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Final Fantasy 7 Remake review – a faithful retread, with a few missteps along the way

It feels weird, after loving a game like Final Fantasy 7 for pretty much my entire life, to finally be able to say I’ve played the Remake. After all the wondering how such and such would look, or how this bit will play, I finally have the answers to the millions of questions I had. It’s been a long road, and I’m sure like many Final Fantasy 7 fans, part of me never thought we’d get here. But, after many, many hours, I’ve scoured the entire length and breadth of an expanded Midgar, I’ve caught up with some very dear old friends, and, I’ll be honest, it’s been emotional – even if the remake makes a few missteps along the way.

It’s no easy task to rewrite one of the most beloved stories in videogame history, and given the series’ recent shaky past even Final Fantasy 7’s most optimistic fans were nervous as to how their favourite characters, moments and story arcs would weather the transition. But I’m happy to say that, for the most part at least, the spirit and tone of the original Final Fantasy 7 is perfectly preserved. Dare I say it, the remake even manages to frequently improve upon the original’s telling of the story.

Characters you know and love are fizzing with new life and personality, their expressions and movements and little asides capturing the essence of what made them so iconic and enduring. Even the dialogue – which some feared would be stilted given a few previews – mostly hits the mark. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as the party chat, bicker, and get to know one another on their journey. And this is also one of the thirstiest games I think I’ve ever played – Square knows exactly what it’s doing as it toys with your affections, making you fall in love with one character after another. If I had my way it wouldn’t be so much a love triangle as a love decagon.

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