Final Fantasy VII Remake review: of swords and matter

Final Fantasy VII Remake review

Final Fantasy VII Remake Review - Twenty-three years ago, what was about to be one of the most popular role-playing games ever at Sony Playstation peeped out from the shelves: I'm talking about Final Fantasy VII, produced by the then Squaresoft, the development company that today is famous all over the world under the name of Square Enix. The title reappears in our homes in a completely revised and corrected graphic format: it retains the soul of what it was but is reborn to reach our times. Let's find out what happened in the review of Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Final Fantasy VII Remake: old but new

Let's start from an assumption: we can now say with certainty that we are not dealing with the classic nostalgia operation (as it was for the remastered of Final Fantasy VIII). Not to disappoint the fans and bring a new generation to the saga and the first chapter for PlayStation, a delicate and painstaking work was needed, and I really believe that Square Enix has succeeded in its intent. We are faced with an aesthetically beautiful and detailed title, ready to make us focus on everything that was a little blurred in the original version (and not just because of the pixels).

Find out the difference between Remake, Remastered and Reboot

To help the narration the amazing soundtrack, once again entrusted to the skilled hands of the supreme Nobuo Uematsu: it's better to play it safe in delicate cases like this one. The thrill down your spine is ready to catch you when you least expect it, bringing back the same emotions experienced playing the PlayStation 1 title.

Final Fantasy VII Remake review: the plot

The story, first told in 1997, is more relevant than ever in this 2020: the inhabitants of a dying planet fight so that the last available resources and energy sources are not dried up. The planet Gaia it is powered in its core by a named energy source Mako. In one of the three continents of Gaia, the eastern one, we find the imposing city of Midgar. There the Shinra Electric Power Company has built a series of reactors that continuously withdraw the Mako from the planet, to then feed all the technology present on the continent, both civil and military. Because yes, Shinra, in addition to being a powerful company, is also the political organization that controls the entire Midgar, complete with an army at its disposal.

A group of eco-terrorists, the Avalanche, however, rebels against the destruction of the planet and tries to put a spoke in the wheel of Shinra, damaging its factories. It is precisely in the Avalanche that we find the protagonists of our history, Tifa e Barrett, who hire the former soldier (soldier) and now a mercenary Cloud Strife to help them in their anti Shinra missions.

Final Fantasy VII Remake - Sephiroth Dynamic Theme...
  • Final fantasy VII remake tells the story of a world that has fallen under the control of the Shinra power company
  • A contemporary reinterpretation of history that explores its world and its characters
  • The Dynamic Theme will be sent by e-mail
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They have succeeded

Fear of disappointment was just around the corner. Many fans were prejudiced, because “they will never be able to match the success and the sensations of years ago“. Instead, I can confidently tell you that this is not the case. Cloud, Aerith, and everyone else came to life in the best possible way. They have been excellently characterized, both from an aesthetic-expressive point of view and thanks to the excellent dubbing.
They seem more mature and you can often feel their inner conflict: is what we are doing really right? Is it worth facing all this destruction and deaths for the greater good? Are we really "the good guys" 100%?
Some characters, in the past marginal, now take on new and more relevant connotations, such as Elmyra or Don Corneo, integrating perfectly into the plot.

The buildings, the districts, the houses were skillfully immersed in a scenario steampunk, where technology, nature and rubble mix skillfully without ever overriding one another. Some scenarios you would never want to abandon them for the beauty and tranquility they convey: who wouldn't love to spend whole days at the waterfall near Aerith's house?

The combat system

Testuya Nomura, in an interview with the Japanese magazine Famitsu he said that "The combat system was recreated from scratch many times during development". The main idea was to update an obsolete style, that of turn-based combat, and transport it into the era of Kingdom Hearts. 

Initially the team had decided to aim for real-time controls, but soon changed their minds and began to devote themselves to what is called Active Time Battle. At that point Nomura felt it contradicted his idea of ​​him, triggering a "long trial & error process to make it work".

But the right balance has finally been reached. The hybrid system between action and commands it gives you both the necessary freedom you need, and the time to clarify your ideas and decide what action to take to the characters. You can initially decide between three modes: Easy, Standard and Classic. The difference between the first two lies exclusively in the difficulty of the fights: the damage received in Standard mode will be greater, and those inflicted on the enemy will be less.


