Gamer-at-Arms – Final Fantasy Slevin

"It doesn't help that you're constantly a moody wee fuck" of the Month!

Final Fantasy is not something I generally like to associate myself with. It’s a series I love to hate and any attempts made by peers to express just what they think makes it so great generally don’t sink in. I’ve played a grand total of about three Final Fantasy games in my lifetime so far. Of those, I think I’ve only finished Ring of Fates and I’m about as close to the the end of Final Fantasy III as I am from the start of Final Fantasy VII. That is to say, I was close to the end of Final Fantasy III – the grinding it expected of me towards the end put me right off, so I ditched it. It might as well have been prefixed with “Tony Hawk’s”.

I didn’t fare very well with Final Fantasy VII either. When I started playing it for the first time, I was hell-bent on seeing it to the end but as the weeks rolled by, more and more I kept on putting it on hold. I’d even tried to make it a bit more humourous by naming all the characters after alternative words for genitalia some of the staff members here at Ready Up with the lovable, wee Michael taking centre stage as Cloud. Only Dan, Lozzy and Paul made the cut – as Barrett, Tifa and Aerith respectively – before I stopped playing. While I might still return to it in the future, I’ve more or less completely lost interest in it for the time being.

Part of the problem I had with the game was probably how fucking horrific it looks. The graphics might have been cutting edge back in 1997 but the only thing they’re cutting nowadays are my eyeballs. It’s aged pretty badly if I’m honest and while I try not to care about looks, it’s a fairly hard thing to ignore in this case. It’s a problem that I find a lot of older 3D games have too – for example, pre-3DS Ocarina of Time‘s graphics are reminiscent of being punched in the face by man made out of knives (just one of the reasons I consider the timeless Link to the Past to be the superior game). For a long while, that was where Ocarina of Time had the advantage over Final Fantasy VIIOcarina of Time had been remade for the current generation of consoles, in this case the Nintendo 3DS. Final Fantasy VII has only just received similar treatment.

IT BURNS

This ageing process is partly why I consider the process of remaking games to be quite an important one. Just look at other media like books, music and films for example. Despite not personally being much of a fan of his writing, the works of William Shakespeare wield such cultural worth that to let society forget about them would be a shameful injustice. The same goes for things like The Beatles‘ back catalogue or the original Star Wars trilogy. While books or films generally don’t need remade because they age reasonably well for the most part, it’s different with games because they can age poorly and to an extent there’s a hardware dependency there too – obstacles that can be overcome with a remake.

Although you may or may not believe developers and publishers are solely trying to cash in on a game’s popularity when they choose to remake it, it’s nonetheless important for gaming as a culture to preserve the works which it holds the most dear. Just like with Shakespeare, it’d be an injustice were future generations unable to play such greats as Metal Gear Solid or Ocarina of Time without first needing to procure discontinued hardware. These are games that, amongst others, have probably shaped us into who we are today – do we really want to see them dragged into the depths of time by the very machines that gave them life?

To that end, I’m surprisingly glad that Square Enix have finally decided to at least re-release Final Fantasy VII – while a true remake would be better, there’s still enough scope for it to reach an audience who probably missed it first time round. And if anything, it will mean I might finally get around to finishing it without first clawing my own eyes out.


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3 responses to “Gamer-at-Arms – Final Fantasy Slevin”

  1. tanto avatar
    tanto

    shouldnt this be ignored?

  2. Barry avatar
    Barry

    The point is anti-re-releases (errr real word right) and pro remakes (from scratch), don’t be blinded by your love for FFVII.

    Old gen titles shouldn’t just be booted through a conversion process, but started from the very beginning, reimagined for this generation and shown the love it deserves. Like Nintendo demonstrated with OoT, taking many new tricks the 3DS has up it’s sleave and implemtenting them to enhance an already great game.

    🙂

  3. Mark P avatar

    Exactly! I WANT to love this game but I can’t.

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