lives. (Honestly? I wonder if they're planning to kill Tifa instead and that will be their big "shock" moment.)
It comes completely out of left field, and it all only makes sense in the meta-narrative. They have you do that explicitly so they can be like, "Hey! Stay tuned because this thing is gonna be very different now! It's the unknown journey, even for you players!"
There's definitely an almost brilliance to the structure there, having it be ultimately incredibly faithful to the original game only to pull the rug out at the very end. But I see no real reason for them to do that if not to inevitably save Aerith. It's probably why she says something about destiny not being set in stone or whatever.
That said, if I'm being honest, I would maybe prefer a totally different version of Cid. That's a dynamic that really hasn't aged well and, really, wasn't all that appropriate at the time. That's probably the part of this series I've been dreading the most. I don't mind him being the kinda cold tough-guy who swears and smokes and all, but he's straight up abusive to his wife and then they write it so that she justifies it all. Would looooove for that to just get nixed completely. Or at least do what they did with Cloud and expedite his character growth so he acknowledges his bullshit and becomes a vaguely likeable character, or someone you don't mind joining your adventure. (I really, really hate Cid from VII, and none of my replays have ever improved that position.)
Posted May 5th
by Jet Presto
I thoroughly enjoyed this game, platinumed it, and then 100%'d the entire combat log. There were some small annoyances that were overshadowed by how fluent the pacing felt as well as decently rewarding difficulty.
Some spoilery observations and comments.
** First play on Normal difficulty was 40 hours over 4 days the following weekend it came out.
** Early Sephiroth flashbacks were cringe, but I realize they may have done this to introduce the villain a bit earlier.
** Some of these scenes will confuse the fuck out of people who have not played the original.
** Minor texture problems on things such as doors but didn't care much that it was there.
** Have to wait for characters to move before the movement arrows appear on the ground to the next area (which are probably some stealthily applied loading screens like in MGS4).
** The monkey bar sequences with Cloud and Tifa felt clunky.
** Jessie is probably alive too since we see her glove on the table next to Biggs at the end of the game.
** Did enjoy the change of fate for characters Biggs, Wedge, Jessie, Zack, and possibly Aerith when we get disc 2.
** Chapters 3, 8, and 9 (the side quest chapters) were extremely repetitive if you didn't know what you were doing in advance to finish getting all 9 dresses, and to some extent Chapter 14.
** Liked being able to skip scenes for the nth time.
** Wonderful implementation of NG+ and chapter select.
** Hype Crisis Core references
** Limited gil on the first playthrough helped with the initial difficulty curve, not punished if you choose to play on Classic/Easy if action RPGs aren't your thing.
** Hard difficulty was fun!
** Aerith/Sephiroth time traveling/alternate universe through the lifestream theories and Aerith giving people random memories of the original game when she touches them, and the whispers trying to preserve the original timeline. Probably going to get some Aerith resurrection because everyone wants that.
** Different Avalanche beagle mascot in Zack's scene signifying a change of universe or fate. [[url="https://i.imgur.com/M9tCYDw.png"]1[/url]][[url="https://i.imgur.com/He8aUsd.jpg"]2[/url]]
** Fat Chocobo... Fat Chonkabo is the most amazing summon in the game. See his hair? Looks like Cloud's hair so it's basically what would happen if Cloud in another timeline had a diet of only cheeseburgers.
I hope they don't deviate too much from the original in the next discs, but am really looking forward to it.
I was thinking about this earlier today and your comments kinda touch on it. You both liked the change of fate of, well, pretty much every character, but then say that you hope they don't deviate too far from the original.
But they spent 40 hours to basically get to a point that the original game is at in 5 hours. So they're going to have to cut out a lot of stuff or pace it better if this truly is supposed to be three games like they say. Unless they've increased the number of games they're making and I haven't heard, it's hard to believe they'll be able to cram it all in in two more games.
I dunno that I agree that the pacing is particularly good as a result. In fact, I think it gets downright wonky at times. "The plate is collapsing and we have to hurry back! Soo...anyway, how about you spend an hour or two in the train graveyard and befriend some ghosts or something. No rush!" I know this is always part of Final Fantasy games, especially VII ("Hey! Sephiroth is summoning a giant meteor to destroy the planet! Sooo...now's a good time to spend hours breeding and racing chocobos!" Difference at least is when VII opens up and gets distracted, it's mostly optional. Here it's not.)
