|megpie71 (megpie71) wrote,|
@ 2015-06-17 11:33:00
FFVII High-Definition Remake: A Wish List
Context: Australian, female, forties, fan since first seeing the game on my brother's Playstation back in 1997, own and have played the original Playstation version of the game (played on my PS2), Dirge of Cerberus (PS2) and Crisis Core (PSP), plus the PC re-vamp of FFVII with the MS-Paint mouths on the characters (on the PC, natch!). I also own both KH1 and KH2, as well as the original Dissidia, and a copy of Advent Children. I write Final Fantasy VII fanfiction (you can find them here on AO3). I don't currently own a PS4, but I'd certainly consider buying one (or a new gaming-quality PC) in order to play this remake if it's any good.
Dear Square Enix,
I have apparently been a very good girl this year, since you're planning to remake Final Fantasy VII with high definition graphics for the PS4. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Just the news alone is enough to make me squee and bounce in my chair making happy noises. As a long-time fan of the Final Fantasy franchise, and also of the Final Fantasy VII franchise itself, I offer the following suggestions. (Consider these a wish-list).
1) Please, please, please Squeenix, don't fiddle with the original story to make it match in with Crisis Core, Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus. Just maybe do an updated English-language translation, because the original translation was horrendous at times, and the Mr T references in Barrett's dialogue will fall flatter than a pancake these days. Offer a "parental guidance" version of the English dub if necessary (and it probably will be necessary with characters like Barrett and Cid, whose original dialogue tended heavily toward the shift characters at the top of the keyboard). But leave the brilliant revenge tragedy of the original story as it was. It's the original story I fell in love with, and the original story I want to see in all its high definition glory.
2) Please keep the full range of original monsters, Shinra units and so on, in all their diversity - I want to see high definition versions of things like the Hell Houses on the lost highway in Sector Six, the various Shinra unit uniforms (Grunt, Aero Combatant, Heavy Grunt etc) in all their foolishness and so on. At least part of the enjoyment of the original game for me is in the range of monsters you run across. I can't wait to see a high-definition Midgar Zolom, but I also want to see how you render a Custom Sweeper, or an Elfadunk, or an Adamantoise. If there's one thing I really didn't enjoy about Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus, it was the vastly restricted range of creatures they displayed - mostly the same few models with the odd recolour here and there. The world of Gaia in the original game was a vastly diverse and fascinating place - I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how things like Twin Brains could exist in the same overall ecosphere as Bagnadranas and Nibel wolves and chocobos and dragons (Ark, Nibel, Red - please leave in all the dragons). Oh, and let me see that Nibel Dragon Sephiroth kills off in the beginning of the Nibelheim sequence in full high definition! That would really be spectacular.
3) Keep the full range of original locations, weapons, background characters and summons. Please, don't take anything away from this game, even if it means you have to put it on multiple discs, or into huge downloads. The things I love are the totality of the game, not just the "big scenes" like the Wall Market "drag" scene, or the whole long Nibelheim Incident cutscene. So please don't neglect the small stuff - it's at least as much of what I fell for as the big stuff. I really want to see Dio in his budgie-smugglers at the Gold Saucer, and maybe get a glimpse of Esther as an actual transwoman. I want to see how you handle the various people at Cosmo Canyon, particularly Bugenhagen (what will that weird floaty ball of his translate to?), and how the whole thing turns out. I fell in love with all of the story, and I really do want to see all of it in high definition.
4) That said... can you please offer an option to switch the background music OFF occasionally? Or at least turn the volume right down to zero? (This was the single biggest improvement of the PC remake of the game by far). Particularly in the grinding stages? Because while Uematsu-san's work is brilliant, and the Highwind theme is lovely the first time or three you hear it, by the time you've been out in the world for about six hours, it's really starting to grate. I love it, it's beautiful, but I don't fancy hearing it as an earworm in my sleep for the next five to eight months after playing the game.
5) If you're going to offer achievements (because these seem obligatory these days) may I suggest making them actual achievements rather than the rather dreary mixed bag offered in the PC re-release? I mean, "win a battle"? That wasn't an achievement, it was a TUTORIAL POINT - if you don't win that first battle the game ends and you have to try again. It shouldn't take even the densest gamer more than about two or three tries to figure out that yeah, you have to attack the guards to progress past the first few minutes of game time.
So for example, offer achievements for breeding each of the different types of chocobo (if you want people to breed the silly things) rather than just the gold chocobo (because that can be achieved without ever breeding a single one if you defeat the Ruby Weapon). Offer an achievement for getting every weapon for every character (because that's a real achievement, since there there are a few weapons which only appear once in the game, and only if you have the correct characters in your party at the correct times; there are others which have to be won through competing in games at the Gold Saucer); maybe even an achievement for getting or mastering all the different types of Materia (this one is sneaky: there's one spell for the Enemy Skill which is only offered once in the game, and without it you can't master the materia, as well as a couple of others you can easily miss; not to mention the whole fuss and bother involved in getting Knights of the Round in the first place, much less mastering it!). Those are achievements which actually require some skill and knowledge.
6) If you want to offer something different for your fans, how about re-skins of Advent Children, Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus in the original blocky polygon renders of the original game? Take them back to the blocky stuff, strip out the effects and the graphics, and let those stories stand on their own. Let's see how well they stand up to the comparison. I know I'd be interested in seeing it.
7) Please pay for high quality voice acting, and bring back the voice actors I know and love as the voices of the characters (in particular: George Newburn as the voice of Sephiroth, Steve Burton as the voice of Cloud Strife, Rick Gomez as Zack Fair). As I'm sure you worked out with FFX (in the original), the quality of the voice acting can make or break a game. If you can't afford the best voice actors available, then just stick with the dialogue in dialogue boxes, and let me put the voices to the characters in my head - it'll be much better than sub-standard voice work.
I can't full express how much I'm looking forward to this re-make, but it's currently a re-make I'm looking forward to with somewhat mixed feelings. Please, don't let the prevailing trends of 2015 affect the way you re-make a game which was brilliant in 1997, and which can still hold its own even today. The core of Final Fantasy VII for me was always the stories and the characters - never the visual effects. Please don't lose this core while you're adding in the visuals.
Megpie71 (aka Meg).
PS: If you put Cloud in a pink wig in the Wall Market drag scene, I shall not be impressed. Please don't cheat and re-use your Lightning skins in that one, okay?
This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/54527.htm