Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 2h 29m
Trophies 2/64
Total Points 4133
Total Cleared Songs 39
Total Perfect Chains 18
Total Chains 3172
Total Critical Hits 3507
total touches 1473
Total Slides 780
Total Holds 1619
Cleared Courses 13
Perfect Course Clears 1
Total Bad Hits 37
Total Good hits 55
Total misses 20
Total Great Hits 310

Character Levels

Cloud 16
Squall 15
Tidus 16
Lightning 15

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Review


I bought this game at the same time as Melody of Memory as part of my impromptu music batch but I probably should have played them in reverse. They’re both good games but Kingdom Hearts is just on a different level in virtually every category. This one also doesn’t really have a plot so the gameplay is solid as always but it’s naturally not going to stick out nearly as much. It doesn’t have the same level of content either but if you aren’t comparing this game to another one then it holds up on its own.

The game follows a fairly strict set up which is that every main Final Fantasy title from 1-13 has 3 levels in it. One is a standard rhythm stage where you have to press the buttons at the right time in order to score points and win the level. You have the cinematic levels where there is a cutscene playing in the background and your cursor is moving so it can be a little trickier to get the timing exact. Finally there are the boss levels but they play out the same way as the standard levels, only you see enemies getting blasted in the background as you land the combos.

That comes out to 36 levels and each one is only a few minutes long so it really won’t take you very long to beat this one. I cleared it in around 2.5 hours so you will probably beat it in around the same time since I didn’t lose any levels. Not to say there isn’t bonus content though. You can try to beat all of the levels again in challenge mode or tackle some kind of shadow level set up. It seems like survival mode since there is a ticker for how many creatures you have defeated.

The game also has an internal achievement system that they call trophies so that ought to buy you a bit more time as well. I barely got any trophies during my play through so you probably have to play other modes a lot. My total gem count was also really low and it seems like you unlock more characters that way.

The characters don’t play differently or anything but I suppose it would be fun to play as your favorites. One missed opportunity here though is that the characters all sound like robots. Before each level every character says a line but the sentences rarely make much sense. It seems to me like they have a random word generator and each character says something out of that which is then turned into a sentence. Felt kind of random but also pretty pointless because as a result there is no real dialogue here.

Even the descriptions before each game are so random that they may as well not be there. You certainly won’t get what is happening and for people who have played the game, they didn’t need the recap in the first place. So this is something that could have been improved. In general I feel like the game could have used more polish. It’s really just a way to listen to the classic songs from the Final Fantasy games and it felt like the devs didn’t want to go too far beyond that.

The soundtrack is top tier at least though. Final Fantasy has always had great tracks historically and that doesn’t change here. Final Fantasy XIII still sounds very grand and operatic and Sephiroth’s theme is fantastic. You really can’t go wrong with intense themes like this. Since the game is music based, it would have been a shame if the soundtrack wasn’t amazing all the way through.

It’s actually a little harder to get S ranks then you would think so if you intend to max out the ranking everywhere then you better prepare to put in the work. You can’t just select a single stage after all, you do everything in pairs of 3 stages so that means if you mess one up then it destroys your whole set. I would definitely prefer if it was just the one level for that reason. There were many games where I got S ranks in two out of three but then the three one tripped me up. Not being able to just replay that stage right away is a hit unfortunate. Not that I was aiming to get all S ranks just yet but that immediately makes the trial that much more difficult.

I didn’t talk a whole lot about the gameplay but there are less buttons to worry about here which should help at least a bit in acing the levels. For example, you don’t use the d pad or l and r buttons here. In fact, you don’t use any buttons. Its all on the stylus which means that you never have more than one object coming at you at a time. That’s considerably different from Kingdom Hearts where they routinely would throw 3 items at once. I would say this game is easier as a result and if you put your mind to it you should get the objectives down without too much trouble.

