How IGN would remake VII (This should be good.)

#1
So that center for high level journalism that we all know love decided to talk about the FF7 remake for no particular reason. And I know we've discussed how we would before, but what the hell.

To enhance the entertainment value of our pitch, let's assume we have complete creative control -- no matter how controversial our decisions -- and unlimited resources. We reign as the god of this project, and we will make our vision glorious.

Lights, Camera, Advent Children
If Final Fantasy fans have proven anything over the years, it's their tolerance -- and general enjoyment of -- the cutscene. Square-Enix does have a knack for the medium, of course, which makes all those boss fights so rewarding when you settle in for a visual symphony after landing the finishing blow.

In SOLDIER Once More, we'll create a shot-for-shot replica of the original cutscenes in Final Fantasy VII, re-rendered using Square-Enix's current platforms. Every shot, every musical cue, must be preserved when translated to the new graphical package. And along those same lines, we arrive at the first controversial directive of the day: keep the cutscenes voiceless.

The original cutscenes of Final Fantasy VII played out more like silent film than anything else, which contributed to the charm. Keeping the cutscenes voiceless will invoke that classic style while keeping the entire experience consistent with the next design directive.
Okay...there were only two FMVs that had dialogue anyway. The ending - which you couldn't get away with not voicing - and the revelation of Jenova, which I would imagine the dialogue half of the scene what take place in normal graphics like CC now.

I agree that they should stick with the shots and musical cues and all that. The only things I'd expect might be worth changing is in cases like the Weapon sequences where the original would keep going back and forth from FMV to lego graphics to show character dialogue and then go back. You may as well just prerender the entire Diamond Weapon sequence, it's not like it's playable anyway. But that would require speaking of course, I don't know why the focus on keeping the FMVs speechless unle--- oh.

When Ignorance is Bliss
No spoken dialogue. Whatsoever. Only in our ideal world would this ever come to pass, considering Square-Enix's love of spoken dialogue. But maintaining the spirit of the original Final Fantasy VII is the priority with this project, and keeping the cast's voices left to the imagination works inaudible miracles in the creation of meaningful characters. Our mental interpretations play an important role in bringing books to life; a fact forgotten by many gamers eager for a sensory-complete experience.

From a practical standpoint, Square-Enix has had mixed success with voice acting in the past, so forgoing it altogether saves the project from vocal low points. For example, Final Fantasy XII had a generally rock-solid lineup, but Final Fantasy XIII had a few surprising weak points -- one of which carried a finishing rod as a weapon.
All right, I know the problems Square has had with voice acting in the past and all...but unless this is gonna be a $20 PSN/XBLA game you are not gonna get away with making all the dialogue occur in text boxes. Even portable games speak in the important scenes nowadays.

And, really, I know a lot of people here hate FF7's voicing, but Square has been rather good with this of late. Birth By Sleep had impeccable acting, XII's was great, and XIII's outclassed the Japanese even including Vanille. XIII-2 was noticeably better than the Japanese on account of Serah alone. If they put the same effort in I think this could turn out okay.

Also I presume they mean "fishing rod."

In Need of a Familiar Face
The original cutscenes in Final Fantasy VII -- along with the enhanced models used in battle -- demonstrated the developer's interest in realistic characters. But the technological limitations of the first PlayStation prevented anything more detailed, and the polygonal models used in between battles detracted from the end product.

SOLDIER Once More will unite all the 3D elements of Final Fantasy VII, pushing the character models, items, enemies, and more onto the modern stage of digital fidelity. Square-Enix has exhibited its acute skill with character models and visual effects in its recent projects. Even Final Fantasy XIII, now more than two years old, looks sharper than many games on the market today.

Let's put the team's coding prowess to good use. Cloud deserves it.
Yeah no shit. Next.

What a Wonderful World
Onto an even more controversial design directive than the aforementioned ban on voice acting: the backdrops. While the original pre-rendered, 2D environments may have been selected out of necessity, they were wielded with skill. The backdrops -- elaborate paintings with a startling attention to detail -- often played with perspective to shape the scope of the world.

Considering this, our remake will continue to use 2D environments. These backdrops will be redrawn at a more suitable resolution for modern displays but will otherwise replicate every scene from the original down to the last flickering wisp of Mako energy.

