Final Fantasy VII Remake - Review Thread

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Nov 16, 2018
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MetaCritic: 87, 64 reviews | OpenCritic: 87, Mighty!
Reviews:

Tom Marks: IGN:
(8/10)
The expectations around Final Fantasy 7 Remake are sky high, and it mostly manages to deliver. Its combat is top notch, its enemy variety kept me constantly entertained, and seeing this snippet of story fleshed out with real emotional arcs and the previously hidden humanity behind Midgar filled me with pure joy. The boring RPG filler and Kingdom Hearts-esque convolution that was inserted in between did stop my ear-to-ear grin from being constant, but never long enough to kill the mood completely. That leaves this remake as one that still delivered on letting me relive (part of) a classic in stupendous fashion, while also standing as a great RPG all its own.
Jason Schreier: Kotaku:
Final Fantasy VII Remake is not what I expected. It’s a grand, ambitious, beautiful experiment, a bold new take on a game that millions of people remember fondly. It sometimes feels shackled by the weight of two decades worth of expectations, but it handles those restraints with aplomb. I certainly can’t wait to see what’s next. As a great man named Barret Wallace once said: There ain’t no getting off this train we on.
Tamoor Hussain: Gamespot:
(10/10)
Regardless of your history with the original game, Final Fantasy VII Remake is an astounding achievement. The wait for its release was a long one, but in gameplay, story, characters, and music, it delivers--the wait was worth it. For first-time players, it's an opportunity to understand why Final Fantasy VII is held in such high regard. It's the chance to experience a multifaceted story that grapples with complex subject matter, be in the company of memorable characters, and be moved by their plight. For returning fans, this isn't the Final Fantasy VII your mind remembers, it's the one your heart always knew it to be.
Carolyn Petit: Polygon:
Remake is wildly uneven, poorly paced, and not entirely successful as a game in its own right. It takes a game that still feels staggeringly ambitious and often turns it into something more traditional, even if every aspect of the experience is so much more technically advanced.

But Remake is also the very best thing a game can be: fascinating. It forces us to confront our subjective tastes, and asks us to consider what we value in the games we play. Your feelings about Remake will be determined by what you, personally, valued in the original release.

It’s a mirror held in front of each member of the audience. What are your favorite parts of Final Fantasy VII, and did Square Enix enhance those aspects of the game, make them worse, or remove them altogether? Every fan of the original is likely going to have a slightly different answer to both questions.
Joe Juba: Game Informer:
(8.75/10)
Regardless of what the future holds, Final Fantasy VII Remake finds an impressive equilibrium between its past and its present. Square Enix nods to the original without depending on that familiarity, crafting a distinctive world and exciting combat system that feel modern. The new approach still has rough edges, but that doesn’t stop Final Fantasy VII Remake from carving out its own legacy.
Aoife Wilson: Eurogamer:
(Recommended)
One of the worst things about the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is how long we'll have to wait for the next instalment - and the other thing we can't talk about for fear of spoilers. But I feel safe in saying that, for the most part, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake gave me everything I was looking for. What I think it got right another fan may disagree with, and that doesn't mean either of us are wrong. Changes have been made, but the core essence and spirit of Final Fantasy 7 has been preserved brilliantly. Will it still be enjoyable and accessible to newcomers? That I can't be so sure of, but I believe so. What future instalments have in store, who knows, but this Remake gives us some beautiful moments in a universe some players have spent 23 years falling in love with. That alone is pretty special.
Reid McCarter: EGM:
(★★★ out of five)
The question any remake must be able to answer is whether it can justify its existence by introducing anything its source material hasn’t already offered. What’s frustrating, in Remake’s case, is that so much of the new take on Final Fantasy VII satisfies this requirement. It’s a remake whose key scenes enhance the original’s drama and audiovisual imagination, capably balancing reverence for what came before with a willingness to reinterpret and introduce new ideas as need be. When it isn’t padding itself out, seemingly just to check the box of being a “full-length” role-playing game, Remake more than makes a case for playing it in addition to—or instead of—the 1997 Final Fantasy VII’s opening section. While its story ends with mysteries unsolved and character arcs in limbo, it still manages to stand as one of the most coherent and impactful Final Fantasys in years. Still, it’s also a game that takes what worked as a condensed introduction to a full story and dilutes it with tens of hours spent meandering around between plot developments, draining them of much excitement in the process.

The impact of its best moments, then, is stretched too thin, its pacing skewed by overindulgence and busywork. It’s not hard to wonder if adapting a larger chunk of the game, allowing the Midgar section to exist without needing to be drawn out so much, would’ve created something that wasn’t paced quite so unevenly. That the strength of the material still comes through in fits and starts is testament as much to what was designed more than two decades earlier as it is to the remake’s interpretation of it.
Kat Bailey: USGamer:
(3.5/5)
Final Fantasy 7 Remake sets out to fully re-imagine a classic RPG with improved combat and an expanded story. Unfortunately, it's hurt by weak side quests and a surplus of padding, and its biggest change is bound to be controversial. It's one of the most coherent and enjoyable Final Fantasy releases in years, but it's also likely to be one of the most divisive.
Sam Machkovech: Ars Technica:
You get to do a lot in this game's runtime, which is why its 35-plus hours feel as hearty as classic JRPGs of twice that length. What exactly we'll see of the Final Fantasy VII universe from here on out is uncertain, though it's not a spoiler to say the game's ending hints at something to come. Whether a future game will take another 23 years is anyone's guess.

