In lieu of the news/trailer of the Final Fantasy VII remake a few days ago, it seems that we’ve missed out on actually taking a look at the official announcement post from Square Enix themselves. As commentators from other websites such as Siliconera has pointed out over the weekend, the newsroom post from Square Enix contained a tidbit that the remake will be a “multi-part release”.
The shoddy translation via Google Translate can also be inferred as such:
“And, “Final Fantasy VII Remake”, which will be reborn on PlayStation®4, will be reworked as a separate work, with many of the contents being reviewed when performing a full remake. We will notify you of new information in June, so please stay tuned.”Square Enix newsroom via Google Translate
Delaying to make a better product is a good thing
Let’s not beat around the bush here: Square Enix has no reason to make this an episodic release. Since its announcement during E3 2015, fans have already waited about 4 years for any crucial news to surface on the game; what is another few years of waiting to get the entire game out through the door? The only reason one could think of is that development of the game is simply not done, then why not delay it?
It’s clear to everyone now that the 2015 announcement was to generate hype for the PS4 even though the game was still in pre-production with nothing to show. So long as they don’t Duke Nuke’em the project by never releasing it, fans should be more worried about the quality of the product rather than their (admittedly) slow ass release. They have more than enough financial ability to do so with the cashflow from both FF XV and Kingdom Hearts III.
We’re living 22 years in the future
I think SE (I’ll just abbreviate the name of the company for this article) is simply assuming that most of the sales will come from the people that played it back in the day which would’ve already known the story of the game, which might be true, but its still a 40 hour long RPG that spanned 3 disks back in the original PlayStation release.
Back then, it was a technical limitation that required the game to be split into 3 parts; they simply picked some points in the story that was convenient for them to do so. Fast forward to today, we basically have unlimited storage and bandwidth thanks to digital downloads and the internet so that wouldn’t be any justification.
Bad experience for newcomers
Even worse for newcomers of the game that hadn’t played it or don’t know the story, they would be potentially waiting months for the next episode release to continue with the story; an RPG simply isn’t a format whereby an episodic format will work. RPGs thrive on not only the gameplay aspect, but also on the story that gives context and flavor to the gameplay.
SE and Tetsuya Nomura really need to get this right after the lukewarm reception of Kingdom Hearts III. Let us hope that they do have some good news coming to us next month.
As a fan of the traditional active turn-based system used in older Final Fantasy games, let’s hope that they won’t be changing the gameplay too much to match the combat from FF XIII onwards.