#Ultimate Fantasy 7 Rebirth – Destructoid

Ultimate Fantasy 7 Rebirth – Destructoid

Once I noticed that Ultimate Fantasy 7 Remake got here out in 2020, I needed to do a triple-take. Actually? It was out on PS4, 4 years in the past? No method!

Alas, time makes fools of us all, and the second a part of that remake, not-confusingly-at-all-named Ultimate Fantasy 7 Rebirth is right here. Should you have been sorta-kinda on the fence about this entire factor after the primary entry, you’d in all probability love this one.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Ultimate Fantasy 7 Rebirth (PS5)
Developer: Sq. Enix Inventive Enterprise Unit I
Writer: Sq. Enix
Launched: February 29, 2024
MSRP: $69.99

Rebirth takes us out of the gloomy metropolis of Midgar and out into the broader world. Properly, it’s extra like a group of large areas spanning interconnected sandboxes making up that world, to be exact, as it is a totally different beast fully. Sq. Enix has collectively addressed quite a few elements of the unique, each out and in of fight. We’ll get to that, however suffice it to say that issues get rolling in a short time (as is the case with most center entries of a trilogy).

For a “half two” of a large JRPG assortment, it’s fantastically paced. We’re within the thick of it instantly, with Cloud revealing a reasonably massive story from his previous, tying within the looming menace of massive dangerous Sepiroth, and re-familiarizing us with the present social gathering. I used to be “in” instantly, far earlier than Remake grabbed me. That is likely to be all you might want to hear. If that’s the case, that’s nice! For the remainder of you, let’s speak about why Rebirth is so profitable at what it does.

Rebirth, by some means, is equally excited by letting you run wild with bizarre sidequests (together with a fully-fledged card sport with booster packs, a worldwide rating, and even a celebratory cruise occasion) and doling out mountains of lore. It’s an ideal combo for folk who’re extraordinarily into FF7 or would possibly even be leaping straight into Rebirth after watching a YouTube abstract of Remake.

The FF7 Rebirth party as they ride across the open world on Chocobos.
Screenshot by Destructoid

I respect the entire further context we get from Rebirth outdoors of the confines of Midgar. The world appears a lot larger now, and lore nuts are going to go wild for a number of the further particulars sprinkled in. The mad lads and women of Sq. Enix additionally added in friendship bonds, that are boosted by speaking with teammates (in addition to saying the fitting issues), and influence just a few mild storyline occasions, in addition to fight synergy. It does a implausible job of letting your entire social gathering come alive, not simply your private favorites. That shines by means of with practically each voiceover efficiency.

There are a ton of distinctive moments in Rebirth that basically pop, with scenes like Barret and Crimson XIII going by means of the Mithril Mines collectively and bantering stealing the highlight as a favourite. Practically each chapter has sequences that play out between characters you didn’t actually get to see work together within the authentic PS1 model, and the sooner inclusion of Yuffie matches so brilliantly that you just’d be forgiven when you thought that’s the way it all the time labored. As with every good remake, many issues are performed straight, however there’s a wholesome mixture of authentic, altered concepts too. Whereas I’m going to chorus from making any feedback on the meta-story that was launched in Remake, there are a ton of surprises to find and speak about within the years to return.

I really want to make clear that this isn’t a completely open-world sport, however I purchased into that pretty shortly. As chapters progress, you’ll achieve entry to new areas, of which there are six (amid different smaller zones to discover). These are six legit sandboxes to roam round in, with land-based automobiles or Chocobos, primed with sidequests and different secrets and techniques. It’s not fairly as grand as getting an airship and going hog-wild across the globe, however there’s a lot packed into Rebirth to maintain you going previous the 100-hour mark: particularly when you poke round the entire minigames on provide.

Rufus, as he appears in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
Screenshot by Destructoid

A few of you is likely to be studying this evaluate simply to see in the event that they half-assed the Gold Saucer: Ultimate Fantasy 7‘s well-known Chuck E. Cheese/on line casino. Nope! In reality, it’s expanded in comparison with the unique rendition and is a fully-fledged hub with tons of goodies to unlock and earn long-term. I discovered myself spending a number of hours in it simply roaming round aimlessly, and I nonetheless have a lot left to do. And, talking of random time-filling minigames, now we have acquired to speak about Queen’s Blood particularly.

