This is the Final Fantasy VII HD Remaster, not the remake – basically the original game, but with added trophies.
Sony were making a big song and dance at the PlayStation Experience over the weekend. There were new titles, old favourites, and a big old stack of VR – not to mention a brand new trailer featuring little snippets of gameplay from the Final Fantasy VII Remake – but what of the Final Fantasy VII HD Remaster, announced at the corresponding PSX event from the end of 2014?
That, friends, has quietly crept onto the PlayStation Store on Saturday, December 5th.
It’s hard to forget the Lisa-Simpson-breaking-Ralph-Wiggum’s-heart moment, when the iconic Final Fantasy VII meteor emblem faded from the big screen revealing the original game’s intro, and everyone realised what was going on. Cheers and hollering faded into polite, muted disappointment as the Final Fantasy VII HD Remaster was announced, and everyone promptly forgot about it.
We now know Square Enix were playing a long game, and the remake – for better or worse – was announced at E3 in summer, and the Final Fantasy VII HD Remaster was lost to the mists of time; a cruel opening salvo, the tempting lure in an example of bait-and-switch of epic proportions. It’s easy to see why Square Enix didn’t make much fuss this time around, but the pawn in their machinations is now available.
What’s new in the Final Fantasy VII HD Remaster?
First of all, it’s not strictly a port of the 1997 PlayStation original. It’s actually a port of the 2013 Final Fantasy VII HD Remaster, which in turn is a port of the 1998 PC port. Must stop saying ‘port’. Port? Port.
So that brings with it all the improvements that came with the 2013 PC version, including:
- Support for higher screen resolutions.
- Improved audio fidelity.
- Achievements (or Trophies, in PlayStation parlance).
And that’s it. That being said, some of the Trophies in the Final Fantasy VII HD Remake are brilliant – from the obligatory beat the game/obtain the hard-to-find things/defeat the difficult-to-kill monsters, through to achievements in transvestitism and bi-curious dating – so that’s got potential to sink hours of amusement into it.
Oh, and the remake? It looks like it’s going to be more action-based and possibly episodic, so you know, you might want to play the Final Fantasy VII HD Remaster while the series is still recognisable.