Now that the video game industry has had time to marinate on the show-stopping announcement that, after 18 long years, Final Fantasy VII would be making a triumphant comeback, fans of Square’s adorned JRPG have begun to question the finer details. For one, how long will the HD re-release be exclusive to PlayStation 4? Can it possibly meet expectations? And, will the final product include Cloud’s notorious cross-dressing scene in ultra-realistic graphics?
The latter of these queries is naturally still up for question, but PlayStation Europe Executive Jim Ryan did shed some light on the duration of the exclusivity deal with Sony’s current-gen hardware in an interview with GameSpot. In particular, Ryan mentions Microsoft’s partnership with Rise of the Tomb Raider, which is something that the company has kept largely under wraps up until this point. That’s a path Sony is aiming to avoid with FFVII:
“That whole thing was very ambiguous,” he said. “What we’re not doing is saying it’s an outright exclusive, which I think is a subtle difference [compared] to what happened last year.”
As for the remake itself, many have questioned whether Square and Game Director Tetsuya Nomura will remain faithful to the 1997 original. If you recall, in the reveal trailer the sombre voiceover states that “the reunion at hand may bring joy, it may bring fear. But let us embrace whatever it brings.” In many ways, this excerpt relates to the project itself, and Nomura offered up some new details about bringing then near-apocalyptic world Final Fantasy VII to a modern generation.
“I can’t get go into details, but this is not a simple remake. Let’s say for argument’s sake that we only pretty up the graphics for current gen hardware, I don’t think that would surpass the original version. We’ve announced an HD port version on the PlayStation 4, and then we have the remake coming to PS4,” Nomura said through a translator. “You’ll have this extremely, very, very pretty FFVII existing on the same plane. We feel that if that happens, it’s like, why have the same exact game?”
Read between the lines and you’ll realize that Square Enix is, in fact, open to altering the JRPG in its transition to modern-day hardware. And though dabbling with a classic is akin to kicking the hornet’s nest, it’s worth keeping in mind that many of the elements of the game will appear dated by today’s standards, ruling out a simply cut-and-paste mentality. Perhaps the facet most likely to receive an intervention of sorts is the battle system, with Nomura and Co. open to changing the old-school set-up. Rest assured, the director promised fans that the light-hearted parts of FFVII will remain intact.
Considering that fans have lobbied for a Final Fantasy VII remake for so long, there’s already a palpable excitement ahead of its debut – whenever that debut may be. Should the overhaul prove to be a success, Sqaure Enix has noted that while new experiences take priority, the publisher may explore other entires in Hironobu Sakaguchi’s beloved series. Final Fantasy VI, anyone?
Regarding remakes, we’ll look into doing them if there is consumer demand. That said, at our core is creating new Final Fantasy games.
What do you think, though? Are you open to Square opening up the hood of Final Fantasy VII in its journey to new hardware? Let us know below.