Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Pondering: Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Its Multiple Parts



PSX has come and gone and while it wasn't exactly filled with as many announcements people thought it wouldve been, there were still fun things to see. The biggest thing of all, for me, was the new Final Fantasy 7 Remake gameplay trailer. Everything looks really great and it felt Square Enix was really giving us the game everyone has been pleading for. However, not so fast, the next night, Square announced that the game will be broken into multiple parts. The internets reacted like it always does...




And I was no exception, I started to jump to my conclusions, like many others. Final Fantasy 7 is sacred to many people, including myself. Are these worries truly warranted, though? Let's discuss...


Before I get into that, let us go back to E3 2015 when the trailer(above) was first released. I actually got to go to a theater and watch it live at IMAX, so, to top a great experience, with one of my most loved games coming was a wonderful surprise! I almost cried for Pete's sake. Once again, I wasn't alone, many people were excited, that's all anyone talked about for quite some time. So you can kind of see why this announcement of multiple parts would get a huge reaction, whether good or bad.

So back to those worries and whether they're worth it or not. In short, they are understandable, if a game could be on a PS1, why cant an remade version be on a PS4? The first worry created was this was all about money, which makes sense. We're talking about Square Enix here, the people who aren't exactly in the best position financially and who stretched Final Fantasy 13 into 3 installments no one asked for. This part of our reaction is the best and holds the most water, in my opinion. Are they just trying to milk one of their most popular of the franchise, if not, games ever because they know the people will buy it? If they could do it with one of the least popular of the series, why wouldnt they?

Let's take a step back for a minute though. Of course a company wants to make money off what they're doing. So let's get over the money aspect. Why else could this game be being broken into multiple parts? What if thinking that this is just the same Final Fantasy 7 we remember is being completely ignorant, especially when theyve told us multiple times it wont be. And no the changes arent, 'Cait "Jar Jar Binks" Sith will be THE main character' or something. In fact, the changes are more so adding depth than they are "changes." So, when a game already has so much depth on PS1, to the point it had to have three discs and technically be broken into multiple parts(yet sold together), a game so vast that characters had to look like this...
Look at those polygons! He has dumbbells for arms. He has no mouth, they couldnt even give him a mouth, guys. That's all the characters too. Now theyre going from this to the PS4 and he definitely has had some improvements. His arms no longer look like dumbbells; he could probably USE some dumbbells to be honest, but still, at least they look like normal arms and not a pixelated version of Popeye's. Once again that's the level of upgrade every character is

 getting; not only that, but this WHOLE game is getting that level of upgrade too, and then some. They already stated that there will be much more of Midgar you can visit. So, what else could be getting this treatment? Story elements have been said to be getting deeper as well. So, perhaps we get more flashbacks? Perhaps, that could mean gameplay with Zack, or we get to hear even more about Barret's past and his friend/Marlene's father. Speaking of fathers, what about going into detail about Red XIII/Nanaki's dad as well? Who knows? It could be really cool. They've stated that up to this point, it was impossible to create their re-imagining of FF7. So, this brings me back to the main point of, THIS GAME IS NOT the PS1 version with better graphics. It's something bigger, better, longer. We dont know how much that is; Nomura and the rest of Square probably aren't sure either, just yet.

The game is going to be broken into multiple parts, that is settled, but how many? 2? 3? More? How long will these parts be as well? Not to contradict myself about not talking about money, but how much will we spend for each? How far apart will the parts be? Will there be a "season pass" I can purchase, so I can get the future parts automatically? These are the true questions that get to me as well. This brings it back to playing at our own pace. Say the first part is just escaping Midgar and they add so much to the point it's 40 hours instead of its original, whatever. How long will I have to wait to go to Kalm and hear the story about Sephiroth? And after that part comes out, when does this one end? If there is any actual problem with this situation it is that we know so little. However, there is a silver lining here. How many of us have said, "I cant wait for this game!"? I know I have; hopefully, them releasing it in multiple parts will ultimately allow us to get it sooner than we wouldve, if it was all to come together in another 3-disc set. Personally, I'd be content with 3 parts or so and it spanning over the same amount of years. I dont want this to become Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed, and span over so many years. That is when it will become obvious they're in it for the cash-in.

To summarize, I just want to say that you are not alone in having questions about this, we all do. Please dont let those questions make you flip out on the internet though, or give up on the game(s) altogether. Let this just be a lesson that being cautious, with the things youre hyped, for is okay. Find that perfect mixture of excitement and awareness so that we can all take this/these game(s) for what they are. The good news is, unless youre completely hellbent on FF7 Remake being the same, including turn-based combat and everything, you will be disappointed. Yet, if you keep an open mind, maybe, just maybe this game will be everything we asked for and MORE. Until then...