Feature: In Another Lifestream

Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VII Remake

Hello and welcome to The Day Tonight’s playthrough of Final Fantasy VII Remake, an Action RPG released for the PlayStation 4 worldwide on 10 April 2020; it is billed as a ‘remake’ of the classic PlayStation JRPG Final Fantasy VII, which was the subject of our second site-wide playthrough in September 2009.

The publishing date of this post, and the launch day of our playthrough, is the scheduled release date for Final Fantasy VII Remake. As a result, the verdict has yet to be solidified regarding the game’s reception with its intended audience. However, due to the shipping kerfuffle caused by the ongoing pandemic, the game is already in the hands of many reviewers who have rendered their judgement as to its quality in effusive (but ill-deserved) praise. After the last main series Final Fantasy release of Final Fantasy XV–a game which was narratively underwhelming, mechanically unambitious, and burdened with in-game-marketing–fans of Square Enix were hoping for a return to form for the Final Fantasy franchise on the PlayStation 4.

The original game is highly regarded for its exceptional narrativising, world-building, and cohesive structural excellence. In addition to a battle system which exemplifies the best of JRPG design (not only in 1997 but even more than two decades hence), and a cast of characters which were a source of delight and interest rather than resentment and annoyance, the original release of Final Fantasy VII would have been a good game by any measure. But with its exceptional storytelling and pacing, its relentless building of tension and increased stakes, culminating in the protagonist’s own development from an introverted loner into a cooperative and empathetic leader, Final Fantasy VII represents one of the best efforts ever realised in the history of video games. Clearly, expectations for the Remake are high–and have been deliberately heightened by Square Enix, who have insisted that in producing the Remake, they would be producing a game which excelled beyond the original in every measure.

Aerith's arrival as a playable character marks the end of the first storyline arc.
Aerith Gainsborough

The original game is one of the best-known JRPGs in the world, and has garnered praise consistently since its original release, winning plaudits, awards, and places at the top of ‘best ever’ lists from fans and news media alike for more than twenty years. Final Fantasy VII Remake has arrived into a highly-charged field of expectations and has vexed and perplexed many gamers who have had a chance to engage with the title at this early date. Part of the confusion may stem from Square Enix’s decision, throughout the development process, to bill the game as a ‘remake’, establishing an audience expectation that new title would maintain the narrative and gameplay integrity of the original.

However, early feedback from our staff indicates that the game is more properly an ‘alternate history’–a retelling of the original story with key events changed in their execution and detail, so that a different ‘storyline’ results from events which are only similar to the original game in the broadest sense. Consequently, fans of the original who are expecting the story to be faithfully reproduced, albeit it with added detail, will find themselves bewildered–at best–by a storyline which takes more than a few liberties with the plot as written. Instead, an entirely new storyline awaits, although it is a tale peopled with characters who seem, at least on the face of it, familiar.

The fall of the Section 7 plate marks the end of the second storyline arc.
The Ruins of Sector 7

With the new game being largely unknown to our readers and staff alike, The Day Tonight is especially interested in your engagement with the game in particular (including its relation to the original) and the Final Fantasy series in general. Have you played a Final Fantasy game in the past, or is this your first experience with the franchise? Have you played the original, or even participated in our original 2009 playthrough? What is your opinion of that experience as compared to playing the Remake? Does this game interest you further in the Final Fantasy franchise or in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII meta-series?

Use the comment thread below to discuss your approach to the game, challenges you have faced, secrets you have uncovered, and what materia, battle style, and difficulty level you are using in your playthrough. Do you feel that the Final Fantasy series is still relevant given its JRPG origins on the Famicom and its development into a quasi-middlebrow technological showpiece? Do you find the new, more open gameplay liberating, or frustrating and repetitive? Would you support further remakes from the Final Fantasy series, or would you prefer for an entirely new game in the franchise? Tell us all about it and join in our discussion below! We will select some of the best comments, each week, for our podcast discussion.

The attack on Shinra Headquarters is the final story arc of the remake, and the last sequence prior to the departure from Midgar.
Shinra Headquarters, in the centre of Midgar

The aim in this playthrough is to complete the entirety of the game in two months:
– April: Reach Wall Market.
– May: Escape from Midgar.