Outrageous? Certainly. But this directive serves both artistic and practical purposes. From the view of the artist, it allows for the remake's continued preservation of spirit and style. And from a practical viewpoint, it takes up far less room, making SOLDIER Once More much more viable as a downloadable product.
Now this one is kind of interesting. I LOVE FF7's backgrounds. Indeed, 8's and 9's too. We did lose the level of detail you got with the prerended background. But, again, I'm not sure you could get away with this and still have people buy you're game. Uncharted (or even Oblivion/Skyrim) shows you can be just as detailed with 3D environments.

However, one thing I would NOT mind seeing is an uncontrollable camera a la FFX. We've talked before how the slums felt more oppressive in VII with the top-down camera and being able to see laterally and out into the open in Crisis Core (among other things) got rid of that feeling. So why not keep a top-down camera? At least while you're outside. X's camera was never really a hindrance, it's not Devil May Cry, you basically just walk around anyway. Certainly you'd have camera control in wide open areas (just like you did in the original), but why not have a preprogrammed camera so you can frame things the way they are most effective?

The 'Core'
Stripping the visuals and audio away from a game leaves the most important part: how it plays. No matter how well our dream project executes the above directives, the most important piece of the puzzle is replicating the fun and engaging qualities of the original Final Fantasy VII.

To that end, modifications to play components are only allowed to address a glitch or imbalance in the original. Otherwise most improvements will focus on performance, UI enhancements, and other bright, shiny bits that elicit smiles and rainbows from the most sour of pusses.
I'm torn on this one. I personally don't think you should turn it into some kind of ARPG or even like FFXII, but they should change some things to keep it interesting, I'm just not sure what. I would like some mechanical things like multi-linked materia slots or maybe orient the slots on weapons like X-2's garment grids so that multiple materia might have an effect on things.

But as for the actual combat system itself, I don't know what I'd do.


After that they just have some random suggestions from game journalists. Nothing too interesting, but my favorite is definitely from a Mike Pereira who says:
Streamline plot threads (i.e. ditch Jenova)

Okay dude.
 
#4
I would quite like to see a fixed camera. If used excellently like in God of War, it could both be a tool for hiding some good treasure in dungeons AND to include the cinematic elements by having the camera swoop back and around during epic moments (coupled with musical cues as the environments unfold).

Edit: God of War is my only reference in this regard as I have not played FFX, so sorry if FFX used the camera the same way. :P

Edit #2: It would also be neat if, when standing on certain spots, the fixed camera replicated the perspectives from familiar areas of the original game.
 
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Tennyo

Higher Further Faster
#5
How in the flip does one "ditch Jenova?"

FFVII wouldn't happen if Jenova hadn't crash landed on the planet. She is pretty much the core of everything.
 
AKA
Leon S. Kennedy,Terry Bogard, The Dark Knight, Dacon, John Marston, Teal'c
#8
I would quite like to see a fixed camera. If used excellently like in God of War, it could both be a tool for hiding some good treasure in dungeons AND to include the cinematic elements by having the camera swoop back and around during epic moments (coupled with musical cues as the environments unfold).

Edit: God of War is my only reference in this regard as I have not played FFX, so sorry if FFX used the camera the same way. :P


Edit #2: It would also be neat if, when standing on certain spots, the fixed camera replicated the perspectives from familiar areas of the original game.
play it
 
#10
Edit: God of War is my only reference in this regard as I have not played FFX, so sorry if FFX used the camera the same way. :P
I'm...amazed you haven't played it, but just to answer your question, FFX's camera wasn't "fixed," in the sense that camera often moved with you as you moved through an environment, sometimes sweeping behind you to great effect as you suggest. I feel like X's camera moved more frequently than it does in God of War, but I could be remembering wrong. Anyway, yeah I would like a camera used that way. Sure give us camera control on the open map and stuff, but in those important locales show me what you want me to see.

Edit #2: It would also be neat if, when standing on certain spots, the fixed camera replicated the perspectives from familiar areas of the original game.
Yeah it would, they expressed at least some cognizance of that in Crisis Core's opening how the shot of the train pulling into the station was an identical shot.
 

Flintlock

Pro Adventurer
#11
So to sum up, IGN would basically improve the graphics and fix a few bugs. That's not so much a remake as a refresh. Yet it takes them 947 words to say that - and that's only counting the first page.

