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Shop Watch April 2020

By Russ | April 26, 2020 at 5:57 pm

I was playing the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Now I’m gonna dunk on it: I wasn’t expecting much from the game and I was still disappointed.

Final Fantasy VII Remake was released April 10, the week after the Resident Evil 3* remake did it one better by being the more playable title and not the ‘walking simulator’ FFXIII was derided for but FF7R embraces.

Trials of Mana, a full on remake of Secret of Mana 3 from the Super Famicom/Nintendo era; was released the 24th. A demo is available and it is charming. Be warned – there are already issues with the localization not matching the animation. The game is probably best played in Japanese to get everything to match. There are also issues with characters being dumb as a sack of bricks. Looking at you; Little Miss Not Grabbing Your Brother. Also looking at the brother, Little Dude Too Stupid To Have a Plot Item.

The latest Sakura Wars title sees release the last week of April. This surprises me but is also kinda cool. The success of Atlus’ Persona series – now also a Sega product – must have them looking at older RPG properties. It’s also not a remake as I initially though, which separates this title from others release this month.

As for dunking on FF7R: I know a lot of people wanted this title so the FF7 which existed in their minds post Advent Children could be the FF7 for real. But the game has very real flaws in both it’s gameplay and ultimately, the execution of its final chapters. Action games where you do chip damage until you fill up the stagger gauge to do some better damage are lame. There are great parts to the game, like the characterization, the minigames, and the sidequests. However, Nomura is not a very good director, and what has worked in past games does not work in his re-imagining of a Sakaguchi title. This isn’t some reverence for Sakaguchi (as I find FF7 to be the least of the PSOne Final Fantasy titles); but rather the jarring nature of the gameplay/story segregation which gets worse the further you get into the game. And Nomura has a standard style of bullshit where he confuses ‘vague’ to mean ‘mysterious’ and not ‘annoying’.

A lot of people seem to be enjoying the added plot and characters, and many are being introduced to the title and series for the first. The game is getting great reviews, even if I am uncertain why. If you’re expecting something with a fun battle system or a good addition to the lore – you might be disappointed.

*- RPGs fulfill my great love of killing wannabe supergods. Horror games fulfill my great love of killing abominable horrors. This is likely a Venn diagram which results in a circle.

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