By Matthew Maravilla
E3 2015 has given us some pretty big bombshells. From Fallout 4 to Shenmue III, the conference definitely had a lot of glitz and glam. However, there was one little game that everyone wanted more than any other game at E3:, Final Fantasy VII. And, more than that, people wanted a Final Fantasy VII remake of the original with HD graphics and a vastly improved engine. Square-Enix gave the people what they want, Final Fantasy VII, the remake, is currently in production. But, as a guy whose career choices came from a game about a dude with a big sword, what do I think about it?
Honestly, remaking Final Fantasy VII scares me. It was the first game where I felt close to the characters of a game I touched played the game when I was just in elementary school. It was the first game where I experienced failure, like messing up where I place the save crystal upon reaching the final cave of the game. Final Fantasy VII was also the first time I became invested in an anime, given the anime styling of the characters. Seeing a game being remade considering all of the things that the original gave me, I’m apprehensive about it.
A remake is defined as a full recreation of something. That means, the Final Fantasy VII that will be coming out in a few years is not the same Final Fantasy VII that came out more than 10 years ago, graphically and thematically.
For any anime fans out there, one of the biggest remakes for a series was the Neon Genesis Evangelion reBuilds, which were movie remakes more than 10 years after the original anime series came out. Both versions of Neon Genesis Evangelion are not the same thematically. Where the original had a mopey and weak main character, the reBuilds made that same main character with more of a head on his shoulder. Plotlines changed between the two series, while a whole origin story for one of the other main characters was created. In other words, Neon Genesis Evangelion and the reBuilds are vastly different series.
Like Neon Genesis Evangelion, the remake of Final Fantasy VII is not going to be close to the original game. Tetsuya Nomura, the director in charge of the remake, is not Hironobu Sakaguchi, the original creator of the Final Fantasy series and the two men never experienced the same things. The two men have their own styles, where Nomura focuses on the glitz and the glam while opening the next title, as Sakaguchi focuses on the concepts and the road leading up to the ending. I fell in love with Final Fantasy VII because of the road leading to the ending and, because of the stories each character had with their motivations to taking out Sephiroth. In the original game, itThe original game was loaded with one-off moments like the cross-dressing scene and the Golden Saucer date scene.
In games like Kingdom Hearts, there aren’t a lot of moments like the aforementioned campiness of the Final Fantasy games. Nomura has created his games to focus more on the angst and drama, even if the situation isn’t looking for drama. Like the whole story of Sora sleeping and nobodies in Kingdom Hearts 2, the plots in a Nomura game only get more confusing, like Genesis and Angeal coinciding into Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. In a way, these moments bring out more drama but overall, those details seem more to say the same kinds of things at the audiences instead of trying to say something new.
But, in the end, as much as I’m not ready for a remake, it’s just a remake. If I want to play the original, the original still exists. No one said that an old game isn’t allowed to exists in a newer form. While I’m afraid of what is to happen in the remake of Final Fantasy VII, the game is not meant to redo the old previous game, it’s meant to say something else, just using the same characters and world.