Final Fantasy VII Remake Articles RSS Feed | Final Fantasy VII Remake RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Final Fantasy VII Remake Chapter 2 in Production Wed, 27 Nov 2019 13:02:27 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

The Final Fantasy VII Remake is coming up faster than a rampaging Chocobo. Set for a March 3, 2020, release date, we know Final Fantasy VII Remake is being split into chapters, but Square Enix has thus far kept silent about the progress on part two. 

However, we now know a bit more about the second chapter. 

Square Enix recently posted a set of interviews with the Final Fantasy VII Remake development team, and director Tetsuya Nomura mentioned work has already begun on chapter two.

Of course, how long the development on part two will take is another matter. Nomura mentioned the process of remaking Final Fantasy VII started once the team wrapped up Dirge of Cerberus. Though, he also said other projects, including the Final Fantasy XIII sub-series, took time and focus away from this overall goal.

What this goal is, Nomura was still secretive about, saying:

Opportunities for discussing our true intentions are few, but with regard to the size of the game that many are asking about  there’s no reason at all to worry.

Even in this Midgar portion alone, the density and volume are so great that I had to give directions to lighten them. 

Kazushige Nojima, one of the lead writers on Final Fantasy VII Remakes, commented a bit on the story design as well. Nojima said the original FFVII story allowed room for interpretation thanks to some of the cartoon-like methods and structures used, but the remake's story is much more straightforward.

While it might lack the interplay between narrative and user interpretation, Nojima mentioned the team is able to create a fuller and better-realized version of Cloud and his compatriots.

Co-Director Motomu Toriyama carried the idea further, saying new technology has allowed the team to develop characters and scenarios, like the (in)famous Honey-Bee Inn, in ways they initially intended.

The revamped battle system seemingly follows suit. A round of new screenshots shows an enhanced Materia system that lets you modify weapons to a greater extent, add more Materia slots, and learn abilities from using weapons.

The full set of interviews can be seen here.

Though the wait for March seems unbearable, you can fill the gap by watching the most recent Final Fantasy VII Remake footage. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news as it develops.

Final Fantasy VII Remake's Classic Mode Plays Similar to the Original Mon, 16 Sep 2019 10:46:12 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Final Fantasy VII Remake was shown off during an extended stage presentation at last week's Tokyo Game Show, and one of the features shown was Classic Mode.

Square Enix later summarized the mode's key features on Twitter, and that it lets players experience FFV7R in a way that feels most comfortable to them. Square Enix said of the mode:

...anyone playing #FinalFantasy VII Remake in Classic Mode does not have to worry about the action side of the combat system, and can instead focus on selecting commands, making it possible to play #FF7R as if it were a classic menu-based RPG!

In regular mode, the Active Time Battle (ATB) gauge fills when players land basic attacks; once full, players can then unleash special skills or use magic.

However, in Classic Mode, the game handles basic attacks on its own, so the ATB gauge fills automatically, sort of like it did in the original Final Fantasy VII. The player's main focus is then choosing commands from the menu.

The new FFVII Remake TGS trailer showed movement on the battlefield as an important part of the game's combat. Whether Classic Mode would also handle that movement and keep party members from hurting each other isn't certain, though.

This new mode was actually hinted at during E3 2019, when Square Enix said players could treat the game like a menu-based JRPG by pausing the action to choose their next move from a menu. While the game's first episode will only focus on Midgar, it certainly seems like it'll be packed full of features and gameplay variety to keep things interesting.

Final Fantasy VII Remake's New Trailer: Reno, Rude, Aerith's Dress, and Toads Wed, 11 Sep 2019 10:25:43 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

As promised yesterday, Square Enix dropped Final Fantasy VII Remake's Tokyo Game Show trailer this morning, and it showed off quite a bit of flash, along with some telling character inclusions.

Longtime Final Fantasy fans and those who played the other titles in the FFVII line, like Crisis Core, will immediately notice that Rude, and especially Reno, are getting much more time in the spotlight than they ever had in the original Final Fantasy VII.

Seeing as both played crucial roles in the spinoff titles, it seems Square Enix will be fleshing out FFVII Remake's story by building on events from those titles, which also likely means we can expect a much-expanded conflict between Avalanche and Shinra, too.

It looks like Square Enix also teased some expanded Golden Saucer and final date events, showing off Aerith in a brand-new outfit. Whether that holds true for everyone isn't certain, since Tifa still just gets her black tank-top.

Outside of that, we got a glimpse at some other important antagonists, but also at certain aspects of the battle system. It seems placement on the battefield will affect actions and reactions, with the trailer showing Aerith taking damage after an enemy chucks Cloud back into her.

Despite FFVII's famously darker setting and the remake's further emphasis on that darkness, it will still retain the series' trademark quirk as well. In the middle of a tense battle with bullets flying, Cloud gets hit by a magic blue puff of smoke and turns into a Toad for a while.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is set for a March 3, 2020 release date for PlayStation 4.

Square Enix Promises New Final Fantasy VII Remake Trailer for the Tokyo Game Show Tue, 10 Sep 2019 16:03:02 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

[Update: 9/10]: Square Enix recently updated the game's official website stating the new trailer will premier at 10 a.m. EDT/7 a.m. PDT on September 11.

Original story: 

After waiting for what seemed like an eternity for news about the Final Fantasy VII Remake, updates have been coming fast this year, with another new trailer on the way at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show.

Square Enix's Tetsuya Nomura — the game's designer — made the brief announcement on the FFVII Remake's official Twitter page.

How long the trailer will be is uncertain, though it's possible FFVIIR won't get as much time as it did during E3, since Square Enix also has quite a few other titles it'll be showing off during the expo.

Still, showing off new footage for the next Final Fantasy game is becoming something of a tradition at TGS. Final Fantasy XV's TGS trailer showed off several important story elements, among other things, so it's possible we'll get a glimpse at some of FFVIIR's new plot beats too.

Although at this point, anything shown off outside the Mako reactor fight would be something big. Despite an initial trailer earlier this year and a hefty E3 showing, we still haven't seen much the newly-spruced-up Midgard and its inhabitants.

GameSkinny Weekend Download: E3 Previews + Roundups, Bloodstained, Harry Potter, More Sat, 22 Jun 2019 09:00:01 -0400 GS_Staff

This week, we've got a ton of E3 coverage, ranging from hands-on previews of games like Final Fantasy VII Remake, Doom Eternal, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood, to roundups of every conference just in case you missed something. 

We've also got news on Gears 5 and FFVII Remake, as well as tons of guides on Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Hell Let Loose

Finally, we've got a handful of reviews for some of the latest games and gear. 

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy. It's the weekend. What else are you gonna' do? Play video games? 


  • Tetsuya Nomura Says FFVII Includes Modernized Honeybee Inn and Tifa
    Square Enix has an ethics department, Cloud will cross dress, and your dialogue choices matter. Nomura discusses these things and more in a new interview. Read more

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  • Mark Your Calendars: Every Release Date Announced at E3 2019
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  • The Outer Worlds E3 2019 Preview: Strange Worlds in Strange Times
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  • Contra: Rogue Corps E3 2019 Preview — An Altered Take on the Contra Experience
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  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order E3 2019 Preview
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  • Pokemon Sword & Shield E3 2019 Preview: The Biggest Gym Battles Ever Deserve Bigger Features
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  • The Legend of Zelda Link's Awakening E3 2019 Preview: Gameplay You Remember, New Visuals You Already Love
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  • Eldest Souls E3 2019 Preview: Praise the Boss Rush
    Fallen Flag Studios' upcoming boss-centric adventure, Eldest Souls, shone brightly at E3 2019. Read more

  • Doom Eternal E3 2019 Preview: Better And Bloodier Than Ever
    We played Doom Eternal at the Bethesda booth this year at E3 2019 and came away excited to spill more demon blood than ever before. Read more

  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood E3 2019 Preview — Co-Op Nazi Killing
    We played a co-op demo for Wolfenstein: Youngblood at E3 2019 and came away impressed with the speed of its cooperative gameplay. Read more

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution Interview with Producer Charles Murakami
    At E3 2019, we got to talk to the producer of the upcoming Nintendo Switch exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! game. Read more

  • New Horizons is The Best — and Only — Direction for Animal Crossing
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  • All Aboard the Death Boat in Phantom: Covert Ops, a Stealth-Action Kayaking Game in VR
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  • Cyberpunk 2077 E3 2019 Preview: The Future is Completely Customizable
    We saw Cyberpunk 2077 behind closed doors at E3 2019. Here's what we know. Read more

  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Hands-On Preview: Breaking Limits All Over Again
    We went hands-on with the Final Fantasy VII Remake at E3 2019 and can confirm that not only is it real, but it was a ton of fun. Read more

  • Zombie Army 4: Dead War E3 2019 Preview — More Zombies Than You Can Snipe At
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  • Square Enix E3 2019 Recap: FFVII Remake, Marvel's Avengers Just the Beginning
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Tetsuya Nomura Says FFVII Includes Modernized Honeybee Inn and Tifa Wed, 19 Jun 2019 10:26:20 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Final Fantasy VII Remake's director, Tetsuya Nomura, recently spoke with Famitsu magazine about the game and some aspects of it that were adapted for modern sensibilities. Gematsu translated key points of the interview.

