22 June 2015

Is the Final Fantasy VII Remake just a “Fantasy”???


Sometimes in life you reminisce about the most special moments you cherished growing up during your childhood and adolescent years. Some of these memories can be vividly recalled by tasting a certain food, or by smelling a scent that was attached to a friend’s house. For myself, I can recall quite a few memories that impact me from time to time… My cousins showing me how to launch water balloons using a giant slingshot, or when my pa took me fishing and we caught our first pet “Jaws”. But one in particular takes me back to my freshman year of high school, when I played through the epic adventure of a video game called Final Fantasy VII.


Now before you go off and judge by thinking… “Wow that is sad… you consider playing a video game one of your favorite memories??” The answer to this is: YES.


And let me tell you why…


When I was 15 years old, I was 5’2”, and weighed about 100lbs soaking wet. I played football, but really sucked at it and also played basketball, but was so short I would get “stuffed” on daily basis. I worked at a family owned grocery store called Rupena’s Fine Foods as stock boy and bagger. My sister, a senior in high school, worked as a cashier, and was growing up way faster than her younger brother. Coming from a private school, I did not have many friends my freshman year. I tried dating a girl for two weeks, but that didn’t work out because I was under strict control of my parent’s “curfew rules” and not to mention I was really shy… So I saved up some money from my job and bought the game Final Fantasy VII…. At the time it was 50$!! That was a lot of money back then!!!… Anyway back on point, although I had played the previous titles in the Final Fantasy series, I had no idea what I was getting into. Before you knew it, 126 hours of my life had been consumed into a 18 inch color tube television….




The reason why it took so much of my time is that it truly was an amazing story. You laughed at the corny jokes, got emotionally depressed during some of the darker moments, had goose bumps from the amazing musical scores, and felt that overwhelming pride in breeding a golden chocobo… SIDE NOTE… Who wouldn’t want a chocobo as a pet?? They are cute, cuddly and can sing!! AND they can transport you faster than any car on the market…. Once again BACK TO THE TOPIC… At the time, the three dimensional turn based battle system was so revolutionary that it completely grasped your attention. The two minute sequence of the legendary summon spell “Knights of the Round,” never got old to watch because it meant you were kicking the shit out of any random enemy you encountered. The character development in my opinion was, and still is, some of the best I have ever seen, even with all the fancy graphics and engines these companies produce. The mini games were so fun it felt like you had an arcade on your television…


If you enjoy relaxing and playing a video game, I truly recommend blowing the dust off this old classic and giving it a shot.


I could go on and on but let’s keep this to the point I want to make….


Now with the recent announce at Sony’s E3 in 2015, Square Enix is making a reboot of this classic game. Am I excited??? The answer is HELL YES!!! But I do have some concerns that come to my mind when really digging deep into this endeavor…


What happens if the reboot does not bring me back to that adolescent state of mind? That state where everything was calm and completely happy in my life… They mention the idea of some small tweaks and changes, what could those be? In the era of open world action style role-playing games, will the old school turn based strategy still have its luster and appeal? Will the game tailor to younger audiences who have not had the joy of experiencing the adventure? Does the world welcome the idea of more additional side quests or new characters to a game that already holds up to the test of time??


Graphics snobs may say that the game will be ten times better will new age graphics and frame rate enhancements, but for those old school gamers out there… Does this really matter to you? Are you willing to have that memory tampered with at the risk of a better visual appeal?


In the end, memories cannot not be broken… or can they????


~Michael Berte