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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Final Fantasy VII Remake - The Episodic Controversy

Earlier this year the Final Fantasy VII remake was announced at E3. Even more recently, we got to see some gameplay footage at PlayStation Experience 2015. Fans all over the world have been rejoicing, however, there are a few who remain skeptical of Square Enix. To make matters worse, it was recently shared on IGN that the remake will be episodic.

This, of course, has stirred up some some negative reactions from the fans. Even after Square explained why fans just cannot seem to shake feelings of doubt. Some are afraid Square will cut the game in 3 parts and charge full price for each one, others are afraid they'll make Yuffie and Vincent DLC. Personally, even though Square has made themselves a target in the past few years, I don't see them making such outlandish decisions. Although I suppose anything is possible. 

The main thing I'd like to point out is that FFVII is a game that was ahead of it's time when it originally came out, it spanned across 3 discs on the PSOne and paved the way for 3D graphics in Final Fantasy games. The game contains a lot of content even by today's standards, I have easily clocked in over 70 hours of gameplay on one playthrough alone. If Square is to be believed, trying to loyally recreate all that content and fit it on one Blu-ray disc is basically impossible. 

At the risk of playing devil's advocate I will say pleasing everyone is impossible. Take a look at the combat for example. Some are upset that it's not the traditional turn-based (although FFVII technically has an ATB [Active Time Battle] system, turn-based is more along the lines of FFX) while others would be upset if it was. Square opted-in for what looks more like a Kingdom Hearts style battle system with the ability to switch characters. No matter what, people will always complain but the middle road is usually the best option in these cases. 

While I don't necessarily condone it, I can understand people's skepticism. I wouldn't put it beyond Square to chop the game into 3 parts and charge full price for each release, but at the same time I'm holding out hope they'll do the right thing. Especially considering they said they're trying to keep all the original content while adding more (areas you couldn't explore before and whatnot). 

At the end of the day, any interpretation of Square's more vague statements is nothing more than pure speculation and none of us will know exactly what's going on with this remake until later. Keep in mind that Square is also working on Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts Unchained X, so it may be awhile before this remake is even close to release, but if Square goes the episodic route and charges fairly, this could work out in everyone's favor. The fans would get to start playing the game they've been begging for earlier than normal and Square will have lined pockets. It's win-win. However, if we see "Final Fantasy VII Remake -Part I- $59.99" at our local retailer in the future I have a feeling things will go south pretty quickly. All we can do is wait and see.    


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