Overall, Theatrhythm is a good game. I feel like it leaves a lot of meat on the table so if this were sold at full price I would probably have been disappointed. I got it for very cheap though which helped a lot. Additionally, I do see this as the kind of game I could go back to and play a lot if I had more time and less games to play. Back in the day I tried to 100% many games like this one on the DS. I feel like it would be a very pleasant ride. I suspect the sequels will do more with the concept but if you’re looking for a title to test the waters before you really get into the music genre then this is a good one to use. Since there isn’t a true story, you can just focus on the gameplay.

Overall 6/10

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 23h 33m
Quests Completed 180

Attribute Stats

Negotiation 84
Aptitude 75
Teamwork 99
Adaptability 99

Character Levels

Melville 51
Amarcis 50
Phillip 51
Adelle 20
Hilowan 51
Kyn 49
Luso 28
Penelo 38
Cid 23
Fredrika 46
Hurdy 24

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift Review


I had quite a few issues with the first Final Fantasy Tactics game. I thought the whole laws system was pretty bad because it really disrupted the flow of the game and the penalty for breaking the law was too steep. You had to reset the game a whole lot. This game was evidently keeping the laws in so I was a bit concerned but fortunately it’s all been overhauled. My issues from the first game have all been greatly reduced. I won’t say the game is without issues but when you improve the gameplay, it stands to reason that the game itself will almost always be better.

The game starts with the main guy being pulled into the world of Final Fantasy. Now he has to try and find a way out but in the meantime he’ll meet some friends and try to stop some villains. It’s a classic save the world story where at the end you figure the kid will go back to Earth. Yes, this is virtually thee same exact plot as last time. I was surprised that there wasn’t a different angle here. If anything the main character has less character than last time so I would actually say that the plot is a bit weaker. Considering that you usually play RPGs for the plot as much as the gameplay, that was a bit of a heavy blow.

I wouldn’t say the story ever really gets to be all that engaging. There are a lot of sub plots thrown in like a treasure thief who is always rather crafty so you don’t know if you can trust her. Then you’ve got the mature right hand man who seems to have a shady backstory where he may have worked with the villain group. Some interesting tales in there but nothing that really stands out. It doesn’t help that the game uses a day system with tons of optional missions so after a wile it feels like most of the game is filler. There are 300 missions in the game but I believe less than 30 of them are actually the story ones.

The majority of these missions are dispatch types which you send out your minions to go and complete. As a result there is no story to be had in those. Some are hybrid missions where you could dispatch or beat in person. If you go in person I’m sure there would be some bits of story in there but why do that when you can send your minions off? It’s a lot quicker to do it as a dispatch and just walk back and forth to have the days go by so the mission is auto completed. Tactics gameplay is always long by definition so dodging battles this way is what you will want to do.

So lets talk about the gameplay. If you’re unfamiliar with tactical gameplay, the idea is to move all of your characters across the gameboard so they can either make it to the goal at the end or attack opposing players. Everyone has a set number of tiles that they can move across and then you either attack or use an item. You win when everyone is bumped off. When the level starts you can activate a bonus like extra power but a law will then appear and you must follow it. If you break the law then the bonus will go away for the rest of the match. This is a big improvement over how it used to be. In the first game if you broke the law then your character was sent to jail and you have to break them free which took multiple fights. You had to actually fight people in order to free the captive which was no good. It was such a big waste of time whenever that happened and it’s why you would ultimately just reset the game instead of going through all of that work.

So here the law system can actually be ignored entirely because losing the bonus isn’t a big deal. It’s also one less thing to worry about because the gameplay is super detailed as it is. For example, there is a class system here outside of the level ups and you can unlock new classes by fulfilling requirements. This is really difficult and I barely unlocked any by the end. It’s definitely not for the casual players but at the same time, you will then come to a real hurdle by the end of the game because the difficulty level just spikes up. I was barely able to beat the final boss and that’s mainly because I found a cheese strategy.

Basically the boss can’t see you if you’re far enough so you have to get just close enough to hit her with arrows. She will gain full health infinitely whenever she gets too low so the trick was to get her down to about 30% health and then rush her after her turn. This way you beat her before she fully heals. Otherwise I couldn’t find a way to get around that move. Also, aside from getting full health each time she would also put a lot of curses on your characters which really made things tough. Then there’s a second phase which was also intense. I’m not confident I could win again if I had to do a rematch since it came down to the wire.

