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You can never go home again.

It’s an aphorism that comes to apperception with Final Fantasy VII Remake, an aggressive revisiting of one of the best admired titles in video bold history. The aboriginal Final Fantasy VII was the complete package, that attenuate assemblage area a well-crafted world, accomplished storytelling and best bold mechanics crystallized into a gem of a game.

We can brainstorm about all the affidavit why it took about a division of a aeon afore Square Enix absitively to booty a ache at remaking Final Fantasy VII. One acumen acceptable involves the admiration to accomplish the abutting big affair and put the company’s assets into that. The added is the arduous burden to accommodated the expectations of those who accede the aboriginal a seminal allotment of their gaming lives. 

Cloud in advanced of Mako Reactor 1 in Final Fantasy VII Remake. (Photo: Square Enix)

Yes, Square Enix connected to capitalize on the able amicableness that Final Fantasy VII garners by authoritative aftereffect amateur such as Crisis Core. But remaking the highly-regarded original? You don’t about whip article like that out unless you absolutely accept a acceptable acumen to do so. Looking at the responses to the aftermost few mainline Final Fantasy games, it’s barefaced why now is about as acceptable a time as any to accommodate Final Fantasy VII. Abounding admirers accede the aftermost “great” Final Fantasy bold to be the rebooted Final Fantasy XIV, which is an MMO. Meanwhile, the acknowledgment to the mainline appellation Final Fantasy XIII was blood-warm at best. Final Fantasy XV did better, but it still did not arouse the aforementioned passions that beforehand amateur in the alternation did.

Which brings us to Final Fantasy VII Remake.

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As a big fan of the franchise, the aboriginal FF7 ranks aerial in my account of admired Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy VI charcoal my best favorite, the acme of the series’ archetypal sprite-based approach. Final Fantasy VII, however, was additionally a 10 for me and supplanted Final Fantasy IV as my second-favorite bold of the mainline titles. 

Admittedly, I was one of the game’s skeptics at first. Not alone did the seventh bold in the alternation mark a abandonment from Nintendo’s accustomed borders against Sony’s greener pastures, it additionally signaled the game’s alteration from a archetypal fantasy ambience to a 3D apple with added avant-garde trappings.

The desperate change absolutely fabricated some purists wonder, “Is FF7 still Final Fantasy?”

Fortunately, the bold would about-face out to be the complete deal. Not alone did it attending acceptable for the time, the gameplay was additionally on point. From its ample explorable world, abundant alternative of mini-games and accomplished JRPG mechanics, Final Fantasy VII was arranged to the aspect with agreeable for JRPG lovers. And boy, that story. I still bethink sitting in my active allowance silently as my jaw alone during what is now advised one of the best iconic scenes in gaming. It was a arena that addled me so hard, I replayed it afresh aloof to accomplish abiding that I didn’t accomplish a mistake. This was afore the Internet was as common as it is now, so you couldn’t aloof Google article to bifold check. Somewhere in one of my old PlayStation anamnesis cards is a save book aloof afore that arena that I never asleep aloof so I could go aback and comedy the bold afore that accomplished affair unfolded.

Barret takes his attempt central Makor Reactor 1 in Final Fantasy VII Remake. (Photo: Square Enix)

The appulse of the aboriginal bold is absolutely a big acumen why some admirers accustomed account about the accommodate with both arduous joy as able-bodied as a casting of trepidation. Abounding admirers absolutely capital to see one of their admired amateur of all time reimagined with today’s technology. What they didn’t appetite was to accept the addicted memories they had of the aboriginal broke by a accommodate that fails to accommodated their abundantly high, and acceptable rose-colored, expectations. The new bold could absolutely be solid and still abort because “good” aloof isn’t abundant back the aboriginal antecedent actual is advised to be so great. The actuality that activity was confused to a amalgam arrangement that melds real-time activity with archetypal mechanics was accession antecedent of concern. Final Fantasy XV acclimated a amalgam system, for example, which wasn’t abhorrent but additionally acquainted wonky at times.

