FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE
Official PlayStation Magazine - UK Edition|June 2020
A breath of fresh Mako revives the beloved Final Fantasy
Oscar Taylor-Kent
This is a fantasy you can believe in. It’s as if the PS1 original was a blueprint, a top-down view of a beautiful flower garden, and only now do we get bootson-the-ground to take in the detail that was there. Startlingly detailed, Final Fantasy VII Remake is an astounding achievement.

The title might be Final Fantasy VII Remake, but to be Materia-crystal clear, it only covers the Midgar portion of the original game. Make no mistake, though, events have been expanded and given extra depth to the point where it legitimately feels like a full adventure in its own right, and it draws to a natural close. Every fan-favourite character and scene has been done justice, and there’s plenty new to delight at.

BUSTING SWORDS

Mixing the original FFVII’s ATB system with action combat has resulted in one of the most exhilarating fighting systems in the series. Party members can unleash basic attacks with r or use their unique abilities with w – for Cloud this is the heavy-hitting Punisher mode in which the block button becomes a parry stance; for Aerith it’s a charged magic attack. As you chip away, you charge up each character’s ATB meter (used to unleash powerful abilities, spells, or employ items like potions), and you put pressure on each enemy. Once their pressure meter is capped out they fall to the ground, staggered, giving you time to deal heavy damage.

Taking advantage of enemy weaknesses helps build pressure, as does using certain weapon abilities. Rather than simply finding new ‘most powerful’ weapons, this time every weapon stands on its own, with an individual upgrade path of stat buffs and special abilities. Upgrades can be cheaply reset, plus spent upgrade points (SP) aren’t weapon-specific – if Cloud has 100 SP, that’s 100 SP for his Buster Sword, plus 100 for any other pointies in his collection. Each weapon has a unique ability, which can be used with other weapons once you’ve maxed out its proficiency.

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