Tactics gameplay feels very satisfying to win but also very annoying to lose because of how long each round is. I put many hours into the game as a result of how long it was. I definitely advise you to do as many dispatch missions as possible to level up your crew. Whatever you can do to get stronger for the final bosses is well worth it. You need to be strong if you want to clear it.

The graphics are okay, I wouldn’t say they really take advantage of the newer gen portable consoles though. This doesn’t look much different from the GBA game and there are no cutscenes here. You’d think that this game should have some nice looking cinematics by now but it wasn’t to be. The soundtrack is also more on the bland side. I couldn’t really recall any specific tune from the game because it’s all just standard fare. The kind of music you would have heard many times before but without a nice twist.

The game does have a ton of content to get through though so no matter what price you got the game for, it will be a fairly good deal here. Outside of the main plot there are a lot of side content missions and such to complete which will further extend the timer as well. There’s no way to really speedblitz through this game on your first shot so just enjoy the full experience and have fun. It is a game that was made with a lot of effort, that’s for sure. While the story may not be all that exciting, I appreciated that the game fixed a lot of my issues with the first title through quality of life features.

Overall, Tactics 2 is a big improvement over the first one. It’s still not ready to take on the mainline games or rivals like Pokemon, but I would be up for playing a third installment some day. Lets just get a different story in one of these days. This game was on my backlog for a super long time so it feels good to finally have this one completed. Now I’m one step closer to being fully caught up with the whole franchise.

Overall 7/10

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Review


Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has to be one of the oldest games that I’ve had on the back burner for many years. It’s been patiently waiting it’d turn and now it was time to see what this game was all about. It definitely goes all in on the tactical gameplay and there’s a lot of customization here but other parts of the game have not aged well which ends up holding the experience back.

The game starts with our hero Marche having a snowball fight with all of the other kids at the school. At first glance it seems to be going okay but everyone is actually dealing with something. The kids are actually targeting his friend Mewt a lot. Marche’s brother can’t walk so he isn’t able to have fun with the gang and the main heroine Riza is very self conscious about her hair being white so she dyes it every day. There’s quite a lot of unhappiness in the air and for Marche the main point is that he’s a pushover and doesn’t stick up for himself.

Well, one day Marche wakes up only to find himself in a fantastic kingdom ruled by Mewt. It’s effectively a palace like in Persona as it is created by his wishes. Marche figures it isn’t healthy to life in a made up reality like this and he decides he has to destroy the world. The other kids are not in agreement though and will do everything they can to stop him. Can Marche finally find his inner confidence and take the win here?

Interestingly Marche can almost feel like the main villain here in some respects. Think about it, to the creatures living in this world, the place is very real. All of a sudden you have this guy showing up to try and destroy the world because he says its fake. You’d assume this guy is insane and I can see why they were all fighting against him. You also have to ask yourself on whether these guys have become sentient and in a way is Marche actually destroying everyone? If all of the monsters will revert to townfolk similar to how everyone here is a distortion then that helps with making it okay in the end but it’s definitely an interesting concept.

Not really one that the game goes into all that much but it does make you double think what you are doing the whole time. The main focus on the story though is Marche trying to convince everyone that this world isn’t better. Sure they have super powers and live a life of wealth and prosperity here but Marche says that since they know it isn’t real, it’s like they’re running away from the real thing. I thought the game did a good job of not having all of the kids suddenly agree with him or anything like that. It was handled as more of a slow burn which was good so the kids had a chance to explain their side. All in all it may not have been constant end of the world stakes or anything like that but things do get cosmic in the end and the story was fun.

As for the gameplay, it’s your classic tactics style with a few changes here. So if you know tactics gameplay then you remember that it’s all about getting the right angles. You want to attack from the sides of behind an enemy for better damage as well as a better percentage chance of hitting the opponent. You can attack, guard, use a special move, or an item. You can control up to 6 fighters here and the enemy team will typically have around as many. It’s fun to think out your moves and try to get to the win as efficiently as possible. If this was played straight with no gimmicks then there would be no issue.