As those familiar with the game would probably guess, the Honeybee Inn cross-dressing sequence was near the top of the list. FFVII Remake will include the Honeybee Inn, though certain aspects of it have been changed.

"We’ve made it more modern. If we made the facility like we did in the original game, the physical unease would be staggering, so that was no good…" Nomura said.

Nomura didn't give any hints about what exactly was changed or how.

Tifa Lockheart's character design was another topic of discussion. Her design in the original FFVII is somewhat infamous for its over-exaggerated proportions, proportions which essentially overshadowed other aspects of her physical depiction.

Not so with FFVII Remake. One of Tifa's features the team wanted to emphasize is her body type. Nomura said they gave her defined abs to help emphasize her athletic nature, and that emphasis helped make it easier to keep her signature outfit as well.

The Square Enix ethics department (and this is the first mention we've had that one even exists) also recommended her chest be tightened some, so as to not create "unnatural" situations during combat, hence the inclusion of a new undergarment to prevent problems during action sequences.

Tifa is also meant to be a deliberate foil for Aerith, with the former representing Eastern style and design, while the latter represents Western style.

The interview shifted gears and covered a few things longtime fans can expect that will help keep the game feeling fresh no matter how many times they've played the original. The May trailer showed mysterious black wisps circling Aeirth and Cloud, and Nomura named these entities the Watchmen of Fate; apparently, these beings will appear before the party no matter where they are.

New dialogue options and branching dialogue paths have been added to help give more weight to player choice. Whether these affect elements of the story isn't clear, but Nomura did say the team added several new scenarios to the game — hence the fact it takes up two Blu-Ray discs.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is set for a March 3, 2020 release. Those who didn't get a chance to experience the E3 demo of the game can check out our hands-on impressions to get an idea of what the game will offer.

For more on Final Fantasy VII Remake, see what Square needs to do to modernize the game's characters

Mark Your Calendars: Every Release Date Announced at E3 2019 Fri, 14 Jun 2019 14:32:51 -0400 Mark Delaney

At E3, it's not just about the games we can play. It's just as much about when we can play them. E3 2019 was no different.

With hundreds of games shown off on stage and at the show floor in Los Angeles, it can be dizzying to keep up with every launch window and specific release date announced at E3, so we've done the hard part for you.

Use our recap of every release date announced at E3 2019 to see just when you'll be calling in sick to work over the next several months. 

June 2019
  • The Last Remnant Remastered (Switch): June 10 
  • Collection of Mana (Switch): June 11
  • Contra Anniversary Collection (Switch): June 11
  • Cadence of Hyrule (Switch): June 13
July 2019
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (Switch): July 19
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC): July 16
August 2019
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC): August 6
  • Oninaki (Switch): August 22
  • Astral Chain (Switch): August 30
  • Blair Witch (Xbox One, PC): August 30
September 2019
  • Conan Chop Chop (Mobile): September 3
  • Gears of War 5 (Xbox One, PC): September 10
  • Daemon X Machina (Switch): September 13
  • Police Stories (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC): September 19
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch): September 20
  • Contras Rogue Corps (Switch): September 24
  • Code Vein: September 27th
  • Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Switch): September 27
  • FIFA 20 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch): September 27
October 2019
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) - October 4
  • The Outer Worlds (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) - October 25
November 2019
  • Death Stranding (PlayStation 4): November 8
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC): November 15
  • Doom Eternal (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia): November 22
Note: No New Dates Announced for December 2019 or January 2020
February 2020
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox One, PC): February 11
  • Gods and Monsters (PlayStation 4, Xbox One Switch, PC, Stadia): February 25
March 2020
  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake (PlayStation 4): March 3
  • Watch Dogs: Legion (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC): March 3
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch): March 20
April 2020
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC): April 16
May 2020
  • Marvel's Avengers (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia): May 15
Holiday 2020
  • Halo Infinite (Project Scarlett)
2020 (Unspecified)
  • Crossfire X (Xbox One)
  • Dragon Ball Kakarot (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
  • Dying Light 2 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
  • Tales of Arise (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

As you can expect, this calendar will be further filled in as months go on, but even right now, there's quite a range and number of major releases headed our way. Which games have you marking your calendar?

Be sure to check out our complete 2019 release calendar to see all of the games releasing this year. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake Hands-On Preview: Breaking Limits All Over Again Fri, 14 Jun 2019 08:51:41 -0400 David Jagneaux

My very first E3 was all the way back in 2015. At that event, Sony's press conference had a new trailer for The Last Guardian, announced Shenmue 3, and finally confirmed the existent of the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Now, four years later at my fifth E3, I actually got to play it.

And despite all that, I'm still not 100% sure I believe it's real.

Long Time Coming

Final Fantasy VII is often regarded as the best Final Fantasy game and even the best RPG of all-time. I'd take Final Fantasy IV over VII any day, but I know I'm in the minority with that opinion.

That being said, I can understand the excitement. It's rare that a game with such a storied history and massive following gets the chance at a revival. If you go back and play most PlayStation 1 games, such as Final Fantasy VII, they just don't hold up well at all. This remake is a chance for Square Enix to make it look like we remember it looking with our rose colored nostalgia glasses.

My demo for Final Fantasy VII was split into two parts inside the massive Square Enix booth in the South Hall at E3 2019. The first half took place in a waiting room, a bit like the kind you find for rides at Disneyland. We all gathered on benches and watched a video of Jessie explaining our mission and the game's controls. It's got a very different flow from the original's turn-based combat.

Gameplay in Final Fantasy VII Remake has a lot more in common with Kingdom Hearts than it does the first 10 mainline, turn-based Final Fantasy games. You freely move around the environment and can clearly see enemies in the world outside of combat. When combat starts, it seamlessly shifts to display prompts on-screen as your characters automatically face enemies. You're also free to move around the battle wherever you want.

Pressing "square" uses normal attacks, which build up the ATB gauge, and you can press "X"to enter a slow-motion mode where you can select either an Ability, Spell, or Item to use that will spend some of your built up ATB gauges. Cloud was all about up-close melee with his massive buster sword, obviously, while Barret could do sustained ranged damage with his gun arm. Switching between characters and issuing commands to keep their gauges full was a crucial part of every battle.

The Flow Of Combat

The E3 2019 demo was heavily focused on combat. It featured an early section of the game in which Cloud and Barret are dispatched to place a bomb inside a Shinra facility. I ran around on some metal platforms, opened up treasure chests by hitting "triangle" just like Sora would, and made my way down into the heart of the facility. 

Since you need to pause the action to issue any command other than dodge rolling or doing a normal attack, the fluidity of combat is interrupted a lot. It's a bit jarring since you're encouraged to use abilities often those ATB gauges don't carry over between battles. It would be nice if there was a way to map a go-to ability for quick access or something like that instead of needing to pause battles every single time. 

I also found it a bit annoying that the camera didn't automatically lock onto enemies, unless I was missing a control option. I found that Cloud and Barret would target enemies with attacks no problem, but the camera didn't always face enemies and there was no option to automatically re-center it other than just using the right stick. Trying to move with the left stick, attack and dodge with the face buttons, and move the camera all at the same time was a bit cumbersome. 