Next!
 
#12
@Dacon & ForceStealer

I used your words as motivation to do something I'm always too lazy to do; go to eBay.

Just ordered the following:
- Final Fantasy X, PAL version
- Final Fantasy X-2, PAL version
- Final Fantasy X-2 International Last Mission

:monster:

I've been meaning to buy this stuff anyway. Just never got around to it.
 

Octo

KULT OF KERMITU
AKA
Octo, Octorawk, Clarky Cat, Kissmammal2000
#14
RE: Keeping the cutscenes voiceless, I'd 100% agree with that if they hadn't already ruined everything by giving the characters voices (most of which I hated) I can't 'unknow' that now, and neither can anyone else. I suppose the best they can do is give people the option of switching the fucking things off :monster:
 

Alex

alex is dead
AKA
Alex, Ashes, Pennywise, Bill Weasley, Jack's Smirking Revenge, Sterling Archer
#15
Some dude apparently wants to ditch emo Cloud.

Spoiler: Cloud wasn't remotely emo in the game. Not until Advent Children decided to give him an edgy reinvention (by means of ruining his character)
 

Blade

That Man
AKA
Darkside-Ky/Mimeblade
#17
Let's see, how would *I* remake FFVII:

--Full audio Cast (I think the dub cast for FFVII Advent Children, Crisis Core, and even the people from Dissidia were decent).
--Full immersive rotatable camera for locations and exploration (FFXII never once was harmed by this, nor was Crisis Core), with exception to cutscenes which were mostly built with in-game models, the camera should be adjustable...even in Battle scenes. I'd even go so far as to give the player the ability to run, climb, and jump like they can in FFXIII-2.
--Completely hi-rez battle system engine (with optional minimized menus like FFVIIIs or expanded like FFXIIIs or a variant...or just having a semi-transparent classic FFVII menu).
--Completely revamped music and sound fx (making modern sound fx and music or classic sound fx and music optional).
--*Enhanced* Mini-games...(imagine a suped-up version of Crazy Motorcycle battle, AC style! and Snowboarding too!)
--*Enhanced* Materia Fusion System: I liked this idea from Crisis Core, instead of having a huge backlog of mastered materia replicating itself, fuse it with others to make new ORIGINAL Materia, making even more Materia combinations possible.
--*Enhanced* Item refinement system: Aside from fusing materia with other materia, make it so you can power up your items with other items OR Materia...make monster items more valuable on pickup.
--*Enhanced* (Optional) Leveling System: Make it so that Level 100 is no longer the cap, and that monsters and bosses level up along with you (just like FFVIII) to always give you a challenge!
--*Enhanced* Story: Include secrets and hidden passages in the FFVII mythos...like decoding message records from the Turks, secret Shinra Files, information on SOLDIER, backstory data on characters like Hojo and more...all the while keeping it in a nice neat database in the game's menu next to a Beastiary and Item collection log.
--*PHS Cellphone Missions*: Cloud may be an EX-SOLDIER, but he's still a Merc for hire...get extra missions from different places around the world...get a head start on Strife Delivery Service, earn extra Gil and Gold Saucer money for those rare items!
--*Bonus Content*: Extra Costumes and weapons from Advent Children, Kingdom Hearts, Ehrgeiz and more...
--*Bonus Characters*: After a tough battle, have Turks join your party...miss Aerith? Bring her back from the Lifestream (you'll have to beat her in a fight first)!

Yeah, I'm a sell-out...but I figure people would probably dig it. :D
 
AKA
Mr. Ite
#18
Man what the hell happened to "SETTINGS > SOUND > VOICES ON/OFF" like how fucking hard is that on a gaming console that is basically a supercomputer?

edit:

I'd even go so far as to give the player the ability to run, climb, and jump like they can in FFXIII-2.
You do all of those things in the first dungeon of FFVII, and also all throughout the game. Running has been around since FFV. If you're saying you want to turn it into a hybrid-platformer, the level design in FFVII is certainly compatible, but to what end?

optional minimized menus like FFVIIIs
imo IX had the most elegant battle screen. But yeah, removing it with the square button would be rad.

