Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade Review

Final Fantasy VII Remake once felt wonderful at best, but that all changed when it was officially revealed at E3 2022. It went through some development troubles that resulted in the game being brought internally at Square Enix, leading to multiple delays. What was once thought to be just a dream became reality last April when Final Fantasy VII Remake finally released, although it was only the first part of an undetermined at this time series. While it is still likely years away from the next entry, Square Enix has delivered the much expected PS5 upgrade as Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade alongside a fresh DLC expansion starring everybody’s favorite ninja Yuffie.

The release of Final Fantasy VII Remake last year was only at PlayStation 4, which still looked superb at the time. There have been several texture issues here and there, including the infamous motel door, but the overall visual design being much better than expected. The recreation around the globe within Midgar just for this game was downright amazing, giving life to some part of the game which was under 10 hours within the original Final Fantasy VII. There were several quite interesting directions taken with the story which were pretty divisive overall, however , do help setup a really intriguing future for that Remake series making it much better than just doing an exact story recreation from the original.

Another massive and risky move was the complete revamping from the gameplay to action-based combat from the turn-based combat of the original. Considering case part one from the series, there are only four playable characters with Cloud, Tifa, Barret, and Aerith, with three of these being able to be applied out any one time. You are able to control the four that are now available, as well as being in a position to issue commands for your party members effortlessly during battle. For those that want an old school feel with the combat, the game also has a special Classic difficulty that allows you to do the same as a turn-based approach with auto-attacks, though it doesn’t feel anywhere near as fun because the newly introduced combat.

Final Fantasy VII Remake already looked fantastic outside of the few texture challenges before, but now Intergrade has enhanced it further. The textures which were problems within the original release happen to be fixed now with no longer stick out like a sore thumb when they show up in the game, together with numerous lightning and background environment enhancements like fog. Additionally, the sport now offers two different game modes to select from, Graphics or Performance. Graphics Mode prioritizes displaying graphics in a 4K resolution, while Performance Mode prioritizes maintaining a 60 fps framerate. This is pretty standard across many games these days, but it’s very helpful here. Being able to experience the game in full 4K is really a sight to determine, but getting the 60 fps prioritization is indeed a game changer with the fluidity of the combat and game in general.

The Intergrade release on PS5 has additionally introduced a popular feature in modern gaming, Photo Mode. This can be accessed easily from the pause menu at anytime during the game, having a full array of settings and filters for you to get an ideal picture. Using the improved visuals of the version, Photo Mode enables you to capture the true beauty of this latest release.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade also introduces an element native to the PS5 with Haptic Feedback on the DualSense controller. However, the implementation of the is pretty lacking overall. This was no surprise as Director Tetsuya Nomura had said previously it would only be ‘partially supported,’ but it’s still something that will surely be built upon for the future entries.

Besides the multiple improvements and additions designed to the sport as part of Intergrade, there's a completely new piece of story DLC that is only at the PS5 version of the game referred to as Intermission. This comes included in the actual PS5 version outright or can be bought for added for those that had the free upgrade towards the PS5 version. Intermission isn’t just some small hour long story DLC either, but instead a pretty meaty four to five hour experience if you aren’t just breezing through it.

The Intermission DLC stars a new character to Final Fantasy VII Remake, but one that fans of the original Final Fantasy VII ought to know with Yuffie. Yuffie Kisaragi is a teenage ninja and Materia hunter in the nation of Wutai, who had been an optional party member in the original game. This time though she takes in the forefront in a very enjoyable couple of hours story that starts with her arriving in Midgar in search of Avalanche.

Yuffie continues to be sent by Wutai to meet up with Avalanche to then infiltrate Shinra HQ and steal their greatest Materia. The actual narrative reasoning for this is basic, but it’s explained that stealing the Materia would deal a blow to Shinra and their reputation for allowing a Wutaian to sneak in and place their most precious item.

Rather than occur after the era of Final Fantasy VII Remake, which we won’t spoil concerning could be some people playing Intergrade his or her first way with the game, Yuffie’s adventure takes place concurrent to the base game. Actually, we see a few of the core characters show up in some places, with one in particular fairly early on definitely showcasing where it is happening time wise. Outside of these few scenes though, we mostly just see newer and more effective characters introduced within this DLC, most of which are new to the ultimate Fantasy VII mythos entirely.