Scorpion Boss Fight

This brief Final Fantasy VII Remake demo ended with the iconic Shinra scorpion boss right. I (thankfully) didn't have much trouble here, but the battle took much longer than any of the non-boss encounters from before. Not only did I need to ensure I kept dealing damage to build up my ATB gauges, but I also needed to build up the boss' stagger meter as well, similar to in Final Fantasy XIII.

Switching between characters was quick and easy, just tapping up or down on the d-pad. The boss was a straightforward fight consisting of just brute force until it raised a shield, then targeting the shield, and dodging its big attacks. Nothing too complicated, but certainly some extra layers as compared to the original turn-based version of the game.

It should be interesting to see how different more advanced enemies, such as Sephiroth, will be on the battlefield when they're not forced to take turns while attacking.

Once I staggered a boss I could do even more damage, which was always a great time to use powerful abilities. And as you take damage in combat you'll build up your Limit meter, which lets you use an extremely powerful Limit Break attack once full. Finishing off the boss with a massive blast from Barret's arm canon was the highlight of the demo for me.


Final Fantasy VII Remake

I had a blast playing Final Fantasy VII Remake at E3 2019. Visually, it's a staggering technical achievement and despite my initial concerns, the gameplay translates to a more action-focused format extremely well.

During its E3 2019 press conference, Square Enix announced that the Final Fantasy VII Remake will hit PlayStation 4 on March 3, 2020. This release is expected to only contain the first part of the Remake since it will be an episodic series this time.

For more E3 coverage, check the links below: 

Final Fantasy VII Remake Finally Has a Release Date — For Next Year Mon, 10 Jun 2019 16:01:46 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Square Enix announced the Final Fantasy VII Remake release date ahead of its E3 2019 press conference, during the ill-fated Symphonic Reunion concert.

The game is set to launch on PlayStation 4 March 3, 2020. Interestingly, the trailer doesn't say if the entire game is going to be available then or just the first part.

However, after the May episode of Sony's State of Play series, Square Enix did say the game is still episodic in nature. That would explain why, as of now, we've only been given glimpses of Midgar city and nothing else in the surrounding world.

Square Enix released a brief new trailer showcasing more of the city and the game's combat too, which can be seen above. The focus is entirely on the game's opening scenes.

Most of the action centers on Avalanche targeting one of the city's Mako reactors in an attempt to cripple Shinra Corporation, though there are hints of the game's broader plot when we get a short glimpse of what happens after the iconic scene where Aerith gives Cloud a flower.

Naturally, FFVII remake is still action-based, in a complete 180-flip from its turn-based RPG roots. The trailer shows off the combat's fluid movement and some of Cloud's unique abilities as well.

Based on the status bars' position at different points in the trailer, it appears players will choose which character they control at a given time. As one would expect — each character will have a vastly different playstyle, though the trailer doesn't show off any of the AI or characters fighting together. Hopefully, that's something Square Enix will address during their E3 conference.

Outside the trailer, SE also dropped a new official image of Sephiroth standing above a raging fire with Midgar looming up in the background. It won't take much guesswork for the uninitiated to figure out yeah, he's the villain of the piece.

If March 3, 2020 seems too far away, don't forget the soundtrack for almost every Final Fantasy game can now be streamed online; listening to them all won't last until March, but it's a start.

Sony May 9 State of Play Recap: FFVII Remake, MediEvil, and More Thu, 09 May 2019 18:30:45 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Sony's latest episode of its new broadcast series State of Play aired today and offered a brief look at some upcoming PlayStation 4 games, including the highly anticipated — and long delayed — Final Fantasy VII Remake.

The episode didn't provide much new information about FFVII Remake, which, unlike the recent Resident Evil 2 remake, actually has "Remake" in the title. However, it did present a new trailer for the game, showing off some of the highly realistic CG scenes that blend seamlessly into combat. We've got the new FFVII Remake trailer below.

More information will be shared about the game in June, presumably at E3.

The episode's other big highlight, as expected, was the MediEvil remake. Sony offered a lengthy look at the game's lush visuals, an overview of the story, and some gameplay, showing Sir Fortesque still has some meat left on those old bones — sort of.

MediEvil is set to release October 25.

The May State of Play episode revealed some new upcoming PlayStation 4 games as well. One of them is Riverbond, a multiplayer dungeon crawling adventure with emphasis on destroying anything and everything on screen.

It's described as a 4-player couch co-op game, and it also features crossovers from several other franchises in the form of character skins. These include Shovel Knight (from, you guessed it, Shovel Knight), a cameo from Enter the Gungeon, and the hero of Guacamelee, among others.

Two new titles that didn't get much mention are Predator: Hunting Grounds and Away: The Survival Series. The former is a multiplayer shooter developed by Illfonic and Fox Studios.

The latter places players in the fur of what looks like a flying squirrel with badger somewhere in the family tree. Players are tasked with navigating a world beset with natural disasters and enemies around every corner.

There's a new limited edition PlayStation 4 in the works as well, tying in with Sony's Days of Play campaign. More information about that will be released in June as well.


This month's episode might have been short, but it certainly shows the PlayStation 4 has a lot of life in it yet, despite Sony's next-gen console being in the works.

Prepare Yourselves Final Fantasy VII News Is On The Way Wed, 19 Dec 2018 11:41:14 -0500 QuintLyn

Now that Kingdom Hearts 3 is almost here, Square Enix is reportedly hopping back on the Final Fantasy 7 Remake PR train. And for those who have been patiently waiting since forever, it's a good sign that things are (hopefully) right on schedule for the anticipated title. 

With the dearth of news regarding the title over the past several months, many have speculated that the game may have been canceled -- or at least put on the development back burner until KH3 was finished.

But as it turns out, Square Enix was only focused on PR for KH3. FF7's developers have been right where they belong -- hard at work on the remake all this time.

According to, Square is now ready to shift its PR efforts back to the Final Fantasy title, and that means we'll be getting more news soon. In fact, the game's director and producer, Tetsuya Nomura and Yoshinori Kitase respectively, have reportedly been dropping teasers about the game on Hokanko (as of this writing we were not able to verify reports as we were not able to access the site). 

Per, Kitase has said that "development on Final Fantasy 7 Remake is progressing smoothly."

Of course, as new announcements regarding the Final Fantasy 7 remake roll out, we'll be here to cover them.

Final Fantasy VII Remake: Modernizing a Cast of Classic Characters Tue, 11 Jun 2019 10:07:19 -0400 John Schutt

The Final Fantasy VII Remake is officially on the calendar, and Square Enix has a huge task ahead of it: build and improve upon what many people consider to be the greatest game ever made.

It’s a herculean task, and there may not be any real right answer to everything everyone wants. That said, I’d like to talk about three areas where the Remake can and should take Final Fantasy VII: character, world, and story.

And because there’s a lot of ground to cover, this article is all about the characters we’ve seen so far, including those we saw at Square's E3 conference

Following articles will cover world and story separately.

Character: The Heart of Any RPG

So far, we’ve met some of the core members of the cast: Cloud, Barret, Aerith, and finally Tifa. The relationship between Cloud and the two other women is in many ways the heart and soul of the game, counterpointed somewhat by his growing friendship with the big guy with the gun arm.

The most important task for the writers of Final Fantasy VII Remake is to not only build on these characters but still stay true to their roots. Let’s look at each in turn, starting with Cloud.

Cloud Strife: SOLDIER, Leader, Damaged

Cloud is one of the most complex characters in classic JRPG history. He is a walking mass of conflictions, discordant memories, and competing desires. He wants to love and he wants revenge. He seeks a future without regard to the past, while at the same time being defined by it. If I contradict myself it is only because Cloud contradicts himself constantly.

For those of you who never played Final Fantasy VII, I won’t spoil some of the most poignant and powerful moments from the original game, but I will explain some of the building blocks Square Enix will have to use as a foundation for this first foray into Midgar.

The Cloud we meet at the beginning of Final Fantasy VII is sure of himself, somewhat distant, and generally apathetic of the plights of people around him. To those people who matter to him, he can be caring, understanding, and even warm. Still, there are pieces of himself he cannot properly categorize, and in attempting to save others from worry, hides these pieces deep in his heart.