*Enhanced* Materia Fusion System: I liked this idea from Crisis Core, instead of having a huge backlog of mastered materia replicating itself, fuse it with others to make new ORIGINAL Materia, making even more Materia combinations possible.
*Enhanced* Item refinement system: Aside from fusing materia with other materia, make it so you can power up your items with other items OR Materia...make monster items more valuable on pickup.
*Enhanced* (Optional) Leveling System: Make it so that Level 100 is no longer the cap, and that monsters and bosses level up along with you (just like FFVIII) to always give you a challenge!
I just played through this game with a total newb, and nothing about the game system needed changing, for a fifteen year old game, I'd rather leave well enough alone. I'd say *Enhance* the graphics, engine, music-quality (leave the score as is please, none of this techno-drum Anxious Hearts from CC) and camera control. Nothing really else.
 
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Drax

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Benoist; Captain Highwind
#19
I'm all for the letting them Advent Children the fuck out of it. :V

For some reason I see semi-cinematic limit breaks like this in my head:

Before:



After:

(Replace Sephy with Cid pointing forward, and Highwind dropping down out of the clouds and bombing the hell out of everything.)



I was also okay with the AC voices on both tracks, and I'm pretty sure all the actors are still around. The dubbing just needed better direction in spots.
 

Blade

That Man
AKA
Darkside-Ky/Mimeblade
#20
I can see how FFVII's battle system "doesn't need" to change...I'm just saying those changes could be optional to enhance the experience.

I mean...if you had the chance to fight Sephiroth Solo and get him as a secret party member, would you jump at the chance?

Heck, if Zack was a hidden character...that'd be equally epic.
 

Arth

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Arthquake
#21
Are you serious?Zack and Sephiroth as hidden party members?Doesn´t make sense in any way and I don´t want to have this even as a bonus feature.
 
#22
I am of the opinion that the ending to FFVII feels pointless when you take the Compilation into account. Sephiroth is not killed and the world immediately suffers from yet another disaster (Geostigma) after Meteor disappears. It is also understandible how the ending on its own has been criticized to be "bad" because it ends so suddenly. I can both see how the ending can be considered good or bad, with or without the Compilation.

But hear me out. What if the remake included a BAD ENDING?

The party is defeated by Sephiroth at the end. Holy is not summoned and it does not slow down Meteor enough to give the Lifestream time to emerge and prevent the disaster. Meteor causes a mega-huge wound and in the centre of the spirit energy that now emerges to heal the wound is Sephiroth, whose maniacal laughter can be heard. Finally the green Lifestream turns into the black "Lifestream", like what we saw at the end of AC that was the remnants of those who died from Geostigma. THE END

I believe that the contrast between the bad and the good ending would help give the good ending more weight, both for the game and the Compilation as a whole. Remember when you first saw the bad ending when being defeated by Lavos in Chrono Trigger? That stuff is moving.

Although I still think something with the good ending would have to change to make it feel more meaningful in the context of FFVII canon and to not make it overshadowed by the bad ending.
 
#23
I could see having Zack, Sephiroth etc.. as playable characters if it was some kind of extra feature rather than part of the game, like Kingdom Hearts. But Zack is dead before the game starts (and if Zack could be obtained as a hidden character, what knock-on effect would that have on Cloud's amnesia and identity crisis, which is the core of the game?) Sephiroth is our enemy; I don't want him in my party. And the whole point about Aerith dying is that she has to stay dead and cannot be recovered, no matter how badly we want and need her - just like real people when they die. To meddle with these things would be to take the heart out of the game and deprive it of much of its meaning.
 
#24
IAnd the whole point about Aerith dying is that she has to stay dead and cannot be recovered, no matter how badly we want and need her - just like real people when they die. To meddle with these things would be to take the heart out of the game and deprive it of much of its meaning.
This is mega-important. Aerith must NOT be recoverable in any way outside of a cheat device. The fact that you lose her not just in the story, but also that all the time you took to level her is taken from you is essential for the impact. From a gameplay standpoint it may be considered unfair, even bad game design, that all the progress with her is lost but I still think that this consequence in gameplay has to stay.
 
#25
I think I speak for everyone when I say I'd like more Midgar to explore. And not the "it's 4 am and everybody's gone to bed except for these five NPC character models who keep reappearing" Midgar of Crisis Core, but a crowded, vibrant, busy metropolis.
 
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