Final Fantasy 7 – Rebirth

This review of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is incomplete. That said however, I’m not sure I’ll ever complete it in a timely fashion, to have this review done in a still relevant amount of time. So, I figured, why not jot down my thoughts thus far?

First of all, I have recently played the original Final Fantasy 7, up to leaving the Golden Saucer area. So, this review, will cover everything up to that point. Because, as I see it, comparing it to the original game, really highlights the strengths of Rebirth. I’m also going to clump in Remake and Intermission into this review since, as I mentioned above, I’ve played the original recently, so it’s relative.

Let’s do a quick recap on Remake and Intermission before we dive into Rebirth… And yes, the naming convention is one of my pet peeves. We’ll get into that later though. Remake starts off as the original game did, Cloud is helping Avalanche as a mercenary for higher, and while there are some changes to the story, there is enough new things that keep the title moving, and the story engaging. I was worried that the story, music, and everything else that made the original game good, would be watered down. Especially considering the separation from one game, to several over who knows how long a period. Remake is focused down to the events prior to leaving Midgar and ends right after their encounter with Sepheroth as they escape the city. Having this contained focus actually works, and feels like a prologue to the rest of the series. IF, however, it wasn’t for Intermission…

Intermission is a solo Yuffie title that, as far as I can tell, was not part of the original Final Fantasy 7 game. Could be wrong. At any rate it’s serviceable. It introduces a new mini game, that I kinda miss in Rebirth, as well as new synergy, that gets added in Rebirth. It’s short, and really feels like a DLC, that was shoved into its own game. The story was ok. Yuffie was pretty funny, but it just doesn’t add enough on its own, to warrant the price when it originally dropped. Now that its part of a bundle in the PlayStation store, yes, its worth it. Intermission too kinda breaks the rhythm if you want to play Remake to Rebirth in one string… It doesn’t follow the same pacing, and kind of brings the story to a halt.

Final Fantasy 7 – Rebirth

As for Rebirth, the whole reason we’re here. Its…Its not bad. Again, like Remake it changes a few things, updates some dialog which, I’ll be honest, made me chuckle a few times. The voice actors are great, the story is great, the music is there, the characters are all fleshed out and are genuinely fun to play. But, it’s tedious. Like with Intermission, Rebirth has periods of intense story driven sections that suffer book end periods of running around and doing random open world things like unlocking towers, playing mini games, some of which are unskipable by the way, and various information fetch quests for your boy Chad… Chas? Chadly! Uh, that kid… Anyway, the whole game slows down around these periods and while I’m sure you can skip it. You probably shouldn’t, because RPG. Which brings me to the most decisive bit of review. The RPG elements are there in name only, MOSTLY… There is a caveat to that statement however. If you do not have certain things unlocked, you will find yourself struggling to complete events, battles, and other “checkpoints”, through the story. Remember I said some things were unskipable? It feels like the game forces you to participate in many of the games open world aspects, in order to pass the main story’s checkpoints. Gone are the days of grinding away levels, to get Gil, and then upgrade everyones equipment. Now you have to put a halt to the story, in order to unlock materia or weapons, you need to make your life easier as you progress the story. And while that sounds like contradiction in this review, on paper… You are correct. However, where before you could choose to grind to make things easier, and you could focus on min/maxing… Now it’s partly unnecessary, except when it’s not. In another words, difficulty spikes are everywhere, and usually it spikes, because you didn’t participate in some random side quest.

Don’t get me wrong, the grievance I have with the character levels being mostly redundant, is the least of my complaints. The story pacing is, mostly fine as well. My biggest complaint in this series is, in fact, that it’s a series. The Remake, Intermission, Rebirth titles reminds me of the old school Final Fantasy Titles, insofar as they confuse anyone looking in from the outside. Whats the different between Remake and Rebirth? Isn’t that the same? Whats Intermission? Where does it fit in? Final Fantasy 3 is actually Final Fantasy 4… Ugh. Anyway, that aside, the fact this game is being broken up, and you are forces to pay full title price again when the next installment drops, is by far the worst part. Square knew going in, people would pay any amount for this game, and they were right. And this may be me yelling at clouds, but it seems abit greedy. Full disclosure, I did not pay for the titles, they were gifted to me.

Overall though, the entire series thus far is beautiful, and any negative comments are fairly mild considering the scope of this game. The original game was maaaasssiiveee. Playing this new version, it really deserves the remake, bringing it up to date graphics wise, music, and story/writing. So far the writing is good, and there is enough to do, that the price tag, although steep, is worth it. Especially if you can get them bundled together.