When good ol' Sqeenix announced that Final Fantasy VII would be ported to the PS4, I scoffed. This is partly because they announced it in the trolliest way possible, but also because I still have my original PS1 copy, and the PS1 classic on my PS3 and Vita. Why on earth would I need to buy it again? Then when it finally released I saw that it was on sale, supported trophies, included cheat codes, and came with a theme that would play Aerith's Theme whenever I started my PS4...
I bought it again.
I first played Final Fantasy VII as a young child. I eventually beat it as a teenager and while I have played it again a few times since then, I've only beat it that once. It's time to do that again.
How does Final Fantasy VII compare to my overwhelming nostalgia? Is it still a great game? Has it aged well? Is the new remake even necessary?
One thing that we can all agree on is that FF7 is ugly. It looks like fart. That is so much clearer playing on a PS4. Those polygons didn't age well. We all knew this though, what about everything else? Is the story still mind breaking like it was when I was a teen? Not even a little. The story is intriguing, it still has a lot of emotion and suspense, but it suffers from some pretty hilarious translation issues. The dialogue feels awkward, moments that I remember being huge and important are kind of skipped over, and there are numerous typos. The game's pacing feels so off. It hasn't aged well in that regard.
My nostalgia has taken a serious blow! I love when a video game pulls off a good story, and I always felt that Final Fantasy VII was one of the greatest. To realize that it's really not all that great was difficult to accept. Do you know what has aged well though? Everything else!
The music of Final Fantasy VII is still wonderful. Nobuo Uematsu is a genius composer and Final Fantasy VII is one of his best works. Aerith's Theme is touching in all the right ways and brings weight to the JENOVA battle after Aerith gets all stabified. One Winged Angel makes the final battle with Sephiroth all the more intense. The main theme that plays in the world map still fills me with wonder and makes me want to go and explore this massive world (even though I already know every nook and cranny of it).
The gameplay is still super fun. The Squares at Enix seem to think that there is something wrong with the ATB system, but I'm still having loads of fun using it. I still love the flashy limit breaks. I still love Cloud's stupidly big sword, Barret's gun arm, and whatever Red XIII is. I still love Materia and leveling it up along with my characters. I still love that I can summon a huge freaking dragon that will rain death upon my enemies from space!
All in all, I'd say that Final Fantasy VII is still worth playing. My nostalgia took a few blows, but I still love this game. It is, and forever will be, a classic that defined a genre and had a huge impact on games. So then, do we really need a remake? Is it still necessary? We'll save that question for another day (maybe, if I feel like it, if anyone cares what I think about that subject).