Final Fantasy VII Remake Despair Nomura

Final Fantasy VII Remake is going to be a disaster, isn’t it?

Square Enix recently announced they had shifted the development of Final Fantasy VII Remake from CyberConnect2 to an in-house team headed by Naoki Hamaguchi, main programmer for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and the project lead for Mobius Final Fantasy. According to Hamaguchi:

“So far, development (for FFVIIR) has been carried out mainly with the support of external partners. However, in view of factors such as improving quality when the product goes into mass production in the future, the company has decided to shift the developmental system back to within the company, so as to maintain a stable schedule and have control over factors such as quality. We will be forming a robust system within the company to properly carry out the development.”

Yeah, I’m not buying that for a second. I will never trust the Japanese wing of Square Enix with a schedule or a budget, as they have proven to be grossly incompetent in the handling of both aspects over the last decade. In fact, my faith in Square Enix is so low, the announcement that the company has taken over full developmental duties of the game has snuffed out the last of my hope for the project: Unless there’s a wild change in the company, Final Fantasy VII Remake will be Square Enix’s biggest disaster.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Nomura Taking It Away1Wielding the Mu-Remake-sa blade, Nomura is taking fans fond memories away.

One of my biggest fears for Final Fantasy VII Remake is that by moving development in-house, Square Enix will try to move it to a new proprietary engine instead of Unreal Engine 4. That may sound silly, but the company has a long history of trying and utterly failing to create cutting edge, proprietary engines for their mainline games. Final Fantasy XIII and vanilla Final Fantasy XIV were both embarrassing failures of game design, mostly due to the fact the Crystal Tools engine was a dumpster fire fueled by Square Enix’s bank account. The disastrous Final Fantasy XIII series was made in a desperate attempt to try and squeeze something out of Crystal Tools before it was unceremoniously dropped, and it showed.

Instead of learning from that mistake, Square Enix doubled down on it with Luminous Studio. The result? Some pretty tech demos and a game that spent a decade lodged in development hell, and though I still made Final Fantasy XV my personal GotY for 2016, it’s still incomplete to this very day. How many games have been made on Luminous Studio? One. The only other game that was using it, Kingdom Hearts III, abandoned the engine for UE4, because Luminous Studio was trash to work with in comparison.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Nomura PitySince we’re already dealing with fan fiction, pardon the gratuitous self-insert.

With Final Fantasy XV still fresh in the gaming community’s memory, Square Enix isn’t doing themselves any favors. Two years have past since Final Fantasy VII Remake was announced. Most developers would have had, at very least, a gameplay tech demo ready for the public’s eyes. Especially if the game is still going to be episodic in nature. The whole appeal of an episodic game, in theory, is to get your product into players’ hands more quickly, and yet here we are two years later, with fans being told Final Fantasy VII Remake might be out in about three years. I won’t hold my breath.

Given the past development woes of Square Enix, an episodic release of Final Fantasy VII Remake is doubly stupid. Where are you comfortable ending episode one of Remake and leaving off for another 5-10 years as Square Enix chugs along on episode two? Are you going to be happy when the game ends with that specific encounter in a certain old city? That would suck for people new to the series too: Just 10-20 years until that plot point gets wrapped up! Thanks, Square Enix!

Don’t even get me started on Tetsuya Nomura. The man has been a part of Square Enix since he joined Square to work on Final Fantasy IV as a debugger. That’s over 25 years of work at the company, and in that time he has influenced the entire video game industry with his work on Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts. Nothing I’m about to say is intended to diminish the respect I have for his past work.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Nomura MemoryFinal Fantasy VII stands as the greatest thing Nomura has ever done.

That said, Nomura is clearly past his prime, and in over his head. He couldn’t handle directing Final Fantasy XV, on his watch it became a fustercluck of epic proportions. What kind of company looks at that failure and decides to triple down on it? Square Enix, obviously, because they made Nomura the director of Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake, two of the most important titles they have left in their arsenal, at the same time.

And here we are again.

The Nomura directed Kingdom Hearts III was announced to be in development four years ago. Since being announced, there has been a change of game engine, a grand total of less than seven minutes of unique footage, and the recent statement that Kingdom Hearts III should be out within “the next three years or so.” Somehow this cartoony, BS cross-over with pre-established characters, is going to take as long as Final Fantasy XV to see a release.

Nomura’s going for the hat trick with Final Fantasy VII Remake. Two years have been pissed away, and for all we know development is restarting from scratch. Now we’ve been told that the first of the three episodes is going to release roughly five years after its announcement. Tetsuya Nomura is going to die of old age before Final Fantasy VII Remake is completed, unless the higher ups at Square Enix “Old Yeller” his position at the company first.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Memory NomuraAnd he wasn’t. To this very day, he goes around adding wings where they don’t belong.

I’m not casting shade on Nomura because I think he’s lazy, or doesn’t care about his work. On the contrary, I think he cares too much for it, so much so that he has become the George Lucas of video games: Unable to stop screwing with something that’s perfectly fine, he’s cramming details into every orifice of the games he’s now working on, to their detriment. It’s as if the power of consoles since the PS2 has driven him mad with power, and he’s now seeing how many eccentric details he can attach to his characters, or how much flash and polish he can add to the cinematic elements, regardless of how poorly it fits in the overall composition.

