Fans have been demanding a remake of Final Fantasy VII pretty much since it’s initial release, and today Yoichi Wada, the president of Square Enix, came out and made the remake plans official. Clear your schedules because Final Fantasy VII: Jenova’s Rebirth is slated for a 4th quarter 2012 release. Naturally, the plans are for a PS3 release, but there have been some hints that a version is also in the works for Sony’s next console, though that’s purely speculation.
Famitsu, the usual breaker of all things secret and otherwise in video games, has the scoop already printed in this month’s upcoming issue. I’ve got some contacts (don’t ask me how I have these, I just do), who were kind enough to send me some scans of the cover detailing the story. How Famitsu gets these early stories is beyond me, but hey, as long as we’re poaching the news from them I can’t complain.
What is this game in the first place? I’ve mentioned Final Fantasy VII in a number of articles, and while it hasn’t always been in a favorable light, it’s time I talked a little bit about a Game You Should Have Played. Except, this one’s a little different. I fully expect people to embrace Mario 3 and Ocarina of Time without reservation. Final Fantasy VII has started to become one of those game classics that everyone says you should have played but no one really wants to play, similar to a good classic novel. Think of it like War and Peace. You know you’d like to have read it, but do you really want to?
I first played the story of Cloud Strife’s battle through Midgar to stop Sephiroth from destroying the world with Meteor back when I was in my sophomore year of high school. I initially got the PC version, which is odd to think that Squaresoft bothered with that port in the first place, but it didn’t work. Every time I entered a battle I’d get kicked back to Windows and have to reopen the game screen, now without sound. I was forced to return my copy and wait until I actually had a Playstation of my own.
Of course, I didn’t just go out and buy one. Rather, I used a kid I knew to lend me his Playstation and copy of the game. Don’t mistake this guy for my friend. I’m not proud of my actions, in fact this is me at my worst, but hey, gamers gotta game sometimes, don’t we? I made sure to buy my own memory card, in case he tried to kidnap my precious Tifa, and promptly went out to buy my own copy of the game at a used price of probably $10. Right now you’ll be lucky to find a working copy for under $50. It was a while after that before I actually had my own Playstation, another used purchase at maybe $20. I was thrifty and it got results.
The actual game had me hanging off of every word the characters said. The music got me going, especially at certain plot points. I remember feeling extremely haunted when my party was captured and placed in holding cells in the Shinra headquasters, only to wake up and discover their cell doors open and a trail of blood leading to the top floor where Sephiroth’s sword was found sticking out of the back of Shinra’s president. One of the best singular moments of a game excelling at storytelling.
The sad part of all of this is that I can’t play Final Fantasy VII again. I’ve tried on multiple occasions, but I lose interest right about the time I get out of Midgar and am allowed to explore the greater world. Part of this comes from already knowing the story and the resolution (spoiler, there isn’t any). The sequel movie, Advent Children, is amazing and wraps the game’s story up rather nicely. Dirge of Cerberus, the PS2 sequel staring Vincent, is completely skipable.
For me, the main reason to keep going back is the music. You will definitely find yourself liking the soundtrack, and the remixing community is showing no sign of relenting. Voices of the Lifestream, an OCRemix album, is not only recommended but demanded listening. Seriously, just click the link I provided and go download the free album right now. It’s good stuff.
A remake of the game is going to be well received by fans, that’s for sure, but is it really needed? Maybe that’s a question for another day and a Let’s Think Deep. In fact, come by tomorrow and you’ll probably see that exact article.
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