People are excited for the Final Fantasy VII Remake. But why should they be? Do they have any actual reason to be? I’m not sure they should, personally.
It’s not that the developers can’t make it look graphically astounding. Final Fantasy has been known for graphics, and this has been a company goal ever since the Squaresoft days. I doubt that Square Enix will drop the ball in that regard. It’s not that the musicians can’t do the soundtrack justice with its spectacular arrangements. Nobuo Uematsu already laid the foundation of the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack. Actually updating the score to modern taste isn’t something Final Fantasy hasn’t excelled in.
No, what I’m worried about is much more integral to the why many of us love the game: it’s the story and the characterizations. I don’t have faith that many of the people involved will faithfully recreate the Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Let’s look at the current roster:
Tetsuya Nomura, director of Kingdom Hearts and Advent Children: Final Fantasy VII. Known for very convoluted plots that are mistaken for deep and complex, which is a description certain fans of the series make. A lot of his plots involve clones, false memories, alternate timelines, multiverses and time travel as plots, as opposed to simple plot devices.
Yoshinori Kitase, producer of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. Perhaps the trilogy was spurned out of necessity. During the time, Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 was a disaster that lost the company a lot of trust and money. The sequels in the trilogy were asset flips, and production was outsourced to tri-Ace of Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile fame. While it seems like a way to recoup lost funds, it also produced a format that facilitated the existence of Final Fantasy trilogies. Kitase himself might just be producer of Final Fantasy sequels, having also worked on Final Fantasy X-2, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII.
Motomu Toriyama, writer of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. The constant retcons, plot holes, narrative dissonances of the series should give many fans hesitation as to were the series may actually lead.
Kazushige Nojima, wrote the scenario for the movie Advent Children: Final Fantasy VII, and the books On a Way to a Smile, and The Turks are Alright. Each of these pieces of media have actively contradicted the source material, and themselves, on key points of lore, story and characters. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel as if they are written by the same person. He also wrote Tidus exploding after kicking a bomb he thought was a blitzball for the novella Final Fantasy X 2.5.
They worked on stuff that directly contradicted and retconned Final Fantasy VII. This is them now. This is the Final Fantasy VII Remake. What makes this interesting is that Kitase, Nojima and Toriyama have wrote scenarios for the original Final Fantasy VII. They have been involved in Final Fantasy VII for nearly two decades. But they are not the same people they were 20 years ago. In fact, neither is the company, or the fan base for that matter.