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Final Fantasy is a name that is synonymous with gaming, and in the 2020s, we already have two stellar titles to add to the series’ impressive lexicon. Final Fantasy 7 Remake proved that you can take this series into the next generation of gaming, and Final Fantasy 16 proved that Square Enix is fully capable of taking advantage of the available hardware.
With Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth, we are three years removed from the previous game, and in that time, some of the greatest RPGs of all time have been released, like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Tears of the Kingdom. That means the bar for what works has now changed in a short period of time.
Square Enix has always been very set in its ways regarding gaming structure, and it has led to some uneven moments in its past two Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth has to remedy that, and by doing so, it will at least come close to achieving the greatness that the original game showed us all those years ago. Here are 10 changes we’d love to see in Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth.
Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth: 10 Changes We’d Love to See
#10 – More Difficulty Settings
I have always felt Final Fantasy games provided a unique challenge that requires strategy, planning, and a healthy amount of grinding to overcome. Lately, between Final Fantasy 7: Remake and Final Fantasy 16, that difficulty is completely gone, at least when it comes to your first playthrough. I know that there is an option to replay Final Fantasy 7: Remake on Hard Mode, which adds considerable challenge to the game. The problem is that I don’t want to have to finish a game to unlock it.
I want that option available to me from the start. Final Fantasy is now an action RPG series, but that doesn’t mean that my magic selection, weapon build, and equipment should go out the window. I can count on one hand the amount of enemies that killed me in Final Fantasy 7: Remake. In older Final Fantasy games, I would frequently find a new enemy that could decimate me, and I miss that feeling. It’s a simple ask to have a hard mode unlocked from the start and then add an insane mode for the new game plus to satisfy the masochists who love staring at a game over screen.
#9 – More Enemy Variety
Final Fantasy 7: Remake did a decent job in this area, but at the end of the day, the entirety of the game took place in Midgar, and that didn’t really allow the fantastical creatures that the series is known for to pop up as we played through the Remake’s first act.
There were many different enemy types, but they came in different flavors of soldiers and robots most of the time. Not only was the variety lacking, but the locations where you fight these enemies didn’t exactly make sense. Taking on the Tonberry was great, but fighting him in what appeared to be an old junkyard felt weird. I first encountered these guys in Odin’s Tower in Final Fantasy 8, and now I’m fighting them next to a broken-down pile of cars. It just felt off.
#8 – More Party Members
When playing the original Final Fantasy 7, escaping Midgar into the overworld offered many new places to explore and, perhaps most importantly, characters to recruit. You get four new characters after leaving Midgar in the original game, and while Square Enix is obviously saving a few for the third part, getting some more characters would definitely add to the experience.
In particular, I’m hoping we see Vincent alongside the playable Sephiroth segment. Cid will likely be saved for the third title in the series, but there are still possible party members who can join us before him. They can also go outside the box here and introduce new characters. This is clearly a reboot, so some brand-new characters wouldn’t hurt.
#7 – More Limit Breaks
It was a tragedy that there were only two Limit breaks per character in Final Fantasy 7: Remake. There was no reason to put a hard cap on these. Only having two made exploring anything further feel a little lackluster in terms of rewards.
In a 50-ish-hour game like we had with Final Fantasy 7: Remake, we should’ve had more Limit Breaks to look forward to. They hid each character’s second Limit Break behind optional content, and the sequel may do the same, but at minimum, we should get four to choose from for each character in this go around.
#6 – Superbosses
While there were a handful of optional bosses to fight in Final Fantasy 7: Remake, none of them approached the majesty that the super bosses of old had. Since we’re venturing out of Midgar in Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth, that means that the Weapons that appear in the original game to defend the planet are likely to be involved in some fashion.
We only had to fight the Diamond Weapon and Ultimate Weapon in the original game, but that leaves Ruby and Emerald, and considering Weiss’s involvement in the DLC from Final Fantasy 7: Remake, maybe even Omega Weapon for us to fight this time around. Final Fantasy 16 showed us what spectacle boss fights are capable of, so Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth can take that ball and run with it to deliver some awe-inspiring fights of its own.
#5 – Story Clarity
I liked what Final Fantasy 7: Remake was going for in trying to rewrite its own history, but it had loads of issues in getting those ideas across clearly. First of all, not everyone played the original game. It’s an iconic game, but it also came out in 1997. The story got muddled near the ending. It all culminated with the game going completely off the rails in its finale, including a somewhat forced Sephiroth fight to top things off.
Sure, It looked cool, but even with the knowledge of where the original game was supposed to go, the story is still a convoluted mess that requires a breakdown video on YouTube to even vaguely understand what is happening. The story after Midgar in the original game gets very complex very quickly. Combine that with the new tweaks that Final Fantasy 7: Remake introduced, and Square Enix has a lot to juggle. Hopefully, they can pull it off.
#4 – Additional Combat Moves
I thought the combat in Final Fantasy 7: Remake was pretty satisfying and made especially great use of the PS5’s DualSense capabilities. However, I found that our basic bag of tricks was pretty limited and got old rather quickly. By this, I mean the basic attack and combo strings. Cloud had some cool variety with his two different modes of attack, but even that got stale sooner than later. For this sequel, there should be a more varied basic set of moves we can pull from the start of the game.
