It’s been almost 3 years since Final Fantasy VII Intergrade (formerly “Remake”) was released and with Rebirth on the horizon and Crisis Core Remaster just a couple of months away, it’s hard not to get a little hyped.
When I fired up Intergrade in April 2020, I was completely enamoured by it. I hadn’t been so into a game for literal years. I played it almost feverishly until I’d seen it all.
I particularly loved the hard mode that gets unlocked after finishing the story. It’s rare that I feel the urge to replay a game straight away, I usually give it least a few months so I don’t burn out. This time, I eagerly jumped straight in and when I’d achieved that shiny platinum, I still wanted more.
To avoid overdoing it, I dug my old PSP out of the draw and started up a new game on the original Final Fantasy VII, hoping for a little nostalgia boost and partially, to compare new and old.
It was never my favourite title in the franchise, but I did remember the game very fondly, and playing through the Midgar section (that was only about 4 hours long) so soon after playing Intergrade was a whole new experience.
I had a lot of fun comparing the two. Despite the whining of some the harder to please fans, the remake was actually pretty true to the original, it payed homage to the original content, expanded on the details and really nailed the atmosphere. I particularly liked how much added depth the characters had.
And yeah, there was some new stuff, and a few things apparently out of place but once it became obvious that this wasn’t a straight-up retelling, I really liked these new elements. It didn’t take too long to realise that things were trying to happen differently but the ghosts were correcting events. I really enjoyed not knowing something in a story I’d experienced dozens of times.
Once I got beyond the Midgar city limits though, my enthusiasm really died down. I didn’t like the OG anymore, it was so clunky, and frustratingly slow in comparison. By the time I got to Junon, I’d completely had enough. The newer shinier model had kind of ruined it for me and the only pleasure I had left in playing the original was. In comparing story notes.
It was pretty disappointing, the original game just hadn’t aged well at all. And that hadn’t mattered before, but suddenly it did.
The announcement of the remaster of Crisis Core came at a great time. I think, because it was a PSP exclusive, not many people really had the opportunity to play it.
With the ending of Intergrade and the bonus scene at the end of the Yuffie episode in mind, I’d been toying with the idea of dusting off the PSP one last time but I was really wary after my experience with attempting to replay the original game.
While I did get into the narrative, I was never keen on the gameplay, level design, and structure of Crisis Core. It did have some cool ideas, especially with the Materia, but digging through the game was actually a bit repetitive and well… ho-hum.
I’m really excited to see how they’ve improved on the gameplay and keen to refresh on the content, it’s been about 10 years since I last played it so I don’t remember a lot besides the major plot points anymore.
This time, it will be the same story, which admittedly I was a little disappointed with, I’d had hopes that it would have been adjusted to bring it in to the new time line but I guess I’ll just have to suck it up.
I’ll get some new value with Rebirth a few months later, I guess I can hold out till then… grudgingly. I know the refreshed franchise has been incredibly controversial, but personally, I can’t wait to see the new direction it will take.
About the Creator
Doing my best to keep on keeping on. I’m a quiet guy with a quiet life and I like it that way.
I like spending time with my family, cooking, fantasy fiction, video games, anime and archery.
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