At the same time as a giant tabletop fan, I resisted the siren’s track of this in-universe card sport for a number of chapters earlier than I gave in. As soon as I began, I couldn’t cease. With easy Othello-like placement guidelines, Queen’s Blood could be very straightforward to be taught, however there’s a substantial quantity of depth to it. As you progress you’ll earn extra playing cards, which in flip can introduce new key phrases, identical to a future set launch in Magic: The Gathering. I went from ignoring Queen’s Blood NPC icons to actively searching for them out, increasing my card assortment all of the whereas.

One other factor that I’d be remiss to go away out of this evaluation is the soundtrack. It sounds hyperbolic, however FF7 Rebirth has among the best Ultimate Fantasy scores of all time. I imply there are lots of them at this level, and I’ve heard all of them, however the mixture of latest music plus some masterful reworks of a handful of traditional tracks actually places this close to the highest for me. Once more, I’d love to simply spoil just a few right here and speak about them at size, however you’ll see just a few of the standouts for your self both in-game or on YouTube. Individuals shall be sharing them!

Fight, then again, is just not going to radically sway people who didn’t dig it within the authentic. It’s nonetheless very a lot consistent with the core system Sq. Enix created for Remake, and it’s more likely to proceed on all through the trilogy. Dodging and blocking are nonetheless a significant focus, as are skill and [materia-based] magic instructions, and mashing an assault button to achieve Energetic Time Battle (ATB) gauges to really fireplace off mentioned bombs. It’s a little flashier although, with an enhanced deal with perfect-timing parrying, in addition to synergistic crew assaults.

Screenshot by Destructoid

How partaking you’ll discover fight is severely tied to the complexity of the encounter, which ebbs and flows all through the sport. Bosses are typically extra concerned, asking gamers to combine up their ways (past simply exploiting weaknesses) by concentrating on susceptible factors and reacting shortly to massive assaults. The “stagger” system returns (wherein enemies are momentarily open to tougher hits after depleting their stamina meter), which might really feel each rote and very thrilling in the identical encounter.

Like Ultimate Fantasy XIV, the extra flashy a combat is, the extra enjoyable you’ll have. Many bosses have a number of phases, full with foolish transition sequences, a booming rating, and fixed strategic mixups. There are sufficient of those peppered into the sport (together with new ones) to maintain issues spicy, between the entire lower-stakes trash cleanup.

You even have what I name “customization satisfaction.” With a simplistic talent tree system taking up the orbital sphere monitor of Remake, you’ll nonetheless be capable of select your specializations on prime of mastering weapon abilities and, naturally, slotting in tons of fabric to your coronary heart’s content material.

Screenshot by Destructoid

One big factor to notice is that not all the things has been mounted in relation to just a few underlying points. For one, the menus is usually a nightmare, with social gathering sorting choices ceaselessly obfuscated behind a number of clicks. Extra social gathering members means extra issues, extra materials and tools to fit, and extra skills to micromanage. It’s not notably tough or heady, thoughts, it’s simply often annoying. It’s additionally principally an endgame downside (which is while you purchase many of the tools that has myriad materials slots), however it’s nonetheless a difficulty.

The onerous “chapter-based” system works while you’re telling the story the primary time, however like Remake, it’s extraordinarily inflexible on re-tellings, and while you’re prepared for endgame cleanup. For the sake of transparency, I had one onerous crash in Chapter 3, however after loading an auto-save and lacking no progress, it by no means occurred once more. That’s the one actual technical concern I had your entire time in my 50+ hour completion journey.

Ultimate Fantasy 7 Rebirth by some means manages to spin a number of plates with out smashing any of them. It’s over-the-top severe when it needs to be, and it’s totally absurd within the subsequent second. Nice Ultimate Fantasy video games have all the time managed to stroll this line, and it’s a testomony to how the model has stayed related for many years on finish.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]


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