The Long Interlude Before and After Intergrade

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

The inevitable PS5 upgrade has come with some other news.

Final Fantasy VII Remake was always going to PS5. Everyone should have known that since the game released so late in the PS4 lifecycle. If you didn’t, you must be an optimist since the follow-up will certainly have more and a bigger variety of locations than Final Fantasy VII Remake. If the first needed two discs, there’s almost no way they’d be able to take advantage of the PS5’s power and also be able to release it on PS4. Another factor is that I also hardly believed Part 2 was coming out in 2021 like some people thought (a horrid guess, in my humble opinion), and I don’t think it’s going to be 2022 either.

But to see DLC? Kind of surprising since Final Fantasy XV didn’t even get all of its planned DLC to see the light of day outside of novelizations. Plus, you know, there’s definitely some sort of Part 2 going to come out, and I though that they’d move to that and limit a PS5 port to just basically graphical mods and maybe a new Boss or two in this game’s version of an arena.

Instead, somehow, Yuffie has beaten Red XIII in being a playable character.

 

I like nice graphics as much as the next gal, but I think a lot of the lighting and stuff isn’t going to be noticeable unless you really played the heck out of the PS4 version and do a side-by-side comparison. Some of the images I actually thought looked better on PS4. Expected that though since I’ve said the same thing about Blu-ray to 4K movies.

Now we can also look back and see some of the hints they placed in Remake. Why Leviathan (WHY NO WATER ELEMENT??) was a summon. “Descendant of Shinobi” being a track. Also, I’m glad Remake Yuffie could afford to put a nose AND a pom-pom on her disguise. Much better than wasting money on a neck buckle! Maybe it’s because she’s a senpai now that she gets a moogle pom. Still hope we see more of her annoying, stupid, diabolical teen side though. Also surprised at her battlestyle. More of an up-close-and-personal fighter than I’d thought she be.

Anyway, it’s nice Square Enix is giving some cross-gen compatibility assuming you bought the digital version of Remake or a disc-capable PS5. But they’re also sneaky in the fact that the free PS+ version is not upgradeable to PS5. There was a rumor/leak the DLC will cost about $20, although my first thought was $30 since Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind was that amount. But it seems like this is going to be a PS5 exclusive, which replaces Remake‘s timed exclusivity expiring. Very smart of Sony to keep that up if that’s a case.

But am I irritated? Only in the sense that I hated the ending of Remake. Because of the pandemic and other things, I knew that spoilers were launching when the demo became available and then before its US release. I avoided them, but I still did hear that the ending was a big WTF, OMG, huh??, and/or whatever other three letter word or abbreviation you can come up with. So once I knew that, I knew this game was going to have its own direction. In case you were curious, my theory was:

Spoilers for Compliation of FFVII!

I thought maybe the whole game took place while Cloud was in the Lifestream (after giving up the Black Materia) or in the wheelchair. While he’s either mixed in with all the souls or barely cognizant, he’s dreaming of how he wish he had done things differently, and the Jenova inside of Cloud causes all those spirits and such. So assuming the game is in three parts, the first two would all be flashbacks, and then the third would be set in the present with the mentally reconstructed Cloud, kind of like how Final Fantasy X does it. Any new knowledge (aka things not in the original game but Compliation additions) could be attributed to things he semi-observed/heard while traveling with Zack. Which looking back, really isn’t that crazy, but couldn’t think of what else it could be.

Spoilers end!

But if you plan on playing Final Fantasy VII Remake eventually: here’s a tip: play Final Fantasy VII. No, seriously. I’m not being a purist; play the game. It’s on every console, and I believe every recent port has the boosters/cheats that allow you to cakewalk if you so desire.

Remake also not-so-subtly brought up many of Compilation of Final Fantasy VII things, so it also was predicted that we would see ports or remasters of the games. I thought maybe Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus could be packaged with a video of Before Crisis in a Kingdom Hearts I.5/II.5-like package. Instead, now we have a second Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Me a few days ago: Yay, those Kingdom Hearts mobile games are ending! Gimme the non-gacha ports!!
Me just a day later: DANGIT!!!

People have always wanted to play Advent Children, so that’s cool. But it sounds like there’s going to be minimal voices for the game, so… if the goal is to revisit the story, it almost seems like just watching on YouTube is the better option. Plus, they’ve already announced there will be changes to the story, and Aerith is in the first Boss fight when she isn’t supposed to be, so… maybe you still need to experience the original Compilation for full effect?