Please join in, even if you are behind on the playthrough. The extended time frame will allow anyone and everyone to participate, regardless of speed of play or familiarity with the series. Comment and tell your friends!

Without further adieu, we invite you to join The Day Tonight’s staff members and readers playing Final Fantasy VII Remake as we dive In Another Lifestream!

58 comments

  1. This game isn’t actually a remake.

    It is more like an alternate universe side story, where Cloud and his friends lack agency, and are manipulated at every important story juncture by the ‘Watchers of Fate’.

    For all we know Sephiroth will actually be the hero of this story by thwarting the will of the Watchers of Fate who are trying to use Cloud as their pawn.

    And who even knows how Zack is going to play into the second game?

  2. As long as there is no Genesis and Angeal, it is not a total write-off…

  3. Just saw Biggs’ stupid fake-out death on the pillar – melodrama dialled up to eleven, and all completely unearned because he survives in this alternate timeline!

  4. Oh, and again – the dementors were doing something to Biggs, so that is probably why he survives. Because they will it.

  5. Kitase, at E3 2019: “Our goal here is to remake this genre-defining RPG for a new audience, for a new era, and not just to make a straight one-to-one copy or a remaster”.

    Oh, for the days when we thought he was referring only to the combat changes and the episodic nature of the project.

    With regard to the ending, I still can’t quite believe they decided to go in this direction. Honestly, I was at a loss for words when I saw it. It all feels like a bad dream. Or a ‘Tidus’, if you will. It certainly appears that Kazushige Nojima got lucky when he wrote the original game’s story, because he sure as hell hasn’t written anything good since then. Seriously, when your latest plot twist makes blowing up your recently-resurrected imaginary sportstar with a blitzball bomb look like Shakespeare, it may be time to hang up your Buster Sword. Or Zack’s. Or Angeal’s. Or whoever the hell it belongs to.

  6. Good lord this game is stupid!

    The Sector 7 plate was coming down so Wedge decided to go back in to save his cats – and while he was in Sector 7 the plate came down on top of him. The game clearly shows this. He looks up and sees the plate coming right down on him…. … … And then the party go back to Sector 7 slums and find him alive, with just a few bruises.

    What is the plate made of? It is firm enough for Shinra to construct a city upon, and yet it is apparently light as feathers!

    Also, the Dementors have started to pick the party up and deposit them in places that they want them to be!

    This game is so fucking goofy!

  7. This is fucking appalling. It really is just fanfic. ‘I like all the characters so none of them can die,’ full-on childish Mary-Sue-tier writing.

  8. Well… Going all the way back FF has always tried to ape Star Wars… … And so it appears that Nomura has been watching modern Star Wars… :/

  9. There is no modern Star Wars. There are only three Star Wars films. Anything else is imaginary. Like this remake may have to be.

  10. I just don’t understand how Square Enix could have allowed Nomura to do this to FFVII…

  11. This is what happens when you let your CHARACTER CONCEPT ARTIST become the DIRECTOR of your multimillion-dollar JRPG video game franchise. It stops being a JRPG series, it stops being good, and then eventually it stops being a multimillion-dollar series full stop.

  12. I’m having fun with this so far, it’s daft and cheesy but it’s quite a blast! Although as someone who works with light and optics, this bit I’m at is raising a lot of questions. I must know more about the power and science behind these sun lamps haha.
    Visually the game is fantastic though I must say

  13. @Berserk: As you will soon discover, the developers don’t care at all about physics or reality or even the most basic parameters of believeability.

  14. Oh man… Why didn’t I recognise it sooner? FFVIIR is an allegory!

    The dementors represent series fans like us who are trying to push the party into performing the same plot points as the original game, while all of the game’s major characters represent Nomura attempting to deliberately trample everything important that came before – fighting against fate – fighting against making the remake he was greenlit to make!

    The dementors are the good guys, because they are us; but they won’t triumph because Nomura is the director, and he resents our expectations.

    This is the ‘Last Jedi’ of video games. I’m going to start calling him Rian Nomura!

  15. I’m thinking that the next game will have dual protagonists and dual timelines, with Cloud the protagonist of one and Zack the protagonist of the other, and them both having to coordinate their actions in order to do something.

