The biggest bit of news unveiled at Sony’s E3 press conference was the announcement of the long awaited remake of Final Fantasy 7. News so big and so exciting that it reduced some fanboys and fangirls to tears, my reaction was more along the lines of ‘meh, that’s nice I guess’.
Let me just say, I am a huge fan of the Final Fantasy games (yes even 12 and to some extent 13) and Final Fantasy 7 holds a special place for me. It is the first Final Fantasy game I played and turned me into a fan of the series, it’s also the first role playing game I played and showed me that games can have amazing and in depth stories with fully fleshed out characters, and lets not even get started on Aeris’ death scene.
Everytime I hear that piece of music I remember the first time I saw that scene and the shock that I felt, and the annoyance. She was one of the main characters I used for my party because I had no idea she died, she was a main character after all, and because it was my first RPG I didn’t know to use the other characters to keep them at around the same level as the rest of your party. I ended up stuck in that bloody cave with Cloud and Red XIII at good levels with good weapons and Tifa at quite a few levels lower and her basic weapon still. I hate that cave so much, it was a real struggle to get through it the first time because of that.
The trailer looked absolutely fantastic and was brilliantly done. I should be hyped. I should be excited. I should be jumping up and down with every other fanboy and fangirl out there. But I’m not.
I don’t think the timing is great. Yes I know the 20th anniversary is coming up which you’d think is the perfect time to release it but this is something I would have been more excited about years ago. It feels like they missed the boat to truly capitalise on it. It should have been done for the 10th anniversary.
It also feels a bit desperate from Square Enix. They have refused to remake it for years and then suddenly when they hit a bad patch and the Final Fantasy games seem to be lacking, slowly getting worse, with people losing interest in them, or at least I am, they turn to the ace up their sleeve. A crowd-pleaser. A guaranteed money maker. They finally remake Final Fantasy 7. Although I suppose that is quite smart from a business standpoint.
Then there is the fact that it is a full on remake, not just a remastering, which means things will be changed, with some rumours suggesting the battle system will be changed.
If they start making changes, changes to the story, to the characters, the gameplay mechanics, the music, the battle system, the materia system etc then it stops being Final Fantasy 7 because those are the very things that made Final Fantasy 7, Final Fantasy 7 in the first place.
I like Final Fantasy 7’s story, I like its characters, I like the materia system and all those other things that made Final Fantasy 7 the game it was, that’s why I played through it on more than one occasion on the Playstation. That’s why I bought the game on Steam and am currently in the process of playing through it again (I just reached the chocobo farm for the first time).
So often with remakes we have seen changes for changes sake, I swear the conversation in the meetings must be something like ‘oh we need to make some changes because changes are better and we don’t want it to be like the original’, which just ends up ruining everything.
I suppose that’s why I’m not hyped or excited for the remake. I’m worried about the changes that will be made. I’m worried what effect they will have on the game.
It’s all unknown at this stage so maybe I’ll start to become more excited once we get some more detail and some more footage of the game and we can see what direction it is going in.
Well I suppose even if it does go wrong I can just keep replaying my copy of the original on Steam and block out the remake. It’s worked for me with terrible remakes in the past.
Is anyone else being cautious about this and waiting until they learn more before they let themselves get excited about it or am I alone in this?