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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Developer / Publisher: Square Enix
29 February 2024
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - cover art
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106 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#55 All-time
#2 for 2024
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2024 Square Enix  
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GB 5 021290 098404 PPSA-08668 / PPSA-08669
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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Deluxe Edition
2024 Square Enix  
2xBlu-ray
XNA 6 62248 92764 0 PPSA-08667 / PPSA-08666
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Title
Let’s start by just saying that the Final Fantasy series has been struggling to keep up with the times for at least the last twenty years, and that Square Enix’s approach for this “remake” trilogy stands out as their most successful attempt yet. Despite drawing on familiar material, they’ve managed to capture the same sense of scale and diversity of the classic games, delivering not only the most refined ATB-led combat experience to date, but also a plethora of minigames, side quests, areas to explore, and even temporary changes and additions in the gameplay dynamics to go along the story or the character you are focusing on. While some elements may feel obsolete and reminiscent of Ubisoft's open-world titles (like activating towers and mechanically uncovering points of interest), they're counterbalanced by the remarkable variety of engaging activities. Some players might even find themselves overwhelmed by the abundance of content this time around. Additionally, the length of individual sections, which occasionally dragged in "Remake," has been significantly tightened.

The pacing really depends on how much of a completionist you are. f you aim to simply explore the main environments and complete side quests, it won't demand an excessive amount of time compared to the average open-world action RPG. However, pursuing all achievements presents a different challenge altogether. This choice alone can transform the experience into a real nightmare. Completing all side quests, uncovering all points of interest, and, particularly, mastering all minigames will require not only considerable patience but also a minimum of 130 hours. Following that, you'll have an additional 20 hours to tackle a hard mode replay (manageable) and possibly a dozen more hours to conquer the combat simulator's "brutal" and "legendary" challenges (impossible). I found myself throwing in the towel halfway through the brutal challenges, as they proved nearly insurmountable regardless of my build, including cheese tactics. I wish I had known this before “wasting” 160 hours on all other objectives…

Unless you are planning to spend 200 hours perfecting your combat style and leveling up all materia, I highly recommend you only enjoy the main campaign and freely explore the open maps without worrying too much about the degree of completion. Otherwise, the things you initially liked about the game will all turn into extreme turn-offs.

The narrative largely stays true to the original, with a few additions enriching the main plot or establishing intriguing connections between events. For instance, the roles of the Gi tribe and Wutai have been reimagined to integrate into the overarching storyline. However, much like in "Remake," I still think the multiverse was the last thing we needed, especially at a time when all entertainment is seemingly obsessed by it. While it introduces a handful of new ideas to complement the familiar FF7 narrative, potential complications could arise in future installments. We will see.

The overarching narrative and occasional dramatic moments generally hit the mark, but the comedic relief felt a little off. While I am aware that the original was just as goofy… experiencing it in fully acted cutscenes with actual voice actors somehow makes it feel remarkably cringeworthy and redundant, comparing the experience to a not particularly well-directed anime. However, I have to say that the English localization has much better dialogue writing than its Japanese counterpart, despite the inevitable liberties taken in translation. It’s an issue common to most Japanese videogames, but the writing and direction are really the biggest issues making them decades behind international AAA titles like “Baldur’s Gate 3” or “The Last of Us”.
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manicure 2024-04-30T08:58:29Z
2024-04-30T08:58:29Z
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Title
Almost a masterpiece
FFVII Rebirth is such a huge improvement from Remake. The decision to make one game out of Midgar never sat right with me, it’s still a great game, but one that often feels like it’s wasting your time with padding, with the countless sewer sections and literal entire chapters based off of like two pre-rendered backgrounds from the original game. Don’t get me wrong, I liked some of the expanded lore and world-building, but I feel like that game could’ve had like 5-10 hours cut and it honestly would’ve been a smoother experience.