To stave off any concern, he puts on a brave face, wrapping himself in the guise of a warrior willing to take almost any job for the right price.

As the story unfolds, we get to also see the more playful side of this young man as the women in his life work to open him up — either romantically or otherwise. When he’s free to be himself, Cloud can be silly and dopey, with a dry but ready wit and a kind heart. He’s good at many things but great at very few, and though aware of his shortcomings is loathe to let others see them.

The Remake needs to capture this Cloud, and there are two core tenants of his character they must maintain. They are:

1. He Finds his Own Purpose 

Or at least thinks he does.

Cloud, in the Remake, must remain a driven individual who’s willing to chart his own path without hesitation. He must be willing to entertain other people’s points of view and experiment with new things, but ultimately, he must believe his will to be his own. More than that, we need to come to understand that, even before he leaves Midgar at the end of this first game, that he carries a much greater weight on his shoulders than he lets anyone else know about.

Whether it’s through interactions with Sephiroth like we see in the trailer or through various glitches in memory that seem out of place to us but normal for Cloud, the Remake has to give us the impression that even after 30 hours, we only know a little bit of his story.

2. He is Capable of Great Things

Though not chosen by destiny, per se, the Remake needs to make clear that there is some greater purpose to everything Cloud does. He isn’t in the mercenary business to save the world, but we need to see events swirl around him in such a way that his natural instincts push him in that direction.

Primarily, we need to see his caring and selfless nature, but also his stubbornness and uncertainty in the face of things he doesn’t quite understand. Ultimately, we need to see that the Cloud of the Remake is sure and unsure of himself in equal measure, but that the former wins out more often than not.

Tifa Lockhart — Old Friend, Powerful Ally, Heart

No less conflicted than her childhood friend, Tifa is nonetheless the emotional center of Final Fantasy VII.

Before anyone else comes along, she shows that Cloud’s tough-guy routine isn’t fooling anyone, and that she remembers the warm, hopeful boy of their shared past. She understands the sacrifices she’s had to make, and the blood on her hands. However, she also wants to rediscover the person she’s not seen in five years, a boy turned young man she’s wondered about as she built a life in the slums of an enormous city.

The Remake trailer shows us this exact young woman, who’s shy, uncertain of the path forward but willing to see it through. We also see someone with real power who’s willing to let her fists do the talking when the moment calls for it. We also see a little bit of how she and Cloud interact, how they share their worries and their cares, if only because they come from the same place but have taken different journeys to get there.

In the original game, we learn how Tifa’s road to her Seventh Heaven bar is fraught with many dangers, but that she faced them eagerly for the chance to make the kind of difference she couldn’t years before. We learn that somewhere in her is the kind of strength found in the greatest heroes, but that it’s so tightly bound in doubt and anxiety she finds it difficult to call upon in dire moments.

And while I was impressed with how true Tifa’s character seemed in what little we saw of her in the Remake trailer, I think there are a couple of incredibly important points that Square Enix needs to hit if Tifa is to have the emotional resonance she deserves. They are:

1. Strength of More than Just a Fist

Though she’s shy and has difficulty expressing her true feelings, Tifa is an incredibly strong person, with the intent and will to accomplish almost anything. She can channel this power through her fists, of course, but her real potential is in the comfort and strength she can provide to the people around her.

Even if she isn’t feeling particularly together herself, Tifa in the Remake needs to go out of her way to ensure that those around her are ready and able to get their own jobs done and come home happy at the end of the day.

2. A Willingness to Sacrifice

In the Remake, Tifa should be willing to lay down everything for what she believes in, especially as it involves the people she cares about most. She is a loving person by nature, but she needs to have the will and the strength to put her foot down — especially to Cloud — so their mission ends in success.

Tifa also needs to sometimes wear her burdens visibly on her shoulders but be unwilling or unable to fully voice them, primarily so other people can understand that they are not the only ones with baggage  and that she’s there for them even under that immense emotional weight.

Aerith Gainsborough — Slum Girl, Savior, Mischief Maker

The Remake trailer doesn't paint Aerith in the same light we see her in for most of the original game. In Final Fantasy VII, Aerith is strong-willed, stubborn, sometimes fearless, sometimes frail, and somewhat mischevious. What she believes is, for her at least, what is. She’s able to read someone in just a few moments.

She’s also caring, kind-hearted, and generally open-minded about most things.

Buried beneath all that, however, is a deep-seated reservation about who and what she is. Hounded by ShinRa for her bloodline and its abilities, and accosted on all sides by the voices of the Planet and of the dead, Aerith understands that fate probably has something great in store for her, and that she is to play a vital role in some calamitous event.

In some ways, her burden is greater than almost any other character, and the flirting, snarking, and general forwardness are as much a cover for her own insecurities as they are a natural part of her personality.

The Remake needs to not abandon any of these important aspects of Aerith’s character. She get in the way, be nosy, accept everyone for who they are, and still be competent enough to feel like she can finish the jobs put before her.

If I could boil down Square’s tasks for Aerith in the Remake, they would be as follows:

1. A Plucky Girl From Far Beyond the Slums

Growing up in the slums of Sector 6, Aerith is no stranger to conflict, poverty, or hardship. Though her mother’s home is something of a secluded paradise in a grimy group of huts, she nonetheless lived a life filled with difficulties. ShinRa and her abilities notwithstanding.

We need to see how her experiences have both hardened her to the difficulties Cloud and co. face, but also how those made her empathetic to their struggles. More than that, we need to see even more about how her knowledge of her true nature plays into her interactions with those she’s closest to.

Does she confide more in Cloud than in the original game, and what would that knowledge spark in him if he discovers it, burdened as he is by Sephiroth?

2. Making Some Mischief

Aerith is incredibly perceptive, and no doubt sees the attraction Tifa feels for Cloud, regardless of the circumstances of their first meeting. Trouble is, she doesn't really care and goes a little out of her way to flirt and tempt Cloud when the chances arise.

It’s something Tifa — shy and uncertain as she is — finds incredibly vexing, and in the Remake, there’s plenty of additional space to explore the love triangle.

Of course, I would be remiss not to mention the cross-dressing scene and the pivotal role Aerith plays there. I mean, it was her idea for Cloud to dress up, and she takes no small delight in making sure everything goes perfectly.

If we don’t see that side of Aerith, I think Square’s done her a great disservice.

Barret Wallace — Terrorist, Hero, Father

One of the first things we learn about Barret, both in the original Final Fantasy VII and the trailer we recently watched, is that he believes in what he does, even as it costs thousands of people their lives.

As the leader of the AVALANCHE guerilla group — really a small band of ecoterrorists at this point — he will go to any lengths to see both ShinRa removed from power and the threat they pose to the planet eliminated.

He is also a caring father and someone who carries the weight of those deaths on his shoulders. Not proudly, per se, but as a burden he’s more than willing to bear for future generations. We get a glimpse of his relationship with his daughter Marlene in the trailer, and it’s clear that she means the world to him. The feeling is mutual, as it was in the first game.

From what we saw of Barret in the Remake trailer, there are a few things Square must continue to push forward on if they want to recreate Barret as both true to himself and true to what modern gamers expect out of a character.

1. Tough Guy with a Gooey Center

Barret’s character arc in the original Final Fantasy VII, boiled down to its essentials, is his coming to terms with the fact that what he wants and what he can do are two separate things. He must realize that he is ultimately too small, too vulnerable — even beneath his tough guy veneer — to make the kind of change he truly desires.

More than that, he has to discover that what really matters to him and what he thought mattered to him are also completely separate things. At the end of the day, we as players need to see Barret’s softer side come out, even as he puts on a brave face for everyone around him.

2. He’s Conflicted

Early in Final Fantasy VII, Barret and Cloud argue about the cause the former SOLDIER is being paid to fight for: saving the Planet. At some point in the conversation, Barret exclaims, “The Planet’s dyin’, Cloud!” The line, though only text, betrays something key about Barret’s character: he too sometimes doubts the inspirational speeches he tells his people about their mission.

