We’re only nine days away from the launch of Final Fantasy VII Remake (or today if you live in Australia; lucky bastards), and to keep the hype-train rolling Square-Enix has dropped a third video in their Inside Final Fantasy VII Remake series. This time around we were given a deeper look inside the combat philosophy of the remake, and learned a thing or two about what motivated the team to move towards action combat.
I’m not gonna go as in-depth here as I did for the previous videos, because half the joy of these behind-the-scenes vignettes is seeing the information for yourself. So, I’m gonna summarize a couple key points instead. To start, the new system was actually not designed with action in the forefront. The team had focused on updating the iconic ATB battle system, and wanted to modernize it in a way that fit current-gen games without sacrificing what made it great. Classic Mode also didn’t exist until after the E3 2019 demo, and was implemented after fans of the original expressed concerns over being able to adapt to the new action-focused combat system.
Boss battles were also designed with a phase system in mind to keep things interesting and fun, with periodic cut-scene breaks between phases to give players a moment to rest (a design-choice Final Fantasy XIV also uses within its epic boss trials). Boss arenas also had to be crafted with space in mind, to better allow players to engage the re-imagined bosses with the new combat system. The team stressed the importance of Materia as not only as a power-booster (and apparently as a way to upgrade weapons now), but as a way to tactically approach boss battles: I.E. slotting materia that will provide an advantage over the boss.
The team mentioned a bit about side quests, but they did confirm the return of mini-games! Hell, they made it sound like they’re adding more mini-games than were available in the original Final Fantasy VII, which already had a wide range on offer (bring back the snowboarding mini-game, please).
You can catch the full video below. I continue to grin like an idiot whenever I watch these Final Fantasy VII Remake videos: the music, the obvious references to the original, and the clear adoration the team has for this project always makes me smile. I’m well beyond excited for the Final Fantasy VII Remake. With our Aussie pal’s now able to play it’s gonna be difficult to avoid spoilers (I wanna learn what’s new when I play, thank you very much), but I truly hope they enjoy it.
Now, if Square-Enix wanted to push up the release date for everyone…well, I wouldn’t complain.