The challenges of a FFVII Remake

ZaXo Ken'Ichi

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For a while now, I've been writing down thoughts related to the FFVII Remake, and the changes that will need to be made, the changes that are most likely, the ones people may or may not want to see, and all the challenges this development team will face along the way. Finally got around to making a video about it that I wanted to share, and was advised to put it in this section since it's arguably the most relevant for such thoughts.


It goes without saying, but any thoughts others have are welcome. I'm particularly interested in what other sorts of difficulties you see this development team coming up against.
 

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@ZaXo Ken'Ichi

I can't comment on a good number of things that you covered in the video due to lack of knowledge and experience.

Gold Saucer:
This could be done in a fair manner with nothing put behind a pay wall, but knowing what Square has done in the past there may be a chance that it'll be a repeat of FFXIII-2 activity area that had some parts put behind a pay wall. If the DLC route would be taken, then whatever is available for everybody would need to be good enough to even warrant the possibility of the typical person purchasing additional games for the Saucer. Personally, I'd prefer not too see mini-games from other titles in the remake.

Mechanics:
I agree that what was accepted back in 1997 would not fly today. Since this game is being broken up into parts, it would be a good opportunity to use different battle systems for the different games to help with the mix-up, especially if for example a more action oriented system would be needed to truly grasp the tension of some battles (e.g. ending battle of Cloud vs. Sephiroth and/or the Advent Children fight with the same targets).

Story:
Any lore that came after FFVII that may make it into the final game would be heavily dependent on the factor of how much the "expanding" is going to be in general and also how much space 100% original content would take up as well. FFVII could get by with a T rating, but that would mean certain scenes would have to not be directly shown, but rather alluded too. For example, if somebody was to fall of a building to their death, the actual moment of death would need to be avoided. While the statement you made about parents in general not being considered with the rating of the game, Square would probably be in the mindset of wanting to make the game as marketable as possible. Like with FFXV, a T rating would more than likely take place. Smart usage of camera angles can still express to a player certain things taking place without it actually being shown.

Voice Acting:
It's gotten better over the years for English dubs, and some Japanese companies are doing a better job of making sure localization is better suited for different languages these days imo. There may be some liberties made to the script if there are some cultural references made that would not make sense in other parts of the world.

Nostalgia:
I personally have nothing to lose. I don't have the same attachment to FFVII as many other people do. My experience with the Remake is more than likely to turn out better. One thing is for certain though: If the remake ends up not being successful that would more than likely kill the chances of other mainline FF titles getting a remake.
 

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Lol, sorry bud, but "Just enough to warrant a remake?" I'm no fan boy, but Ratings vs Popularity usually determine a remake. FFVII was and still is the most popular game of the series. As far as ratings, well there are other legacy games that take the cake. They only put out FFXIII => Lightning returns due to Popularity and not ratings. So that's what usually dictates a game remake.

Small recommendation for talking points while using youtube. I think you did very well in narration, but to be honest it would be better if this was broken up into segments and point driven. Say one video for Combat System, another for story line, Character depth, Marketability, and finally a recap video. It will it easier to break the viewers thoughts up and modularize them.

You jumped around about gambit system/combat system then back to story line. Due to this it was a bit hard to follow and harder to compartmentalize thoughts about certain issues with the remake.

Overall though here are my thoughts/fears of the game:

1) Story line - They can't stray too far from it. They can either take away or put more into it. If they choose to take away, it would most likely be due to WAY too much material to cover.
2) Marketability - Easily the most marketable game of all time. (NOT HIGHEST RATED)
3) Timeline - I agree, give devs as much time as they need between the episodes for development. Though at the same time, the sales and marketing sign can't make promises.
4) Characters - I hope they reach into the character development more, but I would understand if this is left out due to what I mentioned in point 1. If they want to do a spinoff on Barrett or Tifa, or the others.. so be it. (already did Vincent).
5) Combat System - I think this will change in a way to be more like FFXV. I do not think they have it in them to step back and make a true JRPG with active time battle vs turn based. Turn based is gone, unless you are talking about hand helds or arcade games (Playstation store, steam, Xbone store)

Overall my fear is they touch the story and try to make the viewers see another side of things. If they let Aerith live, I do not see how that will be a good thing. I won't go into detail, because I do not want this to be a tl;dr.

Thanks for the video bud!
 

ZaXo Ken'Ichi

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Lol, sorry bud, but "Just enough to warrant a remake?" I'm no fan boy, but Ratings vs Popularity usually determine a remake. FFVII was and still is the most popular game of the series. As far as ratings, well there are other legacy games that take the cake. They only put out FFXIII => Lightning returns due to Popularity and not ratings. So that's what usually dictates a game remake.

Oops, maybe I didn't make it clear enough, but that was a joke. It was 100% sarcastic, because even people who know nothing about games have often heard of FFVII, and maybe even know about Aeris' fate. It's far from an obscure game, and is both the highest selling game in the series (maybe even in J-RPGs), and often highest rated game in the series. That was the point, was to play it off as if it was no big deal, like nobody would know what game I was talking about :)

As for the citiques of the video, yeah, I know it's unfortunately kind of a jumbled mess. Like I said, I'd been writing down notes and taking pieces from conversations I'd had for like a year. So it took quite a bit of time just to get it down to where I had it; there was a lot of redundant information in there, and I had to chop everything up to reach the best ways to say everything.

On a more 'business-like' note, I purposefully don't break things up into shorter videos mostly because they don't do as well unless I were to put large waits in between them to rebuild interest. The audience I've built over the last year and a half expects longer videos, kind of like the audience for channels like MattewMatosis and David Ryatta. It definitely should've been better structured so that it makes more sense and doesn't bounce around so much though. Thanks so much for the feedback though!

Regardless of that, I generally agree with you two, and/or at least see where you're coming from. The biggest worry for me really is that rating. In 1992, having women in nightgowns get attacked by what basically amounted to the Power Rangers Putty Patrol warranted the highest ratings. Move to 1998, and MGS1 (which is pretty tame by today's standards) gets an M for blood and a bit of disturbing imagery... that's about it. Fast forward to 2004, and a sex minigame that was removed (but not completely removed) from GTA: San Andreas offered it an upgrade to an AO rating... a minigame where both characters were still fully clothed. 2007 saw Mass Effect getting an M because of a PG-13 sex scene where no real 'skin' was shown. And last year, Witcher 3 got away with Cinemax style softcore scenes with near full frontal nudity, and an M rating. The amount of content an M rating can contain has drastically expanded since FFVII. However, the amount of content a T rating can contain really hasn't. They're severely limited in how much blood can be shown, the look of the blood, nothing more than bikini-esque partial nudity, and next to no curse words. How they'll fit the remake into that without gutting it, I could never understand. Heck, just including the Honey Bee Inn is likely to push it over the line into M.

What rating they hit will literally change everything. As most fans of the series are aware, Type-0 was the first M rated game in the series. They knowingly allowed themselves to hit that rating. The question is... did they only allow it because it's a spinoff, or were they testing the waters for bigger games?
 

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I totally agree, I went on and on about the rating and the maturity of the game in another thread. Also it was just a critique, and at least you are not a cookie cutter in terms of the youtube generation :grin:. You put a lot of well thought out material in this, and definitely didn't seem over biased.

Great job, and as I tell folks like you and Greeny, keep up the work!
 
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