In the Remake, we need to see Barret’s veneer crack, probably from some snappy wit or apathetic aside from Cloud. As the party grows in size and new people shine new perspectives on Barret’s worldview, it’s my hope that his Remake incarnation has moments of deeper reflection that we get to be a part of and that we can use to learn alongside him.


While I hope these beloved characters grow, and Square explores them deeper in the Remake, we still have time to analyze, ponder, and find out. The Final Fantasy VII Remake is set to launch March 3, 2020. 

Be sure to check out our other Remake articles as well:

Final Fantasy VII Remake: Dealing with Loss and Death Tue, 09 Jul 2019 11:00:01 -0400 John Schutt

Editor's note: If you've somehow not played Final Fantasy VII, be aware there are major spoilers in this article. Proceed with caution. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake is on its way, and with it will come a whole new generation of players who've never experienced one of the seminal titles in the long-running series. Positioned to be more than just a by-the-numbers rehashing, Remake aims to reimagine, update, and expand on the already massive Final Fantasy VII.

From its combat systems to its narrative, lore, and overall philosophy, nothing will be left to chance in Remake. And despite its genre-defying story beats and deep worldbuilding, one of Final Fantasy VII's most powerful aspects was the way it dealt with death.

There were plenty of big moments — Aerith, the Nibelheim flashback, the final cutscene with the Lifestream and Meteor — but the truly impactful moments were often subtle or hidden away; some only took up a tiny portion of our playtime. Remake has the opportunity to bring us more small moments and to flesh out those that already play a valuable part, especially coming in such a large package

I want to talk about two of these smaller moments and what Remake could do with them. These are the interaction between Dyne and Barret and the death of Tifa’s mother.

Dyne and Barret: The Crushing Weight of Loss

We don’t know much about Dyne beyond that he was Barret’s best friend, wanted to stand up for the ways of his people, and, like Barret, lost everything in the ShinRa attack that destroyed their home.

The difference here is in how the two characters coped with the unimaginable loss of all they had ever known.

Barret returned to the ruins of his hometown to salvage whatever he could of his past before fleeing half-way across Midgar. He found a new purpose in Dyne’s daughter, Marlene, and for her sake, he desired to create a better world — from the ashes of the old, if necessary.

Dyne fell, both physically and metaphorically, into a pit from which he would never truly return. He assumed that everything and everyone he’d ever known or loved was dead. Filled with hatred for both the people who wouldn’t believe him and the ShinRa who deceived them, Dyne wanted to create a different world as well.

However, because he believed his loss to be total, Dyne desired a world in flames, burning with the same rage he would carry for years.

Barret, despite the failings of his past, could nonetheless see a path forward for both himself and those he cared about. He saw it with such clarity, and chased it with such ferocity, that he was willing to put his morals aside if it meant no one would ever have to experience what he had. Though he’d lost his wife and child in the blaze, and even though he knew Marlene was not his by blood, Barret found it impossible to not move forward. To do so would forfeit what little of himself he had left after the ShinRa attack.

Dyne only saw the past, and the visions of hell it continually showed him were the only things keeping him alive. The future, he reasoned, could only be reached if everyone lived in the same pain he did. What purpose was there to living if you could lose everything in just a few moments?

Dyne decided that the future didn’t matter if the past refused to die.

When they finally met again, the boss fight between them was more than just combat: it was a clash of philosophies. It was a clash of hope and hopelessness. Both men, who’d done horrible things in pursuit of their dreams, could not see eye to eye in the face of their shared loss.

There are many ways the Remake can expand upon this relationship, but I think the most valuable would be Barret returning to Corel and finding Marlene while expanding the conversation between Dyne and Barret during their battle.

Much of Barret’s motivation is implied in the original game. While there’s a strength to that method of storytelling, I think seeing what he saw firsthand and controlling him as he fights his way back to Corel to sift through the ashes could have an incredible impact.

Experiencing his hopelessness through gameplay, and seeing with our own eyes how he found a new path through a tiny remnant of his old life, could be a moment well-worthy of the source material.

The Dyne fight in the Desert Prison is somewhat anticlimactic in the 1997 version, and though difficult enough, it doesn’t give either character a chance to explore the pent up emotions both men have contained within themselves for almost five years.

I’m sure both of them have plenty more to say to one another than the few words they exchange in the older title. Such an expanded fight would also give players a chance to see what kind of fighting style a man without hope would use against the man who robbed him of it.

How cruel would Dyne be, and how ferociously would Barret fight back to try and convince his former friend to understand?

We’ll have to wait for the Remake to find out. Hopefully. 

Tifa and Cloud: Loss that Pushes Away and Binds Together

Cloud and Tifa were neighbors growing up. Tifa was in her small mansion, Cloud was in a humble three-room house. We only know of Cloud’s mother, but we know more of Tifa, who lived happily with both of her parents for 14 years.

Cloud pined after Tifa for a long time, and though the two were not close, she did know of him. Then one day, Tifa’s mother fell ill, and after her death, Tifa tried to cross the local mountain to find her again, only to fall and gravely injure herself.

Cloud had followed Tifa longer than any of the other boys, determined not only to protect the girl he liked but become something more in her eyes. His failure would define the next seven years of his life.

The two would grow closer, but the specter of Tifa’s loss would continue to define their relationship. For her part, Tifa could never bring herself to accept Cloud as more than a close friend. It would be years before she learned of Cloud following her up the mountain or of his young longing.

While not emotionally stunted by her mother’s death, in the five years between it and Cloud leaving to join SOLDIER, she found it hard to bring herself to open up to anyone.

More than this, because Tifa’s father blamed Cloud for her accident on the mountain, it’s likely that she was either forbidden or strongly cautioned against getting to know him more than so much.

For his part, Cloud never forgot how he’d tried and failed to protect the one he cared for most, and would eventually dedicate himself to overcoming his own weaknesses — mostly to show her that he was worthy of her affection and praise. That he would fail to join SOLDIER, as he’d vowed to one night under a starry sky, would forever fill him with shame.

After leaving home to prove to both Tifa and himself that he was more than just a boy from a small town, the distance she felt between herself and Cloud faded, and she began to dream of what he might become.

In the Remake, I think we need to actually see Tifa’s mother and discover what kind of impact she no doubt had on her daughter’s childhood. What messages did she leave for Tifa, what promises, admonitions, and disdains? All we see in the original game is Tifa’s reaction to her mother’s death, but the last things we hear, see, or do with a person before they’re suddenly gone can determine decades of our lives.

She doesn’t need to play a big part, at least in the initial scene we see at the well. But I think she should be present even then, because hearing her call out to Tifa or scold Cloud for keeping Tifa out too late, would give us a good idea about what kind of person she was to both characters.

I won’t go so far as to say we want to have additional scenes in the past than exist in the original story, but there should certainly be some mention of Tifa’s mother during the Nibelheim scene. We might get some foreshadowing for the full reveal much later in the story, and maybe start to see, even then, how her death helped define Tifa’s burgeoning love for the man she almost didn’t know.


Death is the only certainty in life, and it, therefore, it helps define everything we as humans do with our lives and the lives of those we affect. Final Fantasy VII makes a laudable attempt — successful, I believe — to quantify and qualify how different people deal with mortality.

Stories like those we've discussed are valuable not only because they're well written and deal with situations we might know in our own lives, but also because they can help us cope with grief in new ways. Failing that, they can provide us with perspective, especially in retrospect, about how people like us — with flaws, desires, and pasts burdened with guilt or regret —approach those parts of life touched by death. 

As I've reflected on Final Fantasy VII for this article, I've come to a new appreciation for how much it can do to calm the psyche of someone wracked with sorrow, and the hope it can provide to those struggling with grief. Stories like Barret's, about those who've lost so much but found new ways to forge ahead despite their suffering. Stories like Tifa's, who almost missed the one thing that really mattered because all they could see was their pain.

It's characters and situations like these that teach us as players that our own struggles are not necessarily unique even as they differ from those of everyone around us. And even though Final Fantasy VII and its Remake are works of fiction, it is often through such mediums that we come to understand ourselves on a deeper level. 

In short, we can use games like Final Fantasy VII as clear reflections of our own reality, even though its world is filled with magic, monsters, and other fantasy trappings. Its people are still people and they are just as fragile and conflicted as any we might find on the street. And like us, their relationship with death is complex, nuanced, and helps make them who they are.