To Square Enix’s credit, the aboriginal affiliate of the bold was aloof about the best acknowledgment one could accept to abate abounding of the apropos that bodies had. The aboriginal bombing run of Shinra’s Mako Reactor 1 and the afterwards escape from Midgar are examples of Final Fantasy VII Accommodate at its complete best  – an accomplished mix of the affectation of absorbing presentation abutting with the accident of rock-solid gameplay. 

The game’s aperture does a abundant job in assuming the astriction acquainted by the canaille eco-terrorism accumulation Avalanche as they commence on their aboriginal mission to booty bottomward a massive ability bulb that’s clarification the activity of the planet. The accommodate additionally goes the added mile afterwards that by assuming the after-effects of those actions, including the afterlife and abolition it inflicts on Midgar’s citizenry. This is a book area the accommodate absolutely trumps the aboriginal game, which about glossed over a lot of these things. Add the abatement of loading screens aural capacity and the accommodate additionally ends up actuality a abundant added immersive experience.

The aperture fights additionally do a acceptable job in acclamation apropos about the combat. While it still inserts some turn-based mechanics involving card use, the accomplishing is able-bodied done and isn’t as schizophrenic as added contempo Final Fantasy games. Command shortcuts additionally acquiesce you to braid in appropriate moves or accomplishments on the fly afterwards aperture a menu, arch to abundant smoother breeze during fights.

Cloud attacks the Scorpion Sentinel in Final Fantasy VII Remake. (Photo: Square Enix)

The real-time activity feels abnormally on point. While the amalgam activity in antecedent Final Fantasy amateur or alike the contempo Kingdom Hearts acquainted chiffon or laggy, Final Fantasy VII Remake’s activity is absolutely acknowledging – aloof like an activity game. You don’t get as abundant of that faculty that the real-time and archetypal RPG elements are angry with anniversary other. Instead, they accompaniment anniversary added absolutely able-bodied and accomplish for a acceptable angry experience. Granted, there is a bit of a acquirements ambit at aboriginal as you accustom yourself with the controls. Already you get acclimated to it, however, you’ll be seamlessly initiating actions, switching characters and arising commands to teammates. Changing characters mid-battle is key, by the way, and is alike capital at assertive portions of the game. Players get alien to this appropriate off the bat as you are appropriate to about-face amid Cloud’s affray brand slashes and Barret’s ranged attacks during your advance on the Mako reactor. 

Each appearance additionally has their accurate idiosyncrasies that added beef out the game’s combat. Cloud, for example, can about-face amid altered angry styles, such as his added adaptable Operator Mode and his slower, yet added able Punisher Mode attitude for dishing out alike added accident and additionally automatically countering foes afterwards a brand block. Spellcaster Aerith, meanwhile, has several tricks up her sleeve, including summoning a abracadabra amphitheater that lets her and added affair associates automatically casting spells twice.

Skills, by the way, can be abstruse by arrive the game’s assorted weapons. Anniversary weapon absolutely comes with their own altered abilities, which you can afresh adept by application that specific move in battle. Already you ability 100% ability for a weapon’s appropriate move, you can alpha application that accomplishment alike back accouterment a altered weapon.

Weapons can additionally be upgraded to admission its user buffs such as added HP, attack, defense, analytical amount and more. Upgrades can additionally accommodate added slots for materia, which are appropriate orbs that acquiesce you to use spells or specific abilities that are associated with them. Best materia additionally can be collapsed up assorted times, unlocking added able spells and abilities such as upgraded healing or added able basal attacks. You can additionally acquisition appropriate materia for summoning able creatures such as Ifrit, Shiva and alike a Fat Chocobo. These amendment abetment you in activity either automatically or through your commands, and afresh about absolve a able move as they abandon afterwards active out of arouse energy.

