Final Fantasy VII Rebirth [PS5] - Winter 2023

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Mantis
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Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake [PS4] - April 10th

Post by Mantis » Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:56 pm

The only real issue I have with the combat is that even if you know the weaknesses ahead of time, you're forced down the path of exploiting them to get staggers and do more damage unless you want the fight to drag out. I've had fights with tougher basic enemies that took five plus minutes just because I didn't have the right element on my attack damage and they were too quick for the spell to hit them half the time. It sucks the variety out of the combat a little when you're pushed down the same path every time.

Life has become a fair bit easier now that I have a second Elemental Materia though. As soon as I see enemy types in an area change I just put their weak element onto Cloud and Tifa and blitz through most fights now.

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Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake [PS4] - April 10th

Post by Mantis » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:24 pm

Just rescued Aerith from the Shinra building lab and back to loving it again. The whole Shinra building infiltration has been the perfect balance of combat and expanded story so far.

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Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake [PS4] - April 10th

Post by Mantis » Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:07 pm

Okay. So I'm finished at roughly 40-45 hours and my feelings about that last hour are really conflicted with how much overall I enjoyed the game. Spoilers for the ending and new plot points:
Spoiler
So, the "Whisper" ghosts, predictably as alluded to throughout the game, are the will of the planet trying to ensure "destiny" unfolds a particular way. The thing is, one of the themes of the original game is the idea that there isn't really a destiny apart from what the characters make themselves. But now apparently the events of the original game are the destiny envisioned by the planet and the characters are all actively trying to fight to break free from that. The implication there being that the story could deviate hugely from the original as events progress, like Zack living following his confrontation with the soldiers outside Midgar as seen in the cutscene.

Other than that all the ghosts really serve to do in the remake is function as a really blatant deus ex machina for sections where the writers deviate from the original plot and then can't really explain any way around it other than "Oh the ghosts stopped them".

Wedge dying after getting stuck in Sector 7 when the plate collapses? Ghosts kept him there. Then it turns out that Wedge actually survived and was protected by ghosts circling his body when the party found him. Until that is, they decide to kill (???) him again in the Shinra building.

Hojo revealing Clouds real identity in front of the whole party? Ghosts swoop in to drag him away.

Barret is murdered by an illusionary Jenova/black caped man/Sephiroth? Ghosts resurrect him immediately after the boss battle.

The plot of the original game is actually quite intricate and the writers seem to keep putting themselves into a corner with this remake only to have "Whispers" come and correct things for them.

They also serve as a totally unnecessary, albeit very visually flashy and quite interesting, cinematic final boss. I get that the developers probably felt that the game needed a climactic final boss and probably wanted to show off exactly how cinematic and amazing they could make the battles really look. But the boss against the harbinger does zero for the story, in fact all it really does is add in a whole new level of confusion that never existed in the original. Are the characters in a parallel universe now? Did that fight actually happen or was it just another illusion? It kind of all happens and the characters just shrug it off at the end without even mentioning the fact that they fought a giant ghost demon in the sky above Midgar, instead we get a scene which is very similar to where they leave Midgar in the original game.

The showdown with Sephiroth is admittedly something everyone has wanted to see rendered in a modern video game format for decades, but again is totally out of place. Was it real? No idea. And the cutscene at the end is lifted almost entirely from the very final battle at the end of the original, talk about showing your hand too early. It takes away from the drama of the story if Cloud has an epic one on one with Sephiroth at a point where in the original he hasn't even made an appearance in the flesh yet.

I'd have been more than happy if they'd beaten the Motorball on the highway then gone straight to the final scene where they're leaving the city and resolve to chase Sephiroth, akin to the ending pretty much exactly as it happened with that section of the original.
So yeah, mixed feelings about all the changes they felt they needed to make. I really did not like that huge narrative sidestep. I hope that the feedback they get from this makes them stay more faithful to the original for the later chapters, because they absolutely nailed so much about this game. Hopefully it isn't five years between installments to find out.

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Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake [PS4] - April 10th

Post by Wrathbone » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:59 am

Very much agree with those comments.
Spoiler
The whole ghosts/destiny thing is a mess that detracted from an otherwise excellent game. It feels like they’re going to use it as a meta-pretext for making larger sweeping changes in future instalments, and the sad truth is that they could make changes without the ghost stuff and it’d be fine. There were changes and new things in this game that had nothing to do with ghosts or destiny and they were fine. Going the direction they have is heavy-handed overwriting and does little other than disengage you from the story.

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Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake [PS4] - April 10th

Post by Mantis » Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:59 pm

Spoiler
Ghosts withstanding, the showdown with Sephiroth completely detracts from the drama and pacing of the story too. In the original game you don't even see him in person by the end of Midgar, he is mentioned a couple of times as being a legendary soldier before the Shinra HQ massacre which take place off screen.