I also keep thinking about Sephiroth and I dunno. I wasn't into those sequences where he pops up, but I recognize the developers are sort of at a disadvantage. The original game had such a cool and classic reveal of the villain explicitly because they *don't* show him. When you finally get the story and see him in the flames after 5 hours, it's so memorable. Here, it's just...ok...cool. Sephiroth just keeps showing up. There's no suspense. There's not as much mystery around it. And he seems to know Cloud right off the bat in this version, so it winds up feeling kinda cliche and one-note. It took what made the original pretty rad and just...made it meh. On the other hand, I can't imagine that too too many players are unfamiliar with FFVII, so you can't really do the same Big Reveal.
And they're definitely saving Aerith. I guess I'm not entirely sure I understand it, or why everyone wants that if indeed that is what everyone wants. How do you reconcile that with the "hope they don't deviate too much" when they've already basically established that no one is for real dead, and they're changing pretty major aspects? Were fans hoping for a remake that basically plays like wish fulfillment? Or were they looking for a pretty faithful adaptation? I don't generally like comparing official works to "fan fiction," but it certainly will have that vibe if they do it.
I guess so long as they don't really delve into "other dimensions" or whatever nonsense Nomura might be inclined to try.
Yeah, not a lot of gil. Now that I think of it, I don't think I ever had more than 5,000 gil at one time. Items are super abundant, but gil is not.
Posted May 8th
by Jet Presto
The kind of deviation they had felt okay and refreshing, almost as if they knew who their audience was after 23 years of reading internet content. I just don't want to see them avoiding people, places, and interesting plot points and character development that we explored in the original. Was good to see them expand on some like in Chapter 4. The world and characters just felt more alive.
The gil was ok, I've seen people get better at the combat after realizing how punishing the lack of gil and subsequently items can be if they're not mindful of when they use them. A lot of times there will be a bench close by after blowing items to restore HP/MP.
Some parts of the game I knew would end at a certain point but were a lot longer. First time on the end sequence ended up taking 4 more hours than initially thought and it's suddenly 3am, while I still have to get up early for work. It was that kind of good.
[hide]The graveyard part of the game, even in the original, felt like it was such a rush to get back to the pillar to stop Shinra from dropping the plate and blaming Avalanche. They added a lot of bosses who were rare enemies in those areas, that was cool and unexpected.
Didn't like not being able to control Red XIII, but that was probably due to how soon this part of the game ended after getting him. Here's to hoping he gets to be playable on disc 2![/hide]
I remember many years ago, I didn't want to see a remake, but now that we have it, and the way it turned out felt good.
I guess I disagree about the train graveyard. That section took so long and was so silly, but it happened at such a crucial moment in the actual story. I didn't necessarily mind going through it, but to me it dragged, and it wasn't helped by shots of helicopters flying overhead to take down the plate. (Then again, I also do think levels generally lasted a little too long for their own good overall.)
I did figure the reason Red XIII wasn't playable was that he is introduced with like, five hours left of the game. I didn't mind it as a result, but I do hope he's playable next game.
You totally bring up a great point about rare enemies showing up as bosses. Not only that, but some of the common random encounters ended up as bosses too. Straight up laughed out loud when the final enemy in the arena was Hell House. I thought it was pretty clever and humorous how they worked some of the more ridiculous enemies from the original in.
Posted May 9th
by Jet Presto
I think the game failed on all levels. I didn’t play it but watched a let’s play and here are my thoughts.
Sephiroth is shown too much. His nefariousness is in his absence. The original did this well, the name was brought up but we didn’t know who he was, like Voldemort, his gradual build up is an example of how villains should be done.
Cloud’s VA: Voice was a little to deep, I read him differently when playing this game back in 97’ but it’s not game changing just not how I would imagine him speaking.
Final Destination idea of how death works: While I like the premise it doesn’t work. Jessie’s grenade exploding prematurely so she doesn’t kill Reno and (that bald guy who’s name eludes me at the moment ) seems a pretty poor way to repay a character we all loved so dear in the original. I liked her more in the remake. I feel like Aerith is like Alex from Final Destination she mentioned many times that she can see deaths plan then why didn’t she intervene to save Biggs and Jessie. IF SHE KNOWS DEATHS PLAN THEN WHY FEIGN WORRY WHEN BARRET WAS STABBED IF HE KNOW HIS DEATH IN SHINRA HQ WASNT PART OF DEATHS DESIGN? See that’s the problem with incorporating a final destination concept into a video game. It’s a contuinity catastrophe! If your going to adapt a final destination movie into a game get it right!