There was plenty of news at E3 2015 to get gamers excited. The Microsoft Hololens was jaw-dropping, Fallout 4 looks awesome, and The Last Guardian is, indeed, still happening. But no announcement led to greater fan reactions than Sony’s report that Square Enix is officially working on a full remake of Final Fantasy VII.
Fans of the game and the series in general, myself included, have been eagerly awaiting this news more or less since the release of the PS2. But Square Enix clearly feels that the time is right to remake their greatest masterpiece, and I couldn’t agree more. The technology of current gen consoles has the potential to make FFVII better than it ever was. But the director of the remake, Tetsuya Nomura, who has helmed some of the most prolific games in the series including FFVI, FFX, and FFXIII, has stated that in regards to the remake, the world doesn’t need two of the same game. So what changes are in store for one of the most popular and greatest video games of all time? Slick HD graphics, re-translation, deciding on Aeris/th’s name, and voice acting are no brainers, but no real details have been revealed regarding any changes or updates. The following are some things that I, as a hardcore Final Fantasy fan, would like to see added, adapted, removed, or otherwise adjusted in the Final Fantasy VII remake.
No More Optional Characters
In the original PS1 game, both Yuffie and Vincent appear as entire optional (yet very cool) characters. As a consequence of their status as non compulsory party members, the duo never actually appears in the game’s cinematics. Yuffie and Vincent, and especially Vincent, are fan favorites and a bit of their effect on the game is lost when they don’t show up during key moments of the story and adventure.
That being said, if Vincent and Yuffie remain optional characters, console technology is at a point now where multiple cutscenes could be triggered depending on in game choices. What I mean is that Square Enix could simply create varying cinematics depending on which characters you have in your party. This way both optional characters could appear in the game’s cinematics, or not. Or maybe just Yuffie, or just Vincent. There are plenty of options to explore here.
Full Orchestral Soundtrack
FF7 has some of the best and most memorable music in the entire series. And for a series that is built on a foundation of rich lore and moving music, that’s saying a lot. Like the recent PS4 release of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD, the option to use the original FF7 soundtrack in all its 90s synth glory needs to be included in the game. But even more important than the ability to listen to the retro tunes is a complete overhaul of the soundtrack.
Personally, I’d like to hear all the music in a fully orchestrated score, like the above video which is taken from this year’s Final Symphony album. The music from this game is so grand and so epic that Square Enix can ill afford to not treat it like John Williams would treat any of his scores. Long time series composer Nobuo Uematsu absolutely must be brought back to assist in the rearrangement and orchestration of his masterpiece.
A long-running tradition in the Final Fantasy games is the inclusion of summonable monsters, known as Eidolons, Guardian Forces, Aeons, Espers, or any other multitude of titles depending on which game you’re playing. FF7 has some of the coolest summons thanks to the three incarnations of Bahamut, and Knights of the Round.
I’d like to see a few additional summons introduced into the games from other titles in the series, which could be obtained through additional side quests. In particular, I think it would be extremely cool to see Ark from FFIX, either Yojimbo or Anima from FFX, and, just imagine this, Terra from FFVI. The idea of additional summons adds extra gameplay and could also loosely tie the remake to the rest of the Final Fantasy universe.