First, it’s not that I don’t like what they are doing with the Final Fantasy VII Remake. I’m as excited as anyone to finally see what Final Fantasy VII would look like with updated graphics. I’m just as excited for what I want to get, and what I think I’m getting, while trying to make sense of everything they’ve told us.
It’s just that I want to play a complete game. I want to play it all at once, the way it was originally intended, way back when it was first released.
Other video game remakes look to be more consistent, like mini passion projects that the developers put their hearts and souls into. Does that mean that Final Fantasy VII hasn’t? No. But it doesn’t feel that way, because if it did we’d understand that more content doesn’t equal a better game. Quantity doesn’t equal quality. But it seems as if
To me, Final Fantasy VII Remake is a formality, something Square Enix feels obliged to produce for the fans. Something they feel they have to do in order to win back trust, at the very least hype. And this obligation is what makes it feel soulless. Of course, it’s an intuition. Intuitions are relative, and can be wrong. But intuition is multi-faceted, itself based in multi-faceted reasoning and elements initially unknown to us. But let me trying to understand my intuitions about my feelings of this game in a logical order.
I feel the need to clarify my original opinion, and general concerns of the Final Fantasy VII Remake.
When I said Final Fantasy VII Remake would not be a “complete game” what I was originally talking about was “complete narrative”. We are getting a full sized game out of only a portion of the story – in the same way if someone tried to stuff all their clothes into a suitcase they split into multiple parts…
Imagine that ten years ago you paid full price for a moderate, but full sized turkey. Now, they are trying to sell you each slice of what they say is a much bigger and better portion of turkey. Only, they are charging full price for each slice as if they were a full size turkey. Sure, the overall turkey is bigger, so therefore you are getting a bigger slice. It does not change the fact that you are only getting a slice. And this is before we know how good the turkey is.
Final Fantasy XIII’s three games were “complete games”, but they also had complete narratives. Even then, the narratives weren’t completely known to them. The development of the latter two stories saw the team creating the story around reused assets. In Final Fantasy VII’s case, we have a complete narrative that they’re padding out.
If they took the original story of the first Final Fantasy XIII game and broke that into parts, we’d point out pacing issues, meandering dialogue (even for Lightning’s game), game play padding and, I suppose, a little more in depth information to help fill out the lore. This is what they are doing with Final Fantasy VII. They are taking a game with its own pacing and expanding upon it up larger than it should be.
Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy X were complete games with complete narratives. They are seen as classics for their self-contained content. Sure, they grafted on The After Years and X-2 much later, and even then, the original narrative did not mention the sequels. But you don’t need to play those sequels to get the full story.
The sequels of Final Fantasy VII Remake will be the “other slices” of the large turkey that we hope tastes good.
And what if it’s not up to our taste? What if they cancel Final Fantasy VII Remake abruptly? They’ve did this with the Final Fantasy XV DLC. I hope they can come back to it, but it seems they’ve moved on to Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Final Fantasy VII’s Remake may seem to be to fail, but is it? Final Fantasy VII Remake is such that they HAVE to stick with it, or else face global backlash.
And if it does get cancelled (I hope not) how long will they have kept this remake saga going, with multiple games at full price? If at nearly half a decade it was all for nothing, Square Enix’s reputation, not just the Final Fantasy brand, will be sorely damaged.
What if I’m completely missing what’s happening? Maybe they aren’t selling us a piece of the first turkey. Maybe they are taking the first turkey and breeding more, bigger full turkeys. In other words, they’re taking portions of the original game and expanding then to a bigger and more expanded narrative.
Well, that analogy makes it seem as if we are actually getting more Final Fantasy VII games, with complete narratives different from the original. This “slice” of the Final Fantasy VII Remake is only Midgar, and belongs to a longer complete narrative. A portion is still like a slice. But taking a portion of something, and making it larger is called getting a bigger slice, not a bigger turkey, in this case.
For the cynics out there, maybe you think I want to stick with the “slice” analogy to downplay what Square Enix is giving us, to make you feel like we’re somehow being cheated. We are getting a complete game right? A full-sized game. 30-40 hours worth.
Well, the term “full sized” is meaningless. A longer game does not equal a complete or even full-size. That’s too relative to make sense. It can be meandering, unfocused and as incomplete as Final Fantasy XV. A complete game usually has a complete narrative. What we are getting is a completed arc, in a narrative we already know is bigger. And I am talking about complete narratives as well.
Sure, it’ll be the end of an arc within the overall narrative, but the slice of the story doesn’t make it a full sized narrative. And we know that the iconic beginning. Yet, we won’t have the full story, the second part won’t have a proper beginning, and subsequent Final Fantasy VII games will begin on climaxes. At this point, it’s all how video game journalists want to spin the game. That’ll determine whether or not you think it’s good or not.
Also, consider that quantity doesn’t indicate quality. Letting developers convince you that you’re getting more of something doesn’t mean you’re getting the best of something. It doesn’t even mean you are getting what you want. Why let someone tell you why you should grateful for what they are doing? If what they are doing is good, it should speak for itself.
Will it have a lot of content? Probably. But that’s not a good thing if it’s padding. Fact is: we are being sold padding for the game. Stuffing, if you will. And that would feel like cheating. We’re getting a slice of turkey, inside stuffing that is shaped as if it were a full size turkey. This will continue until all the slices have been carved. And they don’t know how many slices they want to carve. But I bet they have a lot of stuffing.
And what’s with the stupid turkey analogy, am I right? Is anyone else hungry for turkey?
By turkey, it’s slang to mean a poor and unsuccessful theatrical production, also known as a flop. Will Final Fantasy VII Remake be a turkey?
I hope not.
This is why I’m more interested in games with a complete narratives. Once the Final Fantasy VII Remake hype dies down after its release, fans might look to other remakes and say “this is what Final Fantasy VII Remake should have been”.
And then the backlash.
Of course, Square Enix will take away that Final Fantasy the series is losing popularity, as opposed to their decisions surrounding making an expansive remake, but that’s another story, hopefully never for another day…