We’ve waited almost two decades for a follow up to the PlayStation classic Final Fantasy VII. But the newest details released this week haven’t exactly wowed us. Should fans be pissed or excited given the news that the game will broken up worst than a birthday piñata?
By Kenneth Shipp
By now, you’ve heard that because of the sheer size of FFVII, the remake will be broken up into multiple releases. And you’ve probably also noticed the new combat system:
From a technical standpoint, there are various reasons this could be valid. The original game was contained on 3 discs (Future installments, VIII & IX would be contained on 4 discs respectively until the PS2 debuted). That may seem astronomical to you now, but considering the large game installs we face with games today, it’s honestly not very different; we’ve just changed the format. And Square is shooting for a ridiculous amount of details with this game on par with FFXV. The graphics of FFXV are amazing, but it took them a long time to accomplish what we will eventually receive in 2016. We should also keep in mind that ever since the PS3 technical demo from 2005, we have been repeatedly told it would be a massive undertaking. And that was just to make it look as good as FFXIII with PS3 power and ability, it’s going to be just as hard or harder using the PS4.
So why would Square break this game up? I mean, isn’t XV going to be just as long? No, probably not. The current trend with Final Fantasy releases has been shorter amounts of gameplay not longer. While XV looks like the prettiest version of any we’ve ever seen, it’s clear to me that it will probably have a similar runtime to XIII. Since FFX release in 2001, the time it takes to play through the game has been knocked further and further down. While I extremely dislike changes to such a classic series, Square is thinking about this as logically as one can.
People don’t play big story RPGs anymore, at least not to the degree we did back in the 90’s. Sure, we get the Skyrim, Fallout, or Witcher releases every so often, but they still have enough action elements with virtually no turn-based components that they don’t fit the traditional RPG model. In those games, you can have just as much fun completed the main campaign or doing your own thing. However, that’s never been the focus of FF (although there have been plenty of open world map areas, etc.) Die-hard and turn based purists will be turned off from the changes in FFVII’s combat and arguably the quicker pace they may be trying to achieve, but it has more to do with the current state of RPGs than it does Square pissing everyone off.
They are confident they will have a large contingent of fans who will buy said remake if it were the same format as the original, broken up or not. Changing the format to fit current generational tastes is probably the only way they can justify even attempting such a large undertaking. Square wants to be sure that the game will actually ship units, not only because of nostalgia amongst old fans, but new appreciation from prospective fans. Let’s not kid ourselves here: they haven’t had as much success as they had a decade ago and it’s starting to show. The last must have Final Fantasy game was X way back in 2001. If Square was to pour time and energy into VII to make it just like it used to be with minor tweaks, there is a strong possibility that they will not move enough copies and it could be alienating to those not familiar with the franchise looking to give it a try. XII, XIII and a few other iterations since that time like the MMO, XIV have been solid additions but lacked the wow factor of other releases. A remake of VII will be the kick start they have needed in a while, but not if the gameplay stays the same, exact way as before.
Look, I don’t like the decision any more than you do. But they will release as episodic content and then somewhere down the line you will be able to purchase the entire collection if you didn’t have it before. I could argue about the change in combat for a while, but it’s honestly not that huge of a deal. We will probably whine about it until we actually get to play it and then forget whatever we were getting mad about. At least, I hope so…
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