Development Changes in the Works for Final Fantasy 7 Remake Tue, 30 May 2017 09:21:19 -0400 Farrel Nobel

During a recent Square Enix livestream event, it was revealed that the remake of Final Fantasy 7 will no longer be developed by CyberConnect2 but instead moved in-house and developed by a team at Square. 

At the Mobius Final Fantasy livestream, it was revealed that the project lead for Mobius Final Fantasy,  Naoki Hamaguchi, will be taking a lead role in the development side of Final Fantasy 7. Furthermore, Hamaguchi expressed that he will not leave the Mobius team.

The rationale behind the decision centered around Square emphasizing a stable production schedule, as well as having complete control over the vision and direction of the FF7 Remake. Hamaguchi said: 

I’ve taken over the development side of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Up until now, development has progressed by receiving external collaboration, but from here on out, with production and quality in mind, we’re shifting to our in-house organization. This company decision was made wanting to control quality as well as keeping the schedule stable.

Although a trailer for the FF7 Remake was released in 2015 and new screenshots of the game were released earlier this year, Square has note yet revealed a release date for the game. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more updates. 

Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake to be Released in "The Next 3 Years or So" Fri, 26 May 2017 17:48:04 -0400 Erroll Maas

According to Square Enix's Financial Results Briefing Session -- which was presented by company President and Representative Director, Yosuke Matsuda, and Chief Financial Officer, Kazuharu Watanabe -- the Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts 3 will release sometime in the fiscal year of March 2018 or later.

“This slide shows our release lineup for FY2017/3 as well as for FY2018/3 and beyond. We plan to launch each of these upcoming titles in the next three years or so.”

-- Square Enix

This statement doesn't necessarily mean that it will take 3 years or more for both games to release, as it could be more of a general estimate than a set window. Fans have to remember that the Final Fantasy 7 remake will be episodic -- with each episode being the length of a full game. And whether this is how long it will take to make all the episodes or just the first one has not yet been clarified.

It's been rumored that a new Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer is coming this year, and many are expecting that it may make an appearance at Sony's E3 press conference. This year marks the franchise's 15th anniversary -- which has fans speculating that it's the perfect time to tease something about this highly anticipated entry in the series. 

Players could still expect Kingdom Hearts 3 to release sometime in fiscal year 2018 at the earliest. But for FF7, Tetsuya Nomura has claimed that Square Enix is currently in the process of recruiting more people for its development.

Kingdom Hearts III was originally in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the Xbox One version has yet to be reconfirmed. The Final Fantasy VII Remake is in development exclusively for PlayStation 4.

Stay tuned in to GameSkinny for more updates and information on these two games, whenever they finally get closer to release.

Here's What's Really Going On with the FF7 Remake's Release Schedule Thu, 18 May 2017 10:19:53 -0400 Craig Snyder

Final Fantasy VII -- the name alone is enough to send nostalgia chills up many 20-something gamer's spines. It's regarded as one of the best games of all time, and has had fans begging for a remake or sequel more than Half-Life 3. This game is in the same class as greats like Chrono Trigger and EarthBound, and its legacy has continued living on past gamers in their 20s through re-releases of the title.

Then, Square Enix did it. They promised us a remake. It's been years since then, and now what? A simple Google search on the subject returns pages of confusing and conflicting information. What's going on? Is it still in the works? What consoles is it being released on? You're going to get dozens of different answers from dozens of different sources if you spend five minutes searching for yourself. So I'm here to answer all of those questions for you. Let's go through this chronologically.

Final Fantasy VII Remake - First Announcement

During E3 2015, on June 15th, this trailer was dropped:

This left the Internet buzzing. True fans of the classic title were in disbelief 30 seconds in as they began piecing together the puzzle and realizing what was about to be announced. It's shown that it'll be available "first" for the PlayStation 4, but no release date was hinted.

Almost two years and no huge updates later, that really leaves us wondering about the timed exclusivity of the release on the PS4. With no other consoles confirmed, we have to assume that Square Enix wants to do this properly and release it on other major platforms like Xbox One and PC. However, no one knows how long it'll be exclusive on the PS4 for, and Square Enix seems to think it'll strengthen their base by releasing this game later in the lifespan of the console. That's probably why its been slated for release after Kingdom Hearts 3 (which really gives us no information at all).

So, to answer what platforms it'll be released on: it was announced to be on the PS4, and it'll come to that first -- but other than that we aren't really sure yet. Square Enix hasn't put out any clarifying information.

Final Fantasy VII Remake - Slow Progress in 2016

Although we learned a lot more about the game last year, we didn't really learn anything about its release. Here are some of the details of the game that we were confirmed:

Here's a bit of real gameplay footage of that battle system from PSX:

That's cool and all, but what about the release date? Well, 2016 is when the doubt really started settling in. We went through 2016 with the expectation that the FF7 remake was set for 2017. It's 2017 now...and still no news. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake - Disappointing News in 2017

This year, we learned that we're going to be waiting for what could be a very long time. In February, we learned from Famitsu that production of the game has not even started. That's right: the game that was teased at E3 2015, two years ago, still has yet to even begin production. This began to stir up talks of a delay to next-gen consoles. As aforementioned, it's supposed to be coming to the PS4 before any other console, but will it? We don't know. We might be looking at an FF7 remake on the PlayStation 5.

Months later, we began to gain confidence in Famitsu's report when Square Enix released this investors document. The most disappointing news so far lies within.

This confirms that the Final Fantasy VII Remake (as it's still being called) will not be released in 2017. The scary part is that it doesn't even confirm that it's scheduled for release in 2018. It's simply set for 2018 "and beyond". Well, that's more upsetting than hearing that the Honey Bee Inn is going to be "toned down" in the remake…

Going even deeper, Kingdom Hearts 3 sits under the same status as the FF7 remake. That's bad news, because Final Fantasy VII Remake isn't supposed to be released until after that game. On May 17th, though, we at least got word that Kingdom Hearts 3 will be making an appearance at E3 2017. That's beginning to make people wonder if they'll finally drop the bomb and promise its release in 2018. If not, then we'll know for sure that the Final Fantasy VII Remake is a really long way off.


Ever since E3 2015, there have been no substantial details about the Final Fantasy VII Remake release date. Many factors have caused people to speculate that it may even be pushed to a next-gen consoles (rather than the PS4, as originally promised).

The most significant news we've received came recently, when Square Enix released an investment document labeling Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts 3 as set for "2018 and beyond." The FF7 remake will not be released until after Kingdom Hearts 3, so we're waiting on more news regarding that before we make our next benchmark.

If you've got any questions or would like to talk about the release of this game, leave me a comment below!

New Screenhots of Final Fantasy VII's Remake Show Off First Boss Fight Sat, 18 Feb 2017 15:15:54 -0500 Justin Michael

Being the first Final Fantasy game that I played, Final Fantasy VII  had a lot of memorable moments for me. One of those moments was fighting the giant tank scorpion guarding the Sector 1 Mako Reactor. That looked something like this, for perspective:

Not the most impressive sight given the technology of today, but this was some great stuff for the time. So, when game director Tetsuya Nomura released the following image of the boss fight at Magic Monaco 2017, I'm sure that a lot of people got excited:

It's a lot to take in initially, but this simple picture shows us a lot about what we can expect from the remake of Final Fantasy VII. The lighting and visual effects for the fight are spectacular, the battleground is heavily detailed, and the combat system looks like it got quite the facelift -- if not a massive overhaul. It also looks like Magic is being tracked differently from Materia, which is something I'd like to know more about.

Sadly, this picture and one more were all that were offered up, even though Nomura wanted to show off more in the form of a video of the game. However, he was talked out of it by other members of the development team. 

Hopefully, we'll know more in the near future for this much-anticipated remake of one of the most iconic PlayStation games in the world. The Final Fantasy VII Remake is in development to be released on the PlayStation 4. 

Has the Evolution of the JRPG Come to a Grinding Halt? Fri, 10 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Bryant Pereira

The JRPG genre is one that is fueled by nostalgia, and most fondly regarded through older titles like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 7. Once remembered as the dominant, most progressive type of game, the genre has seen better days in terms of sales and popularity.

