I distinctly remember my most beloved JRPG I played as a kid. It’s Final Fantasy VII, and all the Final Fantasies after that were garbage. Don’t @ me. I was pretty sure nothing could revitalise the feeling of playing that game for the first time all those decades ago.
I was wrong.
This game just checks all the boxes that I loved about FF7 and brings them to a modern game.
There’s two stories to play through here, Haru’s and Kuroko’s. Haru’s story is noticably longer that Kuroko’s despite them playing out in parallel. The game mechanics feel close to the ones of Final Fantasy VII, while neither copying their breadth nor their depth. This makes the game a bit more approachable in today’s hand-held world of gaming, but also leaves me with a lot of Mater… err.. “Orbs” to be desired.
When I was 3 hours into the game the “Completion” box said I was somewhere between 80% and 90% through Haru’s part of the story. That would make the game pretty short with roughly two times 4 hours of gameplay. I was wrong there, it was even shorter. After less than 6 hours I had completed both arcs and all the achievements. That would leave the entire length of the game about as long as other games’ Tutorial section. The developer did say they wanted to release 5 or 6 episodes, though, so I really hope for more here. There’s also not a lot of equipment to get yet, both in terms of weapons and armor as well as magic orbs. I really hope there’ll be a lot more room for materia growth, err, I mean growth of playtime here. Lastly, there’s no grinding of experience. At all. The number of fights you can do is hard limited. every area where you encounter monster has a fixed number of encounters, and when you’ve done them, you can’t get more. That’s a bit sad for me as the part I enjoyed most in FFVII was grinding materia growth.
The jokes. Oh god the jokes. I love them. They are really spot on for my taste. It really feels like the entire world wants to play a joke on Kuroko.