Tokyo Game Show 2019 Day 1 just ended and I had the pleasure (AND I DO MEAN PLEASURE since I was apparently making muffled squealing noises during the whole gameplay) of playing the Final Fantasy VII Remake care of the wonderful people at Square-Enix. Hence, I’d like to share with you my first impressions of the game after finally getting my hands on it.
I believe the demo we played was the same one that was launched at E3 2019. While it’s something we’ve already seen, being able to finally get a first-hand feel of the game definitely gave me a heightened appreciation for what the remake has achieved. The experience has also allowed me to theorize about certain aspects of the game in terms of what we can expect for when the full release comes out.
The demo takes place during AVALANCHE’s first mission with Cloud as they make their way into a Shinra Mako Reactor and encounter the first boss of the game.
Pretty as a Picture
It. Looks. Damn. Good.
Yes, this is an obvious sentiment but I wanted to say this outright to get it out of the way. Seeing the reactor scene reimagined to the standards of modern-day graphics is quite the sight to behold. As soon as I started, I did what most of us do with a pretty game and did slow 360 camera pans to just take in how pretty the character and level designs were. Everything was 100% pure eye candy (Jesse was pretty cute too :p).
Combat Remade and Remastered
The first few minutes of the demo sends you straight into battles against your run-of-the-mill mob enemies. Seemingly, random battles aren’t a thing anymore and enemies will be visible on the overworld. What’s surprising was just how smooth going in and out of combat is. No load times. No “ENTER BATTLE MODE” transitions or effects akin to it. In fact, I’d say that it’s even more seamless than that of FFXV. You just dive head on and start the battle!
In terms of attacks, there are 3 types available to the player – Normal attacks, ATB moves, and Limit breaks.
- Normal attacks are your general physical attacks. You can do them whenever you want but they won’t be that strong. They do, however, charge your ATB Guage.
- ATB Attacks require you to use one of more of your charged up ATB Bars. These attacks are usually much more powerful than your normal attacks and, from what I saw, have a bunch of uses per attack. Some, like Braver (which used to be a Limit Break) deals straight up big damage. You’ll also have other attacks like those that focus more on filling the STAGGER METER of an enemy (if an enemy’s stagger meter becomes full, they become stunned and take increased amounts of damage). Aside from that, you can also cast spells at the cost of your ATB meter AND some MP.
- Limit Breaks are hella powerful attacks that are just an eye-gasm to watch. These can be executed as soon as your Limit Gauge is filled. For the demo, I used Cross Slash and… well… all I can tell you is that I was REALLY HAPPY AND HYPED using it. Oh, and best of all, Limits can be done ANYTIME they are available as they do not cost ATB Bars
*Note: I’m sure there will be more things to get added to the combat like SUMMONS but for the sake of this article, I’ll just be focusing more on the thing I was able to play. 🙂
As you probably know, the demo is combat heavy as it starts with the mobs and straight on to the Scorpion Sentinel Boss. Playing through it personally though did made me think and led me to a couple of theories / impressions about Final Fantasy VII Remake.
THEORY 1: THE PARTY COMPOSITION META WILL BOIL DOWN TO BEING ROLE-BASED
For the record, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the original FF7. But if I were to be fair, one of the weaknesses of that game was that your party basically consisted of who your favorite game avatars were. Aside from their limit breaks, it was never about the who the characters were. It was all about what materia they were carrying.
With Final Fantasy VII Remake though, your party composition may have to be a little more thought out. Character roles may now play a huge factor with the game. You may need to properly balance ranged and melee characters depending on the situation. This feature may just be the answer to one of the problems that was cited for FFXV where people barely switched out of Noctis during combat. FFVII Remake’s Role-Based Party Structure may just make things more dynamic and let each member of our team have enough time in the spotlight to shine.
THEORY 2: Bosses will become EXPERIENCES rather than just straight up hard fights
The Scorpion Sentinel Boss was quite the treat to fight. It looked GRAND and the battle felt every bit of a HUGE BOSS FIGHT that it needed to have as it sported multiple phases that made the fight experience even more memorable.
This got me thinking that MAYBE THIS IS HOW FF7 REMAKE WILL TREAT THEIR BOSS FIGHTS. Rather than just being the typical High-HP, High-Damage, Must-Hit-Hard-to-Kill kind of boss fights, Final Fantasy 7 Remake could very well create bosses to be multi-stage bouts with various nuances per stage. The Scorpion Sentinel had an initial stage, healing stage, environmental interaction stage (the tail laser bit), etc. Imagine if this was reapplied to various bosses just mix things up and make each fight feel just as epic as they deserve to be.
Overall, playing the demo made me so happy and excited for the upcoming release date next year. I can’t wait to see just how Square-Enix elevated the iconic title because frankly, the only words and thoughts I had after playing the game could be summarized in two words.