The Classic mode, on the other hand, was designed for bring players closer to the '97 experience: the characters will perform the basic attack moves in a more autonomous way, it will only be our care to decide when to activate special abilities and spells, with more time at our disposal. During the game it will be possible to switch from one mode to another before each fight, by accessing the appropriate menu.

The Matter

We will find the system of Matter: whether they are magical, support, or action, it will be up to you to equip those most suitable for the fight, upgrade them by making them evolve and create the most lethal combinations. The Materia are sphere-shaped crystals that must be set inside weapons or accessories / protections; each of them has a different ability that you can use only after having equipped it. As time goes by and battles, they will earn experience points which will unlock their next power level. The most powerful, rare and sought-after Matters are those that contain an Esper, the spirit of invocation, within them.

Even weapons can "evolve", improve their characteristics thanks to the XP obtained in battle and give you unique skills that you will have to learn and master.

The sore points: the Esper, the shots and the translation

Perfection does not exist. We did not expect otherwise, but there are aspects that can be improved in the future and that perhaps could already be studied differently in this title.

The Esper

Spirits of invocation, they are great mythological creatures endowed with enormous powers. Magnificent beings who come to the rescue of our heroes by donating their strength and skills, reach a climax by launching an attack of extraordinary power. However, their management in this chapter is almost no longer voluntary, but becomes haphazard. The Esper they cannot be invoked every time we decide to do so: only in some battles will we be given this possibility, indicated by a purple loading bar.

And it doesn't end there: not all Esters will be suitable for situations: in too narrow places we will never be able to summon large Esper, such as Leviathan, we will have to limit ourselves to the smallest Shiva or Carbuncle. Why this choice? In the past, the Espers were lifesavers and a determining factor in victory in many fights. Now they become occasional embellishments in the gameplay. However, once summoned they will add to your party and act independently, but we will be able to activate their special abilities. At the end of the (limited) time they grant us, their final attack is automatically launched, with devastating power.

The shots

Getting familiar at the beginning is not easy: they are very frenetic, and almost in the first person, with a not very wide field. They could cause dizziness, handle with care! 

The translation of the dialogues

Anyone who chews a little English cannot fail to notice. The audio of the dialogues of the Italian version is in fact in English, while at the bottom we find the text translated into Italian. But we often and willingly do not see the two languages ​​match, in some cases with complete distortions of meanings. Already in the first scenes we read a "I should have asked for more money" (literally: I should have asked for more money) become "See to give yourself a move". 

The Return of the Gender

Final Fantasy VII Remake, like its predecessor, is not all swords, monsters and combat. The authors have wisely reinserted some diversions to ease the tension a little, and why not, also entertain the gamer who in some cases also becomes a spectator. Among the most noteworthy interludes, those within the slums of the sector 6. We cannot fail to remember the attempt to Cloud to infiltrate the rooms of Don Horny, well-known Don Juan, in disguise. On idea of aerith, the protagonist will be disguised as a woman with a lot of braids-extensions and a Victorian bodice and (almost) no one will notice anything strange. Really, who could ever suspect anything?

Final Fantasy VII Remake review: buy it or not?

Midgar is the place where you went on vacation as a child with your grandparents, and where you finally return after a long time: you have grown and matured, and you look at it with different eyes. You will find inside fantasies of courage and strength, of love and science fiction, with just that queer touch. 

Are you a fan of the saga and have you played and loved the 1997 title? What are you waiting for, run to the shop! Is this the first time you've heard of it and want to get closer to the saga? Great, it's the right occasion.

It finally seems to have returned to the glories of the past. With some delay, an enjoyable, exciting, technically and graphically high-level title has arrived, which captures you and forces you not to leave it until you have reached the conclusion. You can't help but bond with the characters, their expressiveness and emotionality are overwhelming and realistic. You can't help but laugh, cry or dream with them. Certain small smudges can only be noticed by veterans of the saga, otherwise they pass quietly into the background. The real, big flaw is one and only one: we don't know when we will be able to return to Midgar again and continue with this fantastic story. 

  • Clean graphics
  • Characterization of characters
  • fluid fighting
  • Screen
  • Sometimes confusing shots
  • Esper management

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