Blog - Opinion
Written by Brandon Cowen Monday, August 15 2011 10:56
For years, fans have clamored to have Final Fantasy VII on the current generation of consoles. Even when the Playstation 2 was around everyone wanted the game done for that system with the best graphics (obviously) available. Now, in the current life cycle of consoles, fans would like to see the game on Playstation 3 or Xbox 360. This would not be so bad, except for the fact that Square-Enix made a teaser trailer for the Playstation 3 at its launch showing the original introduction to FFVII. This begs the question....why doesn't Square-Enix just go ahead and remake the infamous game? Considering how popular FFVII still is, even though it was released in the United States on the original Playstation way back on September 7th, 1997, I will look into the reasons as to why, and why it should not, be redone with today's technology. Get ready Glitchy Tasty readers, because here we go!
This video is something that Anduril2k6 did in order to compare the graphics of the original CG introduction to the power of the PS3's hardware with a technical demo of the introduction. Clearly you can see how much of an improvement the PS3 version is over the 1997 introduction. Remember this one fact while determining whether or not the game should be remade: Final Fantasy VII, in its' production, cost $45 million to make. Granted the game has sold over 10 million copies since its release, so Square-Enix (Squaresoft at the time) was glad to have created such a hit. The production and marketing certainly cost a lot. However the sales more than made up for that. On the other hand, one has to consider how much videogame production costs in the videogame industry today. This is where Square-Enix has a problem, I think. They know fans are clamoring for a full remake of FFVII. They understand that it is highly sought after. Yet the amount it would cost to produce such a videogame would be ridiculous. How so? Well...this is how, and why.
Think hard about this; those many hours (89 hours on my first run through, 130 on my second) of playtime in FFVII. Certainly the game can be finished in 30 hours or less, I have friends that have beaten it in a relatively short amount of time. They missed out on a lot of what makes the game so outstanding though. The remake would have to be just as in depth as the original. That means Square-Enix would have to RECREATE everything in the world of FFVII. This was no small game. Think of the characters, the NPC's, the bosses, Sephiroth, the CG scenes. The list trails on. My understanding is that it was much easier to make pre-rendered backgrounds for a game and set the boundaries then it is to create a full 3D map. Now think about how many of those pre-rendered backgrounds you explored, which was the entire game world sans the overworld, fights, and certain mini-games. Yes fans of FFVII, they may have all the original game to use as a reference, which certainly helps. However remaking the world into a full 3D playground would be very taxing as well as expensive for Square-Enix. There was so much to that game. It certainly may take just as long as it did to make the original FFVII to make an updated one. Nowadays, it would definitely cost more too.
This is where Square-Enix hits a roadblock; understandably so, since this remake would be a massive undertaking. SE would have to make the game most likely with their proprietary engine, the "Crystal Tools" in order to make the process more streamlined within their company. I would venture to say that none of this would be an issue IF Square-Enix was not already working on multiple projects. They are after all, a major publisher and developer. Recently they have acquired Eidos and all of their intellectual properties (Tomb Raider, Deus Ex...). Maybe they are doing the right thing by waiting to produce a remake of FFVII. Who really knows?
Personally I would truly enjoy nothing more than for Square-Enix to get their heads out of their asses and begin making an updated version of FFVII. They have already redone FFIV and FFIII! Sure, they were for the Nintendo DS and not a Sony system. Still though, those games were quite large in scale; not as grandiose as VII, by any means. I know that SE would make a fortune off of this franchise if they only stopped producing some of their "Fabula Novalla Crystallis" stuff that we still have barely seen any of, yes, I am looking at you Versus XIII. Two of these games still do not even have a release date here in the United States (Agito XIII for the PSP and Versus XIII)! If Square-Enix can spend the time making a technical demo of the power of the PS3 using FFVII, then why can't they just go ahead and remake the entire game from the ground up? Seriously! I understand money is tight, times are hard, and production is NOT cheap: they should still just suck it up. Move on and realize that fans really do want a remake of the JRPG that helped launch them into videogame bliss. I for one was never the same after I played through FFVII.
Every time I play an RPG I remember the days of racing chocobos in the Golden Saucer, perhaps leveling up my characters to fight off the optional weapons, Diamond and Ruby. That game opened up my world into a whole new genre that I never really understood when I was a kid. Everything in FFVIII was outstanding! The plot of how Cloud is really not who he says he is. The Materia system (which is kind of like the Espers in FFVI but still very unique) that allowed for endless customization of your characters. Sephiroths' grudge against the world that made him want to destroy it. Cid Highwind, who aspired to be an astronaut much like I did when I was a kid, but wound up being one of the toughest, most badass characters of all time despite not realizing his dreams at first. This game is entirely amazing, even still today. The joy of being able to replay it in a more enhanced form, whether it's on PS3 or even the PSP or Vita, anything! While I understand Square-Enix's reasoning for not making this yet (I have a bit of understanding as to how game development really works...), if they would produce this it would be wonderful for all of the fans as well as people who never had the opportunity to play it. I still hope that one day they will use a phoenix down on this gem of a videogame (and maybe Aerith?), no matter what the monetary costs and time.
The Final Fantasy VII Citadel (ff7citadel.com)