There are a number of new characters introduced that play a bigger, including some additional Avalanche members like Nayo or Polk. The most important of the bunch though is really a fellow Wutaian named Sonon Kusakabe, who makes his method to Midgar ahead of Yuffie to help get ready for their mission. Sonon has a tragic backstory, where his sister sacrificed herself in order to save him from Shinra mechs. This ties in well and among the primary antagonists of the DLC named Scarlet, the top of Weapons Development for Shinra that people who played the original game should recognize.  There is also one other antagonist and an ancillary character that turns up in the very end and make a big impact, which come from one of the Final Fantasy VII spin-offs. You don’t get to see an excessive amount of them here, but hopefully they'll play in to the future of the Remake games or perhaps other spin-offs.

Intermission is split up into two chapters, the first of which is spent around Sector 7 and also the second which is focused on Shinra HQ. After a short introductory section, Yuffie makes her method to the familiar Sector 7 Slums and you are able to explore it just like in the bottom game. This first chapter includes a main story segment that you can pursue, but there's also several sidequests that you should complete first. Most of these are really quite simple, for example finding all of the Happy Turtle flyers, or taking down Ramuh to earn his Summon Materia inside a VR Mission, but the most involved one is known as Fort Condor.

Fort Condor would be a location in the original game you could visit that housed a method mini-game there, that has been converted into simply Fort Condor this time. This mini-games happens on a board in which you face off against one opponent with your army versus theirs. These armies are made up of enemy characters cards you can collect based on Shinra forces after which placing them in the game based on the mode’s ATB setup. Both sides has three bases to safeguard, two outer bases and the central base. The aim would be to destroy as many of the opponent’s bases as possible during the time limit or simply destroy their central HQ base first as a win condition as well. This features tower defense combined with other strategy games for any pretty fun experience, especially once you start to develop your army with improved cards.

This mini-game also works as a neat way to talk with some returning characters, because the ones you face are found through the Sector 7 Slums. You begin off being able to undertake Rank 1 competitors like Johnny, before making it to position 2 by defeating all the Rank 1 players, eventually making your way to Rank 4 and facing served by another Avalanche member you'll definitely recognize. This is effective as a way to allow you to do a few and then push the storyline forward in the first chapter and then return to do the rest.

Outside of the extremely beginning, it actually may go through like there isn’t much combat in Intermission when you are tackling these sidequests and getting some story exposition, but that actually kicks into gear in the latter half of Chapter 1 and every one of Chapter 2. Yuffie and Sonon are your only two party members, with simply in a position to actually control Yuffie in battle. However, you can issues commands to Sonon just like you could with teammates within the base game, just without the ability to actually change to him.

Yuffie’s combat is really interesting, as it focuses round her large shuriken weapons. Yuffie has the ability to do hand-to-hand combat, but she works better still when tossing the shuriken and attacking from afar in the weapon is stuck around the enemy. This process gets better still when you add her Elemental Ninjutsu attacks that allow you to infuse the shuriken with Fire, Ice, Lighting, or Wind. From there, you can unleash these elements upon the enemy without even needing to use any MP.

Like every party member in Final Fantasy VII Remake, Yuffie has a quantity of abilities and spells open to her, the second that will require you equipping the best Materia to her. She also has few different shurikens that you could find and equip too, which each and every have their own unique ability like with all weapons. While Sonon can’t be controlled directly, he works just like Yuffie with the equipping of weapons, upgrading of weapons, and equipping of Materia. The fast moving action-based combat feels just as fluid and natural because it does within the base game, with Yuffie being a blast to play as when you are the hang of her arsenal.

Some side story DLC in games wind up pretty lackluster, but that's definitely not the case with Intermission. Introducing an admirer favorite like Yuffie into this Remake series would be a great choice here and really helps you to expand the planet somewhat more in front of the inevitable second entry. It also has some nice treats associated with the primary story too close to the end, which will make the entire experience worth playing on surface of just being a really enjoyable four to five hours with everybody’s favorite Wutaian.

Final Fantasy VII Remake was already among the best games to produce not only last year, but of the past console generation, and now the Intergrade release improves even more upon that. One of the biggest flaws of the original with the disappointing textures in areas has been fixed, plus a number of other visual upgrades. That isn't even to mention the brand new Intermission DLC that introduces Yuffie into the mix and fleshes out the story of one other events happening at the same time because the original that will grow to be important continuing to move forward. Whether you are obtaining the PS5 upgrade free of charge and spending money on the DLC or simply purchasing the full new version from the game outright, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade and Intermission are a must own combo for that PlayStation 5.

The Verdict

Not only improving on the visuals and giving players a significantly requested Photo Mode, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade also adds the stellar Yuffie focused Intermission DLC that's mandatory play for fans from the original and new game alike.

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