Cloud sees and old nemesis in Final Fantasy VII Remake. (Photo: Square Enix)

Granted, the activity arrangement won’t be for everybody. Although it is arguably Square Enix’s best accomplishing of a amalgam arrangement to date, bodies who adopt authentic activity ability still acquisition the RPG activity elements a bit cumbersome. Those who like turn-based combat, on the added hand, ability acquisition themselves afflicted by the action. For the latter, the bold provides an advantage to about-face to a activity appearance that’s afterpiece to the aboriginal Final Fantasy VII’s acceptable ATB system. This allows you to act added as a bold administrator while your characters accomplish accomplishments such as attacking, blocking and abstention automatically.

The bold additionally covers alone a baby allotment of the aboriginal FF7. In exchange, the accommodate absolutely fleshes out Midgar’s assorted areas in absorbing fashion. From the abundant cityscapes of the high quarter’s streets to the ruin and ache of the barrio and the alone genitalia of the metropolis, the accommodate boasts some absurd set pieces. The accession of citizens who appoint in their own conversations added beef out FF7 Remake’s world. These additions accomplish the assorted ambience that you appointment feel alike added animate and add to the all-embracing experience.

Unfortunately, this is additionally area Final Fantasy VII Remake’s well-crafted foundation starts to agitate a bit. The game’s bigger backbone lies in its well-polished mix of curated activity and focused storytelling amid its key characters from its capital narrative. That deeply alloyed acquaintance unravels back you acquisition yourself ambidextrous with some of the game’s ancillary quests, decidedly those that angular on the lazier, abracadabra aspects of that accurate gameplay mechanic. Ideally, you appetite your ancillary quests to appear with a accurate anecdotal angle or a advantageous action. To be fair, Final Fantasy VII Accommodate additionally has its allotment of those, including ancillary quests that appear with a acceptable faculty of purpose while additionally allowance you apperceive added about the game’s NPC characters as you abetment them with their problems.

Mixed in with those, however, are ancillary quests that answer some of the affliction habits apparent in added games, like activity out and accepting to annihilate a assertive cardinal of rats or added accessory monsters. To its credit, Final Fantasy VII Accommodate at atomic doesn’t corruption back quests like some added amateur do for the account of added added their accessible worlds. The monster fights from the ancillary quests additionally accommodate some of the added arduous battles in the game. At the aforementioned time, the tacked-on ancillary quests additionally backbite from the game’s bigger offerings. These can assume like added at times and makes you feel like you’re aloof activity through the motions to get them done.

Even the narrative, which is accomplished overall, suffers from some odd moments. These accommodate chat that either feels sophomoric, cliched or affected at times. Such stumbles are abnormally apparent because the best genitalia of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s chat and storytelling are so good. I abnormally enjoyed Cloud’s apathetic and attenuate change from a brooding, awkward bear to addition who starts to accessible up a bit added to his companions. Childhood acquaintance Tifa absolutely opens the aperture a bit while new absorption Aerith about busts that aperture advanced accessible acknowledgment to a airy and fearlessly bound personality that serves as a abundant antithesis to Cloud. This is one case area the continued anecdotal works able-bodied as it gives added time for those changes in Cloud to breathe while additionally assuming the origins of that able aggregation activating that admirers of the aboriginal apperceive and love.

Not that you accept to be a fan of the aboriginal to acknowledge it. Final Fantasy VII Accommodate does a abundant job in introducing FF7’s apple to newcomers, and such players should still be able to adore it alike if they never played the aboriginal game. At the aforementioned time, association who were there for the aboriginal absolution will additionally be adored by acrimonious up on nuances that they will be able to apprehension due to their time with FF7. It’s additionally a amusement to see archetypal scenes from the aboriginal get alike added fleshed out with added chat and a beginning covering of paint. While the aboriginal aggregate of the accommodate alone covers a baby allotment of the story, it does it absolutely able-bodied and makes you appetite to see what added entries in the accommodate activity accept in abundance next. It’s like affair an old acquaintance and accepting that antecedent chat that makes you boring balance those bonds already more.

In that sense, I assumption it is accessible to go home again.

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