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Final Fantasy 7 Remake Review: The most ambitious Final Fantasy to date

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Final Fantasy 7 Remake lied to me.

This is not a Final Fantasy 7 remake. It is Final Fantasy 7 reinterpreted and is brave. New characters and subplots are introduced within the first hour, and stylish real-time actions replace the turn-based battle for which the original was known.

The most ambitious is the remake that hits the shelves on April 1

0, not the entire Final Fantasy 7. It is part one of the saga in which the first act of the 1997 original is recorded and a full game is made from it.

This may sound like a risky business if you're one of the 11 million people who played the PlayStation 1 classic . But the highest praise I can give for this remake is that it will please those of you who have been waiting for almost 15 years to play it .

If you belong to this group, this review is of little importance. You will buy the game no matter what. But what if you have never played the original before? That's okay, this is a zone of no judgment. All you need to know is Final Fantasy 7 Remake looks gorgeous and feels satisfactory.

In any case, you have to play this game.


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Final Fantasy 7 Remake is extremely spectacular


Less is more

The boldest change from the original to the remake is to split a game into several. We don't know how many parts of the Final Fantasy 7 story will be told, although director Tetsuya Nomura said work on part two was already underway .

Regardless, this is still a full-length Final Fantasy game. I did a little bit of side quests and clocked the game in just under 40 hours. However, it only takes place in Midgar. Fans of the original will be amazed not to see The Golden Saucer, Cosmo Canyon, and other famous locations, but this is an example of how less is more.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is a dystopia for our time. It's about Shinra, a juggernaut electricity company that draws life force (mako) from the earth and converts it into energy. This is slowly killing the planet. Sounds familiar? Midgar itself is plagued by wealth inequality, which is divided into two main sections, separated by a massive plate: a modern city with a suit on top and slums in need below.

You play as Cloud Strife, a former member of Shinra's "Soldier" military force. Now you work as a mercenary and work with an ecoterrorist group called Avalanche. Disgusted by Shinra's miserly destruction of the planet, Avalanche tries to teach Shinra a lesson – by blowing up Mako reactors. Obviously.

Story beats are similar to the original, but there are notable differences. This becomes clear in the second chapter when you are confronted with mysterious, disguised spirits. (Think of Harry Potter Dementors.) More important is the shifting of the framing. In 1997, this section ultimately served as preparation for Sephiroth, the game's main villain, to steal the show. That is not the case here.

Sephiroth returns, but mostly takes Shinra as the villain of the game in the background.

Square Enix

If you spend the entire 40 hours in Midgar, you can get to know several characters better. Technology 2020, including the best character models I've seen in a game, also helps. Wedge, a bit of an original player, becomes a more substantial, lovable character here, for example. And story elements previously warmed up for Sephiroth now feel like more legitimate subplots.

There is a compromise here. While Midgar, Shinra and Avalanche deserve the spotlight they get, the narrow focus reduces the epic size of the original. Regardless, this feels like a thoughtful, essential part of a bigger story – exactly what the first game in a series is supposed to be.

Once you get used to viewing Final Fantasy 7 as a franchise rather than a game, 7 Remake will be much easier to understand.

That doesn't mean there are no problems. The pace of the story is inconsistent, especially towards the end. There's also fictional upholstery – some locked doors require a conspicuous amount of footwork to unlock them, and a chapter is extended by 20 minutes because a rat steals a key at an inopportune time. Attempts to include Sephiroth-related story elements, which occurred almost exclusively after Midgar, in the original are sometimes cumbersome.

Despite these problems, the incredibly brave transition is almost entirely successful.

New era, new fight

The fight of Final Fantasy 7 Remake also successfully makes a bold transition. Square Enix has taken a title synonymous with turn-based combat and turned it into a new real-time action game. Still, a turn-based taste remains, fueling the nostalgia of those who played the original.

You carry out regular attacks like you would in a game like Devil May Cry or Kingdom Hearts. When your Active Time Battle (ATB) indicator fills up – what happens after you deal damage, take damage, or block damage – you can slow the battle down to bullet time and cast magic, perform abilities, use items and much more

It is a rewarding and stylish combat system. Sometimes you will feel like the ultimate fiend hunter as you wriggle through a hoard. In other cases, you need to be far more strategic and slow down the fight at certain times to take advantage of attack patterns and enemy weaknesses.

There are also errors here. The camera can be problematic. You will often have difficulty seeing enemies out of your character's field of view. Since most enemy attacks disrupt actions such as healing and item use, this can be frustrating and sometimes make battles feel lucky.

The Materia system – magic bullets that fit into your weapons and armor and allow you to use magic and other skills – also feels a bit out of place. The rapid action rewards attacks more than the strategy of buffing your group or inflicting status complaints on enemies. As a result, you're probably using a narrower variety of materials than the original.

Regardless, the developers have done so much right here. The difficulty is just right, forcing you to use strategies without punishing players too hard. Boss fights are reliably exhilarating. And like everything else in the game, the fight is visually great.

When it comes to risky bets between battle and history, Square Enix goes two for two here. ] -4e18-a653-d1f32a786b58 / 3644219-2510225e6f886346a905-42081973-ffviir-march-screenshots-13.jpg "class =" http://www.cnet.com/ "alt =" 3644219-2510225e6f886346a905-42081973-ff Screenshots-13 [19659037

Square Enix

A love letter

Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a spectacle, easily one of the best looking games I've ever played. But the hours of work that went into it are obvious beyond their technical ability. It's not just how visually impressive the game is: the surroundings, from the red light district of the Neon Wall Market to the sterile Mako reactors, are rich in detail and feel like they live and breathe.

The cynic in me suspects that Square Enix divides the game into several parts so that they can enjoy several payment days. But it's hard to care if the first entry is made so carefully and lovingly.

Like all major Final Fantasy releases, this game starts with questions about its legacy. Does it do justice to the original? Is it as good as previous pioneering franchise games? Was it worth the 15-year wait? The first two questions can only be answered in the coming years, depending on how well subsequent parts are made. The third question is a tough yes.

New or old fan, Final Fantasy 7 remake is worth your $ 60 and much more.

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