  16. “Throughout Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the party frequently encounters hooded spectres that are eventually revealed to be the Whispers. Red XIII describes them as “Arbiters of Fate”, and explains that their sole purpose is to ensure that Destiny plays out according to plan.

    As they are directly responsible for ensuring certain situations play out, such as when they restore Barret after he is killed by Sephiroth, and flashforwards shown by them depict key events from later in the original story, it’s clear that the Whispers are there to keep the events of the previous game’s timeline on track. A fate that will, eventually, see Sephiroth defeated.

    Where things become more complicated is in Chapter 18, when Sephiroth invites the party to fight destiny. Considering fate has so far doomed the planet to being drained by Shinra, it’s easy to see why Cloud and the team would want to free themselves of that path. However, breaking away from destiny also frees Sephiroth up to succeed in his plan.

    The penultimate boss fight is against the Whisper Harbinger, along with its three smaller lieutenants: Rubrum, Viridi, and Croceo. Using the Assess skill on these smaller Whispers reveals that they are each “an entity from a future timeline that has manifested in the present day. It fights to protect the future that gave shape to it.” Based on their weaponry – a sword, a gun, and bare fists – it can be interpreted that these are future versions of Cloud, Barret, and Tifa that are fighting their past selves in order to try and keep destiny on track.”

  17. Chadley is also allegorical.

    If you beat his final mission he says that he is a cyborg who was supposed to be Hojo’s loyal research assistant – but through Cloud he has upgraded his programming to be able to disregard orders and abandon the job he was tasked with (just like Nomura).

    “It’s nice – not knowing something for a change” ~ Chadley

    I’m starting to think that Nomura has deliberately sabotaged this project as payback for being taken off of making his version of FFXV.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LUR2Tb7aMs

  18. Also, not a game comment as such, but my copy of the game STILL has not shipped, although somehow it continues to be on track for delivery tomorrow.

  19. I started last night, just barely longer than when the demo ended. I like the battle system, but have to get better at when to block. It was pretty gross when Sephiroth made an appearance earlier than usual. The voice acting in English is unbearable – in Japanese it’s better than most things, and feels in place. I can’t believe they added Dementors – though I haven’t seen thrm yet.

  20. My copy is out for delivery–first thoughts tonight, perhaps. Review probably after 1 May but sooner if we are lucky.

  21. My copy arrived this afternoon–the trick will be finding the time to play it. I’m going to try and get in an hour tonight and then go to bed a bit late, which means I’ll be pretty tired in the morning. But I want to have at least SOME thoughts about the game today!

  22. Some early thoughts.

    The battle system is very good. Or, rather, I think it is as good as such a battle system can be. I still prefer the original, but I appreciate the ways in which they make multiple characters very useful for different things in the context of battle.

    I don’t find the main character voice acting to be too aggravating. Sometimes it is a little jarring, especially when the voice actors overdo it. But for the most part it is passable.

    The early appearances of Sephiroth are not too distressing. I understand that, if they did not do that, he would never appear in this game at all. It’s hard to sell the game if the players never see the villain. I think that they could have done it better, but I also understand the difficulty they faced. And, I think what they are trying to do is to show the players what Cloud was seeing/experiencing during his blackouts/screechy noise moments in the original game. So, I get that, and whatever. It’s fine.

    What I don’t understand is the need to shoehorn in a bunch of dementors. I’ve had people explain to me that they are implied to be, or explained to be, the characters from a different time line trying to influence this timeline. if that’s the case, it’s stupid and they should never have done it. The last thing this franchise needs is to venture into alternate timeline territory, which never does any franchise any narrative good.

    More to the point, that is not clear to the player at the point when when they start showing up in the game. Where I am, it’s just a bunch of inexplicable nonsense. Maybe it will be explained later, but I have to take the game as it delivers itself, not from people explaining it to me with information gained much later in the storyline or speculated at on Internet forums. So, right now at least, all it actually does is convolute a perfectly satisfactory storyline, as if the original storyline could not carry the player’s attention through this game. I think that’s nonsense. I can’t imagine anyone being really motivated by a bunch of dementors who take away the narrative impact of character actions in the game. It’s just a terrible writing decision, and it adds absolutely nothing of value to the plot.

