Friday, April 10, 2020

Final Fantasy VII Remake (Playstation 4, 2020)

First of all, it's the ten year anniversary of the site. First post was on 4/10/2010 and the first thing I covered on here was Super Mario RPG. It's absolutely nuts to realize it's been ten years since then, and the anniversary just crept up on me. What better way to celebrate it than with an FFVIIR post. I'll keep the spoilers light for this. There's a lot of bad stuff goin' on in the world and I'm putting more than usual out there in an effort to help in some small way. Stay safe, and I'll talk to you again soon.

We start with a pan of the badlands outside Midgar, which we'll someday know as the newbie area of Remake Pt II. Defeat ten orc pawns to move on!

A pan over Midgar shows how massive it actually is. It's a lot more built-up than I ever expected, too, with lots of tall buildings on the edges of the upper plate.

We get a symbolic shot of a wilted flower. Midgar is very dusty, so far.

First shot of Aerith. Oh my Gooooood, this is really happening.

She's lurking in a dark alleyway, waiting to mug someone no doubt.

The iconic big pan-out...

...shows us the entire city. Considering that there are some decently tall buildings that are completely dwarfed by it, Shinra Tower must be like Barad-Dur sized. I'm thinking 1300-1500 feet or so.

The train mission begins with Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie beating up Shinra goons. Jessie is now FFVII Top Bae. Biggs is looking pretty jacked too.

Cloud with the intro of the century, showing off for the camera after the other guys did all the work of taking out the guards.

Right off the bat, we can see why this game is so important to so many of us: Being able to look up and look around to see this world in a new 3D light. Midgar makes for a stark backdrop over the horizon in all of these areas.

Battles are flashy and full of sparks. It's like Highlander cranked up to 50.

Cloud is a lot of fun to control, and the Buster Sword has sweeping arcs.

There's some good attention to detail, with Shinra posters all over the place. Not only are they the electric company of the city, they also do construction.

Jessie isn't just Top Bae, she's also Thirsty AF. She spends the entire mission flirting with Cloud. When she starts, Biggs is like "here we go" indicating that she's done this before. There are a trail of dead guys out there who joined AVALANCHE for one mission, got flirted with by Jessie, and died. 

Wedge is a jolly chap who gives a lot of thumbs-ups. Cloud meanwhile is a morose jerk. Out of this entire crew, I'll probably feel the worst if Wedge gets killed.

Let's just take a moment to remember that THIS is what these characters used to look like. Jessie still kind of Top Bae here tho

...I don't know why I'm talking like this.

::smacks forehead:: Man, I almost forgot...

...the fifth and final member of our band...

...Barret. More like BEEF.

Here's the actual cutscene of Cloud looking up at the reactor. The cutscenes blend in pretty seamlessly with the gameplay, but you can tell when they kick in because the visuals get that much sharper.

Cloud engaging in more flashy battles as he takes on Shinra security guards. This game loves flashes and sparks like JJ Abrams loves lens flares and bright lights.

Wait, Command? Who? I thought Barret was the top of the chain in AVALANCHE.

Is this like Terminator Salvation where Command are a bunch of useless guys in a submarine somewhere?

Jessie continues the nonstop flirting, firing off innuendos like bullets. It's tremendous. Unfortunately Cloud is a dingbat, and no-sells all of it.

We get our first glimpse of President Shinra. He's in his super evil-looking office, watching our heroes infiltrate the reactor. Weird how he isn't even trying to stop them.

In an elevator, Barret cuts a SUDDEN PROMO on Cloud over his lack of caring about the environment. Jessie is like "here we go again"

He then draws on Cloud for no reason. Alrighty.


"...if you know what I mean."

Jesus Christ, Jessie.

"Biggs is good at getting into tight places."

Dafuq, Jessie.

I think Jessie wants Cloud to stare at her posterior while she runs, like that one scene from Metal Gear Solid.

Some Terminator Genisys style laser barriers here. How many references to Terminator can I make?

…and on that note, now we must battle the T-300. These things start the trend of enemies in this game being complete damage-sponges, at least on Normal mode.

The objective is to fill up the stagger meter, ala FFXIII, then do most of your major damage while they're staggered. Save the big attacks for that, since you're doing chip damage the rest of the time. From there it just becomes a matter of figuring out the best ways to stagger different foes.

Jessie is SO HOT.

We arrive at the very familiar site of the reactor core.

Cloud experiences intermittent headaches and flashbacks, as he poses for a Game Informer cover shot here.

You can set the bomb for either 20 minutes or 30 minutes. Either one is complete overkill. I went for 20, thinking maybe there would be a resulting trophy. Not the case, unfortunately.

Guard Scorpion is the first boss, as is tradition. It's no match for...

