Oh boy. I played the Final Fantasy VII Remake Demo twice last week. I needed some time to think about what I want to say since my initial, post-demo take was that; it’s a mixed bag.
A little background — Final Fantasy VII is my favorite game of all time.
Pokemon Blue was my first RPG; Final Fantasy VII being my 1st story-based RPG.
I’ve beaten Final Fantasy VII at least 5 times and played through the first 20 or so hours another 15? Add another 10 plays through the entire Midgar section (No memory card in those early days. Read about those memories, here).
Right from the start the demo had me pumped. Aeris looks amazing. I hate the name change to Aerith. Yes, I get it — it’s supposed to be Earth. It just doesn’t flow that well. But I digress.
Final Fantasy VII Remake looks amazing, it truly does.
The characters and their animations look better than Advent Children. The environments especially are gorgeous. This is one of the best looking games out there.
I did notice that there is something a little funky going on with character’s mouths and voice syncing, but I can look past that.
Voice acting, I find a bit of a mixed bag. I wonder if Japanese voices will be an option?
Cloud sounds good. Although his personality doesn’t change much through just the Midgar section of the story.
Barret, while no longer Mr. T, is still over the top and it fits. He’s got this preacher vibe going on.
Everything is very anime. Speaking of which, our good old AVALANCHE crew…I’m not impressed.
Wedge is very distinct. It’s Badger from Breaking Bad. Matthew Lee Jones, is fine, I just don’t see the fit with Wedge.
Biggs, I really dislike. He has that overacting, out of place, anime dub voice thing going on. He sounds too serious.
Jessie’s voice is fine, but the dialogue is pretty cringe worthy.
The dialogue from the AVALANCHE members is pretty cheesy. It’s very lighthearted and we have to remember that AVALANCHE is a terrorist group. I know these characters are going to get expanded on, so I’m a little worried how this changes the dynamic of the Final Fantasy VII story.
Barret keeps using nick-names for Cloud; merc, Little Stamp, or Stamp or SOLDIER BOY. I hope there is dialogue from Cloud asking why Barret keeps calling him Stamp. There was some poster for a cartoon dog named Stamp if you looked around in the demo.
I’m not sold on the battle system, yet. I think it’s fine for the demo. Cloud feels nice enough to control. I like the different abilities he has and the stance change is cool. I assume his skills and abilities will expand as you make your way through the game’s chapters.
The demo leaves out that you can parry while in Cloud’s Punisher stance. I had no idea that I could even do this until I saw it in a playthrough video.
Barret, seems fine. I wouldn’t want to spend the entire game playing him, as it would feel like a boring 3rd person shooter. Remake doesn’t let you do that anyway; as soon as a battle ends, control snaps back over to Cloud.
The demo takes us through the bombing mission of Reactor 1. While there wasn’t really much to explore in the original Final Fantasy VII, the remake definitely takes you from A to B to C to D to E and so on. Does looking at the maps remind you of any game in particular?
If you answered Final Fantasy XIII, you are correct!
I actually like Final Fantasy XIII (which I know isn’t the most popular opinion). I actually beat it twice and started it a third time a few years ago. I didn’t mind the walking and fighting from section to section to get to the next story beat. But this is not how Final Fantasy VII’s story should be experienced.
My biggest worry for Final Fantasy VII Remake is that every chapter of the will play out like the first mission. You’ll get small dialogue peppered in with large sections of fighting. There will be a long and difficult boss battle, followed by a huge exposition dump.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope that there are sections to explore, NPC’s to talk with. Non-combat side quests to complete. Will I get to find the guy that “are sick”?
I mentioned at the beginning that I needed some time to let the Final Fantasy VII Remake demo sink in. After watching my playthrough and a bunch of reactions from YouTubers, I’m optimistic. I just want the game to release so I can play it already and find out how it all plays out!
Luckily, we won’t have to wait that much longer to find out. Final Fantasy VII Remake will be released on April 20th, 2020.
Have you played the demo for Final Fantasy VII Remake? Let’s chat about it.