Final Fantasy VII: Remake Scares Me!
Updated: Sep 15
At what point does a remake become less of fan service and more unrecognizable of the series to which it's attempting to pay homage.
There you were at the edge of your seat while Cloud’s motorcycle backfired loudly, sparks and fire-spitting from its exhaust pipe as you throttled the engine; adrenaline was pumping through your veins rushing down Midgar’s unfinished highway until you came to a screeching halt. Just when you thought it was the end of one of the game’s most high-strung and iconic chase segments, you’re rammed by Motor Ball in an ambush. Shrina wasn’t letting you go without a fight!
*WARNING: Spoilers Ahead*
In the original Final Fantasy VII, depending on how well you did during this high-octane scenario, this determined how much health you started with for the upcoming boss battle after fighting off Shinra's goons. If you took damage throughout the chase this, in turn, reduced your health in a said boss fight. In addition, this fight starts off with Motor Ball ramming into your party getting in the first hit! In this climactic fight, which closed out FF7’s chapter of escaping Midgar, you’re left with one final fight to escape the corrupt grasp of Shinra; at least until your paths cross once more...
“That whole climactic boss fight never happened in the remake..."
Wait, what are you talking about? That’s not what happened. Some of you who’ve never played the original Final Fantasy VII might be saying this. That whole climactic boss fight never happened in the remake; instead were left with a less than memorable enemy at the end of this chase scene. And that’s the point of this article. The remake of Final Fantasy VII scares me in a way where I believe future installments are going to be unrecognizable to everyone who played the original, as the director is envisioning a whole new experience. What happened at the end of FF7:Remake was nothing more than fan service. This is my own opinion of course, but this opinion has echoed throughout many Final Fantasy fans alike.
In the original, you almost never see Sephrioth, the game's main antagonist, in Midgar aside from Cloud’s mentions. However, in the remake, he’s quite literally the final boss, but only after fighting FATE ITSELF! I honestly just don’t get this. I can handle the overhaul of the game’s core mechanics to modernize the fighting system. In all honesty, it was enjoyable. That's all cool, except for the endless amounts of materia and summons you get. Summons were not available until after escaping Midgar. Again, some of it is understandable to keep things more appealing in order to capture the interests of newcomers to the Final Fantasy series.
Remake or Reimagining?
However, what I don’t understand is the director's, Kitase San, infatuation with wanting to derail from his original direction of Final Fantasy VII. For those who don’t know, Kitase was also one of the directors for the original iteration. Now, I get that he’s trying to accomplish things that weren’t possible due to the original PlayStation’s limitations, but as it stands this new story can go absolutely anywhere. At the end of the remake, as mentioned before, you fight fate.
“Time will tell, but there are hints which lead me to believe it's a different game now."
Fate, as it so seems, is trying to keep the game as it was originally i.e. the original Final Fantasy VII storyline. As you finish this fight and defeat fate, it opens up a portal in which you then fight Se-phi-roth *insert angelic choir*. After said fan service fight, the players are left with Cloud and the gang basically saying that they are going to make their own fate. In doing so, ‘beating’ fate opens up the game to allow Kitase San to do anything he wants.
It’s very disappointing if I’m interpreting this correctly. Yeah, Kitase wants to change a few things to capture his original vision; I get it. However, is he changing the entirety of a game we love so much, and will it resemble its former self once all installments are released? Time will tell but there are hints which lead me to believe it’s a different game now.
So Many Questions!
In recent interviews about Part II’s full development he’s said, “For those who played Part 1, they already have an idea of what kind of game we are making. We want to create a new game that lives up to their exceptions but also throws them off, in a good way though.” This to me seems like it’s leaning more towards a new story, which will resemble certain hallmarks from the original. However, it's as if it’s skewed off Doc’s timeline from ‘Back to the Future’ creating an alternate reality.
The other concern that many players have is if this will be an open-world game. How can this be a Final Fantasy game without being open-word, especially if they tend to keep chopping it up into segments? Will the world only be capable of exploration in segments ‘unlocking’ the next continent as future installments release? If that’s the case, I assume we’ll be isolated to that chunk of land to explore its wilderness.
If that would be the case, if and when the final installment releases, are we only going to have access to a single piece of land, or will all of the world fit onto the game-disc, or will we have to rely on loading files from its combined installation, or load files stashed away in some cache? Furthermore, with these questions in mind, will we be able to free-roam as we once could, while capturing wild Chocobos- breeding and racing them; or explore old caverns filled with hidden materia?
A Remake True To The Original...Not Like This
There are a lot of questions and concerns respectively. I’m all up for this remake to see where they want to take it, but at the same time, I don’t want that. Admittedly fans, myself included, made the original mistake by asking for a remake. We should’ve chosen our words more wisely and asked for a remastered version. Essentially this would be the same game done over, just modernizing it graphically without making major changes as they have done.
I believe this is what nearly all of us who asked for this were envisioning. We were not asking for a full-fledged 40-plus hour game of just Midgar with a cash cow being milked with multiple installments while we fork over $60 for each one. I’m assuming this will be the case and we have to pay full price for each installment; that in itself is a problem all on its own if you ask me.
I don’t know. To me, it seems they are trying way too hard and trying to do too much that no one really asked for when it comes to Final Fantasy 7’s remake. Would have I liked keeping it a turn-based JRPG? Absolutely I would, but I’m ok with the new fighting mechanics. I’m always open to new ideas or concepts, but when it comes to fans asking for a game to be modernized and get a product that changes major aspects from its original form then I tend to lose interest and hope.