In Kalm you get the neat flashback which shows him off for the first time and then when you try to cross towards the mythril mines you see how he impales the Midgar Zolom on a tree like it was nothing, at this point it's a pretty tough foe which you can't really beat easily.

In Remake territory we've already seen Cloud and Sephiroth have a Dragonball Z style fight in the sky with each of them leaping across broken terrain and cutting huge chunks of debris in half. #-o
I don't think that Nomura and his team are good writers at all. As soon as they take strides away from the source material it turns into fan-fic territory.

Incidentally, I'm replaying the original now just to see the story through. I'm five hours in and I'm just about to do the Motorball boss to leave Midgar. That took 50 hours in the Remake. :lol:

It is remarkable though to see exactly how many lines of dialogue, even from inconsequential NPCs, that they preserved and fleshed out in the remake. The area layouts are so well realised too compared with the original background artwork versions.

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Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake [PS4] - April 10th

Post by Raid » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:07 pm

So it's taken me a while, but I've finally finished the Remake too. As a whole I thoroughly enjoyed it; the combat system is excellent for the most part, with one or two niggles, and the environments, character designs and music are phenomenally good.

I have only a few minor gripes with the gameplay, and that's mostly to do with how slowly your non-active characters charge their ATB gauge when you're letting them do their own thing. I know the developers want you to experience all of the four playstyles, and I do enjoy how they've made each character feel fairly unique, but just once in a while I want Aerith to be able to heal people without me switching to her and firing off a few magic bolts. Even casting haste doesn't fix the issue. There's also the problem that it can feel a little too busy at times, especially in the penultimate fight that I'll go into in the spoiler section, but it meant that I frequently ended up frustrated by having my hard-earned magic casts interrupted (meaning you lose the ATB charge and MP for that cast) by an attack I couldn't see starting as it was off screen.

Big story spoilery stuff:
Spoiler
I have to agree with the talk above about the Whispers and their acting as something of a deus ex machina, and I'm not sure I like the direction they're taking this. I only have a loose knowledge of the events of the original game, which only gets looser as the party leaves Midgar, but even to me it doesn't feel like this is actually a remake at all.

I actually put the game down for six weeks because I was annoyed at the choice to make the game's climactic battle against the concept of predetermined fate. I just couldn't summon the enthusiasm to continue, and it was only really the fact that I'd pinched the PS4 from the living room and needed to return it that made me come back to finish it. It was a bizarre shift in theme, with the characters just casually carrying on like they were fighting another batch of identical Shinra troopers.

The escalation felt out of place. I know the series ends in a fight with chunks of building being thrown around (in Advent Children), but I just don't think that the experiences prior to this fight would have in any way prepared the likes of Barret and Tifa for running across a physics-free void on crumbling masonry fighting the physical embodiment of destiny. How in the hell are they expected to up the stakes in the next episode? Are they still going to sit on the ferris wheel at the Golden Saucer making awkward small talk having survived a supernatural epic? Are you going to be raising a 300 foot skeletal chocobo demon to win races with?

I don't want it to sound like I didn't enjoy this because I honestly did, and I don't think I have any real objections to them taking it in a new direction, but it does feel a little like a bait and switch. I purposefully didn't play the original prior to completing this as I didn't want to spoil story points that would be covered in later episodes, but now I'm feeling like I won't get as much out of it unless I can tell which bits they've changed. As such, instead of playing through Remake on hard mode, I'm going to make a start on the original.
So yeah, it's a mixed bag. I wouldn't say I'd not recommend it as I absolutely would, it's just that I'd feel the need to say there are caveats that I can't tell you about without spoiling parts of it.

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Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake [PS4] - April 10th

Post by Raid » Fri Jun 17, 2022 8:23 am

Square Enix hosted a 25th Anniversary of FFVII stream last night, finally getting around to giving us a release window for episode 2 of the remake (which is now confirmed as being in 3 parts). It's arriving next winter.



It also looks like it's going to be PS5 only, which while not surprising is definitely disappointing. I'm basically not going to be able to play it now, as I have no interest in getting another Sony console at the moment (the PS4 I played part one on was shared between my former housemate, and I left it with her when I moved as I never played anything else on it). The other issue is that there'll have been three and a half years between episodes 1 and 2, and if there's the same break between 2 and 3, does that mean I'd have to buy a PS6 to play the finale?

There was other stuff announced too, like a remake of Crisis Core, which I have zero opinion on but it seems to be a big deal. That's coming this winter.

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Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake [PS4] - April 10th

Post by Mantis » Fri Jun 17, 2022 4:44 pm

Seems like they're going all in on changing the story then. I really don't want them to do that, the quality of the changes they made on Remake were very poor. The fleshed out stuff that built on existing characters was fairly good, but the total overhaul of parts turned it into a gimmicky anime power fantasy and totally ruined the entire feel of the original plot.

I've wanted a proper remake for so many years and they've dropped the ball on it. #-o

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