Rebirth, however, does not have that problem. Sure, there are a few short sections that probably only exist to extend the runtime, but they are less egregious and more enjoyable (for the most part) than Remake. Put it this way, the best part of Remake was easily the time you spend in Wall Market; Here, almost every major town feels like a Wall Market. Each city just feels full of life, with so many great character interactions and interesting things to do.

The side quests also have received a major overhaul, way better than anything in Remake or Final Fantasy XVI. Plus additionally, the game gives you a ‘dynamic’ level scaling difficulty option, that way if you don’t want to stray from the main story but still want to come back to quests later without feeling overleveled you are well within your power to do so. There are also a lot of minigames this time around, and while not all of them are winners, the few that stand out rival some of the best RPG side quests to date. Even the worst ones are somewhat enjoyable, this is not like Final Fantasy X, where even for that games time the mini games were just bad.

The combat has received a slight overhaul and is just as good, if not better than before. The difficulty is significantly increased due to how much more options you have. Synergy attacks, similar to techs from Chrono Trigger, are a welcome addition and add some strategy to bigger fights.

The main story is paced much better than Remake, simply because this game just has so much more to work with. If there’s one thing I think the VII Remake games get right, it’s these characters. They really have portrayed these characters in such a way that is faithful to the original, while also expanding upon characters motives and ideal.

However, there are two low points in this game that are, in my opinion, worse than the worst parts of Remake. I can’t really get into them without using spoilers, so proceed with caution.

>!There is one section where you play as Cait Sith that is just bad. I get that they want to have a section where you play as every character, but we really did not need this. Plus, you play as him solo, which doesn’t make it any better. Out of combat he controls so clunky and it just is not fun. Instead of exploring the Shinra Manor we get another crappy Hojo’s lab section from Remake, but this time it’s worse and slows the pacing wayyyyy down. There’s a great boss fight at the end of it, but for some reason Cait Sith is locked in your party even though your entire team literally is together at this point. I liked Cait Sith a lot more as a character here than the original game, but this was just too much.!<

>!That section of the game can be forgiven with how much this game gets right. Going into the ending, it was literally my only complaint with the game. But holy shit that ending is hot garbage. I know the ending of Remake wasn’t great either, but I was cool with the idea of an alternate FFVII story. Here they go full on multiverse slop, and absolutely butcher THAT scene in the process. I won’t go into too much detail, as there really is a lot wrong with this ending, but I’d go as far as saying that the ending killed my interest in the whole Remake meta/alternate timeline/whispers subplot in these games. I like some aspects about it, but on the whole it just does not work at al, and it makes me worried for how this trilogy will conclude..!<

Going into the ending, I was really feeling a solid mid 9 on this game, but I think the ending drags it down to a low 9 for me. It doesn’t completely ruin everything great that came before; but unfortunately I feel like this game’s mishandling of an iconic scene will be a big part of its legacy. I feel like Square just really needs an editor, because these low points feel like they could’ve been so easily avoided, you just wish the writers would get their heads out of their ass sometimes. Without these low points this would honestly be really close to a 10 for me.

Regardless, this is still probably the best Final Fantasy in like 20 years, as it really translates the classic Final Fantasy experience (ie. IV-IX) to a modern day AAA experience. Ironically, it feels like a more accurate remake of Final Fantasy VII than the actual Final Fantasy VII Remake. It’s just a shame they couldn’t stick the landing.
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Payt 2024-03-08T17:49:10Z
2024-03-08T17:49:10Z
4.5
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Ambition without soul
Pros
- Combat is tactile, challenging and strategically varied. You can choose Dynamic difficulty if you want to go through the story and skip side content but still want a robust challenge that you won’t get on Easy mode.

- The environments are beautifully designed and rendered. There are some really cool locations to see (my favorite setting was Junon).

- Soundtrack is awesome overall

- The graphics and cinematics are of course incredible, and load times are quick

- Some great lines and dialogue moments, and fun character interactions are to be found herein

- Although it doesn’t always pan out for the best, I appreciate the addition of new modes of traversal such as grappling hooks that add some variety to gameplay. The ability to vault over fences and climb over rocks and other obstacles makes it a smoother experience in comparison to Remake's restrictiveness.