The past two home console generations have seen a much smaller number of AAA games in the JRPG genre than previous ones, as it has mostly shifted towards the handheld market.

Ask nearly any JRPG fan what their favorite game is, and you will almost always garner an answer from before 2006. The last generation saw a few successful hits like Final Fantasy XIII, Tales of Vesperia, and Xenoblade Chronicles, but other than that the PS3/360/Wii era saw very few JRPGs. While Final Fantasy XIII evolved the formula the most, it was met with backlash from the community and mixed reviews due to linearity. Tales of Vesperia received stellar reception but followed many of the standard JRPG tropes found in previous entries in the series.

While JRPGs were stumbling to make an impact on the home console scene, the handheld market was a thriving ecosystem for those types of games. Bravely Default mixed classic JRPG elements like job classes and random encounters with a brand new battle system and engrossing story. Etrian Odyssey 4 was the best-selling game in the series, despite playing very similarly to previous entries in the series. The 3DS and Vita show that interest in old-school JRPG titles is thriving, and the low-cost for developing on these systems makes it the best environment to do so.

Some console games, like I Am Setsuna and Tales of Berseria, exemplify JRPG gameplay are still in high demand, but that doesn't mean there's no room for advancement. Final Fantasy XV is the best example of a rooted franchise expanding past what it’s known for. A pioneer of JRPG gameplay, the Final Fantasy series continues to break the mold and redefine the genre. Just like Final Fantasy VII did in 1997 with its jump into 3D and introducing the Materia system, Final Fantasy XV changes the way JRPGs are meant to be played. The game mixes action RPG elements along with deep character progression through skills and experience. The game also pushes Square Enix’s reputation of bringing cutting edge graphics to the next level, with stunning character models and a vast detailed world.

Other than a few key titles here and there, the JRPG formula remains mostly untouched. Protagonists are still mysteriously being struck by amnesia, a huge world-ending twist is almost guaranteed in these games, and grinding continues to be hugely prominent. JRPG developers could take a lot of cues from western RPG games like The Witcher 3 and Mass Effect that are booming right now. These western RPG games generally have more open-ended stories, impactful decisions, and thriving living worlds.

Luckily, JRPG games are by no means doomed. The handheld market keeps the market alive, and with huge games like Persona 5, NieR: Automata and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 coming out, there are many opportunities to evolve the genre. The original Xenoblade Chronicles showed that JRPGs don’t have to follow a specific formula to be successful. The Wii game has no random battles, a completely unique combat system that mixes real-time with MMO-style commands, and a completely non-linear explorable world. The game was adored by JRPG fans along with people who don’t normally play those games.

Games like I Am Setsuna and the recently announced Octopath Traveler emphasize the demand for SNES-era JRPG games. Nostalgia has proven time and time again that it sells, and developers like Square Enix will continue to release remasters and remakes of games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy as long as they keep printing money. However, the JRPG genre is not completely trapped in the 90’s. As developers see success through games like Xenoblade Chronicles and Final Fantasy XV, they will continue to evolve to meet customer expectations. Money talks -- and as long as developers are profiting from ambitious titles like the upcoming NieR: Automata and Persona 5, the genre can prosper with new ideas and execution.

These Are the Cosplay Ideas for 2017! Wed, 01 Feb 2017 06:45:01 -0500 Stephanie Tang


That's it!


(Well kind of... you know Link will definitely be making an appearance at conventions around the globe, with the signature green tunic that we've all come to associate with him or with this latest blue iteration of him in upcoming Breath of the Wild that's set to release in March.)


Have we missed anyone too criminally big to forget? Think these are entirely off the mark? Feel free to let us know!


(image source: Now Loading)


William - Nioh


A new challenger appears??


This definitely isn't a jump on the nostalgia train, but the playable demos out for upcoming PS4 game Nioh have gotten video game audiences pretty psyched for the full release (which is only days away!).


Set in an alternate fantasy Japan's bloody Sengoku period and the chaos of warring states you play as William, a master-less samurai, who faces off against evil demons and humans alike. If this game proves as good as it promises to be, you can bet we're going to see this guy in upcoming photo shoots very, very soon. 


(image source: Nerdable)




This is probably made easier because Spider-Man is pretty much a given when it comes to the big comic conventions, and certainly doesn't mind popping up at video game-centric ones either... and why should he? After nearly 40 years of Spider-Man video games, he definitely deserves the place!


Besides, what better way for webslingers to unite than in a conga line snaking around the building?


(image source: Pinterest)




So Andrew Garfield's Amazing Spider-Man may have been the snarky Spider-Man of my cartoon-bingeing teenage years, but his days in the tight suit appear to be behind him. With Spider-Man: Homecoming coming out in theaters soon and Tom Holland already having taken a spin in the role with an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Spidey is poised to give Deadpool a run for his money in 2017.


(image source: CinemaBlend)


Gladiolus - Final Fantasy XV


Some may speculate that it's the abs that make or break a Gladiolus cosplay - and let's face it, Italian cosplayer Leon Chiro sure fits the bill. Definitely daunting, but not impossible for most, especially when you throw a little costume makeup into the mix.


Besides, it's that sword that really makes an impression, isn't it? If you can manage that, it doesn't matter the build - you've got a pretty good thing going.


(image source: Kotaku)


Gladiolus - Final Fantasy XV


All right, so there might be some wishful thinking involved including this one into the list... but not much! FFXV is big and everyone's playing it (okay, maybe I'm not, but that's more because I'm lazy and waiting for a PC release).


It's taken a long time in coming, and has changed a hell of a lot along the way. Admit it, we're just happy it's here - never mind that it looks fantastic, and Square Enix have seriously ponied up to make sure that it all finally came to completion. 


(image source: Attack of the Fanboy)


Nebula - Guardians of the Galaxy


While Nebula may not exactly a main character, Karen Gillan turned heads when she famously shaved her head to play the part, and she plays a damn good counterpoint to Zoe Saldana's feisty Gamora. 


Here's hoping more talented cosplayers follow in Karin Olava's (pictured above) footsteps doing this girl justice in the upcoming year!


(image source: Comic Book Movie)


Nebula - Guardians of the Galaxy


Okay, so maybe the blue paint and skull cap won't be for everyone, but this ass-kicking alien chick is definitely in the cards for upcoming 2017.


Sure there's the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie that's fast approaching theaters (with a baby Groot that's destined to melt your heart), but reports are popping up that Eidos Montreal (the developer behind Deus Ex: Human Revolution) is working on a Guardians of the Galaxy video game though it's as yet early in production.


It'll be one of several comic book partnership video games between Marvel and Square Enix (the first of which is set to feature the Avengers).


(image source: Screen Rant)


Aqua - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue


Poor Aqua may have been left in limbo for a lot longer than we'd have liked, but that hasn't stopped cosplayers from stepping into her shoes, and her badass costume to boot. 


Since KH3 is peeking over the horizon and promises to be the biggest installment in the franchise ever with our first look at a grown-up Sora, it's not surprising that cosplayers are psyching themselves up for something truly epic and worth realizing in real life!


(image source: DeviantArt)


Aqua - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue


Speaking of Square Enix, this collaboration with Disney is still going strong as fans cling to the coming of Kingdom Hearts III. 


With the recent release of KH 2.8, die hard fans have new playable content to stem the tide for a little while, whereas new fans now have an easier opportunity to play through a number of the games (which have hopped across nearly every Sony console and handheld to date) without swapping platforms. 


(image source: EB Games)


Cloud Strife - Final Fantasy VII Remake


Cloud's outfit is quite probably the only one that has undergone such a drastic change from his original (okay, and Tifa's too) and as a huge fan myself, it's nice to see cosplayers already stepping back into the hack-and-slashed SOLDIER uniform that made so much more canonical sense than the new.


2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Final Fantasy franchise, and fans can simultaneously celebrate the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII specifically. You can bet this year is seriously coming up Squeenix.


(image source: Will Wong)


Cloud Strife - Final Fantasy VII Remake


This is a game that video game audience has asked for time and again. Square Enix has toyed with our emotions with each and every console that they've pushed out onto the market, and at last we're finally coming into our own.