    Another thing I’ll point out is that the sidequests are terrible. I had to do several when I got to Sector 7. There are three quests which involve killing monsters. Once you do them, they make you leave the area, and then go back and fight harder versions of those monsters in follow-up quests. This is terrible design, even by World of Warcraft standards. There is also an obligatory SCAN ENEMIES quest and a FIND MY CATS quest. These are also terrible. In fact, the script has Cloud say, repeatedly, ‘This sucks.’ As SN justly observed, if it sucks (and it does suck) why inflict it on the player!? Why bog down the player in boring ‘Kill x rats’ quests? Why do it TWICE!? My wife who was watching me play said, “I’m sorry to say it, but this game is pretty boring.” Yes. This is what sidequests are post-WoW. DO NOT PUT THIS CRAP IN YOUR GAME.

    Some Nutters continue to contend that the next game in the remake series will use the same save file from the original and will let players carry on from there. I am confident in saying that they are just wrong, full stop. There is no way that the next game in the series is going to start with characters having all their materia maxed out and the party leaving Midgar with Firaga. What are they going to do for the rest of the game? They have also said that the game will only be two parts, because the current max level is 50 (and 50 is half of 100). This is specious reasoning in the extreme: there is no reason that 100 has to be the max level for the entire series of remake entries, and no reason that those levels have to be evenly divided across the games even if it were. SE have previously said three games, and I can conceive of such an arrangement although certainly not on the same expansively inflated scale as this. Whatever the case, these Remake games will likely be like the XIII series: Each one will have you begin again from one, which suits SE because they don’t want to make people play previous games in the series once the new ones come out. I wouldn’t even expect a benefit for having a pre-existing save file, just like the XIII series. They are bastards.

    The soundtrack is very good. Exceptional even. Enough said.

    A final thought: the presentation is good, but not faultless. Mouth animations, in particular, can be shockingly bad. The lady arguing with the guards who gave me a quest in Sector 7 has a mouth which is about 50% too large and which moves 100% too much. When she talks, it looks positively ghoulish.

    The one overriding sense I have is that, the more I play this game, the more I’d prefer to play the original. The remake is visually very impressive, but it is hollow in a way that the original is not.

  23. I have reached the Airbuster and I remain perplexed by how I will review this title. The game gets so much right for long stretches, but it also perodically goes mad and squanders all the gains it has made with me. Most games are more than the sum of their parts, but this one seems to be only the sum of its parts, and I haven’t reached a point where I can tot up the figures just yet.

  24. So, when will the logo for the site change into Nomura must die!: a Square-Enix hate site?

  25. “The last thing this franchise needs is to venture into alternate timeline territory, which never does any franchise any narrative good.”
    While I basically agree, I would like to point out Dragon Quest XI which did it nicely. At least, and importantly, it created new characters with more unique motivations, and didn’t use literally just dementors.

    “I’m sorry to say it, but this game is pretty boring.”
    I basically agree with this too. I’m having a hard time playing an hour each night, and I know the difference between having to force myself to go to sleep because a game is so good, and just falling asleep. I’m just at the part with the those sidequests mentioned, and hope they’re not indicative of what’s too come. Please more AVALANCHE-type eco-punk stuff than rodent exterminator. There is a feeling of settling into a bustling and unfamiliar neighborhood at this point which is somewhat fresh.

    Whether the second game will start you off at level 1 or level “50” (i.e. at scale with level 1 for this game), you will lose all of your weapons, materia, and items (sans Buster Sword). Aerith cannot die, and Aerith must die; therefore, that’s where the dementors-of-fate come in. Maybe you can choose to sacrifice Tifa instead (or Yuffie, depending on your choices). But you will only go on a date with Aerith. Speaking of which, it’s kinda shitty that the game doesn’t give you the choice of who to give the flower to in Seventh Heaven, even if it doesn’t matter mechanically.

    “Final Fantasy – (Re:Imagine)/VII.7” or “Final Fantasy VII: if…” but not totally FFVII remake.