The gameplay can be a little slow with all of the animations and everything being unskippable but it would still work pretty well. The main issue comes with the law system that is unique to this game. Basically when you start a level there will be a random law that says you cannot do something during the battle. Sometimes it will be that you can’t attack, can’t heal, can’t use fire, etc. As the game goes on there will be 2 laws at once and then three. The big issue with adding RNG into the mix like this is that you can’t just make a plan and stick to it. You have to adjust your combat based on the law for the battle and there is no way to see it before starting the level. What that means is that if it’s a law you can’t hope to overcome then you have to reset the game.

After that you can walk around a bit (Since each step counts as a day and switches the law) and then head back. It’s quite a few extra steps that aren’t needed. Additionally there are random minions running around all the time and if you bump into one then you have to start another long fight. The level up system is also a bit different than the others as each action gets you some XP rather than a total at the end of a level. This is fairly unique for RPG titles but for tactical fighters I’ve seen this in the past so it makes sense. It’s not my favorite style but it is what it is.

There’s also perma death which is active on any desert level. If any of your members dies here and you don’t revive them before the match is up, the member is lost forever. There goes your equipment and level ups. I’m not a fan of perma death in any game. It’s way too harsh and just serves as a big punishment if you end up losing. There’s also a jail system here in case you break the laws in a level. Two strikes takes you to jail while one acts a a fine and your character suffers a penalty. To remove the card you have to play a few battles without the character but at the speed in which the battles are, that’s a fairly long commitment so it’s often better to just reset the game whenever you do that by mistake.

Then you’ve got some quality of life features that aren’t present. One of the big ones is that it’s very difficult to see which equipment is the best one to attach to your character. You can only see the stats for one piece at a time and can’t compare it so you have to remember the numbers as you check each piece one by one. That just seems like something which should have been easier. It’s also odd that you have to actually set the items to your character’s ability slots or you can’t use any at all. I think that’s a bit much and there’s no indication of when they have learned a new ability so you have to manually check everyone every time there’s a level up. Same with ability mastery to learn new classes.

So what I’m saying is the gameplay is held back by a whole ton of features ranging from just about every area you can think of. It’s definitely a problem. The graphics are good though. I thought the character designs were on point and the levels were good. Meanwhile the soundtrack was more on the unimpressive side as none of the tunes were all that good. It was going for a rather calm feel to it but give me rock or metal any day so I can really feel the tunes at all times.

As for the replay value here, there are a ton of missions to complete so that’ll help on that end. There are 300 missions in the game and you’ll probably end up beating around 100 before you finish the game. The missions have several categories including combat and dispatch. Dispatch missions are ones your allies will complete on their own and either take a few days or just some extra battles without you. So choose who you send out on a mission wisely since you never want to be without your best fighter for very long.

Overall, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance would be one of the weaker Final Fantasy games. It has some pretty good ideas and so the story ends up being the strong point here but the gameplay mechanics are what ended up bringing it down. If anything the game’s just trying to be too intricate and having way too many things going on at once. We’ll see if the sequel can dial things back a notch, removing laws entirely would definitely be a great start. If not, maybe there’s a way to just make them better. This is a really long game so make sure you really enjoy the tactics style before picking it up.

Overall 5/10

Final Fantasy II Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 19h 43m
Steps 49366
Gil 372999
Bestiary 68% Complete

Character Levels

Firion

Fist 10
Dagger 1
Sword 6
Staff 1
Axe 1
Spear 1
Bow 1
Shield 9

Maria

Fist 10
Dagger 1
Sword 2
Staff 1
Axe 1
Spear 1
Bow 5
Shield 10

Guy

Fist 10
Dagger 1
Sword 3
Staff 1
Axe 6
Spear 1
Bow 1
Shield 9

Leon

Fist 4
Dagger 5
Sword 8
Staff 6
Axe 10
Spear 7
Bow 4
Shield 5

Final Fantasy II Review


This game has certainly been sitting on the backburner for many years. After beating the original Final Fantasy I tried to get in on the action with the sequel but I just couldn’t pull it off. The gameplay didn’t click. Well, I finally played it from start to finish and I have to say that my view hasn’t changed a whole lot. The story is the strongest part of the game even if it doesn’t touch the newer ones.

