Final Fantasy VII Remake Announced for PS4
BOOM! The Final Fantasy remake to end all Final Fantasy remakes, the one that people had begun to fear was never coming, and the one that has been continually teased but never delivered upon, Final Fantasy VII, has finally been announced to be in development for the PS4. Though perhaps ‘in development’ is too strong a word given how prematurely Square Enix tends to announce these things. Probably more accurate to say that Square Enix has announced their attention to start working on a Final Fantasy VII remake once the Final Fantasy XV team begins to wind down production on that disasterpiece. At any rate, are Lusipurr.com readers still basking in the warmth of this announcement? Luxuriating in the afterglow of unrealised dreams for the future of Square Enix? Quite finished? Good. One is loath to rain on anybody’s parade after this megaton of an E3, yet anyone familiar with this author will know that one has always been more wary than eager on the subject of a Final Fantasy VII remake.
So, what precisely does the announcement of a Final Fantasy VII remake mean for us, the oldschool veterans? It likely means a retconned Emo Cloud. A Scottish Cait Sith. No indoors locations that are not necessary to the story. A broken and lethargic action RPG battle system, similar to the one found in Final Fantasy XV. It will also likely mean having Genesis shoehorned into the story. Ultimately it will mean having a new generation of idiot kids who think that the remake is uber cool, while contending that the original is lame. The kind of wretched little shits that one instinctively wishes to smother with a pillow.
If Lusipurr.com readers do not readily believe this author in his decidedly negative assessments of such a yearned for remake, then that is fine. Verify then believe, and all that. So why not get a feel for what is in store by getting the information directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. This week in his conversations with the Japanese gaming press, Tetsuya Nomura has stated that:
“I can’t get go into details, but this is not a simple remake. Let’s say for argument’s sake that we only pretty up the graphics for current gen hardware, I don’t think that would surpass the original version.
Since we now formally revealed Kazushige Nojima’s name for the scenario, there will be more plot devices in the story, so I think you can also look forward to that, if you are going to do a full remake, you have to take a different approach and make something that suits the times.”
Something that suits the times. Like Final Fantasy XV suits the times. If Nomura feels that he must produce a game that is appropriate for the times, then one wonders what is even the point of remaking 1997’s Final Fantasy VII? The game was more than its roster of characters and memorable music motifs. The game was kind of a package deal – the best JRPG experience that one can have. Period. Nomura thinks that he can improve on the formula by changing a bunch of things. Is this really why people have been so keen to get a Final Fantasy VII remake? Is Nomura really the right man for the job?
Square Enix Appears to Be [Somewhat] Back on Track, as Yoichi Wada Departs the Company
It brings one genuine joy to announce that corporate whore cum former Square Enix president and CEO, Yoichi Wada, has this week been shown the door. Wada was at the helm when Squaresoft became Square Enix, and he remained in control until 2013, whereafter he was dumped following a series of short-sighted cost cutting measures managed to punch a hole in the company’s finances. It was under his command that Square Enix developed a substantial bias towards producing mobile phone content, and it was through his guidance that Square Enix began to outsource the development of console games [either whole or in part] to the cheapest available developers.
Outsourcing components of development is fine if additional manpower is required, but it is important to partner with quality developers. If outsourcing is done as a cost-cutting measure then that is never going to work out well. Notable examples of Square Enix’s console outsourcing falling flat on its face include Mindjack and Front Mission Evolved, but the game that nearly sank them was the original version of Final Fantasy XIV. Since standing down in 2013 Wada has been twiddling his thumbs with no real power within the company, much like Hironobu Sakaguchi and Hiromichi Tanaka shortly before they left Square Enix. Yoichi Wada almost broke the company, so good riddance!
Happily, this week’s Square Enix E3 conference shows strong signs that the company is beginning to recover under Wada’s replacement Yosuke Matsuda, with the Japanese division showing plenty of green shoots after a decade of blight. In terms of previously announced titles Square Enix showed off Star Ocean 5 [which is coming out in 2016] and Kingdom Hearts III. The Kingdom Hearts III content looked quite interesting, yet the visuals seemed surprisingly janky. The game looks too realistic to appear properly cartoonish, yet it appears too cartoonish to look like a more realistic CG animated feature.
The main meat and potatoes of the Square Enix conference was their announcement of new JRPGS, of which there were four – one of which is a new IP. Obviously the announcement that has received the most attention was for the Final Fantasy VII remake, of which enough has already been spoken. Another title to be revealed was the tentatively named Project SETSUNA, which is mostly just concept art at present. The game is under development by Tokyo RPG Factory, which is an internal studio that Square Enix established last year in order to produce console JRPGs. Square Enix also has some outsourced projects on their books, with Bravely Default‘s Silicon Studios working on World of Final Fantasy, and action specialists Platinum Games working on a sequel to the cult JRPG Nier. Akihiko Yoshida is providing art for both games. All four games are being developed first for Sony platforms, primarily the PS4.
Sony Dominates E3
It is likely clear by now to any gamer with internet access that Sony blew the competition out of the water at this year’s E3. The key ingredient to Sony’s E3 success this year were three very big blasts from the past: The Last Guardian, Shenmue III, and [of course] Final Fantasy VII. The Last Guardian is a much desired game, yet it has long been mired in development hell, so the revelation that it will be getting a 2016 release was a huge megaton announcement. If gamers had harboured doubts about ever seeing the release of The Last Guardian, then they had already grieved for the passing of Shenmue III, which made this announcement almost eerie. Shenmue III‘s Kickstarter was funded in record time, and the team also has private funding from Sony and several other sources, so they are not literally going to be developing a huge Shenmue title with just a couple of million of dollars budgeted. Then of course there was the Final Fantasy VII remake, which Square Enix has been trolling fans with for about ten years now. To say that game stole the show would be an understatement akin to opining that the length of a Cat Fancy podcast is a little robust. Other than the big three announcements Guerrilla Games announced their new open world RPG Horizon Zero Dawn, and Activision announced that from now on PS4 owners would be getting exclusive early access to Call of Duty DLC, which likely caused more than a few Xbroes to openly weep.
As for Microsoft, probably the biggest announcement was 360 backwards compatibility for the Xbone, allowing owners to relive Microsoft’s past glories on their current struggling platform. One wouldn’t expect to see similar from Sony on the PS4 owing to the nightmarish complexity of emulating the Cell Processor, but it would be nice to at least see backwards compatibility for the PS1 and PS2 libraries. The nadir of Microsoft’s conference was probably the announcement that their own version of Early Access will be coming to Xbone. Early Access is horrid on Steam and it will be horrid on Xbone also. In terms of game announcements, Keiji Inafune’s ReCore was revealed. The all CG reveal trailer looked charming, but it also did not look like anything that this author would be interested in. ‘Legendary’ game studio Rare then announced their “most ambitious project to date“, Sea of Thieves. ‘Ambitious’ is not a synonym for ‘good’ it would seem. Finally, Microsoft announced a couple of Gears of War titles: Gears of War 4 and a HD port of the original Gears of War, which inexplicably looks worse than its previous incarnation on the 360. Gears of War 4 showed off an interesting looking setting, yet its two lead characters looked super generic.
Nintendo also had an E3 conference.