THE SAME, BUT DIFFERENT?
Most of us were bouncing up and down with glee the when the remake of Final Fantasy 7 was announced . It’s been something that fans have wanted since a tech demo of the game’s opening sequence was released while we were still getting used to the PS3. Yet now we’re hearing some news about the game and…Well, the angle for the remake is interesting.
Interesting in a good way? Uh…Maybe?
First things first, Sony released a gameplay trailer not too long ago which surprised a lot of people. This was at least in part because Barret somehow wound up looking even more like Mr. T and sounding like he was doing an impression of Christian Bale’s Batman voice.
However the main surprise…Well, watch the trailer.
Now keep in mind that, for a lot of people, FF7 was what got them into turn-based RPGs. Therefore it’s utterly baffling that Square Enix decided to switch to something more akin to Kingdom Hearts for the remake. There was nothing wrong with the turn-based system of the original. Hell it was pretty damn suited to the game, because you generally wound up with several different spells you had to sort through in battle.
Granted, we’re biased. For games like the main Final Fantasy series, we prefer a turn-based system. However, it’s not like we’re alone there and it seems like a very strange choice to completely change the gameplay in a remake.
Let’s keep in mind that this is still what the game is. Built up from the ground it might be, but this is still a remake and there are certain parts of a game you, arguably, should leave alone when you’re remaking it. Gameplay is one of those, at least to us. Sure, tweak it and see if you can remove a few of the rough edges, but don’t change it entirely.
Our first thought when we saw this was “Gee, that looks a lot like the FF15 gameplay trailer.” We thought maybe the two teams had swapped ideas or they were using the same engine. However, it seems that’s not the case. The games are supposedly running on different engines (We’re saying supposedly since all is once again quiet on the FF15 front. It could be running on potatoes now for all we know) and the remake team is getting assistance, just from a third party.
CyberConnect2, bizarrely, who are mainly known for their Naruto fighting games. It’s a bit unclear how exactly they will be assisting, but the gameplay shown in the trailer is a lot closer to their games. Maybe the switch was their suggestion?
This wasn’t the last surprise either.
In a follow-up press release to the release of the gameplay trailer, Square Enix stated that the remake would be episodic.
We were left with one question: Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?
This is so far removed from the original it’s almost funny.
Supposedly, this is to give the company time to create entirely new sections and avoid anything being cut. Of course we’re all for new things, that’s one of the interesting things you can do with a remake. However, this didn’t really answer the ‘why’ question.
Look, if it really is a time issue, extend the development period. Sure, people won’t thank you for the delay, but here’s the thing: Nobody wanted this and nobody’s exactly thanking you for it either.
On the bright side, this probably means there’ll be new areas to explore and new parts of the story to follow. That’s great. There’s no denying that FF7’s world could use some tweaking.
However, this combined with the change of gameplay is a bit worrying. Essentially there’s two kinds of remakes. You have the “Let’s recreate this old classic with modern graphics, tweaked gameplay and maybe something extra” and you have “Let’s take this old classic and stuff everything that’s currently popular in there at the cost of the original charm.” FF7 is starting to lean to option B’s side a bit, sadly.
Of course, the game still looks good and we’re honestly still convinced it’ll wind up being a lot of fun to play. We’re just a bit concerned about Square Enix’s definition of remake.