When it comes to the Final Fantasy franchise, there are a lot of fans out there who are still longing for the good old days. The release of Final Fantasy 7 Remake has finally delivered on those desires, as it is not only the best game of the series but also one of the best games of all time.
Since its original release in 1997, Final Fantasy 7 has become one of the biggest titles in video game history. The game was awarded many Game of the Year honors, had numerous DLC additions and re-releases, and saw a PlayStation TV adaptation in 2019 – but perhaps the biggest testament to its lasting impact is that its gameplay and narrative are still being discussed and analyzed more than 20 years later.
Whether you’ve played the game or not, it’s difficult to argue that Final Fantasy 7 wasn’t influential. Square Enix has now released a complete remake, and we took a look at the game from a number of perspectives – including its gameplay, graphics, and more.
The Gameplay Is Finally Up To Date
One of the biggest complaints about Final Fantasy 7 when it was first released is that the gameplay felt outdated compared to other games in the series. While the sprites and animations may have looked great in 1996, modern gameplay techniques were simply not used back then.
Thankfully, Square Enix has taken the time to update the game to be as fun and fluid as possible now, with a focus on accessibility and player feedback. This focus brings with it a raft of improvements, including:
- A streamlined combat system that allows for more fluid gameplay.
- A revamped lock-on targeting system for easier aiming and better responsiveness.
- Revised Active Time Battle (ATB) for a more challenging yet fair experience.
- And much more!
It Looks Amazing
Thanks to new lighting and shading techniques, the world of Final Fantasy 7 looks stunning. While the graphics may not necessarily look groundbreaking – especially compared to games released today – the attention to detail is something to behold. Even if you’ve played the game before, it’s worth giving it a re-visit just to see how the world of Final Fantasy 7 has changed.
This being said, it’s important to remember that the graphics alone do not make a great game. It’s the gameplay combined with the visuals that truly bring a game to life.
It Has A Rewarding And Engrossing Narrative
One of the things that consistently draws fans back to the Final Fantasy series is the narrative. Thanks to the success of the Kingdom Hearts series, many gamers expect a solid narrative and engaging characters, so it is no surprise that Final Fantasy 7 was hailed as a watershed moment in the series.
The storyline kicks off with Cloud stranding himself on an unknown world – and it’s here where the game truly shines. During your time on the island – which is where most of Final Fantasy 7 takes place – you will encounter various story threads and ultimately have to choose a side in the war raging between Team Cloud and Team Tortoise. It’s a simple yet incredibly effective premise that grips the gamer from the very beginning. And throughout the game, the narrative mostly unfolds through interactive dialogue and interesting characters.
It Has Something For Everyone
Even if you’ve played the game before, it is totally worth playing it again. Not only does it hold up well over 20 years later, but there is also a lot for players to see and do. Just like any good Final Fantasy game, there are multiple endings, and it is up to you how you want to play the game. This means that – even if you’ve played it before – there will always be something new to do and see, as well as keep track of all the new developments.
It is also worth noting that while Final Fantasy 7 was a great game, it was also one of the more difficult games in the series to achieve a perfect score on. This is largely because the game expects you to have a good idea of what’s going on and keeps track of your progress. If this sounds like a chore, there is an option to turn off the “Expectations Management” (which is what it’s called) for a more streamlined gameplay experience.
It Is Fun
Last but not least, we have the fun factor. While games today may have evolved into something more refined and strategic, nothing can take away from the joy of playing a good old-fashioned adventure game. Final Fantasy 7 definitely delivers on this front as you will be exploring strange new environments, meeting new characters, and battling powerful adversaries.
The game does a great job of blending action and role-playing elements, so even if you’ve played it before you will feel like a complete newcomer. But with all the improvements and additions the game has seen over the years, it is still very much rooted in the golden era of video games.
Despite all these awesome reasons to play Final Fantasy 7 Remake, it is important to remember that it is still a remake. While it is great that Square Enix has listened to fans and delivered an experience that feels true to the original, this always tends to be the case with remakes. Ultimately, the fun comes from playing the game, not comparing it to the original.