That could include some grab attack, counter moves, or alternate types of ammo when it comes to playing as characters like Barrett or, if we’re lucky, Vincent. The special abilities could use a few more moves as well. One way to do this would be to add Loadouts that you can customize and call up during a fight. The combat was a highlight of the first game, and we hope there can be significant growth in this area for the sequel.
#3 – Make Us Care About Cloud vs. Sephiroth
In Final Fantasy 7: Remake, we are immediately shown a Cloud vs Sephiroth appearance while Cloud wanders the streets of Midgar. It is jarring, to say the least, as veterans of the series know that doesn’t come till much later in the game. Cloud very quickly has visions of Sephiroth here, but then it’s a dead end for a long stretch of the game. We only get a little clarity on why they are rivals or their past.
Their backstory is hinted at, but for those jumping into the game blindly, it seems that the pretty blonde man hates the pretty silver man, and that’s the story we’re given. It culminates with a boss battle and the two of them wandering some unknown land.
Here, they are shown as apparent allies as Sephiroth waxes poetic about the nature of the universe and different worlds colliding, which, while intriguing, is still unclear. Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth will likely give us a glimpse into Cloud and Sephiroth’s past with each other, and the entire game’s plot rests on how this is presented. The original game gave a perfect blueprint for it, so it’s up to Square Enix to bring that into the current generation that is both interesting and compelling.
#2 – Take The Story More Seriously
Final Fantasy 7 has always been a serious game with wacky things happening in the background. The tone of Final Fantasy 7: Remake is all over the place. While most of the characters maintain their assumed dispositions throughout, some things, like the fight with Roche, for example, feel like they were ripped out of an entirely different game.
Add to this the incessant grunting and sighing throughout every conversation, and it’s hard to immerse yourself in this world. Final Fantasy 16 all but removed this from the conversations and, in turn, delivered the most compelling Final Fantasy story in nearly 20 years. Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth should follow suit, and know that many fans from that game will undoubtedly flock to this sequel and try for a similar tone.
#1 – Better Side Quests
If there’s one thing that was almost a unanimous opinion on Final Fantasy 7: Remake, it’s that the Side Quests were incredibly weak. This has long been an issue in JRPGs, and Final Fantasy 7: Remake provided some of the dullest sidequests in recent memory. Some had fun fights to discover, but others were mind-numbing fetch quests or side tasks for poorly written characters with very little motivation pushing you to finish them. Final Fantasy 16 also suffered greatly from this, and it seems to be a trend in newer Final Fantasy titles, as Final Fantasy 15 was poor in this aspect, too.
There is so much lore for Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth to pull from that there is no excuse this time around. We already know we’re getting the Golden Saucer, but there is so much more areas of the original that Side Quests can draw from.
For one, Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus could possibly be integrated for big optional quests, but even if it’s not that, the sidequests need to be written with substance, provide a legitimate want to complete them, and most of all, reward us for venturing off the beaten path.
Limit Breaks With Input
With the Dual Sense controller, even the most menial movements can feel incredible to perform. If Square Enix decides to add little inputs into each limit break, something like Cloud tightening the grip on his sword or Barrett loading up his hand cannon could feel amazing to perform and add some flair to these already spectacular moves.
We Need an Airship
The airship in Final Fantasy games has been a staple for years now, and Final Fantasy 7’s airship is one of the best-implemented ones in series. Getting to pilot an airship on an open world map in this generation of gaming would be an incredible experience and one that Square Enix should be capable of. Final Fantasy 16 teased us badly with an airship, and Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth needs to deliver it for real.
Zack and Cloud Should Feel Different
With the big reveal that Zack is alive following the events of the first game, his revival needs to mean something not only with the story but with the gameplay as well. Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core: Reunion gave us a taste of how that might go, so maybe having Zack be more of a bruiser and Cloud be the finesse fighter could be the answer. Having two guys with massive swords in your party may look cool, but they have to feel like their own character for it to work from a combat perspective.
As you can see, we’re expecting a lot from Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth, but that’s because this name deserves excellence. If Square Enix can take all of the good from the first game and add to it while creating something new, we have faith that Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth will be the perfect game to kick off 2024.
Question: Is Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth a Sequel to Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core Reunion?
Answer: In a way, yes, as the ending of Final Fantasy 7: Remake showed us that Zack survived his ordeal at the end of Crisis Core and will factor in greatly to the outcome of Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth. The rebirth in the title may refer to his unlikely survival.
Question: Is Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth’s combat system like Final Fantasy 16?
Answer: While both games are action RPGs, Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth is much more based on managing abilities, magic points, magic types, and maximizing your damage, healing, and special abilities. Different enemies will require different magic types and emphasizing different characters to use as your primary one, and you may also find yourself switching up equipment between fights. Final Fantasy 16 is more of an action game that essentially throws magic by the wayside and relies on juggling that various Eikon attacks the only playable character, Clive, can acquire throughout the game.
Question: Do you need to play Final Fantasy 7: Remake first?
Answer: I would assume there will be a recap trailer about Final Fantasy 7: Remake when Rebirth comes out, but other than that, I would say yes. The story of Final Fantasy 7 is incredibly complex, and the reboot has taken that story and added a whole cake’s worth of layers on top of it. If you don’t want to be completely lost, I would recommend playing Remake.