The basic plot is that the world is under attack by the Emperor. He has decided to rule over everything just because he can. The heroes are in a rough spot so the queen will now rely on a talented swordsman named Firian, a mage known as Maria, and a strong axe user named Guy. The three of them will need to travel the world and get strong enough to defeat the Emperor. Do they actually have enough strength to do so though? The Emperor has many powerful allies as well as pretty impressive tech at his disposal as well.

This is one of the first games where it took me way longer to complete than the estimated time on the “How long to beat” site. My time nearly doubled it I think at around 20 hours. It’s pretty difficult and that’s due in large part to how the level up system works. See, you don’t have straight level ups like 1, 2, 3. Instead you level up your proficiencies and stats in battle one by one.

Lets say you defeat a minion but you took a hit in the process. You have the potential to increase your max health, speed, defense, and attack power. If you used magic during the battle you may increase that as well. You passively level up your weapon skill as well depending on which kind you have equipped. You can already see how a lot of this is luck based. You increase the chance of increasing your proficiency but it’s not guaranteed. There are a lot of other factors here as well like the strength of your opponents and the duration of the match.

It’s not a very satisfying way to level up though because it’s hard to see when you’re really getting better. You also need to make sure you choose the right spells and weapons or you’ll be wasting your time leveling up something that you’ll never need. Your 4th member of the team also tends to change every other chapter so don’t get too attached. Often times when they leave they will never return so say good bye to any level ups you got.

The weapons also don’t seem very balanced to the point where I discarded them entirely by around the halfway point of the game. Instead I focused on using the barehanded techniques for the climax and honestly they seemed better than weapons anyway. I would always deal heavy damage while the weapons would falter at the worst moments. I have little doubt that the weapons would ultimately be better than bare handed but at least to the point where I was up to this did not seem to be the case.

The final boss was very difficult to defeat like this though. RNG is partially what got me through. See, his attacks were strong enough to not only finish me in a single hit but also replenish almost all of his health. Of course, that was only with physical attacks. On one of my runs I got lucky because he kept spamming magical spells which deal far less damage. I was able to buy just enough time to defeat him before he healed. Even now I think I would have a very hard time trying to defeat him again. It’s rare for things to work out in quite the same way they did here.

I don’t understand why the game went so far as to also make the equipment work against you. Wearing heavier items makes it harder to dodge but you can’t see how heavy something is without going to your character status page and leaving the item screen. Everything just did not feel very intuitive at all. Perhaps there was an easier way and I just didn’t find it. It seems like Final Fantasy II was meant to be very experimental but in this case I felt like it just back fired completely.

FF II’s spawn rate is also extremely high. Enemies are constantly attacking you every few steps. I was able to get in a lot of good reading during every dungeon. I would just keep spamming the attack button as I read through the God of High School chapters. I finished over 100 chapters as I played through this game because the battles took forever and there were so many of them. It was also uniquely useful to multi task in this game since I didn’t need spells and could just use normal attacks for every minion encounter. If I had nothing to distract myself with that would have hurt though.

Final Fantasy II also suffers from being unclear at times. You just don’t know where to go or what to do in order to advance the plot. The worst is when you’re supposed to talk to someone again and forgot to do so. So you go to the next temple but it’s still closed so you have to travel the world again in order to open it. You don’t get to fly until the very end of the game so prepare for a ton of walking. The game doesn’t give you any real shortcuts either so you really feel like an explorer. Just not in a fun way this time.

I could go on, but as you can tell pretty much none of the gameplay elements worked for me. It’s just a title that offered no qualify of life features. The graphics are good though. The character portraits are on point and I did like the minion designs. The game has a very retro sprite look which works well enough. The soundtrack is also very classic Final Fantasy with how each tune sounds. It’s all got a lot of energy and works really well.

