So this weekend at the PlayStation Experience, Sony and Square-Enix dropped the latest Final Fantasy VII trailer.
Fans roared in approval when the trailer was shown. We here at the Clash didn’t watch it live since we were planning on recording our Let’s Podcast that night so we wanted to do a reaction view at the start of the podcast.
As the trailer ran (you can view our reactions here) we were a bit underwhelmed by it. Granted the game looks gorgeous, the graphics are on point, but it lacks that Final Fantasy charm. I mentioned this in the reaction, but it looks like a generic beat-em-up especially since it looks like they have gotten rid of the turn base battles that were present in the original game.
To me, because I grew up in the 8-bit and 16-bit era, Final Fantasy, along with other JRPGs, has had a sense of charm with it’s style to me. Because it was limited by the graphical power of the Nintendo and Super Nintendo (and even on the PlayStation) SquareSoft (as it was known back then before the merger with Enix) had to get creative with their art style in games and man was it endearing.
The highly European Renaissance inspired art from Final Fantasy I-VI to the Japanese Anime cutesy Chibi style of VII and IX, this established for gamers of my age (late 20’s to Mid 30’s) a style of what we expect from a Final Fantasy games. For me IX was the last one I truly loved. X was okay, the story was lame but it still felt like a Final Fantasy game, after that well, for me the wheels fell off. Pretty much everything (to me at least) that made Final Fantasy Final Fantasy was being phased out.
My hope for the FFVII remake was that it would be a trip back to the old school Final Fantasy games, and if (like it really is an “if”) the game did well then maybe Square would move the series back to it’s roots. Full disclosure, I hate everything I’ve heard and seen of Final Fantasy XV.
However, what this trailer alluded to was that the fighting style for this game will be more action based than turn based and what was shown looks a lot like a hack and slash than an RPG.
So in spite of my initial reaction to the trailer, I was easily in the minority on this one, a lot of people were extremely excited, that is until Monday morning. On Monday Square announced that the game would be released episodically and not on one release.
Now there could be many different reasons for this, and of course the first reaction to this was that it was for money. Which may or may not be the case. Final Fantasy VII was a large game with a lot of pre-rendered backgrounds and graphics so to make all of that fully 3-D would be a huge undertaking and cost a ton. So by releasing it episodically Square can subsidize the cost. They sell a bunch of episode one and then take the profits and put them in episode 2 and so on. This way the game could be a lot better in chunks than if it were released as one giant game.
So, apparently, I’m the exact opposite of everyone one else. I didn’t like the way the game looked in the trailer, but like the idea of the episodes and everyone else is flipped.
We’ll have to see how this all plays out, and to see if people are down for re-buying a game they’ve probably bought several times over. I think the true fans are going to. Me, I don’t have the time I used to have in middle and high school to play long RPGs so the episode formula for this re-release might get me to return to a game I haven’t played in 15 years or so.
So what do you think dear reader about the trailer and the fact the game is going to be released episodically?