How to (Re)Make Final Fantasy VII.
A near deafening roar emitted from the LA Convention Centre in June 2015 and from homes across the world when Playstation’s Adam Boyes revealed that after years of teasing, hints and hype, Final Fantasy VII was finally being remade. Square-Enix have finally been able to reward fans for their patience, years of love, devotion and persistent questioning with the remake that fans have been demanding for well over half a decade. There’s a lot of discussion surrounding the future of the Final Fantasy VII Remake so without delaying things any further I present to you the things that I feel are most important for the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Final Fantasy VII is now 18 years old, and we probably won’t see the remake until the game is at least two decades old. With so much time having passed many of the mechanics that players loved in the 90s will have dated so significantly that they may serve as detractors to the remade experience. Looking at the upcoming Final Fantasy XV and what we got to experience in the Episode Duscae demo shows that Square-Enix seems to have found the balance between turn and action based gameplay – perhaps this Final Fantasy VII Remake can utilize the same mechanics. This decision might allow for the development team to revitalise the gameplay while injecting some visual flair into it at the same time. The materia system is one of many other Final Fantasy VII systems that need to be retained; ensuring that these can still tie into whatever moment to moment gameplay systems are implemented is critical to the games potential success.
Expand The World
Obviously the constraints of the PS1 meant that the world of Final Fantasy VII was big for its time, but miniscule when stacked up to its modern day contemporaries. With this remake, Square-Enix has the opportunity to expand the world so that it meets the standards of modern gaming whilst still possessing the same look and feel of the PS1 classic. With any luck we’ll see a massive, expansive world similar to what we’ve seen in the Episode Duscae demo, a world populated in much the same way, and even Midgar and other pivotal locations can be fleshed out, expanded and populated in a fashion that matches the current day standards.
Top Tier Voice Acting
Voice-acting wasn’t really a factor in gaming at the time of Final Fantasy VII’s initial release, but since then, and especially over the course of the last decade, it has become one of the most critical components to any AAA blockbuster. Final Fantasy VII’s initial release lacked voicing, but subsequent releases such as Crisis Core contained it so I’m hoping that some of the talent that starred in Crisis Core return for the main game, while those that take the stage to assume other key roles need to step up, producing at the same standard. Maybe they choose to clean the slate though, with all new cast assuming key roles of Cloud, Barret and Sephiroth all getting new voicework – it’ll be jarring at first, but why not?
Final Fantasy VII is acclaimed by countless millions not only for it’s incredible characters, tightly refined gameplay and emotionally resonating narrative but also for it’s incredible music. Classic themes such as One-Winged Angel and Aeris’ Theme have been set as high watermarks for the industry, songs of a standard that few others have reached since. They’ve aged though, and as revisions of the tracks have emerged in concert and in spin-offs, the time is now to breathe fresh life into the versions of these tunes in the remade game.
Leave the Narrative
It may temptation of Square-Enix’s to tweak and refine the Final Fantasy VII narrative, quizzing many Final Fantasy VII fans may lead many of them to suggest that changes such to scenes such as *Spoiler Alert* Aerith’s Death and a handful of other key moments are necessary. My opinion stands in stark contrast to the large majority as I feel that it is of the utmost importance that the original story remains untouched. Sure, if they want to include lines of dialogue that link the game to follow up stories such as Crisis Core, Advent Children and more, then that’s okay; connecting games within the Final Fantasy VII universe may net Square-Enix a few sales, as well as give the series that bit more cohesion.
While I’m sure that we’ll be waiting for quite some time for any further news and details, let-alone a formal release date for Final Fantasy VII Remake, there is plenty of discussion that will take place in the meantime. My opinions are only a droplet in an already large ocean but perhaps they will prompt their own follow up conversations, so let us know what you think by sounding off in the comments.