Buy Committee, my buddy Eric has a problem. He’s “waffling” (uncontrollably, I might add) over whether or not he should buy Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Since he’s the only person I know who’s still conflicted about this—everyone else seems to have made up their minds when the game was announced in 2015—I asked him to explain to me in a private conversation on Facebook just what the fuck is his deal.
At 10 years old in 1997, I had no patience for turn-based RPGs! I just wanted to play Twisted Metal, where cars could beat the shit outta other cars! Even today, they’re not my favorite genre, but a few things like XCOM made me appreciate the slower combat. So I don’t really have any fondness for the original game.
As a matter of fact, I grew to resent it for the years when people talked as if it was the greatest game ever. But at E3 2019, I had softened. Their showing was very impressive, right? And even now that the review embargo is up and even notoriously harsh outlets like Giant Bomb are praising it, it feels like a game I just should have to play, right? After all, I didn’t appreciate Zelda until I was like 30, so this could be the same situation, right? Wrong. At least, I think it’s wrong.
The big problem happened just a few weeks ago ... the demo. Frankly, I hated it. I tried both combat systems, neither flowed well to me. But worst of all was the dialogue. It got under my skin worse than any game I can remember. Back in November, dialogue was the most common criticism of Borderlands 3. And while that dialogue is far from good, I have a much easier time stomaching someone reaching for humor and coming up short than reaching for poignancy and coming up laughable.
And no moment encapsulated that better than Barrett’s line from the trailer, “You mean to tell me you can’t hear the planet crying out in pain? I know you can!” I damn near walked away right then. And then soon after, the game forced me to. Because after fighting a mech scorpion boss, the demo had a hard crash. Now, I don’t think a technical issue with the demo means there will be one in the main game (especially when having the ability to save), but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth.
I’m also concerned about their business model and lack of transparency in it. I have a PS4, but I greatly prefer to play on Xbox. All indications are that Xbox will be getting this game after a year ... but will that be true for EVERY episode? How many episodes will there be? How frequently should we expect them? Will save data transfer over? We don’t know. Because they won’t tell.
That doesn’t give me much confidence to wanna even start down this multi-year journey.
Buy Committee, my dear comments section dwelling friends, explain to Eric that while his feelings about turn-based JRPGs are valid, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE IS NOT A TURN-BASED JRPG. I played the same demo and had a completely different reaction. Barrett chanting the classic FF victory fanfare music after knocking out a swarm of soldiers had me (metaphorically) spitting out my beer.
Tell Eric—@BlackheartJV on Twitter—he’s wrong and that the FOMO of not playing is bound to overshadow his quibbles with its corny dialogue (it’s a game about spiky-haired anime boys with big swords after all).
Put down the Animal Crossing for a second or uhh 40 hours, Eric, and join me as I drool over Cloud’s surprisingly shapely waist in a fetching gothic Lolita dress. He may not be showing any skin but hot damn if I’m not titillated by those dainty ankles.