September 9, 2009

Seven Reasons Why Final Fantasy VII Needs a Remake

Shawn Lebert Says “You are just a puppet. You have no heart and cannot feel any pain,” the remorseless Sephiroth once said with his cold, callous demeanor. He was a man to be feared by many for his absolute power and unpredictability. Even for his time, in his intimidating, polygonal face, I could see (or picture) the fire in his eyes, consuming all life that remained within that tragic, ethereal soul.

Back in 1997, Square Enix delivered a game to the PlayStation system called Final Fantasy VII, which has resulted in an incredible, overwhelmingly positive – and nearly flawless – reaction for the RPG genre. Gamespot states quite adamantly, “You will find it [to] be among the most incredible games you have ever played - or ever will,” to claim that this, without a doubt, contains substance that will forever be timeless and good. IGN goes on to say, “All in all, it is impossible to not recommend Final Fantasy VII to anyone who is even vaguely interested in RPGs.” Even to this day – and a decade well past – FFVII manages to capture an audience in a market saturated with role playing games and still enlightens those who have not mustered to play it yet.

Twelve years later, the PlayStation 3 – the grandson to original PlayStation – is on the market in its top performance, playing wonders like Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Uncharted, and soon graphical powerhouses like God of War III and Heavy Rain in 2010. In 2005, a technical demo was released, to demonstrate the power of the then infant console, PlayStation 3. The demonstration was none other than a complete overhaul of the introduction for Final Fantasy VII, and how it would apparently look given an opportunity for a remake. Needless to say, the audience for the demonstration, and fans of the series, were astounded at the life-like quality of the detail that was given to bring Midgar alive. Immediately, fans rejoiced at its beauty and went to the lengths to assume a Final Fantasy VII remake was in the development process for the PlayStation 3, but were miserably shot down.

Four years later, fans still froth at its sight, people are still marveled and comment on the technical demo. The demand for a remake is unimaginable, and Sony should believe in the same thing. This article will give you the 7 most important reasons why our 12-year-old beloved PlayStation title deserves a remake.

Final Fantasy VII has a following that is too big to ignore. When the PlayStation 3 released the original PlayStation port of VII, over 100,000 PlayStation Network users downloaded the game in a single day. With such a phenomenal success for the addition to the PSN, the idea of adding other PlayStation classics to the Network was exploring the road to success. Sony quickly understood that releasing the hottest games would only make bank. Even years after its release, people are begging for more of the same game. It’s unfathomable that Sony would completely fall ignorant to the crying for more Final Fantasy, and VII very specifically.
If you look search the Internet for discussions on remaking Final Fantasy VII, you’ll discover that it’s difficult to see anyone disagreeing for a remake. The technical demonstration for the PlayStation 3 has seen millions of hits on YouTube alone and millions extra for comments on the breakthrough idea for such an investment in a remake.

You’ve seen it once; you’ve probably seen it a few times by now. Final Fantasy III for the Nintendo DS was a result for the non-existent title over in the Western countries. For the DS, FFIII was a success and ended up being a pretty acceptable port to the handheld system.

A few years later, for the Nintendo DS, was the arrival of FFIV. It featured a full 3-D environment and characters, just like FFIII. It wasn’t much of a change, and fans noticed that, but that didn’t stop them from getting their hands on it and making the game successful.

Chrono Trigger for the DS, perhaps not a remake, but a fair port to the handheld, was an alternate invitation for those who didn’t have the time to dust off their original PlayStation to play.

Even though these games were just made for a handheld, which didn’t require a robustness of technology, it was nevertheless remade for a system for today’s generation. Given that FFIII and IV may not have the stellar following that FFVII has, which prompts for an even more accurate and right decision to remake the original PlayStation game.

Final Fantasy XIII sure reminds me of a few things, here and there regarding VII. Even the developer behind the protagonist for XIII, Lightning, is considered “a female Cloud.” A little strong resemblance, don’t you think? Instead of resorting to a full, original tale, devoid from an inspirational past, they felt it was necessary to bring along a similarity for the ride in this generation’s Final Fantasy journey.
The reason for similarity? Well, I could take a guess and say that while this will not only be approached from a completely new audience for the game, but the traits are synonymous with that of a fan-favorite Cloud, which will bring fans of games past right back into liking comparable elements. If you can attach memorable traits to a new character, it’s fairly obvious to point out that not only do they have past love for their specific creations, but it’s to clarify that they did something right. And they can identify with Final Fantasy VII.

