Final Fantasy 7 is one of the most beloved games of all time. It’s been a decade since the original release and fans are eager to return to Midgar and enter the beautiful world of “Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children”. It’s been a long time since we got a new installment in the series, and with the release of “Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade”, fans can finally see their favorite characters again. This time, the world of Final Fantasy 7 is removed and replaced by Midgar. Events from the original are canon and are recreated, and it’s being done on the PlayStation 4.
If you’re a fan of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series, you’re probably excited about the upcoming remake of the original. The original was released in 1997 for the PlayStation, and the game has a cult following to this day. It’s unusual, but a remake of the classic JRPG was actually announced for PC as a free to play title called Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Ultimate Box. So, you might be wondering: is the remake improved or worse than the original? And how does this effect the game’s gameplay? Read on to find out!
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is an expansion about what happens behind the scenes when Cloud and Lavin try to destroy Shinra. It’s short and revolves around a character you might not have noticed in the original Final Fantasy 7, and you might be tempted to dismiss it as an overlooked minor detail. Don’t do that. Intergrade is even better than Final Fantasy 7 Remake , and aside from the importance of understanding how Square Enix will work on future chapters, it’s a serious contender for one of the best games of the year so far.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake – Intergrade Exam: Yuffie saves the day
Technically it is Intermission Episode Yuffie, but for simplicity we will call it Intergrade. FF7 Intergrade begins with Yuffie infiltrating Midgar to steal Shinra’s ultimate equipment. There are very few tutorials in the game. Although you can start Intergrade from the main menu of FF7 Remake , it is assumed that you know how battles and everything else works. The tutorials cover the special Yuffie techniques, which we’ll cover later, and they’re pretty quick and easy to master. Intergrade is quite short, taking four hours or a bit more depending on the number of quests, so don’t expect Cloud and co. to play through the entire original game Remake. They begin in the slums of Sector 7, shortly after the Mako reactor explosion, when everyone is in an uproar over the possibility of another war with Wutai. Much of this concern comes from snippets of overheard dialogue, but it’s still nice to see Square Enix extend FF7pacification, albeit in a subtle way. The best part of this expanded worldview is Yuffie herself. She is an optional character in the original game who never plays a major role or gets any character development, despite having significant ties to Wutai and conflicts with Midgar. In the case of Yuffie from Intergrade, Square Enix manages to step away from the fun, happy child anime trope and make her much more interesting and likeable from the beginning of Intergrade – and especially as she nears the end. In the second half of Intergrade , Yuffie infiltrates Shinra’s house and finds his main weapon in the basement. I won’t give anything away, but suffice it to say that in most stories, good things rarely happen in basements. TheIntergradeis no exception. Remake Chapter 2 might change my mind, but Intergrade shows that the development team is striving to make Final Fantasy 7 Remake a well thought out, well crafted story, and not just flashy nostalgia with over-the-top fan service. If you played the first game FF7 Remake , you know that the ending is completely derailed story wise Final Fantasy 7 . Intergrade proves he was good on many levels. Nomura and the story team have completely shattered our expectations of Remake and can now build a new story, unhindered by what we think Final Fantasy 7 should be. What seemed ridiculous at the end of remakeseems to set up some surprisingly interesting and emotional scenarios for later parts of the series. After finishing Remake and wondering where these changes might lead, Intergrade has me excited to see how Square Enix will change the story and, more importantly, how they will develop the characters FF7. The only problem is that the plot almost requires one to be familiar with all spin-offs of Final Fantasy 7 . The intergrade antagonists play a different role than in the original material. While you can understand its purpose without playing Dirge or Cerberus, the real impact comes from knowing the changes Square Enix has made – something a simple reading of the wiki cannot reproduce. Judging by the very spoilery second part of the DLC ending, future chapters of Remake will continue this trend, and that would be nice, except that most spin-offs can’t be played because they’re locked to dead systems. Major plot points aside, Intergrade is essentially the same as Remake – most of the same callers, the same linear level design, the same quest structure, and the same annoying Chudley. Everything you’d expect from a DLC, though the continued linearity makes me long for Chapter 2with (hopefully) a more open world. There are a couple of side-quests in Slums of Sector 7 that are just as ordinary in design as remake, but offer a little more pacing, which makes them interesting. For example, in a very boring assignment, you have to find turtle flies for the Wutai bar. As disappointing as this quest is, I appreciate that it sheds light, however briefly, on the tensions between Midgar and Shinra and what the people of Wutai who live in or visit Midgar go through. The Fort Condor minigame returns as an additional quest chain in which you must fight all players in Midgar (or the parts of Midgar you can reach) and make Yuffie the champion. It’s really worth it. I never played Fort Condor in the originalversion of Final Fantasy 7 because I’m always short of money for RPGs, but it’s such a fun, little strategy game. CombatIntergradeimproves Combat Remake, making it more strategic and less dependent on spamming general attacks. Instead of Normal and Cloud Operator, Yuffie has long and short range attacks with his shuriken. There are plenty of opportunities for combos with Yuffie’s long-range punches and ninjutsu skills, and with Sonon’s involvement, the fight flows even better. You only control Yuffie, but Intergrade adds a sync skill where you and Sonon work together for stronger attacks and get better sync skills that you can spend an ATB meter on. It’s a great system that adds a welcome extra layer of strategy and will hopefully return in Chapter 2. Another thing worth mentioning is the soundtrack. I didn’t think it was possible to make anything better than the remake’s soundtrack, and yet here we are. The soundtrack ofIntergradeis a huge soundtrack, truly epic and moving. From a technical standpoint, episode Yuffie benefits greatly from the PS5 update. The 60fps frame rate in performance mode is smooth, clean, and much better than the 30fps of the original Remake, but that’s just the beginning. I can’t speak to the 4K resolution since I don’t have a 4K TV, but the improved visuals and dynamic lighting are a big improvement over the original. In episode , you see Yuffieupgrades everywhere, except in some cases where Yuffie Moogle’s cape has its own spirit. But of course the biggest updates are in FF7 Remake PS5, and you notice them immediately. The lighting is much brighter and more varied, almost every texture has been polished and improved, and it almost makes the PS4 version look like a tech demo.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Review – The Bottom Line
- A strong plot and great characters
- Nice world building that makes good use of the more controversial plotsRemake’
- Skillful combat that enhances the basic gameplay.
- First class soundtrack
- Major visual update for Intergrade and FF7 Remake on PS5.
- Still linearly claustrophobic
- Some technical problems
- Please do more interesting side missions in chapter 2
Take the above statements with a grain of salt. Like I said, it’s DLC, so if you’re expecting something radically new, you’ll be disappointed. If EpisodeYuffie lacks content or new areas to explore, it makes up for it by creating a stronger world, setting up the rest of the story, and making sure it’s a story worth continuing. If you have a PS5 and had fun withRemake, this game deserves your attention. [Note: Square Enix provided the copy of Final Fantasy 7 Intergrade used for this review].
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