I’m starting to hate gaming releases these days, because they’re forcing me to take back so many, many jokes I used to make. Any comparison to a thing that’ll never come out? Well, Shenmue III and Kickstarter showed me! Oh, this piece of vaporware you’re showing me? I bet it’ll come out at the same time as Duke Nukem Forever. Then that actually came out, so hush my mouth!
And joining that illustrious group of games I never thought would exist but now apparently do/will is Final Fantasy VII, the remake. Now on paper, this seems like a no brainer. Final Fantasy I has come out on every single platform under the sun; Final Fantasy V, of all things, has been on everything from phones to tablets to the original PlayStation. What I’m saying is, Square Enix likes its remakes like how EA likes always-on internet connections. But in a rare, mind-boggling show of restraint, Square Enix has only ever re-released its most popular Final Fantasy title once, and that was a straight-up port to the PC. Sure, endless spinoffs are fair game, but Square has been teasing us with this game changer for over a decade now.
Well, they finally caved in. Final Fantasy VII is getting remade. It’s finally happening. And it’s going to be episodic.
Phew, for a moment there I thought Square Enix hated money, but they were just waiting until the market had changed enough that releasing their most popular title piece by piece would be a lesser crime against humanity. You had me worried there.
The stated reason, according to the most incorrectly blamed man in Role Playing Game history, Tetsuya Nomura, is that in order to do a full-quality remake, like the one we’ve had in our secret heart of hearts for decades, they need to cut up the game into more workable chunks. The parts of the game we’ve already seen are very high quality, so there might be an element of truth to this. Then again, this is coming from the man responsible for the current chronology of the Kingdom Hearts series, making him the Prince of Lies.
Answers are currently a critically endangered species as far as how exactly the game will be divided up is concerned. It’s possible it might be divided along the lines of the old discs. The result of that would be a first episode where you spend ten hours wishing you were out of Midgar, a second episode where you deal with the ridiculous plot revelations, and a third where you breed flying chickens for over a hundred hours, then resolve the final boss in an hour or so. Square have confirmed that each section will be a story in and of itself, and will contain the amount of content involved in a single stand-alone game. Bold claims, but they followed through with A Realm Reborn. The thing that we do know is that the combat system is getting a shake up, but the exact details remain to be seen.
All in all, we have a lot of questions for Square Enix, and not a lot of answers forthcoming at the moment. Will the game thrive in this environment? Are we prepared to condone what seems to be a cash grab? Will we… Oh, who are we kidding, we all know we’re going to buy every last episode. We’re enablers and we love it. See you in the remakes!