Yikes. You know, there’s a very good reason I don’t follow and post every sliver of game news, nor do I care about some off the “news” that stirs certain areas of the internet up into a frenzy. At the PlayStation Experience in Las Vegas last weekend, one of the “big” announcements was the legendary JRPG Final Fantasy VII coming to the PlayStation 4 in 2015. At the time of its release back in 1997, it was not only a system seller for Sony’s original PlayStation, but one that bought millions of new players into CD-based gaming on a console, as previous games in the series has only appeared on cartridge-based systems. There was a PC version released back in 1998, but other than a recent re-release for modern PC’s, some excellent and jaw-dropping fan-made modifications and a beautiful remake of the game’s opening movie as an early demonstration of the PlayStation 3’s power, Square Enix has pretty much moved on from the very idea of a proper remake of this classic…
All the bile spewing online is due to the $16 PS4 version of FFVII not looking like a PS4 game and to many, just being an excuse for Square Enix to rake in more money from people who keep re-purchasing the game or new players who still haven’t played it. That it isn’t a HD remake or anything close to what some expected when that trailer started up shouldn’t surprise anyone. Square Enix has been rolling out the older Final Fantasy games for mobile devices with slicked-out sprite visuals that some dislike for a number of aesthetic reasons. Some feel the original artwork was better and the choice of fonts used in the mobile games seem “off”, among other things. On the other hand, some of those early FF games were retooled for the PSP and Nintendo DS and for the most part, got stellar reviews a few years back. You can’t please everyone, of that there is NO doubt. Especially in this day and age where anyone with a keyboard and an opinion (even yours truly!) considers his or her words some sort of be-all, end all fact-based opining.
Years of internet rumors (all false) and assorted fan petitions have been arguing for the game to be redone “properly” with all new visuals for consoles and PC, but the fact is, it would be an exorbitantly expensive project requiring a large development team and a few more years of work than the almost four it took to make the original title. The more diehard fans have been screaming along the lines of “So what! We’ll buy it and we’ll get more people to buy it!” for years. But the reality is Square Enix probably desires to leave FFVII as it is with only the barest whispers of anything resembling new content. Personally, while I loved the game back when I first played it, the game was so lengthy and had its share of flaws that the only way I’d go near it again is if it were prettied up and expanded with some major changes to a few things. No, Aerith wouldn’t come back to life (oops, spoiler!) or anything like that. But I’d rewrite a few characters, chuck some of the not so funny funny stuff and maybe add more back story to some characters while chopping bits of others. I made a four-page list of ideas some years ago, but it died in a hard drive crash and I never bothered to redo it.
You could say I just moved on myself and let FFVII stay in my memory as a great game that should be played, but not one that NEEDS to be played by everyone these days. Of course, I’d be the first one to laugh my ass off is Square Enix was indeed trolling fans at that event. Imagine the screaming in 2015 if there’s a new trailer that shows off the FFVII remake fans actually wanted. I’d kind of hate to be one of those online folks who spent the better part of an afternoon ranting at the news, then making one of the many “reaction” videos on YouTube that generally end up making grown people look like complete fools at the end of the day. Eh, whatever floats your boat. Sometimes it’s better to just play more *NEW* games than waste time ranting and raging about old ones.