But seriously think a Switch option would have been best. Switch cartridges go up to 32GB (supposedly 64GB option soon), but that would have eliminated some of the constraints they’re already feeling by going mobile like 2D still portraits and limited-to-no voices.

Also, seriously, Square Enix North America, why the heck can’t you release more Switch games? Final Fantasy VII/VIII Remake Twin Pack, I am Setsuna, the Dragon Quest packages, and more… sheesh.

I still stand by my ideal upgraded Final Fantasy VII: done in the late PS2/early PS3 era, mostly same battle system with some rebalancing, some minor story tweaks like no more optional characters, and voiced. By now we might have gotten a remaster or a I.5/II.5-like package with one or more of the other games, and then maybe an E-titled game to wrap things up.

While I know Square Enix Japan has several divisions, even with the direction the story is going, we’re either not going to get everything we wanted to see in glorious voiced HD or it’s going to take a really long time. Like, PS6 on the horizon amount of time. Especially since COVID-19 likely interrupted things for the follow-up just like it has for everything else. Sure, the developers could do a lot at home or while social distancing at work, but nothing has been on time.

I know a lot of people have been pointing out that Final Fantasy XIII‘s trilogy only had a couple of years between installments, but two things: 1) that was two generations ago, 2) a good portion of the sequels used the same environments. While Remake could change the story, one of the key points is that there’s no place like Midgar. At best, there’s one location that uses similar aesthetics, but everywhere else is very different. True, the rest of the world is mostly small to small-ish towns, so they needn’t be as big as parts of Midgar, and even with the changes in the story, I don’t think the main gang is going back to Midgar any time soon.

In Remake‘s defense, the battle system is likely set with maybe tweaks like team attacks (seen in the Yuffie DLC) and perhaps they’d add some sort of AI strategy option like follow me or target different enemy, which was the one thing I thought it needed. But I doubt it’s going to be retooled much. Plus, the chapter format is almost certainly going to continue, which allows the game to skip ahead and avoid some of journeying between locations. Surely will be some traveling but still not an open world.

Also, nobody wanted this:

NOBODY. Sheesh, you have the Dissidia 3v3 which bombed, so just go back to Dissidia and make it a 1v1 game like the originals, and you’d have a good market for it.

But I think this is the downside of not having handheld game systems anymore. Yes, I know, there’s the Switch and, more significantly, Switch Lite, but it’s part of the main gen of consoles. Without a DS or PSP/Vita family, there’s less pressure to produce a full package at once. Mobile just isn’t the same “hold-on for now” experience as back in the days of all those Final Fantasy Advance ports or games like Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories. There’s just so much nowadays that it tends to either fall in the category of don’t care or care but have to wait so long for it.

I mean, Kingdom Hearts III took so long to come out that both game’s Master Xehanort’s VAs passed away. Compilation of Final Fantasy VII has lost Reno, who was also Axel. None of us are getting any younger, and it’s unlikely they’ll be able to — or even want to — finish this new chapter in just a single new installment.

And yet… Square Enix keeps passing up chances to actually make some easy money in ways that don’t involve battle royales with a story that will likely just make things more confusing. Fortune Street. Turn the command board of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep into a full app. Put Chrono Trigger and a remastered Chrono Cross together. And if you lost all the original assets, get on it! Because if you’re going to make this high-definition, long epic, you could at least have some better “hold on, here’s why you like us” games in the meantime. Because battle royales ain’t it, and Final Fantasy XV has already proven DLC can’t be depended on too much. And even though Ever Crisis scratches an itch many of us have, it could be one heck of a long, expensive game depending on how much they decide to adapt.

Final Comments:

If you do plan on playing Remake, I can’t stress this enough: go play the original. Even though Intergrade isn’t due out until summer, I doubt the PS5 shortage will have subsided by then. So you have plenty of time to get through Final Fantasy VII before then. I knew I’d have to get one to continue this series eventually, but I am surprised it’s Yuffie who is providing the first new Remake PS5 experience over Red XIII or, heck, even some other characters. Hope this is mostly an exception, though, as there’s still a lot of story left for Remake and I’m sure we’d all like to finish that before getting into anything else.

… Seriously, though, Square Enix, the Switch is immensely popular… take advantage of that!!

