After kicking off their E3 2015 Press Conference with a Last Guardian sized bang, Sony could seemingly do no wrong in the eyes of fans. They had announced a project that many had thought would never see the light of day, and done so with more than just a simple mention.
However, few could have predicted that The Last Guardian would be but a blip on the radar of the monumental announcements to come. Little did fans know that Final Fantasy 7 Remake was waiting in the wings, set to take the gaming world by storm and bring grown men to tears.
Now that the Final Fantasy 7 Remake cat is out of the bag, Square Enix has begun teasing a few details about their upcoming game. First and foremost, the developer wants fans to know that this is not a straight remaster or port of Final Fantasy 7. As Director Tetsuya Nomura confirmed, Square Enix will be making some changes to the original game in both the gameplay and plot departments.
With that in mind, Game Rant has put together a list of changes Square Enix could make to Final Fantasy 7 that would improve upon an already stellar game. Now, it’s important to note that few would find fault with Square Enix simply redoing the graphics and leaving everything else as is, but that doesn’t seem to be the developer’s M.O. So, these proposed changes are simply in service of guiding the conversation about where Final Fantasy 7 Remake could improve, not suggesting where the original game was lacking.
In other words, we love Final Fantasy 7 just as much as anyone else, but if there must be changes, here are some worthwhile places to start. Also, if you just want the nostalgia of Final Fantasy 7, there’s a PS4 port on its way at the end of this year.
1. Voice Acting
This seems like the biggest no-brainer, as almost every Final Fantasy game released since the PS2-era has featured voice acting in some capacity. It’s true that many of Final Fantasy 7’s biggest moments are so striking because there is no dialogue, but others could benefit from some additional characterization. Cloud’s budding relationship with Aerith, for example, could shine through much brighter if there is voice acting, and a character like Barrett may take on a completely new personality.
In even simpler terms, having voice acting makes for more cinematic scenes between characters, rather than having to analyze text box after text box. Few modern games are completely text based, and we’d be surprised if Final Fantasy 7 Remake didn’t add at least some voice acting to the mix.
2. More Mini-Games
Although they were few and far between, the mini-games in Final Fantasy 7 were among the best casual distractions the series has offered. From Chocobo Racing to the Speed Arena shooting game, there is tons to do in FF 7 that doesn’t involve actually experiencing the story or combat.
For Final Fantasy 7 Remake it would be nice to see Square Enix take these mini-games even further, by offering more variety and greater opportunities to break from the critical path. Later Final Fantasy games have featured very involved mini-games, like Final Fantasy 10’s Blitzball, so it would be nice to see Final Fantasy 7 Remake offer something like that.
3. Better Open World Exploration
At the time, the open world exploration of Final Fantasy 7 was impressive, but now it’s rather archaic by comparion. When the game finally does open up, and players are free to travel on Cid’s ship, that should be a moment of wonder that truly shows off the scale of this world.
Luckily, the power of the current-gen platforms will let Square Enix expand on the open world so it feels like more than just a single 3D texture. Whether it’s on foot or on the ship, if players could truly explore the world that would make the mid to late-game exploring far less tedious. It doesn’t have to be segregated to the open world portions either; the Remake could give the individual cities more life through branching paths and highly detailed environments. Not to mention, if Final Fantasy 7 Remake could even put the enemies on the map instead of making them appear out of nowhere, then players could trigger combat whenever they choose.
4. Deeper RPG Combat
Speaking of combat, and easily the most sacred of Final Fantasy 7’s features, one has to assume Square Enix will make some changes to the turn-based fighting in the Remake. While Final Fantasy 7’s combat was sublime at the time, a lot of smart changes have been made to the FF formula to speed up the turn-based combat and make it more active.
Now we’re not looking for Final Fantasy 7 Remake to change things too much, but something as simple as timing-based attacks or deeper options for those individual attacks would help keep things from feeling so automatic. Limit Breaks and Summons could also use some sprucing up, both in terms of the flashiness of their animations and the engagement of the player.
While these four changes are unlikely to upset the status quo, they would help make Final Fantasy feel feel more dynamic and in line with modern RPGS. By announcing the title as a Remake, Square Enix put itself in a unique position wherein it could completely revamp Final Fantasy 7 for modern gamers. On the flip side, they could easily turn out a better looking game that has minimal changes.
So far, it sounds like the minimal change route does not interest Square, so it will be interesting to see what they do tweak within the game. There are some elements that are seemingly sacred – i.e. that iconic death scene – but others that could use a little sprucing up. Luckily, we won’t have to wait too long to hear more about Final Fantasy 7 Remake, as Square Enix promised that more details will hit by the end of the year.
What changes would you like to see Square Enix make for Final Fantasy 7 Remake? Or would you rather they make no changes at all?