The original Final Fantasy 7 is my favorite game of all time, I was eagerly anticipating this remake and for the most part I enjoyed it very much.
Score – 9.5/10
The characters are very true to the original game and often given more depth. I actually prefer this combat system to the original, it is a very effective mix of action and turn based combat and every character feels unique. However the camera can sometimes be an issue, especially when dealing with flying enemies. The music is top notch 10/10.
I don’t have an issue with the original story being split into parts, anyone with an IQ above room temperature should be able to realise that modern game development is very different from how it was in the 90s. Full 3D characters, environments and voice acting are a totally different beast to polygons pre-rendered backgrounds and text boxes. However there is some superfluous padding to extend the Midgar section and we didn’t get to see as many new parts of the city as I had hoped with the game being exclusively set there. Non the less the areas we do see feel alive, vibrant and look great apart from some texture issues.
I really had a blast playing Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it isn’t a “complete” game. I don’t mean it’s incomplete or shallow, but if you compare Final Fantasy 7 Remake to other recent Final Fantasy games like 15 or even 10, there is way less content in 7s Remake as there was in 15 or 10 for the same price tag (if you consider the time distance between 10 and 15). For the current price tag I just expected something more.
The 40 hour length of the game is on itself not a problem, as long as those 40 hours are packed with fun and engaging activities. Unfortunately 7s Remake provides here significantly less content than 15 did. Most minigames happen only once or twice in the story and even the sidequests are mostly fetch- or killquests with not much story to support them. Despite that Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a really good game with many improvements over the original.
The biggest improvement in the Remake is in my opinion the battlesystem. After the boring press-circle-to-win tactic from Final Fantasy 15 it’s great to have a battlesystem that combines a modern action combat system with parts of the classic Final Fantasy ATB system. Also the graphics and the new character models along with the voice acting took, in comparison to the original (which didn’t have voice-acting), huge steps forward, although I still prefer Advent Children Sephiroth.
For people that love Final Fantasy I definitely recommend buying it, people that love RPGs in general and have no or only small ties with Final Fantasy should maybe wait for a price drop or rent it from a friend for a few days and play the first few chapters for themselves.
My main gripe with the game is the massive story changes at the end of the game. I’m not a purist that expected a 1:1 remake, but these changes have some potentially huge ramifications on the story going forward which is a bit of a concern.