The principle characters of Final Fantasy have always been a mainstay at conventions, although in latter years most Cloud cosplayers continue to gravitate toward all the bells and whistles in his Advent Children outfit. Now we're bound for a return to form. 


(image source: VG24/7)


Sombra - Overwatch


The game has garnered more than its fair share of internet outrage over the past few months - from Symmetra's "white girl" vampire skin during Halloween, to Mei's botched waistline in her most recent CNY skins. Further cosplay efforts like above Pion Kim's fantastic Sombra came under fire for "brownface", i.e. her use of bronzer to darker her skin tone so that she could more closely match the character's.


D.Va and Mei are both just as likely to pop up at your local convention, particularly the former as her bodysuit and props are fairly inexpensive and easy to come by, but with a few more well-needed updates to the Sombra character kit due to hit the PTR, this purple-haired hacker is sure to pop up more and more. 


(Sombra - Boop! Hacking Complete! (Overwatch Cosplay) 오버워치 - 솜브라)


Sombra - Overwatch


New year, new you... so far Overwatch hasn't lost any of its hype over the past 2.5 competitive seasons, and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere soon. With new events popping out every few months (the latest of which includes a new game mode, and Chinese New Year themed skins, sprays, and emotes), it looks like there's plenty of food for inspirational fodder in this Blizzard behemoth for a long time to come.


(image source: DeviantArt)


It's 2017! Out with the old and in with the new!


--Or is it?


With the closing of an arguably disastrous 2016, cosplayers are gearing up for a new year of convention circuits and getting psyched up by an impressively long list of geek culture-centric movies and video games.


And yet it starting to look like there's going to be a heck of a lot of nostalgia running around dealer's rooms across the globe.


Let's take a look at what some of those might be!


(image source: funnycutegifs feat. D-Piddy)

What's Next For The Final Fantasy Series? Tue, 17 Jan 2017 11:16:12 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

Now that Final Fantasy XV has been out for a few months and is proving to be a success both critically and commercially, I've been wondering what's next for the famed RPG franchise. Here, I've laid out everything that has been confirmed, and everything that has been rumored.

Square-Enix's confirmed Final Fantasy Titles and DLC

With the Final Fantasy VII remake looking likely to get pushed back another year, let's get what Square-Enix has confirmed and lined up for the franchise in 2017 out of the way first:

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

The remaster for Final Fantasy X/X2 was well received and thanks to the timeless art style, still looked very nice when given an HD make over.  Final Fantasy XII looks to be no different. As you can see from the above trailer, it has never looked better.  Along with a new coat of HD paint, the game will have a host of entirely new features. Here they are, as listed on Square-Enix's official site:

    • The Zodiac Job System – Improved character leveling system that now caters to the player’s preference
    • Trial Mode – Take on monsters and enemies in up to 100 consecutive battles
    • Speed Mode
  • Latest-generation HD graphical capabilities, including characters and movie scenes fully remastered in high definition.
  • True 7.1 surround sound, including high definition voicing and newly recorded background music utilizing the current generation of sound production.
  • Modern advancements including PlayStation®4 trophy support and share functionalities, auto-save and shortened loading times
  • An endless amount of gameplay and adventure including Hunts, Battles, and mini-games
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

Stormblood is the latest DLC for Final Fantasy XIV, which is always evolving with new patches and expansions.  Here is a list of features obtained from Square-Enix's dedicated page:

  • A new adventure in Ala Mhigo
  • New jobs, including red mage
  • New exploration with swimming and diving
  • Level cap increase from 60 to 70
  • Changes to the battle system
  • New areas to explore
  • A new primal─Lakshmi
  • New dungeons, a new 8-man raid─Omega, and a new alliance raid
  • The Forbidden Land of Eureka
  • New gear and crafting recipes
  • A fourth residential district
  • Expanded item inventory
Final Fantasy XV Season Pass DLC

If you purchased the season pass, you'll be getting the remainder of the six DLC content packs:

  • DLC 1: Booster Pack 
  • DLC 2: Episode Gladio 
  • DLC 3: Holiday Pack 
  • DLC 4: Episode Ignis 
  • DLC 5: Episode Prompto 
  • DLC 6: Expansion Pack

What should come of great interest to fans though is, as highlighted in a recent Famitsu interview Final Fantasy XV director Hijame Tabata, they've promised to expand the game further with more free updates and a new expansion beyond the six packs listed in the season pass. Tabata was quoted as saying: 

“We will evolve our released game Final Fantasy XV more and more, and together with it, we will also evolve. We will further evolve the foundation and know-how of Final Fantasy XV in preparation for new initiatives.

Final Fantasy XV is undergoing development for the updates,  and we’re also working on an unannounced awesome expansion, so please look forward to it.”

It seems that Tabata is staying true to his promise of keeping Final Fantasy XV a standalone title, rather than making sequels or spinoffs, seemingly intent of giving the fans both more replayability through free updates, and expanding the story through DLC instead.  

It's worth noting that the Final Fantasy XV: Prompto VR Experience DLC  shown at E3 is on its way too, which if successful, could possibly lead to more potential VR projects. 

While on the subject of Tabata, he was recently quoted as saying he was very interested in the Nintendo Switch, while also not ruling out a potential port of Final Fantasy XV at the same time.  Although that's not a lot to go on at the moment, it bodes well that the director is very keen on working with Nintendo again. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Although we've recently learned that the Final Fantasy VII remake is still a while off, I'm quite optimistic that we'll at least see a demo this year.  The title when released will come in the way of a trilogy, expanding on and fleshing out the original story,

Square-Enix's Unconfirmed Titles and Rumours
Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Collection

2017 should be a big year for announcements at Square-Enix, what with it being the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy.  A rumoured announcement coming straight from VGLeaks is a 30th Anniversary Collection.  According to their sources, the collection will be arriving on a single PS4 blu ray, and will be made available for the Vita too.  The collection will contain all numbered Final Fantasy titles from I to IX. VII and IX will be based on the newest ports and for I to VI there will be both the original NES/SNES versions along with the mobile ports.  The leak seems very detailed and it would be an amazing collection if true.

Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy PlayStation 4 

Another compilation on the leaked list is a possible PS4 port of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, which would come bundled together on separate Blu ray discs with the games running at full 1080p and at 60fps. If true, it would be interesting to see these already beautiful looking games running on modern hardware.

Final Fantasy Dissidia

Final Fantasy: Dissidia is another title with no announcement for a console release of any kind, so this one is purely speculation. However, as noted on rpgsite, Dissidia is running on a modified PlayStation 4 machine, using PlayStation controllers. I wouldn't be at all surprised if once the game is complete with updates and DLC characters, a home version will be on the way.

With spinoffs, remakes and remasters coming thick and fast, there's no sign of the 30 year old franchise slowing down. And now that Final Fantasy XV has given the mainline series a much needed injection of confidence from fans and critics alike, I can't help but look forward to and be excited for Final Fantasy XVI.  

The big question I have right now: Will we see the next installment this generation?  Well I would say that all signs are pointing to a potential yes.  In an interview with Gamespot,  Hajime Tabata is quoted as saying:

"In terms of what we want to do with the technology, we want to use that technological foundation that we've built up with Final Fantasy XV and move on to do something completely new using that know how and that base. We're going to look into new directions with it." 

I definitely see this as a positive as now it seems likely that Tabata and his team have a good handle on the Luminous engine and, going forward, should be able to start on the next mainline title fairly quickly - if they haven't already.

Interestingly,  Square-Enix isn't opposed to using a graphics engine that isn't in-house, as shown with Final Fantasy VII remake and Kingdom Hearts 3, with the use of Epic Games' Unreal 4 engine.  With all the tools already in place, this should in theory free up a lot of the development time and cut back delays, thus allowing Square-Enix to focus on game development, rather than using time and money to create a new in-house engine to match their vision. 

With the recent showing of the Nintendo Switch, there's a lot of potential there for Square-Enix to do something interesting. If the Anniversary Collection comes to fruition, that would definitely lend itself well to the portable nature of the machine, and give Nintendo a chance to catch up on a lot of Final Fantasy titles that never made it to their machines.

Hopefully, with the recent announcement of an Active Time Report Special for the new year, we'll get some interesting updates from Square-Enix about the future of Final Fantasy