What's not to guess is that I'm in. Square-Enix, I don't care what you call the next one: FFVII Remix, FFVII Reunion, FFVII 2.8 Enchanted Forest of Midgar Dreams, whatever. I'm sold. I'm buying in. I'm playing the next one. But since I have your attention following such a nice pledge, here's a request: do me a solid and hire a new translation team next time, won'tcha?
Kirk McKeand: VG247:
(★★★★ out of five)
While I’m excited for the next game, I felt deflated for an entire day after the credits rolled. But the journey is completely worth it. Midgar is so well-realised, the main characters are wonderfully done, and the battle system is masterful. I can see myself moseying through the entire 40 hours again. At times it felt almost overwhelming to actually be playing it – like Square Enix had made a game specifically for me. I just wish the loyalty to the source material lasted throughout. Despite that, there’s no denying that this is the best Final Fantasy has been in a long time.
Cris Carter: Destructoid:
(9/10)
I kind of agonized over rating Final Fantasy VII Remake. It's going to garner a lot of discussion from people who are both blown away by the new treatment and disappointed by it, and those feelings are not mutually exclusive. In the end — after thinking on it for some time and removing nostalgia from the equation entirely — I came to the conclusion that this world is full of powerful characters and a setting that's worth remembering: remake or not.
Timothy Nunes: PlayStation Universe:
(9/10)
Putting the few slight issues aside, Final Fantasy VII Remake stuns with how it expands on the original. At the same time, it takes its own risks and creates its own footsteps. Final Fantasy VII Remake is beautiful, engrossing, and hard to pass up. This game is meant for both fans and newcomers, no matter how learned, and the sheer level of time and effort put into this reimagining truly shows through and through.
Kris Cornelisse: Dualshockers:
(8.5/10)
One of the big questions approaching this game is, inevitably, “Should I play this if I haven’t played the original?” That’s an easy answer: yes. Everything is here that made Final Fantasy 7 such a stand out of its era, delivered with some of the finest presentation we’ve seen in triple-A video game development. It’s a fun action/RPG hybrid with solid gameplay systems, a strong story, and a set of well-realized characters that suitably develop and bond over time. Fans of the original will inevitably spot more references or appreciate the extra nods, but even newcomers should be able to slip in and find plenty to enjoy.
Bryan Vitale: RPG Site:
(8/10)
Unfortunately, at its core, a key premise to the Remake is that it is almost self-aware of its own legacy, and not-so-subtly hints to the player that it knows you know, too (even if you don't). I'm not exactly certain how a player completely new to Final Fantasy VII, heading into the Remake with little or no prior knowledge, will effectively parse what's presented here. On one hand, flashbacks and visions hint at past events that new players won't be aware of are presented nearly as they originally were, promising to be later followed up on -- only now their elaboration lies behind a future entry that's certainly years away instead of a few hours past the opening segment. By introducing new elements interwoven within and on top of that, the result is a story much more muddied. Final Fantasy VII Remake winks hard, blatantly so, at longtime fans, especially by the back half of the game.

Despite some misgivings about some of the liberties taken, Final Fantasy VII Remake is an admirable foundation to build off of for future entries, especially in terms of its standout combat and some wonderful examples of building on the premises of the original game. Fans familiar with Final Fantasy VII should enjoy numerous moments of unbridled and unashamed nostalgia of revisiting their favorite places and characters under a new light, while newcomers should get just enough of a glimpse as to how and why so many were originally captivated long ago.
Jason Faulkner: Gamer Revolution:
(5/5)
Square Enix took a gamble with Final Fantasy VII Remake, and not everyone is going to be happy with it. This will likely be a divisive title amongst the fanbase. However, I’m someone who played the original game when it released, and it’s one of my favorite games of all time, and I was absolutely thrilled with this reimagining.

My recommendation is to go into Midgar with an open mind and allow it to wash over you. Final Fantasy VII Remake is a video game experience we only get every once in a while, and it’s one of the best titles I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.

Darryn Bonthuys: Critical Hit:
(8/10)
Final Fantasy VII Remake isn’t the retelling of a cult classic that you’re expecting it to be. It’s a lengthy and deliberately slow-paced walk down the Midgar memory lane that leisurely basks within the warm glow of nostalgia, but at the same time it’s an exhilarating and cinematic explosion of action that not only celebrates the impact of the game which rewrote the rulebook for an entire industry in 1997, but also everything else that followed in its genre-defining wake.
Francesco De Meo: Wccftech:
(9.3/10)
Final Fantasy VII Remake is a masterful modernization of the series' classic formula. The game is an extremely solid JRPG that looks, sounds and plays great, despite some pacing issues and linearity. That said, the unexpected story twists may sour the experience a bit for those who expected a faithful remake.
L'Avis de Anagund: Jeuxvideo:
(Review in French) (18/20)
Final Fantasy VII Remake is a real gem that deserves your full attention, whether you played the original or not. It sublimates a scenario and a universe already known for its incredible depth, by offering scenes of particularly strong emotions and by showing characters in a new light. It is beautiful to cry about, has one of the best combat systems of this generation and a very high staging, offering an incredible introduction that ends in apotheosis, with some revelations in the last part which will even surprise fans. Its soundtrack is so epic that it hangs us on the controller for a good fifty hours and there is no doubt that we will be talking about music in the years to come.
Juan R. Ufarte: Areajugones:
(Review in Spanish) (10/10)
Final Fantasy VII Remake is a masterwork akin to the original release; it has endured the test of time. Square-Enix has properly evolved the game without losing its essence, and while not without fault, it's able to elevate itself to the level of this generation's greatest titles. Melding the past with the present is no easy feat, and it has surpassed our greatest expectations.
Videos Reviews:

Easy Allies (9/10):

Gamexplain (Loved It):

ACG: Buy
 
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