Cons
- Suffers from poor narrative construction, one-note characters, and fails to improve on the original game’s evocative, yet ultimately disordered and inconsistent central storyline. As a remake it should address the original's flaws but it mostly just recreates or exacerbates them. Moreover it doesn’t work as a sequel because the alternate reality stuff doesn’t make sense and doesn’t really matter to the plot anyway. It’s basically the original plot but with some parallel timeline spookiness that has nothing interesting to say and completely nullifies the impact of character deaths (just like Whispers did in part 1).

- Content is copy-pasted across the various open zone areas. There are some decent side quests but the ratio is massively in favor of repeated and/or not-fun activities, which is why I stopped engaging with the overworld areas eventually. When you’re in an open area the game is always pestering you with hooting owls, baby chocobos, a soulless AI named Chadley, and other mechanisms that tell you where to go without letting you discover things on your own through exploration.

- Environments are absolutely littered with pick-ups. The items all look like bean bags sitting on the ground regardless of what type of item it is. Picking up stuff by pressing triangle isn’t an entertaining mechanic in the slightest, and having these digital lines shooting up from the ground everywhere you turn is very immersion breaking. Sadly, these pick-up indicators cannot be turned off in the menu.

- Pick-ups are only there to serve an irrelevant crafting system; anything you can craft can also be purchased in shops or found in chests throughout your journey. It seems like this feature (among others) is only here to check a box of “things that stereotypically appear in open-world games.”

- Some of the new musical arrangements aren’t nearly as effective as the original FF7 themes (examples include North Corel Theme and City of the Ancients Theme)

Conclusion
I somewhat enjoyed my time with it, but whenever I started getting into a flow some annoying thing would drag it down again. By hours 30-35 I was eager for it to conclude. The way it tells this story doesn’t generate suspense to where I'm excited to see what happens next, and how. Too often, characters don't react to events in ways that are apropos of the situation. Important conversations between characters are generally avoided, or botched entirely when attempted. Supposedly pivotal scenes don't give us the needed information to care about what's happening. Lots of things happen but there's no weight to them. The script almost feels like a first draft where they forgot to go and fill in the texture and details that were left out.

Ultimately what seems to take precedence over all is the sheer scale of the production bringing that script to life, because every AAA title has to have a million hours of content, but a solid narrative framework is missing and the recycled content lacks soul. At the end of the day, I would've preferred something akin to an "HD mod" of original FF7 with modern graphical fidelity, a revised script, and modernized combat system, instead of this overreaching and cumbersome trilogy.
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rainstorm 2024-03-21T17:33:12Z
2024-03-21T17:33:12Z
3.0
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Catalog

ubnubmaster Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-23T23:27:19Z
2024-05-23T23:27:19Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
B_S Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-23T06:07:26Z
2024-05-23T06:07:26Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sosa_ Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-20T04:50:04Z
2024-05-20T04:50:04Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Iai Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-13T10:46:12Z
PS5 • GB
2024-05-13T10:46:12Z
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Lost_in_Melancholy Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-12T22:07:37Z
PS5 • XNA
2024-05-12T22:07:37Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Innerexperience Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-12T16:29:12Z
2024-05-12T16:29:12Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Grassh0pper Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-11T10:13:56Z
2024-05-11T10:13:56Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ylwluv Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-09T04:29:33Z
2024-05-09T04:29:33Z
7.5 /10
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Fowlawneeshafow Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-08T00:45:19Z
2024-05-08T00:45:19Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Silexeo Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-07T14:44:15Z
2024-05-07T14:44:15Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
NotaKnave Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-07T01:47:57Z
2024-05-07T01:47:57Z
Hi 6
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
theschelm Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024-05-04T05:43:12Z
2024-05-04T05:43:12Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (70) Loading...
  • Jodas 2024-04-29 23:23:21.660264+00
    Finishing Chapter 9, 45 hours played so far and I'm absolutely loving It (I already cherished Remake, so It was expected).
    reply
    • Jodas 2024-05-12 20:48:40.631998+00
      What a trip.
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  • weston69 2024-05-02 18:12:30.928832+00
    this isn't an indictment of this game in particular but it its really disappointing how damn near all of the blockbuster games (especially on playstaion) of the last couple years are just sequels to games from last gen just on a bigger scale. no hate but the fact that 2024's biggest game is gonna end up being part 2 of 3 of a remake of a 25 year old game is odd. the industry is in a weird spot rn.
    reply
    • GodspeedRyan 2024-05-03 18:43:09.104423+00
      Every major media industry is in a weird spot man. I'm not entirely sure why but boards of directors have much more faith in greenlighting remakes than risking new projects/IPs. You could say its a case of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" but its probably more like "its safe to pick a beloved IP so lets go all-in on that." Either way Square Enix definitely made a mistake putting so much money/faith into a sequel remake game.
    • Fowlawneeshafow 2024-05-04 06:17:55.532588+00
      I hate to argue the corporate angle, but new IPs are a very risky businesses for so many reasons, and because of that no AAA developer wants to really put all their money behind a new IP when AAA budgets are so massive.

