Final Fantasy VII Remake
Posted: Posted April 17th by Jet Presto
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I'm not terribly far in yet, but figured I'd check and see if anyone else were playing. I'm honestly really surprised how much I'm enjoying it! There are elements of the combat that don't totally click for me, or at least not yet, but I do think it's pretty engaging and fun. There's a lot about the game that feels like a pretty solid mixture of the "old ways" and the "new." The materia system is pretty much exactly the same, which is totally good for me! If it ain't broke, don't fix it, ya know? It looks like the way they're doing some abilities is also pulled from FFIX. Using certain weapons enough will allow characters to "learn abilities." So it's kinda cool seeing that element.

The environment is nice! The Slums actually feels lived in, and I imagine that's going to make a certain moment later feel a lot more intense later. It looks great. The score is as good as it's always been. It's mostly been the classic from the original but with updated orchestration. There's a kinda funny thing where you can buy or collect songs and play them on jukeboxes here and there. I don't really know why this is a thing Square-Enix likes, but it's fine. (Honestly, the best part of FFXV was playing classic FF music on the car stereo while watching the computer drive for seven full minutes.) The only issue with the world so far is that the background characters dialogue is a bit too loud. It's great that they have a lot of people and a lot of chatter! It makes it feel more real and, as I said, lived in. But it becomes a little distracting when you're walking through the place talking with Tifa and both Cloud and Tifa are difficult to make out over the crowd noise. At least their dialogue is in a different location than the background chatter, so it's easier to read.

I'm still getting accustomed to the gameplay. The more action-oriented style means that it suffers a little bit of what plagued FFXV's combat system, which I did kinda enjoy to a degree, to be fair to that game a bit: it's almost overwhelming and impossible to keep track of everything going on. (Tonight, I kept getting poisoned but couldn't even track when I was getting hit in general. I only knew I got poisoned because I noticed my health dropping.) There's lots of numbers popping up and, especially when there's a lot of enemies on the screen at once, it can be tricky to follow. It's not as bad as XV was - they would often send 5-8 enemies at you at once and even with lock-on, the camera just got too wild and it was too chaotic), and they have been careful to not throw obstructions to the battlefields (unlike XV, which often threw many enemies at you amidst a bunch of bushes so you could literally lose sight of everything!), but there have been a few battles in which I've found it slightly overwhelming. I will certainly be stocking up on potions.

I want to be cautious to not get too wrapped up in my memory of how the original told its story. I prefer the older way that didn't even show Sephiroth for a while, though they reference him a few times. The new way kinda takes a few queues from Advent Children and while he hasn't shown up in a real corporeal sense, Cloud has a number of visions of him. There's also a lot here that I can't necessarily tell how well it works. Like, there are moments where I think, "This only makes sense if you've played the original." But then I remember that I'm only four hours in and they'll probably explain it all. I want to make sure I give them the space to tell the story how they want to tell it. I didn't think nor want it to be *exactly* the same game, just with modern graphics.

My favorite part so far? Seeing Cloud Strife actually be a character again. I've been confused for some time now as to why everyone seemed to present Cloud like this cliche "badass" action hero who is just cool and collected all the time. Like, the Cloud in Advent Children never seemed like the Cloud from the actual game, and so many presentations of him after that seemed to take more of the AC Cloud than the VII Cloud. But yeah, Cloud is an actual character again! He acts cool and distant, but clearly is more complex than that. Has a personality. Will engage with Tifa in a way that feels human. It's honestly great. I feel like it's been trendy to kinda downplay Cloud's appeal as a protagonist in more recent times, but I've always found him to be one of my favorites in the series.

So far, my biggest criticism has been the "side quests." I was pretty much just following the storyline because there wasn't any alternative for the first few hours, but shortly after getting to the Slums, you can take on odd jobs around town to build your reputation as a mercenary. They literally are called "odd jobs" in the game. And it's the typical tedium that you can expect from modern Final Fantasy games. Hunts. Busy-work chores involving finding things. Et cetera. I always find these things distracting and just boring. Fortunately, they only throw a few at you at a time. (I maybe got very angry at first because of flashbacks to FFXV where the game is literally at least 80% boring and tedious side quests and it's impossible to make any headway in it because for every one you finish, three more take its place.)

Anyone else playing it at the moment? I'm sure for me, some of it is helped by the fact that I just finished FFXV a week or two ago, and that game was a dumpster fire. So anything will look better than that. But I honestly think - so far - it seems like they've done an amazing job updating the game while keeping core components the same. They had a lot of probably unfairly high expectations, and while when all is said and done, I'm sure there will be even more that I have some issues with, but I'm also very satisfied with it so far! (And after a year of Game of Thrones and Star Wars, it's nice to have something that - at least for now - is kinda meeting the expectation of quality.)

(As an aside: I remember seeing idiots online whining that they've reduced Tifa's breast size. I have a lot of not-nice things to say about those almost certainly incels, but...while it's true they did "reduce her breasts," it's not even like they gave her small ones. She looks like a woman that might possibly look that way proportionally. You really do have to question the mental health of those dudes complaining about that aspect.)

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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 by Laxan
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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
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What's your opinion about the sauna in the Final Fantasy 7 remake?

Posted April 17th by Welsh_Gamer
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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 by dfjogsjj
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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. somewhat. 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
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All right.

But have any of y'all actually played the game? Have any thoughts on it?

Posted April 18th by Jet Presto
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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 by Laxan
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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
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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 by Issues
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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 .)

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
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