It was just a little over two months ago that I tipped MUO readers on about Bootleg, an awesome way to mass mod your Final Fantasy VII PC installation and refresh the graphics, audio, and other elements of gameplay. Coincidentally enough, just days later Square Enix announced that they would be re-releasing the game on PC with a few new features. This puts me in a predicament! Do I continue playing my “remastered” version, or do I tough it out and wait for this official re-release to drop and play it with the rest of the world? I chose the latter, and the game was just released a little more than a week ago.
Final Fantasy VII is the most beloved game of the series, and arguably the best JRPG of all-time (if we all forget about some guy named Crono). This re-release (not remake) comes with a few interesting perks: cloud saves (clever), achievements, and a “character booster” that will essentially allow you to cheat and max your party’s statistics (which I hate, myself). The game is in the Square Enix store for $10 for the first month of its release, and is then set to jump to $12. Is it really worth it to pay $10 to play the same exact game once again? Let’s check it out.
Visually, the website that presents the game is really nice. I like the look and feel.
You can scroll down and check out the highlighted features of the re-release, check out some wallpapers, look at character profiles, and more. How does the website for the game factor at all into this equation though? We care about the game, not the site. Well, get ready.
By default, at least for me (a US citizen), I am taken to the UK version of the website. Clicking the Download Now button, to buy the game, takes me to a European version of the Square Enix store. Try to buy, and you won’t be allowed:
So, rather than Square Enix stepping into 2012, they’ve decided to leave out any bit of geolocation on the FF7 website or their store. The first thing I recommend you do when checking out the website is look under the My Profile link on the right menu and select the appropriate country. The game is available in the UK, US, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France.
You wouldn’t believe how many people are convinced that they cannot buy the game because Square Enix complicated this step. It’s like they don’t want your money. Speaking of not wanting your money, there’s yet another blunder. I, and tons of other people, experienced the following when checking out at the Square Enix store:
We’re sorry. The payment method selected is not available for your location. Please select another payment method.
I tried three different credit cards that were all eligible. None worked. At this point, it’s definitely an issue on their end. After doing some searching, I found the solution: If you’re getting this error, it’s because you’re logged in while trying to checkout. Yes, you cannot be logged in while you checkout. You have to literally log out, add the product to your cart, go through the checkout process (which requires you make another account), and then you can checkout fine. Very stupid and questionable.
By the time you’re all reading this, it may have been fixed. The good news is that your purchase won’t be credited only to this new account you just made. You’ll get a serial code and unlock code, and you can log back in to your real account, redeem your game, and activate it using that account. Just shutup and take our money, Square Enix. They have a long history of gaffs like this. Have you ever tried creating a PlayOnline account? It is the most tedious and strange registration process I’ve ever experienced.
If you’re one of those people who are using this opportunity as your first time to play the game, then as a huge fan of this title, I’m pleased to hear that.
Here’s the official re-launch trailer:
As someone who has put three digits worth of hours into this game over the last 15 years, I’m a little spooked by how that trailer has included a few spoilers. If those parts of the game haven’t already been spoiled for you though, you might not completely catch on. It’s cool.
Another thing that spooks me is that Square Enix is so bravely re-releasing a game that was made in 1997. Through about an hour of gameplay so far, I’ve noticed nothing different aside from a remixed soundtrack (which I do not prefer to the original) and some smoother character models. My opinion is biased, so I can’t say how well this game has aged. I wish it good luck when it reaches the God-of-War, Call-of-Duty crowd of today’s gamers.
There’s not much to say about this game that someone else has not already said. Here’s a great time to enjoy the original Japanese trailer:
Final Fantasy VII is truly one of the best games of all-time.
Cloud saves are pretty cool. The name is cool, too. It was originally rumored that the game would be released on Steam, which supports the cloud, but that never happened. It’s good to see that Square Enix managed to pull it together though. Enjoy playing from any location and recovering your saved games.
I love the idea of online profiles, too. Your online profile will show your total playtime and list your achievements.
You can check out my profile link for an example. It’s neat to be able to share with your friends as proof that you’ve experienced the game once again.
Speaking of the achievements, they are incredibly dull. Half of the 36 achievements are to simply use Limit Breaks. The rest include things like defeating the Weapons, getting Yuffie, starting a battle in the Battle Square, mastering all Materia, etc. Square Enix managed to do this completely wrong. They’re supposed to be fun and different, not things you can accomplish in a single playthrough of the game. It doesn’t offer any replay value, and that’s what achievements are supposed to do.
Lastly, the character booster. Square Enix, what is this?
In a single click, you can max out the HP and MP of all characters on one of your saved games, as well as get a quick 49,999,999 gil. Is this necessary? This removes all enjoyment and (the small bit of) challenge from the game. It doesn’t even put an asterisk by your achievements, either. I don’t get it.
I will buy anything with the FF7 name on it. If you’ve never played the game, I recommend you give it a shot. You’re not a fan of the RPG genre unless you’ve played through this game. If you’re someone who played this as a kid, beat it, and haven’t had daydreams of it since then, let it go. It’s $10 that you don’t need to spend.
You guys let me know what you think of the game in the comments. Back to playing now!