I know Nomura has talent, and I honestly believe that his works, including Final Fantasy VII Remake, could be greatly improved by paying someone that can verbally, and physically if needed, tell him to stop when he gets carried away by his ambitions. Final Fantasy VII was a legendary game with a timeless story, but then he let Gakt ruin the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII with retcons and fan fiction tier writing. Kingdom Hearts was a simple romp through Disney worlds with Final Fantasy characters interspersed, but now? There’s not a human being alive that can explain that story without a wiki and several visual aids. Square Enix can’t even keep the names of these games from becoming garbled alphabet soup, they actually released a game titled Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

Still less confusing than Nomura explaining the title of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.

The saddest part is that Square Enix and Nomura are trying to do something extra special, but this is one of the few times where everyone wants more of the same, but prettier. Everybody was screaming at them to do a lazy 1-to-1 port and just focus on upgrading the visuals they fetishize so much at Square Enix, and in an effort to prove they can’t even get that right, they’re going out of their way to do something new. Nobody wants the story changed, just look at the negative response to the changes and retcons brought about by the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series. Many people don’t even want the combat changed, and to be quite honest, if it’s going to be as janky and relatively boring as Final Fantasy XV’s ARPG combat, I’d rather it stayed turn-based.

Square Enix has continuously shown they have no idea what they’re doing with their major projects. In fact, the only thing they do seem to know about Final Fantasy VII Remake is that Nomura will be making story changes that will upset fans. What’s the fucking point of the Remake if it’s not for fans? Nobody believes you can surpass Final Fantasy VII, it’s coated in a thick layer of nostalgia that puts it on a tier of its own as the first ever 3D Final Fantasy, and nobody wants you to surpass it. After 20 plus years, fans want their gaming equivalent to comfort food, and you’re fucking it up because, to carry on the food analogy, you bought new cookware and spent all day watching the Food Network.

The game fans want is being held back for the sake of what Square Enix and Nomura want, and that’s a recipe for disaster.

14 thoughts on “Final Fantasy VII Remake is going to be a disaster, isn’t it?”

  1. The game is going to be at least good!!
    the bad thing is that is far away from release
    Final fantasy XV felt incomplete story wise but the battle system was amazing and i am a fun of turn based rpgs!!!

  2. You clearly have not been paying attention to the development of the game. It has been confirmed by Squeenix on multiple occasions that FFVIIR being episodic has nothing to do with getting it out faster. They are making it episodic so they can add in a metric f^ck ton of extra content that was not in the original. Each “episode” is confimed to be as large as an entire FFXIII game, which is longer than the entire original FFVII. It will take 50-60 hours to complete each episode.

    As for development, it is unlikely the follow up episodes will take nearly as long as the first, as most of the mechanical design, gameplay features, story, etc will be done. The first episode will probably release around mid-late 2018 and each follow up will take around 2 years to release. We will most likely have the entire 3 part game by late 2021.

    1. Hurray for more filler and delaying the main plot of the game for another decade I guess? As if all the content they’ve added to Compiliation of FF7 over the years has been worth such a wait.

    1. Trust me, I know it was/hopefully still is/should be on Unreal Engine 4, I’m just worried they’ll try to make it extra special and put it on their next abortion of an engine now that they’ve taken CC2 out of the equation.

  3. I hope they don’t mess it up… but I declined buying a PS4 due to FFXV sucking… always wanted to play FFVII. Still playing my PS2 and Xbox360.. will get Scorpio when it comes out too

    1. I’m sorry that your life has sucked so terribly that you have to come insult someone on a personal level over a video game article. I hope it gets better for you in the future.

  4. Ooh…savage. I never even played FFVII back in the day ( more of a Nintendo guy, myself), and it was only about five years ago that I played it extensively. Now with Cloud being presented as a brooding emo pretty boy, I wonder how much of the goofball qualities of the original game this style-obsessed Square-Enix will see fit to keep in the remake. It looks like they’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater and overhauling everything.

  5. I do believe that making it episodic is going to ruin the game. id much rather them delay it for like 3 years and finish it.
    I see a lot of people comparing it, to final fantasy 13, but thats not doing it any favors. 13 was a terrible game in every aspect, though I still cant decide which was worse, 13 or 15.
    Also, i doubt they will make the subsequent games free dlc, so this move looks like one of greed. someone at square enix must’ve been like “GUYS! I figured out how to triple our profits! Lets sell it in 3 parts at full price each!”

    1. I’m willing to eat shit and crow in massive amounts on this one. The way SE has been handling every aspect of the remake so far has been amazing, and the most old school Square, pre-Enix, love and care I’ve seen since the PS1 era.

      The presentation, the characterization, the combat, and the little toucheshave all been next level.

      That being said, I’m still a little worried about the story taking some hits. They’ve already shown they’re willing to make alterations to some of the spicier happenings, and this story gets extremely, brutally dark at some places that were okay to go when you had deformed popeye armed characters, but not hyper-real models. Is cloud gonna go full MMA on Aerith again? Is Barret’s Avalanche group going to be completely defanged from eco-terrorists that killed thousands to a spunky rag tag group just annoying Shinra and being scapegoated for those deaths? Dyne’s whole sequence? Cid and Shera? Etc.. I’m also afraid their Sephiroth worship is going to cause them to prematurely blow their load on his presence instead of preserving the mystique and letting the story slowly evolve into something bigger. The sudden unexpected swing from Shinra being the big bad, to the legendary hero you’ve only heard tell of in brief utterings killing him for you, to the reveal he’s not the hero or a good guy, but in fact the true antagonist, was amazing. I know for those of us that played the original, we can’t recapture that sudden realization the scope has massively expanded, but for those enjoying the game for the first time, I feel that’s a great loss.

      That demo was certainly an 13/10 though.

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