As for replay value, by beating the game it seems like you do unlock some kind of new game+. I’m sure that will take you quite a while. Considering that the game is 20 hours long to defeat once, this is probably a 40 hour game or so. I’m not sure what the price is nowadays but it was pretty cheap before so I doubt it would set you back all that much.

Overall, Final Fantasy II is one of the weakest Final Fantasy games for me. In fact, I would have to say it loses to Final Fantasy VII and is my least favorite title. VII has the better gameplay, characters, and stories so II loses around the board to me. Don’t get me wrong, the story is fun and all but it just doesn’t make up for the game’s weaknesses. I don’t really see myself recommending this title to others as well. I’m glad that it helped continue the franchise into its current state but this is an entry you can skip.

Overall 5/10

Final Fantasy VII Remake Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 24h 5m
PS4 Trophies 30/54
Battle Intel Reports Collected 1/20
Colosseum Challenges 0/11
Combat Sims 1/14
Odd Jobs 1/26
Enemy Intel 91/114
Enemies Assessed 3/114
Weapon Abilities 4/24
Enemy Skills 0/4
Manuscripts 0/56
Music Discs 2/31
Cloud Dresses 1/3
Tifa Dresses 1/3
Aerith’s Dresses 1/3
Chapter 14 Resolutions 1/3
Chapters Cleared on Hard 0/18

Character Levels

Cloud 34
Tifa 34
Aerith 33
Barret 34

Final Fantasy VII Remake Review


It’s time to take a look at 2020’s Game of the Year title. I’ve been waiting many years for Final Fantasy VII Remake to come out and it was all worth it. You can feel the polish and development time that went into this title. It’s easily the most theatrical game I’ve played since FF XIII-2 and it is fair to say that this one is even higher budget. You could make a case for this being the best Square game yet. I would have to ultimately have it top FF XIII-2 and Kingdom Hearts 2 as the best RPG. It’s really just a definitive title and one that has a ton of content. After beating the game which took around 24 hours, that’s just the tip of the content here.

So the story starts by introducing us to Avalanche. They are a group of terrorists who are trying to blow up various Mako reactors across the planet. The reactors are controlled by a company known as Shinra which basically owns the planet. While this does make life a lot better for many, Shinra excludes the poor who have to live under a dome. Avalanche intends to bring the world back to how it used to be by blowing everything up. There will be a lot of casualties but the idea is that it will ultimately make the planet a better place. To this end, the group has hired a mercenary named Cloud. The guy’s an Ex-SOLDIER which means that he is pretty tough. SOLDIERS in this universe are people who were bathed in Mako and trained by Shinra to be ultimate fighting warriors. Cloud’s just in it for the money but sooner or later he’s going to have to make a decision. Keep on helping Avalanche and fighting Shinra or going his own way.

The plot is ever changing in just about every RPG but especially in something like Final Fantasy. That plot really describes the first few hours and then things change quite a lot. Part of the fun is seeing all of those story details so I won’t go much farther than that. As it adapts the content you’re used to, you will notice one new subplot involving some ghosts that keep flying around and messing with people. It’s a pretty interesting plot and the game gives you a lot of foreshadowing that this will be important. The game goes in some pretty interesting directions by the end. I can’t say much more than that, but what I will say is that I’m not even more hyped for the sequel. It’s really a superb ending in every way.

The climax is pretty great. You certainly have a lot of boss fights to sift through and great visuals. It’s also pretty challenging so make sure you’re ready. I lost the fight the first time so I had to regroup and barely clutched it out the second time. That’s one of the fun parts about the game. There are a lot of times where you will be at the edge of your seat throughout a boss because you’re so low on health and it feels good to get the win. A lot of the battles came down to a last hit situation. It’s a tough game that doesn’t feel unfair. You can always polish up your fundamentals in order to have an easier fight. I didn’t notice many locations for grinding EXP but you could also do that if needed. This is probably the first RPG in a while where I didn’t do any grinding this time. There just wasn’t a need to do so for me.

