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The Final Fantasy VII Remake Needs to Stop Telling and Start Showing


The Final Fantasy VII Remake Needs to Stop Telling and Start Showing

Hey, do you remember the Final Fantasy VII Remake? And that feeling you felt as you read through those leaks before the announcement, thinking to yourself, “What? No. Square Enix wouldn’t… wait, will they really do it?” Then E3 2015 swoops in, and you lost your mind at the very first reveal trailer featuring the Buster Sword sword on Cloud’s back. It was a pretty long journey, but they finally did it. Square Enix finally decided to remake the Final Fantasy VII. Those were some pretty good times, seeing as how the company brought out the big guns and spoiled fans with that one remake they have been praying for over the past decade or so.

With the grand reveal out of the way, fans could finally start looking forward to some new gameplay. Possibly some new trailers with a few easter eggs? Maybe even just a short clip explaining the battle system? Can we at least get a peek at the cast? I’m sure an updated portrait of Aerith wouldn’t be too much to ask.

It’s been nearly three years since the initial announcement, and we’ve gotten little more than a clip of the bombing mission and a few screenshots… of the bombing mission. 2015 was a great year for the Final Fantasy VII Remake; Square launched the project’s announcement and even threw in an action-packed trailer during PSX. With both clips, things were actually looking pretty good. While it wasn’t actual proof that the remake wouldn’t have a 10-year development period, the successive trailers felt like a positive sign.

Another good thing to note was the steady influx of information about the Final Fantasy VII Remake. The developers were clear with their messages, telling fans that it was a four-part series and that they were revamping the combat system. While both tidbits were met with some mixed responses, the developers were still upfront with their ideas.

From there, 2016 rolled in and things were a bit quiet for the most part. Game producer Yoshinori Kitase held a short interview to discuss some of the changes and “surprises” coming to the Final Fantasy VII Remake but nothing else. To be fair, though, this was a pretty big year for their other project, Final Fantasy XV. The game was finally going to launch, and hyping up the remake could possibly derail the 10-year buildup of the 15th installment in the series. Looking back at it now, announcing the Final Fantasy VII Remake before XV released felt like a strangely rushed decision.

For 2017, all we got was pretty much the key visual of Cloud looming over and contemplating life while Midgar hung in the background. But, hey, we also got two new screenshots of the combat system. When explaining the images at MAGIC 2017, game director Tetsuya Nomura said, “It’s a Scorpion, and the scenery will be partly destructible. Sorry, I asked to show a video, but the company refused. The menus are not yet final, but I will talk more on another occasion.”

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Note how he says “talk more,” and while this might just sound like an expression for revealing more information in the future, it heavily suggests that he plans to keep explaining instead of actually showing what he means. And, honestly, that’s been one of the biggest problems surrounding the Final Fantasy VII Remake. There’s a big difference when it comes to telling fans how the game is going compared to actually showing them the progress you’ve been doing.

Final Fantasy VII is a big game, there’s no denying that. There must be a heavy load of pressure on Square Enix’s shoulders, especially since there are so many fans to please. In spite of this, they’ve been holding off from showing the game, and it isn’t exactly reassuring when the director claims that there is still a ways to go before it’s complete. With the game celebrating its 20th anniversary last year, it seemed like the perfect time to share some actual gameplay clips or even a new trailer. Yet, they treated fans with just two convoluted images that hardly revealed much about the new battle system and more promises of future updates.

This year, Square Enix recently held an exhibition where selected series fans were treated to some new Final Fantasy VII Remake artwork, featuring a different design for Cloud. If you weren’t a guest, well, you’re out of luck. Square Enix has no plans of releasing these images to the public at the moment, which actually seems quite mind-boggling. Instead, netizens have to work with descriptions of how “youthful” Cloud looks or how Jessie is “cute” and Biggs is “handsome.” Such broad terms really don’t do these new artworks justice, considering since most of the characters started out as polygonal models.

That said, maybe the details we’ve learned about the Final Fantasy VII Remake don’t actually do it much justice either. We’ve been hearing a lot about how it works, and though it sounds great on paper, many fans would like to see them actually put it into practice. After all, actions speak louder than words.

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