On June 15, Square Enix made dreams come true. Finally. That’s right: much beloved RPG game Final Fantasy VII is getting a full remake. Not an HD remastering. Not a feature-length movie. Not character cameos in another game. A FULL REMAKE.
Lest fans look at them askance and say, “Yeah, right, you mumbled something about this before, and we got our hopes up for NOTHING,” Square Enix has also released a trailer. A jaw-dropping, beautiful trailer that is lovely enough to draw in new fans but also contains enough references to the original plot to titillate those of us who became RPG fans solely because of FFVII. They’ve even smoothed over a lot of the uncanny valley issues! Here, see for yourself:
The question remains: will the remake hold up to the original? Especially after so many years? Over the 18 years since its original release, legions of fans have enshrined FFVII in their hearts and minds as the RPG to beat all RPGs, the best of the best. That’s a really high bar to meet. Well, presumably to soothe some of these worries before they’ve even aired, Square Enix assures us that “key members from the original project” will be leading development. The as-yet-untitled Final Fantasy VII remake will be helmed by producer Yoshinori Kitase, director Tetsuya Nomura, and writer Kazushige Nojima. All I can say is: good luck to them!
As excited as I am, I do wonder: is Square Enix really listening to fan requests, or is the company just returning to the glory days of the Final Fantasy franchise in order to boost it again? The popularity of the series began to dwindle a bit with the release of the extremely linear Final Fantasy XIII, and the company’s first release of MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV was met with a lot of criticism. However, Square Enix doubled down on FFXIV and released an update that drastically improved gameplay and landed it some “Best of” annual awards. I have to say, I’m impressed. That tells me that Square Enix stands behind their products, and instead of scrapping the line and moving on, they invest in it. I’m inclined to guess that the upcoming remake of FFVII is a bit of both—part fan requests, part reinvestment in a great product that stands a chance of becoming even greater when brought up to speed with the times.
I’m going to say this again, because even after reading about this all over the Internet, I still don’t quite believe it: Square Enix is remaking FFVII. That means we get more Cloud, more Tifa, and more Aerith—and, most importantly to me, more Sephiroth (Sephi can hang me out on his drying pole any time). I guess I really will have to invest in a PlayStation 4, though, and I’m sure PlayStation is really sad about that. If FFVII is moving into the current gaming era, then so, too, shall I.