I'm not saying that the PlayStation 4-exclusive Final Fantasy VII Remake was my biggest gaming disappointment of 2020, but it certainly left me... questioning some of the decisions its team made. Perhaps my own expectations were too high, so being met by a perfectly functional, sporadically very fun, undeniably incredibly beautiful game had me disappointed. But as my review lays out, it's a remake that definitely failed to fully live up to the incredible reputation of its 1997-released source material.
What FFVIIR was, however, is merely part one of the story - the game ends with the player-controlled party, headed by the big-sword-swinging Cloud, leaving the city of Midgar for further adventures across Gaia. Adventures that will, presumably, follow the plot of the original PlayStation game somewhat, taking us to Cosmo Canyon, Rocket Town and the Gold Saucer. I'm looking forward to it, as while last year's 'Part One' might have left me underwhelmed, the original Final Fantasy VII only really gets going once you leave the city behind.
And two key members of the Final Fantasy VII Remake team have been speaking about what's coming in part two - and how it's going to surpass expectations (well, they hope it does, anyway). The game's producer, Yoshinori Kitase, and its co-director, Naoki Hamaguchi, spoke about the sequel during the CEDEC+KYUSHU 2020 Online event, held over the weekend - and their comments were translated by Twitter user @aitaikimochi (via TheGamer).
Kitase says, according to @aitaikimochi's translation (and they do say they're "not quite satisfied with the way I translated the quote", as a caveat here):
"Those who played the original game probably know what happens in the story, and are curious as to what will happen now. However, because they know the story, that gives us the opportunity to deliver something they expect... yet also show them something that not only surprises, but also goes beyond their expectations."
He continues: We want to create a game that lives up to (players') expectations, but also throws them off, in a good way."
FF7R Producer Kitase and Co-Director Hamaguchi talked a bit about Part 2 during the CEDEC conference! Here's the excerpt's translation.- ☆オードリーAudrey☆ (@aitaikimochi) January 30, 2021
Kitase mentions for Part 2, they want to deliver something that will live up to everyone's expectations but also throw them off, in a good way. pic.twitter.com/aJtZq2jdz7
Final Fantasy VII Remake did make diversions from the original game's plot - but for me, most of these felt inconsequential and more like needless padding than rewarding depth and detail. But I know that your mileage with Remake may well have differed.
In the same interview, Hamaguchi adds that the second Remake entry may also have "new surprises" in its battle system - which could mean a greater emphasis on old-school turn-based combat, or an all-action option. Remake was caught between the two worlds, rather, committing to neither in a way that felt totally satisfying.
Another interesting comment from Hamaguchi is that the first Remake's development team was composed largely of people who loved the 1997 PlayStation game; whereas newcomers for its follow-up are more into Remake's vision for the franchise. Which does indeed suggest it has potential to veer wildly from what we saw back in the original game - and chances are that it won't conclude the story. However it looks when it does come out, I'll be playing it - as the end of Remake is just too much of a tease not to.
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