Welcome to Spotlight Recommendations, a special place where we highlight new games that are worthy of your limited drive space. Today we turn our attention towards the “Final Fantasy VII: Remake,” which launched this week on the Playstation 4.
The original “Final Fantasy VII” game released in September 1997 for the Playstation, and it quickly became one of the most beloved RPGs of all time. The original was a massive game, and it stretched across three Playstation discs. The scope of the original game caused problems when remaking it with modern graphics, and to tackle the issue, Square Enix developed “Final Fantasy VII: Remake” into several smaller games. The first game in the project released this week, set in the eclectic and sprawling city of Midgar. The publisher’s description calls the first installment, “a fully standalone gaming experience that goes deeper into the iconic characters and world than ever before.”
The new version of the game isn’t a standard remaster, and Square Enix describes it as a “reimagining” of the iconic original. You’ll find the same characters and story, and the new version features a hybrid battle system that merges real-time action with strategic, command-based combat. If you didn’t play the original game you won’t be missing out, and if you did, you get to relive the story and experience within an entirely reimagined world.
“Final Fantasy VII: Remake” launched exclusively for the PS4, and if you don’t want to download the massive game, you can order online right here on Amazon.
The game’s official description reads, “Final Fantasy VII: Remake draws players into a world where the Shinra Electric Power Company, a shadowy corporation, controls the planet’s very life force. Cloud Strife, a former member of Shinra’s elite SOLDIER unit now turned mercenary, lends his aid to an underground resistance group calling themselves Avalanche as they fight against Shinra’s oppressive force.”
The new version stays true to most of the iconic scenes, locations, characters, and story of the original. The developers took full advantage of the nostalgia from “Final Fantasy VII,” and everything from the train sequences to the materia is redone with painstaking detail and dazzling lighting effects. There are new scenes to explore, and they serve as small additions to the narrative story. Your first adventure in the ongoing series takes place entirely within Midgar, so set your expectations accordingly. You have about 36-45 hours of content to talk, fight, and walkthrough in the first game.
We won’t pour over every change or update in the remake or rehash the story that is over 20 years old at this point. Instead, I recommend “Final Fantasy VII: Remake” purely for what it is: an artistic rendering of a classic video game. It’s a gorgeous reenactment of the story, and while you can’t please everyone, it’s clear that the game was designed to pay homage to the original title, and great care was given to the source material.
If you played the original, you will most likely enjoy the enhancements. The original’s blocky character design meant that characters relied on cartoonish animations to express themselves, which isn’t necessary with today’s graphics. The new version features more subtle and more realistic characters, and older players should appreciate the change. If you didn’t play the original, the story is retold with modern graphics and astounding detail, and you should enjoy the game solely on its own. The only other category of players are the purists, who want the game to be redone exactly as it was, which seems to be impossible. For those individuals, we recommend playing the original game again and using your imagination.
The original “Final Fantasy VII” didn’t achieve success through graphics, marketing, or innovative gameplay. Instead, the game was loved for its setting, characters, and story. All of those elements are still present within the new adaptation, so I highly recommend jumping back onto the train to Midgar and reliving the adventure. Overall, it was a treat to see the classic scenes come to life, with even more detail than I imagined them 20 years ago.
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