Some bosses did take around 30-40 minutes as a result though. It’s the price of being low level but it was worth it. I admit that if I had lost any of those fights that would have been unfortunate though. I came really close so many times. My advice is to always make sure you have a bunch of Phoenix Downs and potions. Keep in mind that you can’t use any items unless you have an ATB gauge loaded up so you may also want to equip Revival earrings as well just in case. Those activate automatically so you don’t need to worry about not using the item in time by mistake.

As expected the graphics here are absolutely top tier and same for the audio. It feels like a full movie experience and this game could easily pass itself off as a movie if needed. You could stitch these cutscenes together and just add a few new ones for fights and it could be ready for theaters right away. In particular a game like this always needs a great opening and FF VII delivers absolutely. Then we’ve got the soundtrack which is over 6 hours long according to Youtube’s playlist. That’s pretty crazy. I love to see all the variety here and the various remixes of the classic themes are intense. One of them even seemed to borrow from Advent Children which was a really nice touch.

I haven’t really talked about the gameplay but it is naturally pretty great. It’s a real time 3D hack and slash as you try to destroy the opponents in front of you. One change here that makes it a bit more like an RPG is that you can’t use any items unless you have enough meter which effectively makes it “your turn” to do an action. It makes the battles more intense because you can always choose to use a super attack, use a summon, use an item, or use a spell. Each one costs a spell bar and the only way to build it back up is to attack an enemy with normal attacks. What this means is that if you’re on low health and you just used a bar on an attack, it’ll be a little bit before you can use a potion. Keep this in mind when planning what you will do.

In most battles there will be 3 of you in the party so you can switch to them at any point. You can also just give them orders like which attack to use. For the most part they will never use any super attacks or spells unless you tell them to so when you switch over to them they will probably have a full bar. I recommend telling them to do something whenever they charge up. Also if you have it, give one of them the auto cure spell as soon as possible because that’s a spell they can use on their own whenever you’re low on health. The parry technique is also very handy here. Try to block and counter as often as possible because it builds up the opponent’s stagger meter pretty quickly and can put them in a pressured state. There are a lot of nuances to the gameplay but you’ll pick it up pretty quickly.

There is also the occasional level that uses different gameplay. I always think it’s pretty impressive when a game adds a new gameplay style even if it will only be used for a level or two. A good example of this is the motorcycle levels. There are only two of them in the game but they’re both a ton of fun. It’s a nice change of pace and as I also love racing games what beats mixing the two up like this right? In Advent Children Cloud was definitely a really good expert on a bike so it’s good to see him get to use those skills again here.

As mentioned, the length here is pretty good. It took me around 24 hours to beat the main campaign and that’s considering that I didn’t really do any side quests. The closest to that was when I decided to quickly take a ride on the slide at the park. Beyond that I just played the game straight through and never looked back. I can also see the Platinum Trophy for this game being pretty difficult so that’ll take time too. Even without a post game this would be worth the 60 bucks and with all of the extra content it goes without saying. It’ll be very difficult for any game to take this one down even in the next few years unless they suddenly announce the next Super Smash. Final Fantasy VII Remake did what all Final Fantasy games tend to achieve, it has once again set the bar higher for all AAA titles.

The game has a ton of highs and no real lows so what was the best part? Well, the best part of the game to me would actually be the opening act. Everything up til they destroyed the first Mako Reactor was my absolute favorite part of the game. In part I think it’s because it was the intro so I was still absorbing everything as this really fun movie. It’s all incredibly impressive and while the game never lets up, it’s hard to forget such a beginning. I also liked Cloud’s personality quite a lot in the intro with how direct he can be. The guy was pretty fed up with everything at that point so it made for a lot of great banter between him and Barret. Of course, they had a lot of great scenes after that as well like running up the stairs to the top floor. That segment is great so I hope you don’t choose the elevator there. In general the first act just feels like a really solid mystery thriller. I also liked Cloud’s first confrontation with Reno and Rude. Considering how terrible they looked in Advent Children it’s nice to see how they used to be fairly powerful.