...BEEF and his Thunder spell.

The Tail Laser isn't the same kind of counter as before. Now when it happens you have to hide behind these convenient debris piles that appear just in time for it.

Here's the fight. I'll probably record all of the boss fights in this game too. Not sure if I'm doing it right so far, because that fight seemed tougher than it needed to be.

Escape sequence! Oh no, how will we ever get out of here in just 20 minutes

Cloud saves Jessie's life. Totally going to find a way to make her my Gold Saucer date. No doubt.

President Shinra looks on creepily with his beefiest minion, Heidegger. After seeing our heroes succeed in setting the bomb that'll disable the core, Shinra gives the order to bring down the entire reactor and make the "terrorist attack" look way worse than it actually was.

MASS DESTRUCTION results, leading us to...

...Chapter 2 out of 18. An interesting choice to divide up the game into chapters this time.

Having Shinra Corp be the ones to bring down the reactor is a bit different from the original, and takes responsibility for the destruction off of our heroes. On one hand, that simplifies the story being told quite a bit. On the other hand, since the heroes don't know what Shinra did, they think that they themselves were responsible for the size of the we get the same character beats overall. Barret in particular isn't too remorseful about the whole thing.

Noted Handsome Lad Biggs points out that this isn't a clean operation they're running. There's gonna be some blood on their hands when it's all said and done.

Fire effects in this game are impressive. Like, really impressive.

Top Bae and Cloud's Future Wife Jessie wonders if she needs to explain what a materia is to him. He's a super soldier, dammit!

She basically stops short of asking him out, and he's all like "NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS, PIN ME PAY ME" before sodding off to be mopey.

We get to see some of Midgar. It's in chaos after the bombing, and nobody even notices Cloud walking around with his huge sword. This part of town is atmospheric and I always thought so even back in the original version. It looks like a European city, if it were just a shade dystopian and mechanical. I have no doubt there are places like this in Germany, at least.

Loveless ads everywhere. Will we get to see Loveless in this version? I wouldn't count on it, but it'd be interesting if we did.

SEPHIROTH? Well...Cloud hallucinates a LOT. Whenever it happens, all he sees is Sephiroth.

 He's suitably evil, and his theme plays...much earlier than it ever did in the original. It's the first of many themes from later parts of FFVII that play during early scenes of this remake. At least they can get into the game that way.

He poofs, since he's just a hallucination. Or is he?

 Onlookers gather on the roofs to marvel at the smoldering reactor. Probably not the best plan.

 Annnnd here's Aerith.

 She of course gives Cloud a flower, and surprisingly he wears it. She's every bit as charming as she was in Crisis Core, and a joy of a character.

 In the original the flower cost 1 Gil, here it's free...for him. She also flirts with him for their entire interaction and he no-sells all of it. The hell is with this guy?

Then she gets chased off by ghosts. I don't know. That's new. Either way Jessie now has Top Bae competition.

 Another shot of this Very European part of town.

 These Shinra troopers with riot shields are a bit of a hassle. The key is to roll behind them and attack from there. Problem is, when they get into a big group of enemies, they end up sorta blocking your attacks for the entire group since the game mechanics are set up to bounce you off of them if your sword hits them.

Time to SUMMON THE CACTUAR. In this game, summons work a bit differently. Each character can equip one summon, and there's a summon meter that gradually fills during battles with tougher enemies. Once it fills, a character can use their summon. The summoned monsters are active for a short time on the battlefield and do various attacks or buffs, then they do their big final attack before disappearing. Cactuar's big final attack is 10,000 Needles. After he dances around the battlefield pelting foes for tiny amounts of damage, he stops and UNLEASHES HELL on everything in his vicinity. Doesn't actually do 10,000 damage, though. Maybe like 200. Still cool. I'm sure it'll get better with more time.

 Next up is the train ride...and it's a crowded train. Things like this seem so quaint at the moment.

The way the game shows you the conversations of random people as you walk by them is brilliant. It especially stands out on this train, where you can walk up and down the aisle catching what people are saying.

I'm all "hey mami" and she's all "GTFO"

Well, someone finally rejected Cloud, it had to happen eventually. All he did was look in her direction!

 Some Shinra employees go off about how AVALANCHE are terrorists. All of this was in the original game, but it's embellished upon here, and most importantly, the dialogue is well-translated this time.

 Barret proceeds to cut a promo on the entire train car about the environment and Shinra being bad. BEEF.

After that...he sits by himself. It's a short moment and easy to miss, but if you stop and look here you can get a glimpse of how difficult things are for the guy.

To be continued.

1 comment:

  1. Paddle hands represent

    Cloud IS a dingbat.

    Ah, I was wondering is 20 and 30 were the real numbers after how lenient both were in the demo.

    Man, this is good.