Each Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode Will be as Long as Final Fantasy XIII

Reception was mixed when Square Enix announced that its remake of Final Fantasy VII was to be split into episodes, with some fans accusing the developer of milking the game’s release. However, Final Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase has revealed that each episode will be the length of a single game, comparing the length of each instalment to Final Fantasy XIII.

“It will essentially be a full-scale game for each part of the multi-part series. In XIII, each installment told the story from a different angle,” Kitase told Game Informer’s Joe Juba (via TechRadar). “It was kind of like approaching an unknown territory in a sense.”

“Whereas with Final Fantasy VII Remake, we already have a pre-existing story, so it wouldn’t really make sense if that isn’t encompassed in a multi-part series […] So, if we’re just looking at each of these parts, one part should be on par with the scale of one Final Fantasy XIII game,” Kitase added.

Kitase is a Final Fantasy veteran, having been involved in the franchise since the very first release, plus RPG classic Chrono Trigger.

“I, along with [Tetsuya] Nomura-san and [Kazushige] Nojima-san – who are involved with the remake – were also involved with the original Final Fantasy,” Kitase said. “We were the people who created it, so in that sense, we don’t think anything is untouchable. That isn’t to say we’re changing everything!”

While the release date for the first episode of Final Fantasy VII Remake has not been revealed, it’s a safe bet that more details will be revealed at this Summer’s E3.

First Scenario of Final Fantasy VII Remake Finished

The latest issue of Japanese weekly gaming magazine Famitsu has revealed that Square-Enix has already completed the first scenario of the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

While the use of the term “scenario” can be taken many different ways in English – and could be misread as either scene or even episode – the Japanese use of the word is effectively a synonym for script or screenplay. So, by “first scenario”, we can assume that whatever will constitute the first part or episode of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s multi-part release is now set in stone, meaning that we could soon discover how much of the game we will be getting in the first release.

More information regarding this first scenario has emerged through Hachima (via Siliconera):

  • Players will be able to explore all the areas of Midgar.
  • Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie will get more character development.
  • The amount of parts or episodes is as-yet-unknown.
  • Potential online features are yet to be decided.
  • FFVII Remake will use Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4.
  • The team is getting technological assistance from the Kingdom Hearts team.
  • Cloud’s auditory hallucination scenes are being shaped up to be more meaningful.
  • The voice cast from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children will return.
  • The team will implement a new ATB Gauge and Limit Break system.

Kitase and Nomura Explain Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Episodic Format

Square Enix caused quite a stir when it announced that its forthcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake is to be what has been described as a “multi-part series”. Now, the game’s producers, Tetsuya Nomura and Yoshinori Kitase, have spoken out about why Square Enix has chosen the episodic route for release, in interviews posted by Famitsu and Dengeki.

The pair were asked to explain the decision to make the game episodic (translation courtesy of NeoGaf user JeffAtomsky):

Kitase: “The idea that a remake of Final Fantasy VII would not fit into a single release was there from the very beginning. We still can’t share more information about its multiple parts, but please look forward to future announcements.”

Nomura: “If we dedicated our time to a single release, parts of it would become summarized. We’d have to cut some parts, and additional parts would come in few, so rather than remake the game as a full volume, we decided to do multiple parts.

Kitase: “As you can see in the trailer, we showed Sector 1 and Sector 8, but in those areas alone, I think you can see a lot of density. When you’re remaking the entirety of the original version in that quality, it’s not possible to fit it all in one release.”

Kitase and Nomura also revealed more about the game’s battle system:

Kitase: “Rather than a command-based battle ensuing when you encounter an enemy, we’re aiming for a seamless active battle, as you can see in the trailer.”

Nomura: “Regarding the battle speed and tempo, for the sake of a stress-free battle, we want to do something on the level of Dissidia Final Fantasy. As far as the degree of action goes, it’s Dissidia Final Fantasy, then Kingdom Hearts, then Final Fantasy VII Remake. There won’t be any actions that require a technique. By using the new system, we want to do action battles while also being able to fight while thinking strategically.”