      Think about Skull and Bones, Calisto Protocol, Starfield, Forspoken, and Redfall. They all had their own reasons for falling short (some more than others), but when a new IP fails, it absolutely bombs. Even if a new Call of Duty, Battlefield, Sonic, or Watch Dogs game flops, it yields some level of return on investment.

      But also there have been plenty of new IPs having success still. Elden Ring, Hi-Fi Rush, Returnal, Ghost of Tsushima, Cyberpunk 2077 (eventually), and Deathloop were successful blockbusters in recent years so it's not like people don't want new IPs.

      idk why you would say Square had misplaced faith in FF7Rebirth as if it flopped. It's a PS5 console exclusive, released less than 4 years into a console lifecycle as opposed to 7 years into a console lifecycle, so the sales numbers for both XVI and Rebirth shouldn't be a surprise at all. Even Sony doesn't release games exclusive to the PS5 really, everything comes to PS4 as well and gets a PC port. Like Remake, Rebirth is a game that will continue to generate sales for years and years regardless of initial sales figures.
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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2024-05-05 02:58:28.167698+00
    I think this is possibly the greatest gaming soundtrack of all time, if you consider how music is actually implemented into the game. The scope of this soundtrack is more massive than anything ever made to this point, and the way the soundtrack shifts based on scene dynamics seamlessly is an impressive evolution from Remake, which did a good job of this as well.

    If there's anything I hope other devs can borrow from Rebirth, it's how they incorporated music into cinematic and gameplay dynamically. Some of the game's set pieces are totally carried by the soundtrack.
    reply
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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2024-05-08 00:56:58.900385+00
    I also love how they flesh the setting out compared to what's shown in Crisis Core and the original FF7. Instead of post-war civilization after the Empire-Shinra war mostly being a kinda vague backdrop to the story early on, it's very pronounced in Rebirth. Exploring around the outskirts of Junon, you see war ruins, abandoned tanks, and craters, as well as war veterans and stuff like that. It's not on the level of some other open games when it comes to environmental world building still, I think it does a good job.
    reply
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  • Innerexperience 2024-05-12 16:30:34.266598+00
    Nostalgic overload! For sure high up on my games of the year list!
    reply
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  • oliver1878 2024-05-13 22:59:46.587465+00
    I cannot believe this game exists and is THIS good
    reply
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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2024-05-19 19:48:00.499671+00
    After playing through it, I honestly think you can really get away with not playing the original FF7 or Remake and still really enjoy this. The "story so far" summary does just enough to explain in simple terms what's going on, and the overarching story 99% of the time can be followed even without the context of the original and Remake.

    The basic premise is you're following Sephiroth's footsteps by following around guys in black robes, and Sephiroth is fucking with Cloud by using timeline fuckery. If you're okay with being confused by the ending and the "terrier stamp" timeline Zack stuff, you're fine. You can also easily find explanations online too.
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