Originally teased as a PS3 tech demo in 2005, Final Fantasy 7 Remake is finally on our PS4 hard drives, and we can wholeheartedly say that we thoroughly enjoyed our time throughout the expanded Midgar. The engine, character development, battle mechanics and faithful materia system, made Final Fantasy 7 Remake a triumph in our minds.
Now that we’ve made our overall opinions on the remake clear, let’s take a look at a few things that we feel could really help future updates and episodes.
D4G’s top 5 improvements for FF7 Remake:
5. Unable to use items during the Roche bike battle
After talking to Jessie outside Cloud’s apartment, you’ll begin the Mad Dash mission of Chapter 4. Get ready for your first taste of Motonox Gust battle mechanics! However, once you’ve sliced your way through Shinra motonox bikers, you’ll encounter Roche (a SOLDIER and new character exclusive to FF7 Remake).
I hope the Shinra bikers didn’t give you too much trouble, as you and Jessie will need that one health bar for this entire high-speed journey! Yup, you can’t even bring-up the menu to use items at any point throughout the bike section. The question is, why? A possible bug or did Square think it wasn’t right to have Cloud take his remaining hand off the accelerator/brake?
Solutions: We’re not sure if this was accidental or completly intentional, but if it was the former, we’d love to see a patch for this (for self-healing or teammates doing this for you – just like a later section).
4. Camera locking on points of interest for far too long
Whenever a game requires the players attention to be immediately focused on one area, a scripted camera adjustment or cut scene is used. FF7 Remake tends to prefer the camera adjustment, keeping the action (or story-driven scene) in-game where it can.
The problem with this, is the camera doesn’t seem to unlock when it should. This often leaves the player confined to an exceedingly small area, long after the event has taken place. Unfortunately, this issue pretty much occurs every time such an in-game camera adjustment takes place and at least on one occasion, I found myself being totally defenceless against enemy attacks!
Solutions: This needs to be patched and at the very least, we hope the new episodes/updates will see to this.
3. Fast travelling back from side quests
Upon entering the Sector 7 Slums, Cloud needs to develop his reputation and fast. The best way to do that, is to help the town folk out with any quests they may have. While completing any given quest will award you with an option to fast-travel back to whoever allocated it to you, if you select no (let’s say you’ve seen something shiny in that area, that you couldn’t nab at the time) you’ll have no other way to bring that fast-travel menu option back up.
Solutions: A patch giving the ability to bring back that fast-travel option would not only make it easier for players to find hidden loot, but also to grind at certain locations when they choose to (something that also carries over well to improvement number 1).
2. Limited interactivity throughout main towns
This is probably the issue I was most surprised with, as on one hand Final Fantasy 7 Remake offers a truly stunning re-imagining of Midgar (the slums, Wall Market, the view down from the plate/pillars – just to name a few), but on the other hand, there just isn’t enough interactivity for an action RPG of this calibre.
What exactly do we mean by this? Well, materia, item and weapon shops are good foundations but with most of the NPC’s missing a triangle button, you have to implement more ways in which the player can interact with the world around them, making it feel more lived-in and life-like. One such way is to make eateries fully accessible to the player.
A food van for instance, would allow the player to simply interact and order fast-food that refills HP/MP. Restaurants could even allow the player to enter, order and sit down with the entire party as they all tuck-in and converse. Imagine Cloud keeping one eye on his dinner plate, while the other monitors his hefty buster sword (becoming a magnet for attention, leaning up against a restaurant wall). Barret trying to scoff his food down with one hand and the opportunity for the entire party to further build their relationship throughout such set-pieces.
There is so much opportunity here for not only Midgar, but every town throughout the games entirety.
1. Tedious area-specific objectives
This is easily the most common issue with both long-term fans and newcomers. However, we do understand the problem that Square were faced with, that eventually went on to produce such an issue.
The objective: Create areas where the players can grind and enjoy the amazing new battle system freely, without having to backtrack to previous locations. Use this to also give the player freedom to level-up characters and materia (just one of the main strengths of the classic release).
The problem that spawned from this: While Square were faithfull to the original, adding larger battle areas so the payer could grind, it was the journey and basic path access puzzles that made such locations seem far too long and tedious. Light the Way and Rough Waters (especially where the player had to return to the sewers, both encounters as part of the main story) being the chapters that mainly fell victim to this.
Solutions: One particular way around this would be to focus on bestselling open-word games, and how they enabled the player to travel huge distances (while fighting enemies) from A to B, without risking the player losing interest. One of the solutions would be sidequests within these areas. However, player interest was never maintained through simple fetch quests but all from how the players interacted and connected with such NPC’s.
Not only do we all know Cloud would tell that fetch quest-giver to go f*$& themselves (or save-up for the Honeybee Inn), but such gameplay-fillers are just far too simplistic and dull for today’s standards. The top open-world games always had the player wanting to help that NPC, not being ordered to by a total stranger that doesn’t have more than 5 lines of dialogue.
One example of this could see the party discovering a past victim of Don Corneo’s sewer trap. Maybe you could rescue them, maybe you’ll try but instead, pass a message on to his/her loved one – or maybe either situation could unfold, depending on the choices you make…).
Let us know what you think of our list and if you think we’ve missed anything that jumped-out to you?
Keep it at D4G for more on FF7 Remake.