    I’m complaining a bit about it, but it’s really at least decent and an honest attempt at a good game. 7/10.

  26. @Tanzenmatt: Comments like yours are why the future version of the site will have a “like” button on comments!

  27. I’ve been a reader long enough that it’s hard to remember past versions now, but didn’t you have a “dislike” button – and only that, no “like” button – at one point?

    I wanted to mention something else too, because I’ve been reading about others having problems getting physical copies. I preordered it with my local GameStop store, and I was able to go there that day and pick it up. Not to gloat, but yto give them credit for being very easy. It came with a stupid Shinra employee ID card. I’ll be back next week to get Trials Of Mana with a punchout cardboard Rabite probably.

  28. @Tanzenmatt: We did indeed have a DISLIKE button (but I prohibited a LIKE button). Maybe it is time to bring that back!

  29. How far through are people? I’m at Chapter 9, in Wall Market. For me the game is doing enough to keep me happy with all the nostalgic nods.
    The thing that frustrates me is the combat and some of the combat quirks. Status seem awfully OP, silence, sleep and stun seem to last for a long time. And I seem to run out of healing items, HiPotions and above, and Phoenix Downs. Maybe I’m not manually curing enough. I set up Aerith as a healer but she doesn’t seem to keep enough ATB bars back to be useful.
    Also did I miss some story about Stamp? I was following this dog’s nose and didn’t really hear them explain it prior to that point.

  30. I reached Wall Market last night, but won’t have time to play tonight in all likelihood. We’ll see.

    When a character is under AI control, the ATB bars charge very slowly. The AI does not use ATB bars. It just attacks (although there is some automatic materia, like AutoCure, that you can use), so you need to do the curing yourself if you want it done properly.

    The story about Stamp is explained pretty early on, I think right after the first reactor mission. Stamp is a cartoon dog that Shinra uses as a propaganda mascot. There are Shinra posters around with propaganda phrases on them (STRONGER UNITED, SHINRA FOR A BRIGHTER TOMORROW!) etc. and they have Stamp on them.

    This is why the resistance uses Stamp graffitti as pointers: it’s ironic to use Shinra’s own propaganda against them.

  31. I finally got the game!, I got final fantasy 7: IF and I am ready to be annoyed by minor issues that might get me mad….. I like the battle system a lot….. I wish cloud’s character design had a face with more jaw really, his face has the form of a triangular pizza slice, biggs has more jaw, even barret!

    Playing the game with japanese voices, those same japanese voices from the advent children ova, I like barret without sounding like mister T. Finished chapter 1. The sephiroth theme mixed with the intro music….. No.

    Cant wait to hear how aerith sounds because I like maaya sakamato songs a lot.

  32. I am in chapter 7 and I am impressed of how well the lip sync works with the japanese audio, I think the lips of every character in the game moves imitating the movement of the mouth when speaking japanese and only japanese, this must be why when you listen in english… it looks weird . Funny that they do the exact opposite of kh3 in which the mouth of the characters move in perfect sync with the english voices.

    I am having a nostalgia attack listening to the japanese voice acting cast of advent children in this game.

  33. I completed FFVIIR on Sunday. I’ve had the battle music stuck in my head all week. I think I’m going to play hard mode because I can’t stop thinking about it.

  34. I received my copy through Amazon around the same time as Caspius, and though I played through quite a bit that first night, the motivation dipped quite a bit afterwards. The pacing is kind of an issue for me, as the original Midgar section zipped along and was engaging, with equal parts dungeon crawling contrasted with slower town sections and storytelling. It all made for a nice balance, and that has not crossed over into the remake.

    The side quests are annoying and seem hastily slopped together fetch questing, but the rewards are enticing enough for a completionist to force themselves through them regardless. When they appear, any momentum the game had before hand is immediately derailed into trying to find a cat or child in a graphically busy clusterfuck of a slum setpiece, or running towards an offshoot path to fight one or two battles. They could’ve put a lot more thought into them, but it just seems like they were rushed to release a game, probably didn’t have enough playtime to satisfy fans, so at the last minute they threw in rat killing, and find the kitties. It’s just not enough, side quests have been done exemplary in other RPG’s, they had a blueprint, just not the time or maybe the motivation to make something more compelling.