5 Comments

  1. dreager1

    Interesting theory on the Remake ending. There”s definitely a bunch of ways this can go for sure. I do get why longtime fans of the original probably weren’t thrilled with how things changed at the end but I feel like no matter what, the original was always going to be the definitive version of VII so I’m enjoying having a new take on it. Personally my theory

    *Spoilers for those who have not played the game. Skip the next paragraph**

    is that this game takes place after Advent Children. Due to the 3 brothers (I always forget their names. Kadaj and the other two) being able to temporarily resurrect Sephiroth and then his ominous final words. I think Sephiroth was able to merge with the lifestream and then travel back in time to rewrite events. The instant he started this it became a parallel universe. Then I think those spirits constantly hounding Aerith is the universe trying to keep the timeline on track. By the end of course they were destroyed so now there is no way to go back to how things used to be. I think Sephiroth’s meddling is also what caused Zack to time travel at the end. Personally I feel like he has gone to the present so somehow he was able to survive that last battle where he originally died in Crisis Core. But then he got warped to the present. It’s a bit convoluted but at the same time it’s Final Fantasy so I could see them doing something super grandiose. Maybe even having the characters meet other versions of themselves or something. I’m not sure if you’ve read Tsubasa, but sort of like that where you have different versions of Syaoran and the others in a shared universe with Cardcaptor Sakura.

    ***Spoilers closed

    For the other games, the 3D shooter thing looked okay but not for mobile. If it was a free to play for Switch or something I’d give it a go but I don’t see myself downloading it. The FFVII Compilation game for mobile also didn’t really wow me. So on the whole the biggest deal for me was the Yuffie DLC but it’s too bad it’s not on PS4. I don’t think I’ll be getting a PS3 for a while yet so for now I may settle for watching gameplay videos or something. I do hope the next part doesn’t take too long though.

    Reply
    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      Yeah, that was my theory before playing the game but there’s a twist at the end. But now.

      **spoilers!!**

      there’s definitely some type of time travel/parallel universe going on. There are a lot of analyses too about Sephiroth. And it’s really confusing, but it’s speculated that endgame Sephiroth has to be a Sephiroth from *before* the Nibelheim incident while the other Sephiroths are post-Nibelheim/from OG/AC. That, or somehow Sephiroth drops his madness/goes back to being the SOLDIER hero sometime after his defeat in AC, which leads the question of why. There are a lot of things that we in English are missing out on either because of the localization or because of supplemental material like interviews, but that’s definitely Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo at the end.
      So as of right now, there are at least 2 different Sephiroths (Ultimania book divides Sephiroth into four types), and likely 3 different worlds: OG, Remake, and the split universe where Zack heads to Midgar after defeating Shinra. Tsubasa was hecka confusing, and so its Kingdom Hearts, but this could top them both!

      *end spoilers*

      Anyway, like you, I’ll probably just settle for a let’s play/video of Yuffie for now. Definitely wish the mobile games had been on Switch or something, especially if a Switch Pro is due out soon and could be like the New 3DS in which there were select games only playable on that and not all 3DS (well, Switches in this case).

      Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
      1. Nes

        Ooh interesting theory about the Remake storyline, I’m intrigued.

        I’m a huge fan of the original game, so I was really happy with this remake to be honest. Especially the new voice actress of Aerith in English, she really nailed the role and made it a joy to listen to. Same for Cloud’s new English voice actor.

        I do think it’s going to take forever for the whole Remake to finish, but as long as it finishes within my lifetime I’ll take it cause I’m such a big fan :’)

        I am a bit peeved though that this Yuffie DLC is ps5 exclusive, I bought ff7 remake at launch day physically and now this happens, I feel like a 🤡 plus if it completely shifts to ps5 from here on out I’ll be really sad. I don’t plan to get a ps5 and I don’t think my brother will either :’)

        I miss handheld consoles, they allowed to do great games without the full investment of a big console so we got such gems. Oh well.

        Reply
        1. Krystallina (Post author)

          The PS Vita-PS4 was a great idea, but Sony priced too many people out of it. But if they had handled it better, Sony could have beaten Nintendo to the Switch popularity to enjoy full-size games on the go.

          I’m guessing other Remake installments will be like the PS4 in which it will have Sony exclusivity for a year and then open up to other devices (mainly PC). But I’m sure it’s going to be PS5 from now on; if they can’t even do Yuffie on PS4, there’s no way SE is going to make sure the rest of it is PS4-friendly. But hopefully by the time Part 2 comes out (which is obviously going to be a while), PS5s will be easier to find and maybe have the occasional sale like a free game or controller.

          Reply
          1. Nes

            Yeah, sadly sony left vita to die and nintendo captilized on the idea in a smart way hence the switch fever. which i totally get cause it looks super cool.

            Sadly, yeah I expect from now on ff7 remake will only be for ps5 and up, i guess i’ll just watch a let’s play/movie version of the storyline because right now ps5 isn’t in my plans :’)

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