Final Fantasy VII’s approach in story and theme was dark and especially tragic for multiple characters, as they go through deep character development, which reveal pivotal, powerful moments including lost relationships or the struggles to understand one’s existence. Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which is being simultaneously developed alongside XIII, seems to define itself as one real dark journey, looking like XIII’s counterpart. One thing’s for sure: the Final Fantasy series presents deep, mature stories, yet captures audiences young and old. Final Fantasy Versus XIII seems to develop the darkest setting with a silent, pensive character with whom we are still unfamiliar, but curiously reminds us of previous installments like the location of Midgar or troubled character pasts from Final Fantasy VII.

In 1997, Final Fantasy VII was considered the best looking game to date for the original PlayStation. And in 2009, you’re probably going to look at me with the crazy-eye. It is quite amazing how advanced video games are after 12 years. From the flat, rectangular structure of a character’s chest to the cylindrical limbs, it looks almost silly nowadays. Surprisingly enough, playing through VII today doesn’t lower the emotional value you will have by experiencing it today.

Graphics are a main motivator for consumers. People want the best graphics around and to get that, one must invest in what they believe will be the greatest console for that. Although anyone in their right mind will take quality over quantity, one must overlook the decade old visual appearance of VII if they’re going to invest their time into it. Graphics must be a standard and if they aren’t acceptable, a fraction of interest is lost in the commitment of a single play-through.

If Final Fantasy VII were to be successfully remade for the PlayStation 3, people are going to foam at the mouths for their masterpiece to be updated with fabulous graphics, and it’s a given.
One can argue that some of the emotional content and value is lost from the original now – for those that play it this generation – because of the outdated graphics. While that may be true, we can still become attached to these figures for its strong story and engaging tragedy.

Put yourself in the shoes of those who have witnessed the technical demo on the PlayStation 3, and you’ll see nothing else than a graphical overhaul – seeing the facial expressions and the understanding of feelings on our loved characters’ faces. It’d be unbelievable to see a beautiful game perfected with beautiful visuals.

The PlayStation 3 has some really interesting exclusives, but why stop there? With the help of a remake of Final Fantasy VII, imagine balancing out the see-saw between Sony’s and Microsoft’s game library. The Xbox 360 has been getting most of the bargain as far as exclusives, left and right, but Sony doesn’t need a plethora of exclusives to choose from if the system has a Final Fantasy remake that has spurred hundreds of thousands of dollars for a port just on the PlayStation Network in a single day.

Truth be told, there are some hotly anticipated games out there right now, but if there was a Final Fantasy VII remake on the horizon, I’m beginning to believe that this title would end up falling into first place for a lot of pleasantly waiting fans, more so than any other game for the time being.

Forget all the bundles in the past, and don’t worry about the console race. I believe that with Final Fantasy VII, if there were to be one exclusive for PlayStation 3, you’d see a major spike of sales. Sure, the PlayStation 3 has had a sales spike for a few good weeks now and with the help of the new Slim and pricepoint, what a hot seller it’s going to be. But let’s boost it even more with the surprise of the remake, and without a doubt, I’m led to believe it’d be Sony’s crowning achievement.

It’s unfortunate to hear that Sony is dramatically losing money for each console. But if they spent the earned cash that’s left in their pockets, they would be sure to make Square Enix develop a VII remake. While even more at a financial loss during its production, they will definitely see the benefit in the long run after it’s released to the consumer. If Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 1 is still selling today, I seriously don’t know what’s stopping them.

Reviewers from all around have come to a consensus to believe that Final Fantasy VII is one of the best RPGs on the market. It’s been out for 12 years, and still manages to conquer. It’s an all-around, wonderfully written, engaging story that feels timeless. As it’s been explored a few times through this article, anyone that wishes to set aside the graphical aspect of this title, are in for a delight as you’ll find yourself moving with the characters and their journey filled with mystery, with the importance of family and relationships.

Final Fantasy VII has something for everyone, and whether you were the one who instantly played it back in 1997, or only played it months ago, there was something specific for you to get out of it. It’s an inspiration for many, and a love for many more as we press on, remembering the memories from older games that are never forgotten. It’d be almost a travesty to know that Final Fantasy VII could never be remade. But if it does indeed get the green light, I don’t expect it to do any less than stellar for sales and becoming historical importance for the video gaming world.

I understand that there are a lot of other adored Final Fantasy installments, and whether or not you prefer VII or an earlier title, it’ll be a personal preference. Don’t take it too personal if you do indeed prefer a different Final Fantasy or a different series all-together. We all have something that we like. But let’s not forget the importance of a possible remake for a very well-loved title and how well it’ll benefit players experiencing it for a first time or old school fans giving it a second go. It’ll make gamers content, and I’m sure Sony would be just as happy with it too.