written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
This has been a long time coming, after the face palm inducing introduction of Final Fantasy VII’s PC version getting ported to PS4 with Trophy support, one of the most surprising moments in the Sony E3 press conference came in the form of an announcement that LITERALLY broke the internet. Final Fantasy VII was finally getting a proper remake, in glorious HD and built from the ground up for a new generation.
I remember the first time I experienced Final Fantasy VII, I was in the 8th grade at the time. Every day after school I rushed to get home so I can play more of this amazing story. The narrative enchanted me, the characters drew me in, I laughed, I cried, I reveled in this expansive fantasy world that immersed my imagination with every line of dialog.
While I wasn’t new to the RPG genre, this was the definitive game for cultivating my RPG love. I can wax philosophical on the lore of Final Fantasy VII and regardless of how many times I’ve experienced this story, I love it more every time.
It’s like that old book you keep reading and love every time you read it. As a young boy I identified with the flawed hero Cloud, just trying to find his place in the world while battling his own inner demons. Something I, like many other young teens just discovering their identity, tackled during my formative years. As a young adult, I identified greatly with the ambitions of Barret and the rest of Avalache. Dealing with a world increasingly rotten, hoping to leave even a speck of a positive mark. In a post 9/11 world, I was faced with seeing a global community that was flawed. Not only did I have to face finding identity for myself, I found myself looking for where I plan to fit into this world. I was preparing for college, careers, growing up and doing that whole adult thing (adulting is totes overrated btw).
Now, as a man in my early 30s, I have a career and run this epic project I started from humble beginnings with my best friend. As a man I found myself identifying with Aerith, in my most recent playthough I was even more affected by Aerith’s death than in my younger days. I didn’t focus just on the somber nature of her death, but rather the sacrifice she made to protect the ones she loves. Aerith knew was was coming, she knew that if she ventured to the Forgotten City on her own it would mean her eventual and tragic death. But see, she had her sights set on the bigger picture. Meteor was coming to destroy the planet, and Aerith knew her sacrifice would give her the power to harness the Lifestream, allowing her to save her loved ones and the world she would leave behind. This is what I tackle now, after a long life of building relationships, I would stop at nothing to protect the ones I love… even if it means being skewered by a 7 foot katana.
So as I change, my experience with the game changes, maturity’s a funny thing and growing up with this game gave me experiences that matured with me. Did the game change, or did I change? Wait… that was a douchey bit of self-exposition… let’s forget I ever said that.
So what’s the importance of this remake? As a fan of the series I know how important this game is, but let’s remember what RPGs were like before Final Fantasy VII. When Western gamers were first introduced to Final Fantasy VII, it was a bit jarring for those not in the know. The last Final Fantasy game was titled, Final Fantasy III for the Super Nintendo… but in reality this was the 6th game in the franchise. Our Final Fantasy II was Japan’s Final Fantasy IV with the original Final Fantasy II, III, and V never making it stateside until after Final Fantasy VII. This game did for the RPG genre what no other game could have done, make it a global phenomenon and increased the demand for more. Since then, every major entry in the series was brought stateside with other games in the RPG genre making a mark... this was the climate of the Playstation era and much of the PS2 era. RPGs became one of the most popular game genres at the time.
It happened!!!!! #FinalFantasy7Remake!!!!!— PaulBGU (@pauljames1702) June 16, 2015
My excitement cup runneth over with this announcement, though there is no definite release date for it I’m hoping its soon. My biggest worry is how Square Enix really hasn’t had the best track record in satisfying their fan base. The mind numbingly long production cycle of Final Fantasy XV and the lackluster outings in the entirety of the Final Fantasy XIII universe forces me to take this epic announcement with a dose of reality. A part of me feels like they won’t release this game for at least 2 more years, with 2017 marking the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII, it seems the most likely date… though a part of me hopes its more along the lines of Holiday 2016 or at the latest Q1 2017. Keep your fingers crossed gamers that they don’t push this to the original’s 25th anniversary, that would suck so much to have to wait til 2022.
This is a Final Fantasy VII for a whole new generation of gamers. A tale as old as time and one that translates well to the world we live in now as it did almost 20 years ago. Lauren, my sister (better knows as the Geek in the Chic) grew up watching me play Final Fantasy VII. She was by my side when we first watched Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and her toy shelf is littered with Final Fantasy figures, especially her beloved Cloud. As she got older she tried to play the classic games and had trouble getting into it, the gameplay is definitely dated and one that I hope stays in the 90s with this remake (though the Active Time Battle system with some tweaks would be great). I surprised her today with the trailer, queued it up on YouTube and called for her to come downstairs to watch it, of course being the little sister she is, she was all like “what? just tell me what it is,” I of course just said “trust me, you will want to see this.” I think her fangirlish squeels spoke for themselves, she’s as hyped as I am.
This game will be a Final Fantasy for her generation, she’s now in her early 20s and the perfect age to really experience this epic tale of a hero and his big ass sword facing a villain and his big ass sword.
We explored the #FinalFantasy7Remake Hashtag on twitter, make sure to follow the official Lifted Geek twitter as well @LFTDG33k