Like every year, I decided to watch the E3 Sony conference live, luckily this time I had Chromecast to then have the conferences stream live to my TV and I work mainly night shifts so staying up that late is normal for my sleeping pattern.
I am bias when it comes to Sony’s conferences, as despite being very much a Nintendo ‘fangirl’ since I can remember, the older I got the more dedicated and passionate I got about the PlayStation and all its offsprings. A certain game to be released on the PlayStation literally changed my life, and that game was featured as being remade at the conference this morning.
I managed to record my reaction, I think it sums up already what I’m trying to in writing.
I don’t think that primarily it’s because of people’s’ nostalgia that fans have always wanted a remake, or because they like it so much to this day. It’s been my favourite game since its release, but I’ve played it the entire way through, usually multiple times each year, since its release. The nostalgia factor doesn’t weigh in when it’s not had an absence from my life, and I’m sure the same goes for a lot of people that really enjoy the game, and other Final Fantasy titles.
I am bias on my views of this announcement as it has been my favourite game since its release way back in 1997, but I do know the game itself isn’t perfect. I.e, engrish script especially and the blocky character models (although, despite all the criticism on those throughout the years, that’s one of the things I love most about it and where its charm mainly is for me.) A lot of my favourite games are not in fact amazing games. Sonic Adventure 2 has been on my Top 5 Favourite Game list, which is just a list I keep embedded in my brain, and that fact that would turn a lot of gamer heads. I do believe Final Fantasy VII is an exception, as its huge and continual popularity is a clear indication that it must be better than the average bear, erm, I mean game, to stay in everyone’s consensus for that long.
Despite that, the character design, the battle system and it’s music are still enjoyable and amazing and don’t feel outdated, despite its’ original 1997 release.
One of the main things I, and many others loved Final Fantasy VII for was the music. Although music from 90’s games were good, a lot of it does sound outdated on PlayStation titles in terms of how they were composed, but Nobuo Uematsu is the key element of what made Final Fantasy VII so enjoyable, and all the Final Fantasy’s he composed for. His compositions made them always feel relevant. And of course, it was playing Final Fantasy VII that made me want to be a composer. I wouldn’t even be writing on this website without hearing the opening bomb mission music and being stunned by it.
I understand why people are cynical of this news. People are allowed to be cynical about anything they please, people are allowed to voice said cynical opinions. And to think how long it’s been since 1997, and in that time how long people have been moaning for a remake of FFVII while generation after generation of new consoles have came and went. I mean, I got tired of it too. Hence why for so long, basically until the reveal within the conference, I was very much against a remake.
I personally believe there is nothing so drastically wrong with the original. I mean, that’s why gamers like it so much, that’s why it’s on the PS store and available to play on your PS3 or PS Vita. That’s why it’s on Steam too. That’s why merchandise still exists and that’s why its’ primary characters are featured heavily in spin-off Final Fantasy titles. That’s why even, main characters of other Final Fantasy titles, i.e Lightning, were even said to be inspired by FFVII’s main protagonist, because of its un-dwindling popularity.
In a remake, because there is such a difference in technology and how gaming operates, it will be an entirely new game. A lot of the charm of FFVII is due to its age. I can’t imagine seeing a hyper realistic Cloud Strife go into Tifa’s room in 1080p and take a pair of pants from her drawers or being in room full of men in their underwear in a brothel in 1080p.
There’s a lot at stake, and adaptations of any media, may they be TV or Film, have a way of damaging the joy of the original. But, when I realised the scene I was watching was of FFVII, all that didn’t seem to matter. This is a game that has literally changed my life, it made me decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, what I wanted to study. I wouldn’t be sitting here with my Bachelors in Music without this game. I mean, that’s quite major, don’t you agree?
So yes, the die hard fans are annoying, and complaining about a remake of a game since 1997 is annoying. Of course it is. And yes, you are allowed to not care, you are allowed to like Final Fantasy VI more, or any other, as if your right as a human being to like things. But, when you want to moan about peoples reactions, remember there’s a million other people like me, who this game means a lot to for a million different reasons. I see people saying that fans were “over-reacting.” What is the limit to being happy over something that’ll make our lives feel better?
It means a lot to a lot of people. Good! How cool is it that a game can make people THAT happy and get people THAT excited?
Shouldn’t we all be happy as fans of games, whether that’s one we like ourselves or not, because look how passionate and happy one announcement can make people. That’s beautiful. As a result of games, we’ve had horrible things such as gamergate and harassment of woman and people have left the industry, but this is the complete opposite scale of the spectrum here. This is what games are all about. Joy. And to me, that deserves the biggest and loudest victory fan-fare of them all.