Final Fantasy VII Remake Previewed At Tokyo Game Show 2019
It’s been 22 years since the release of the original Final Fantasy VII in the PSOne. And yet, fans haven’t lost any of their love for the game. At Tokyo Game Show 2019 (#TSG2019), Square Enix treated its loyal followers with a preview of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s gameplay. Fans around the world have showered the developers with praise and admiration for what they’ve done so far. Let’s take a look at some of its new features.
But first, let’s have a quick briefing. Some of you may remember about Final Fantasy VIII Remastered’s recent release. It was released in the PS4, XBOX One, PC and the Switch. However, that game looked completely similar with its original version back in 1999. Meanwhile, Final Fantasy VII Remake looks nothing like its original version. It may have kept elements from the PSOne game and carried over the story and its characters. What is the difference between a Remaster and a Remake?
Remade, not Remastered
Many people would assume that remake and remastered are two words pertaining to the same thing. We can’t blame fans for thinking so – after all, both words refer to re-releases of old games in newer platforms or engines. Both remasters and remakes recreate things we love in the past and gives us a nice dose of nostalgia. But there’s a key difference between the two terms.
A remaster is like a polished version of an old game, keeping almost everything intact as it were in its original release. Mostly, developers would update the graphics engine, improve performance, eliminate bugs and make the game sound better. But it would not change any core gameplay mechanics, the story, or even the game’s GUI. The purpose of a remaster is to make old games playable on newer consoles, with updated graphics up to par to current standards.
While a remaster is mostly a graphical retooling, a remake overhauls the game completely. It may retain core gameplay mechanics from its original form. However, developers remake games from the ground up – using new engines that will allow the developers to re-imagine the game. Some developers would remake games to achieve a closer representation of what they imagined the game would be like the first time they created it. In a way, remakes are completely new games, retelling the same story of the same characters of old.
Although this release would be Final Fantasy VII’s first remake, it had countless remasters before. Square Enix released its international version for the PSN in 2009. An HD remaster was released on Steam in 2013, which would also be the version of the game that would later be ported to the Switch and XBOX One in 2019.
Crisis Core, Anyone?
Final Fantasy VII Remake’s new battle system is an obvious evolution of the Crisis Core formula. The developers have been iterating the same mechanics since Crisis Core, and have made similar battle systems in XIII and XV. The Final Fantasy VII Remake’s battle system is the peak of its evolution. In the FF7 Remake, the battle system merges the traditional turn-based RPG system with real-time actions. Cloud and co will attack automatically over time, the frequency of which is governed by their stats. Then, their Active Time Battle (ATB) Gauge will gradually fill up. Certain actions, like using magic or abilities, will use up the ATB Gauge. The player will be able to control the movements of the characters completely and switch between the active party members at whim.
This kind of battle system might confuse long-time fans, especially those who have lapsed from the series and haven’t played the later titles of the series. Thankfully, the developers included at “Classic Mode”. Players will be able to continue playing turn-based JRPG-style battle mechanics in this mode. This system is almost exactly like the one available in the original game. Classic Mode is for those seeking to recreate the old experience of Final Fantasy VII with updated graphics. For those looking for an additional challenge, the game also comes in multiple difficulties, adding more depth to the game.
New Content, including a Squatting Minigame
Final Fantasy VII Remake also comes with a load of new content. There’s so much new stuff coming that the game will come out in episodic chapters. Aside from the aforementioned features, FFVII will also have Summons fighting alongside you in the battlefield. Unlike in the classic Final Fantasy games wherein Summons come in, do their thing, and leave, Final Fantasy VII lets these Summons run wild. The Summons will spend some time hitting your opponents in the face until their Summon Gauge gets depleted. Once their time runs out, they will unleash their Ability, much like what they usually did back in the day. With their Ability completed, they leave the battlefield, until you call upon their help again next time.
Surely, all the other mini-games may come back as well, as we’ve seen the Squatting Mini-Game being played by Yoshinori Kitase during the #TGS2019. The mini-game plays out like it did in the original, where you’ll be timing button presses in hopes of getting better prizes. We could expect the same mini-games featured at the Wonder Square in the Gold Saucer to return, as well as the Snowboarding mini-game. These mini-games will surely bring back memories!
Relive the whole Final Fantasy VII experience with all of its new features when it comes out on PS4 on March 3, 2020.