There aren’t a lot of boss fights against human type opponents so enjoy them when they show up. From fighting another SOLDIER to taking on a Shinra boss, it’s always hype fighting another human. These battles really test your knowledge of the parry system as well as your pure fundamentals. You’ll need them if you’re going to take them out. In particular the fight on the roof against the gun wielder was a lot of fun. The fight against Rude was also a lot of fun with the various hand to hand techniques he would use against you.

The cast is also pretty great as expected. Cloud’s basically a perfect lead who does whatever he can to help his friends out. It’s also pretty nice to see his character arc here now that you know the events of Crisis Core and Advent Children so you’ve already got a pretty broad scope of what he’s been through/will go through. Tifa is also a lot of fun as always and tries to be a moral compass for the group. Barret’s probably been helped the most by this remake as I didn’t really notice the guy so much in the original but here he is one of the starring characters. He gets a lot of great moments throughout the game and I really like all of his enthusiasm for the cause. This guy definitely believes in saving the planet whole heartedly even if Cloud thinks he is crazy.

Aerith is more of a mixed bag for me though. She keeps a lot of secrets throughout the game and is intentionally not helpful. Talking a little more early on would have helped out quite a bit. I’m sure she has her own reasons for doing all of this of course, but until we see what those are she can be more annoying than helpful. It doesn’t help that in a fight she’s my least favorite ally to have. She’s good for aerial enemies but beyond that give me Tifa and Barret any day.

The other fighters from Avalanche are cool as well. I’m not a fan of Wedge and he’s mostly there just to give the group more of an unguarded fellow. Biggs is a solid member who seems like your average soldier. He’s got a sense of humor and is a nice guy. I liked having him around. Then you have Jesse who gets a big role here. She’s fun and charismatic although based on some dialogue from the other members she does like stringing people along. Cloud doesn’t fall for it, but this is a bit dubious so it’ll keep her from passing Biggs here. There are a bunch of other supporting characters of course but those are the main ones.

For the villains, well Sephiroth is awesome as always whenever he shows up to mess with Cloud. A lot of the time you have to decide if he is really there or if it’s just Cloud’s head messing with him. Get ready for a lot of seizures. Cloud had a lot of those in Advent Children but he usually didn’t get them quite so much in the OG timeline so you have to wonder what’s affecting him so much. The SHINRA vice president Rufus is a lot of fun here. I didn’t care for him much in AC, but here he seems like a pretty tough boss and in general just a guy that you don’t want to mess with. The other SHINRA leads are less memroable but serve their purpose as good villains. The mad scientist is more on the iffy side. He’d be my least favorite villain if not for the Don also being around. That guy was definitely the weakest one.

Reno and Rude are solid villains as well. Despite all their tough talk and how they act like they have morals they still do everything their boss tells them to do so I still see them as villains. There’s also another SOLDIER who shows up at one point which was interesting. I thought all of the SOLDIERS were already dead by this point outside of Cloud so I wonder how he will play into the sequels or if other SOLDIERS will show up. I guess it makes sense there would be more, we just usually don’t show them. Assuming they are all First Class level that will make for some pretty fun boss fights soon. Somehow I doubt any of them would be quite as strong as Sephiroth, Genesis, or Zack so Cloud should be okay though.

Overall, Final Fantasy VII Remake is a superb game. It is excellent in all aspects and there is not a single weak point to be found in the game. The gameplay is stellar, the cutscenes are out of this world, and the soundtrack is quite dynamic. When you mix all of this together then what you have is an amazing package that ism’t likely going to be defeated anytime soon. I’m hoping the wait for the next installment isn’t too long though. Now that we have all of the character models and assets (Aside from new characters who need to show up) I like to think that we could have part 2 by late 2021 but most likely I guess it would be late 2022. That sounds like ages away though. Ah well, in the meantime it’ll let us discuss the ending a lot more. I’m looking forward to reading the Reddit theories and watching the Youtube ones.

Overall 9/10