Since its release in 1997 on the original PlayStation, Final Fantasy VIII has yielded two very distinct varieties of cry from the fans: one from those who witnessed probably their very first video game character death with Aerith, and second from those clamoring for a HD remake. While both cries have been stifled over the years in light of other games, it seems we will be hearing the howls once again as Square Enix quite recently announced that the HD remake, announced at E3 this year, will be in episodic format, with each entry “providing its own unique experience”.
Unlike the recent sleuth of ports and HD versions we’re seeing as of late, this remake will be a complete retooling of the original. Among the many changes expected, the remake will feature fully-rendered graphics and will opt for a real-time battle system in lieu of the original’s ‘Active-Time Battle’. This new feature will allow more movement freedom during combat, but producer Yoshinori Kitase has assured it will still contain strategic elements, such as being able to select weapons and magic for each character.
Speaking of which, several of the people who worked on the original Final Fantasy VII are working on the remake, namely Tetsuya Namura, Yoshinori Kitase and Kazushige Nojima – so rest assured, it can confidently be said that no matter the size of the hype, the remake is going to do great justice to the original.
Kitase recently did an interview with Famitsu, providing some insight into the format choice:
“One of the main reasons why we haven’t done a remake until now is because it’s a massive undertaking to reconstruct Final Fantasy 7 from the ground up with the current technology. To a great extent, we just couldn’t take the plunge. Producing a proper HD remake of Final Fantasy 7 that maintains the same feeling of density of the original results in a volume of content that couldn’t possibly fit into one installment.”
In the same article, FFVII remake director Tetsuya Nomura states:
“If we were to try to fit everything into one installment, we would have to cut various parts and create a condensed version. But there would be no point in doing that. For instance, players will be able to explore many different areas of Midgar in this game that they couldn’t access in the original–if we’re remaking this world, we want to add in areas like this and depict them with real detail.”
With Final Fantasy VII’s remake finally on the way, I wonder whether this will be a trend – there are a load of games from the PlayStation era that we would just love to see remade for the current gaming environment!
A @DigitallyDownld poll: Are you okay with the Final Fantasy VII remake going episodic?
— Lindsay M. (@itslindsay613) December 8, 2015