    Some of the main missions end up being kind of a long linear grind, for example the jumping off the train portion leading up to the Airbuster battle. While it’s nice to play around with the battle system and level your characters, at some point it becomes this kind of urgent pushing forward tunnel sequence that reminds me a bit of the first half of Final Fantasy XIII. Then it pushes you into another boss battle, and a truncated version of the chapel chase sequence into a slow building-jumping section. Then you get to sector 5–wait!!! No! There’s Rude, and you must go back through another dump area to avoid him! It’s just comically ridiculous fluff to pad out the length.

    The brevity of the original FF7 Midgar kept a sense of well paced, but engaging enough urgency to where going to the world map afterwards was such a reward. You are finally out of that dingy city, and ready to explore the world. That carrot is not at the end of the stick this time, so while I have enjoyed sections of the game so far, the current development team isn’t really thinking of how to properly pace this game as much as the seem to be trying to cram in busy work and fluff in order to justify charging $60 for a part of a game that was probably left best un-magnified. The graphical presentation and music are great, but a story/narrative focused game just needs to flow better than what the FF7 Remake is offering, so far.

  35. @Fumunshu: you’ve probably already heard this weeks podcast so you know that I agree entirely. The pacing is a mess. It looks fantastic, but there are too few battles, so these giant tunnel areas end up feeling weirdly empty. And when they add more enemies (in the pillar for example) they make the area too large and the battles too numerous, so that the sequence loses any ‘punch’ it had. It’s a game where all the ZOOM of the original has been drained away and it is frankly difficult at times to want to keep playing.

  36. It’s odd, the different facets or components of the game are high quality but the overall game doesn’t seem to have the lustre it should.
    I’m loving the music and battles (for the most part. Some of the gimmicks are frustrating. Read: enemies resistant to physical and magic who’s stagger bar only lasts for a second or two) Some of the pacing is odd. For example you finish a fairly difficult battle with the Airbuster and immediately go into a moredifficult boss battle.
    Some of the gameplay mechanics didn’t seem very well explained. I only found out about weapon upgrades after 35 hours because I realised something wasn’t adding up. I felt like I was doing no damage whatsoever against bosses unless I aced it first time and managed to exploit their weakness. Which is another thing, I might not normally have Assess equipped, I get into a boss and struggle along before eventually dying. It’s almost like a lot of battles are set up to trip you and make you restart the battle after re-equipping.
    I’m at Chapter 14, finished up a LOT of sidequests before going into the final part of the game I believe. The game have me a warning about it.

  37. Reached Chapter 16 tonight. Not skipping anything. The more I play this game, the angrier it makes me feel. But it looks and sounds briliant. It’s very frustrating!

  38. I am disappointed about the change to the assault on Shinra HQ.

    The ‘effect’ of the change is meant to be similar to busting in, I guess. In the original if you bust in you get treated to an easy battle with some security goons. After that all the people in the lobby run away from you, and you can look around at some things (and check out the gift shop) before taking the elevator to 59F. Along the way in the elevator, you are peridoically stopped by battles. If you choose the stairs, there is no battle at all, and you have a long run to 59F with some dialogue (and an elixir along the way).

    Now you are required to go through the parking garage with a bunch of mandatory security battles, and when you get to the lobby it is deserted, allowing you to look around and, more importantly, complete some slow climbing puzzles. Then, you decide whether to take the stairs (like the original but slower and no elixir) or the elevator. So it is set up much like the original frontal assault choice of battles followed by ascent.

    This removes the original ‘I don’t want any battles!’ benefit of choosing the stairs. You have the parking garage assault regardless. It’s all there to pad out the clock, I know, but it flattens player choices as well.

  39. So, with the Shinra HQ sequence, there’s no real benefit to taking either the stairs or the elevator? Besides extra dialogue in the stairs I assume. Or maybe a minigame like the stairclimbing in Ghostbusters for NES where you have to sneak by the dementors?