Nomura [RE: FFVII’s original ATB system]: “In the end, it’s based on Final Fantasy VII, so elements like the ATB gauge and Limit Breaks will appear with new ways to be used. Please look forward to how this game will evolve through the remake.”

Finally, they responded to queries regarding any potential changes to the story:

Nomura: “In addition to delving into these episodes more deeply, we’re preparing a number of mechanisms and such. To those who played the original version will know the important parts and understand the story from the beginning to the end. Also for these people, I hope that they can be surprised once again.”

Kitase: “I don’t want the remake to end as something nostalgic. I want to get the fans of the original version excited.We’ll be making adjustments to the story with this feeling in mind.”

While an episodic release structure may anger some, it is in keeping with Square Enix’s stance regarding a remake of Final Fantasy VII for the past two decades. Until the surprise unveiling of Final Fantasy VII Remake at E3 earlier this year, Kitase maintained that adapting the game for modern, HD formats would be cost-prohibitive due to its sheer scale. Just last year, Kitase told Eurogamer that a remake “would take a lot to happen.” It seems that the episodic structure facilitates that “lot.”

Is this a cash-grab or does is it pragmatic to release such an ambitious undertaking incrementally?

New Final Fantasy VII Remake Trailer Hits – Details of Combat System Revealed

During the PlayStation Experience keynote address yesterday, Square Enix debuted a brand new trailer for the greatly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake first announced at E3 earlier this year. The footage gives us our first glimpse at combat, seemingly eschewing the classic Active Time Battle system in favour of more dynamic action-style fights, and even the new voices of Cloud Strife and a sunglasses-wearing Barret Wallace.

It’s not yet clear whether the voice actors from the sequel movie, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, are reprising their roles in the remake, but it sounds a lot like Steve Burton and Beau Billingsly as Cloud and Barret, respectively.

After the trailer, Yoshinori Kitase, the game’s producer, spoke about some of the changes gamers can expect from the remake, including the combat system previewed in the video.

“The hardware itself has evolved since the release of Final Fantasy VII, and the games are more real, and real-time based,” Kitase said (translation courtesy of Nova Crystalis). “The previous Final Fantasy VII was a command-based RPG that utilized active-time-battle. Real-time and GMC are the trends these days.”

“I can’t say the new game is completely action-based, but it has more of that element and real-time than the previous game.”

“However, what makes Final Fantasy and RPG different from other games is that the players have the ability to choose weapons, capabilities and magic to be strategic minded, so while the new game has more real-time element, it will also maintain that strategy building element, balancing these two factors perfectly to enhance the gaming experience.”

“The game is still in development, and we have not fully grasped all the abilities of and upgrades made to PlayStation 4. The graphics are superb on PlayStation 4, and more polygon volume is available to make it better.”

“The way we harnessed the power of the PlayStation 4 was to maintain the graphic quality of characters like Cloud, Tifa, and [Aeris] in the movie called Advent Children in our game, and this was the starting point. So, what we’re aiming for with the Final Fantasy VII Remake is to have the same quality of these characters in real-time while playing the game, and this is only achievable with PlayStation 4.”

Sony Coy On Final Fantasy VII Remake Exclusivity Deal For PS4

The gaming community, still coming to terms with the shock announcement that RPG classic Final Fantasy VII is being remade, is now scrambling for more information on the game’s exclusivity deal with Sony. After the teaser trailer, a banner reads, “Play it first on PlayStation 4”. Though the message suggests that the game will make it to other platforms at a later date, it seems that PS4 users will play the game first.

Timed exclusives are becoming more common – as with Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming to Xbox One before any other platform – but the duration of these exclusives can be a little muddy. It makes sense, though: give customers a timeframe for when a game could be released for the console they own, and they’ll be less likely to invest in a rival console to play the game.

Rob Crossley of Gamespot had the opportunity to get to the bottom of the matter, asking the Chief Executive of PlayStation Europe, Jim Ryan, how long the Final Fantasy VII remake exclusivity deal for PS4 would last.

Crossley asked Ryan, “How long does the [Final Fantasy VII] timed exclusivity deal last?” Ryan’s response was suitably vague. He replied, “We don’t have anything to say about that at this point in time.”

