Last Friday, I returned from a wonderful honeymoon. My wife and I took a five day Disney Cruise to the Caribbean (with a brief stop to Cozumel where we picked up some great tequila) and the best part about the trip was that my phone had no reception. It was great to be off the grid for a few days and I recommend everyone do it once in awhile.
While I was away, the PlayStation Experience happened. I was sad to miss it largely because I wanted to see what Sony was going to do. After doing a little reading, it sounded like it was a more casual E3 keynote where they announced some games and celebrated the Sony brand. One item that kept coming up was the re-release of Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 4. It looks like its going to be a straight up port with a few obscure console features. No new cutscenes, no updated graphics, it’s the same role playing experience from 1997 (supposedly with special console features or some such). I can only imagine that a lot of people were bummed out.
I think it’s time that we, as a gaming community, move on. Who, exactly, would the remake serve? It’s not like the game is impossible to play. I would guess that most die hard fans still have their PlayStation One or PlayStation 2. Or they’ve downloaded it from PSN to their PSP or Vita. Or even purchased the game on PC through Steam. It’s not like Grim Fandango which was very difficult to run on modern computers. With so many options available, do we really need to buy the game again?
I loved Final Fantasy VII when my brother gave it to me in ’97. It was a substantial game with a good story, great characters, and wonderful music. Every once in awhile, I’ll play it for a few hours to scratch a nostalgic itch. But never have I felt that the game would be better served as a big budget, 1080p, full blown CGI remake. Considering how crazy most modern Final Fantasy adventures have been, I fear that much of VII‘s charm would be lost in the transition.
Another thing to consider: can you imagine what the reaction from Final Fantasy VII die hards if the remake wasn’t perfect to them? They’d likely flay it alive. People are so hard to please these days and I’d bet good money that there will be a huge backlash once a next-gen version of the game was released. What would happen to the game’s reputation then?
If Final Fantasy was in danger of being unplayable to new audiences, then a remake or re-release is a good idea for preservation reasons. But that’s not the case. Final Fantasy VII has many playable versions. I bet we won’t have to wait long until it finds itself on iOS and Android platforms like some of the older games have. It’s time to let go, folks. It’s time to appreciate Final Fantasy VII for what it was and move on. There are other games out there to be enjoyed.