Back sometime in 1994, I remember seeing a commercial for a video game that was funny, but didn’t showcase any of the game. The more and more I saw it (I watched a lot of TV), the less interested I was in ever trying it. The following summer my cousins mentioned this game by name as a game they couldn’t stop playing and couldn’t wait to show me. I remember telling them about the commercial and how I didn’t think the game seemed that interesting (what a jerk, right?). The game they introduced me to was Final Fantasy VI (released as Final Fantasy III) for the SNES. Here is the commercial:
This was my introduction to JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games), and I could not have been more hooked. I spent an entire week with my cousins playing this game, enamored with the story, the characters, the combat, the weapons, the spells, the music, and the depth one game could have.
Because of how much I enjoyed it, this game led me to its follow-up, Final Fantasy VII. I purchased any game magazine that had any bit of information about it, and just like I do today, studied all of the screenshots in-depth an eagerly awaited its release, a date I’ll never forget: 9.7.97.
I was always excited when a commercial aired for it on TV. I bought a promotional tabletop stand-up cardboard cut-out (I still have it) and posters. It was the first time I can remember being this excited about a video game.
Being this excited, though, I wasn’t sure if the game could live up to the anticipation. Thankfully the game was amazing. I spent the entire weekend playing and finishing the game because I just couldn’t put it down, and I would go on and replay this game a ridiculous amount of times. To me, Final Fantasy VII is the best in the series.
As much as I have (mostly) enjoyed the Final Fantasy games that have followed, I always enjoy going back and playing Final Fantasy VII. It wasn’t until I had played Final Fantasy X that I (and probably most fans) wished we could have a graphically improved Final Fantasy VII to enjoy it even more.
Technical Demo and Remake
At E3 in 2005, Square Enix showcased a technical demo to demonstrate the graphical capabilities of the PlayStation 3. However, instead of using footage from the then in-development Final Fantasy XIII, they treated fans to the opening sequence of Final Fantasy VII. Watch the video below.
This demo was so well received that fans immediately started wondering when the game would be re-released in HD. Many of us had hoped that after the release of Final Fantasy XIII (and it’s two sequels) were released, Square Enix would finally give fans what they had been asking for.
Sadly, an HD release wouldn’t happen, and it wouldn’t be until E3 2015 (a whopping 10 years later) that Square Enix decided to unveil a trailer of Final Fantasy VII Remake for the PlayStation 4 and XBOX one. Watch the trailer below.
(I still get goosebumps watching this)
The remake of the game is more of a re-imagining of the game and not just an HD version. While locations, characters, and storylines from the original will most likely be used, it is unclear how many elements will be kept.
This seems like a giant undertaking and potentially a risky move on Square Enix’s part to alter what is arguably the (or one of the) greatest Final Fantasy games.
With as excited as we’ve been since this trailer, there has been very little information provided.
What We Know So Far
Details have been scarce ever since the E3 2015 announcement, but here is what we know.
The most recent announcement came from Steve Burton’s Twitter account. Steve is the actor who has provided the voice for Cloud Strife in various properties, most notably Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (side note, I feel like you should only watch this movie if you’ve played the game) and his tweet confirmed he was doing voice work for Cloud again, and just last month.
— Steve Burton (@1SteveBurton) April 27, 2017
The original game did not have have voices for the characters, and some fans are a little unsure how this will alter the game. It’s hard to image a game of this size with today’s standards not having voices for the characters, and I for one am glad there will be consistency between the properties.
The original releases combat system was Active Time Battle (ATB), meaning the fight time continued while you were selecting each character’s next move, but you would have to wait for each character’s turn.
The more recent combat system of Final Fantasy XV has you focused on controlling each move of the main character and setting combat preferences for others in your party, which allows you and the AI to attack your enemies at once rather than having to wait for turns.
From the demos shown so far, it appear the Remake is moving more towards the Final Fantasy XV combat system. Without having played any of it so far it’s hard to say if this is for better or worse, but I’m optimistic. Tetsuya Nomura recently unveiled an image of the combat system stating that he’s “put a lot of attention into the combat system, and it’s going to happen without interruption.” (via Gematsu)
Some will immediately notice that the enemy in the picture is the Scorpion, the first boss you fight in the original game!
It has been said that the Remake will span across three separate games, each of them will most likely have their own release date.
It is unknown if the story from the original is being split up into three games, or if each game will tell a different side of the same story, much in the same way Final Fantasy XIII was.
I’m wondering if they will expand upon the story from the original game’s timeline. Or, I wonder if they’ll add in the events that took place from the end of the game to the events of Advent Children?
The game will initially released as a PlayStation 4 exclusive with a later release date coming for the XBOX One (similar to what Rise of the Tomb Raider did, releasing n XBOX One first then PlayStation 4 a year later).
Sadly, no release date has been announced, and while I don’t think this is a possibility, 2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of the original Final Fantasy VII, so maybe the first release will be available by the end of the year (fingers crossed).
What Can We Look Forward to at E3 2017?
Nothing is confirmed, but this fan is hoping for some big unveiling. At E3 2016 Square Enix primarily focused on promoting (the somewhat disappointing to me) Final Fantasy XV, and they stated all other projects would not be shown so they could focus their efforts.
Recently game Director Tetsuya Nomura stated in an interview (via Gematsu) that he hopes to show off the game at an industry event sometime in 2017. We’re hoping that the event will be at E3 2017.
Are you excited about the Remake, or hoping to see something announced at E3? Let us know below.