5 ways to make the Final Fantasy VII remake awesomeOpinion
Nathan Franklin / Tue 15th Dec 2015 259 views / 3 bites
5 ways to make the Final Fantasy VII remake awesome
If the 2015 E3 unveiling of the Final Fantasy VII remake didn't make you nerdgasm (honestly, who didn't nerdgasm to that?) then surely, the more recent gameplay trailer shown at this year's PSX did? Watching Cloud, Barret and the AVALANCHE crew fight their way through the opening segment of the game in modern-gen visuals was as wowing as it was nostalgic. It is clear that Square-Enix have made awesome progress on the game already, battle system and visual style included. But in what other ways could they make FFVII awesome? Let's see...
Open world gameplay
The original game allowed you to explore a huge world, but only to a certain point due to technological limitations at the time. Given that this is a modern-gen remake, it wouldn't be asking too much to replace the bland-looking world map with a detailed countryside environment of Elder Scrolls-esque proportions. Key areas such as Midgar and Junon are also crying out for more exploration, their pre-rendered PS1 states limiting us as to what we can see from those cities. By using modern-gen magic, it is finally possible to fill these cities with life and atmosphere rather than having the player secluded to small areas.
The new trailer boasted gorgeous cinematic visuals, but what would they be without a fully orchestral score? More modern games are using orchestral scores to enhance their experiences nowadays - just look at how The Elder Scrolls games have thrived with their soundtracks on an atmospheric level and how The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was made more epic thanks to a touch of orchestral magic. Exploring the Midgar slums alongside a haunting reorchestrated rendition of 'Anxious Heart' would add a great deal of atmosphere and emotion to the proceedings while a more epic, orchestrated version of the 'Battle Theme' would give the battles more intensity than ever before. The score needs to strengthen the emotions of those playing the game while being a throwback towards the MIDIs of the original FFVII.
Since we know the remake will be in an episodic format, hopefully this means that developers don't get so engrossed in story that they forget about the mini-games and side-quests that helped enrich the game's world. Seeing modernised versions of Gold Saucer games such as the motorbike fight and snowboarding would undoubtedly be awesome with the more advanced gaming mechanics available now - but don't bust a leg trying to reproduce the Mog House one though, alright, Square? We'll happily survive without it.
Yes, we live in an age where darker is mature and cool, but let's not overdo it here. FFVII is remembered for its solemn tale of life and death, but also for its light-hearted interactions between characters. Whether that is Barrett being teased for his sailor suit by the gang or the infamous cross-dressing quest, Square would be mad to miss out chances to poke fun at their characters. Humorous dialogue options should definitely be included for Cloud - let's not have him brooding all the way through like in Advent Children.
Improved affection levels system
Speaking of dialogue options, Square should definitely expand upon the game's rudimentary affection mechanic. This mechanic determined whether Cloud would grow closer to either Tifa or Aeris during the course of the narrative, thereby affecting certain scenes in the game (namely, a date scene which included the character Cloud would be closest with and a scene near the end of the game). The simple dialogue choices that determine this decision could be expanded upon, however, in the same vein as Mass Effect. The game never visibly displayed your progress with your love interests or made it obvious which choices were positive or negative in cultivating those relationships. A more expansive dialogue tree and visible consequences would be ideal in developing this idea further.