  40. Taking the elevator gives you a few battles and also some brief, but meaningful, cutscenes.

  41. Well done Caspius! you got through! I’m at Shinra Tower and I’ve not been very keen to go back to the game. I’ve gone a few days without playing the game and I’m chipping away at it gradually. I don’t know if the pacing slowed down too much for me in Ch14 with all the side quests or if it’s more lockdown and working from home and not having as solid a set routine that’s put me off slightly. The game is gradually dropping a few points on my review score in my head.
    I’m also up to date with the podcast again, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the aftermath of the plate dropping was so daft and anticlimatic. It looks basically the same and people don’t seem overly bothered…
    I’ll put a message in the other thread about you selling your games, I understand the change in priorities for gaming. I’m buying and playing a lot less and although I’ve not been as willing to reduce my collection I’ve considered it

  42. Did anyone else notice how Chests only seem to have a few set items? It’s ridiculous how many Hi Potions and Antidotes there are. This part seems unfinished as if they forgot to balance it a bit more with variety. Surely more Mega Potions later on, or status recovery items that are relevant to the area’s enemies would be good.

  43. @Berserk: Chests proper (the things that look like concrete trashbins with lights on them) come in a variety of forms, and they are not random. The lights on the outside identify the quality of the item within: mostly in the whiteish ones you will find consumable items (including mega potions), but there are others with purple lights that include things like weapons and materia.

    Shinra boxes that you destroy with your weapon contain random potions, moogle medals, and recovery shards, and respawn if you leave the area (or even move very far away).

  44. Has anyone else finished the game this week? Whose names can we add to our Roll of Honour?

  45. I only just finished the game, as I have been playing only for a couple of hours here an there… At some point I stopped making comparisons to the original classic, which I love, and just accepted that this was a new product.

    My current state of mind is that it was a very good game. Not perfect, but highly entertaining. I did miss the random encounters of the original, though it wasn’t really necessary to level grind (even if that was an option).

    My wife sat and watched me play and enjoyed it like an anime. And, for the most part, so did I.

    Thinking I was getting a more traditional experience I selected “classic” when I started my game, and it was very, very easy. The only challenge finally came in Chapter 18. But I’m terrible at the motorcycle battle style anyway – as it requires actual hand-eye coordination. But I got through it. It was my only “game over”, as I expended my HP on the bike far too fast and had to back off when I played it over.

    The graphics were great, but I probably had the ideal setup. I played it on a 4K OLED in HDR with a PS4 Pro, and thus had an ‘enhanced’ experience includes a very impressive implementation of HDR.

    I was surprised that I liked the voice acting. The new music has some great moments, and the sound overall was really good (sound effects, etc.).

    Just think of Final Fantasy VII Remake as the Kelvin Timeline version. I still like it, and I plan to replay in hard mode. But it’s not TOS FF7.

  46. Oh, and the whispers flying around constantly and being a big part of the story felt like their midichlorians moment. Not necessary, and distracting.

  47. Our playthrough ends at the end of this week! Leave your comments to tell us how you are going, or what your end-of-playthrough thoughts are!

  48. I finished the story a week or two ago. I thought the ending scenes although very Nomura made up for a lot of the slow pacing in the chapters after Wall Market. Ive now gone on to put a fair bit more time in gradually working towards the Platinum. I never actually bother with trophies but thought I’d try for this one. Im up to 75hrs now, max level and have quite high level HP up and MP up..2 on each party member. The grind is quite easy onceyou finish the main game. I dont think its a hugely difficult game on Hard mode but ive not reached the Hell House yet.

    As for the playthrough, its been fun! However the pandemic meant people had their copies arrive at all different times so it didn’t feel as much of a community playthrough as the last one I played, Romancing SaGa 3.
    I think a longer game such as Xenoblade Chronicles remake might need the full 3 months. People are currently stayingat home playinggames a lot more. XC is a huge game and we might be back to some semblance of normality by then.

  49. I’m eagerly awaiting the XC play through since I missed the FF7R remake. I’m a XBonly so the FF7R is the only play through I’ve missed. I also don’t have a switch so I’m playing the Wii version on Wiiu .I played about 40 mins so far and I find the graphics could be better, but I like it so far. I’ve played a lot of XCX so some of the game mechanics are familier. I’ll stop for now and wait for the play through to start

  50. Thank you everyone for playing! We begin our Xenoblade playthrough in a week!

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