A determined Crossley pushed Ryan for a more concrete answer, saying, “I understand. I remember when Microsoft announced the Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusivity deal, and Phil Spencer was engulfed by the press who were asking him how long the exclusivity lasted. I feel this issue deserves the same scrutiny.” No joy, though, with Ryan retorting, “Yes, but that whole thing was very ambiguous.”

Crossley keeps up his offensive, acknowledging, “Yes, but this is ambiguous as well. No one knows how long Final Fantasy VII is a timed exclusive for,” at which point a PlayStation public relations person interjects to say, “At this stage, we are announcing that it’s coming to our platform. There’s nothing else we can say, in terms of exclusivity.”

In one last, desperate attempt to get a straight answer to his question, Crossley says,” But that is ambiguous. People who want to buy this game don’t know how long it will remain as a PlayStation 4 exclusive,” which elicits a double response from both the PR spokesperson and Ryan. The spokesperson says, “At this stage, we are just saying announcing the title, so it’s very common, especially at this stage, to say it’s coming and that it’s coming to our platform,” while Ryan adds, “What we’re not doing is saying it’s an outright exclusive, which I think is a subtle difference [compared] to what happened last year.”

So, there we have it: Sony doesn’t want to tell us how long the Final Fantasy VII remake will be exclusive to PS4 for. Does that mean it’s a lame deal that only lasts a week, or are they just making it as hard as they can for competitors to sell consoles off the back of the game?

Thank you Gamespot for providing us with this information.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Was Underway Before HD Port! More Revealed This Winter

After the astonishing announcement that Square Enix was remaking RPG classic Final Fantasy VII, project director Tetsuya Nomura spoke in greater detail about the development of the project during a roundtable at E3, revealing that the game has been in the works for a while, even before the port of the PC HD remastered version of the original game was announced for PlayStation 4.

“When we announced the HD port, the PC port on the PS4, we weren’t sure when we wanted to announce the remake,” Nomura told EuroGamer. “The production was underway then, so there’s no real connection between the timing of the two FFVIIs coming to PS4. We’ve announced several different titles coming to the PlayStation 4 like World of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts 3.”

Nomura also mentioned that there was a sudden urgency to develop the remake after the original staff on the game became more conscious of their own mortality. “The talks about making this remake, internally it’s been mentioned on and off,” he said. “Sometimes we think we can do it, and then sometimes we think maybe we can’t. Considering some of the original staff, like Kitase, he’s acting as producer, and [Kazushige] Nojima, he’s doing the script – we’re all getting older! If we keep going like this, the thought occurred to us that we might have to pass this on to a younger generation, without the original developers taking part. It doesn’t seem like such a grand intention, but we wanted to do it with the original members.”

In a later interview with Dengeki Online, Nomura said that the remake will extend beyond fancy new graphics. “We can’t talk about any further details, but it won’t be a simple remake,” Nomura said. “Even if we were only making the graphics prettier for a next-generation machine, I don’t think it would exceed the original version. If that were the case, the original International version will be available on PlayStation 4, so you could just play that and be done.”

“We haven’t put out any screenshots yet, but we’re making considerable progress, so please look forward to it. This time we are formally introducing Nojima as the scenario writer. That being the case, he will be influencing the setup as far as the story, so you’ll have that to look forward to as well.”

“Sometime during the winter, we’re planning to have a follow-up report. I believe we’re going to announce the official title, at least, but as for other details, we’re in the process of determining what we’re going to put out.”

Thank you EuroGamer and Gematsu for providing us with this information.

Final Fantasy VII Fan Turns PlayStation into Midgar

A dedicated Final Fantasy VII fan, operating under the name MakoMod, has modded an original PlayStation with a model of Midgar – the capital city of the game’s planet, Gaia – on top.

MakoMod spent 10 months crafting the model and affixing it to the top of his PS1, and the console still works perfectly. The Midgar model features the Shinra Building, the eight Mako reactors, the Sector 5 church, and even [SPOILERS!] the missing Sector 7 plate that Shinra dropped to destroy AVALANCHE.

The modded PlayStation is available on eBay, currently priced at 265 Euro ($300).

Source: Kotaku