Final Fantasy VII Remake – Initial Thoughts

Final Fantasy VII is the only Final Fantasy game I’ve completed. I did a lot of hours, spent a long time getting my golden Chocobo to get Knights of the round summon, side quests for Vincent and Yuffie and a million other things I can barely remember.

In fact, my earliest memories of Final Fantasy VII go a bit further back, watching a friend who bought it on release. We didn’t understand it, but it looked cool and I can only assume that the TV adverts and Playstation magazine reviews were incredible.

All this is to say that I have a good amount of experience with Final Fantasy VII, but I don’t remember a lot, and when I saw they were doing a remake, I honestly sighed. Why do we do this to things we once loved?

I’ve held off playing the remake for exactly this reason. Coupled with the fact that I saw the combat was no longer turn-based. I have sat back and turned-up my nose at it for a while.

Then I saw rave reviews, friends and people I trust with games. All loving it. So I though I would definitely give it a go one day.

Today is that day! I’ve started and the one promise I’ve made, is that I’ll finish, too.

These are my very fresh thoughts, coming straight off my first few hours of the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Shot 1
 

I’ve made a mistake

Why did I wait so long?! I’m a stubborn fool at the best of times, but I think Final Fantasy VII Remake is the point where I need to really address my strong stances on silly things.

The first few hours have opened my eyes pretty widely. I think this must be the version of the game Square Enix perhaps always wanted to make. No longer hampered by technological limitations, and an audience begging for more of that Cloud Strife goodness. Final Fantasy VII Remake isn’t a port, not a remaster, but a re-making of the game entirely.

Characters are in-tact and more alive than ever before. Sephiroth is bloody huge by the way. I never realised he was that tall!

Midgar, materia, Limit breaks. Everything is here, but re-imagined, shinier and slicker than ever before. Holy shit, this is so much more than I was expecting, regardless of what I’ve read and seen.

Oh I’m looking forward to this……

Final Fantasy VII Remake Shot 2
 

Feels great

I think my greatest hesitation with Final Fantasy VII Remake was the third-person view/movement and the realtime combat.

No issues here at all!

There are times where the game forces your perspective while you’re navigating the world and it’s a touch jarring, but largely you wander around, run around and take-in the sights with ease. This has clearly been honed-in to perfection.

That ties-in perfectly with the combat, because being much more active in any battle requires running, dodging, blocking and of course attacking in the right direction. Final Fantasy VII Remake knows what it wants to be and delivers combat that is slick, effective and still feels like you have some RPG-style touches. Pausing the action to select your actions (items, spells, ally actions etc) and then attacking and moving like a more traditional action game.

Biggest concerns have been removed within literally minutes, so now I can settle in and enjoy. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be something special. How on earth can a game that’s considered one of the greatest of all-time, strike twice?

Final Fantasy VII Remake Shot 3
 

Good to start

It’s literally a few hours in, but I’m feeling great about Final Fantasy VII Remake. It looks absolutely stunning, even on my base PS4. I cannot get over how good it looks, to be honest. Stopping often, to grab a screenshot or two.

Music is all there, no longer that Nobuo Uematsu midi-goodness, but full, actual instruments playing those iconic themes. It’s hitting me in all of my senses at once, and I’m just letting it go to town because Final Fantasy VII Remake seems to be something quite exceptional indeed.

There’s a lot to get through, so strong initial impressions will fade. The hours will tell the full tale, and we’ll see where I land then.

Don’t let me down Cloud, I have faith in you.

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