Games Inbox: Final Fantasy 7 Remake release date, Midgar graphics, and Resident Evil 3 remake

Final Fantasy 7 Remake – are you still on board? (pic: Square Enix)

The Tuesday Inbox is worried about what will replace E3 this year, as one reader is unexcited by Amazon’s game plans.

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Part Fantasy
Nice review of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, GC. I didn’t expect it so soon, which shows Square Enix must have faith in the game, which is always a good sign. Unless the reviews were terrible I was always likely to get it as I have very fond memories of the original. Although I haven’t played it since it came out and would be nervous of seeing what it looks now/finding it out it wasn’t as great as I remember.

I’m still not really sure what the logic was behind making it multiple chapters though. As far as I understand it’s because there’s too much story but it’s not like Final Fantasy 15 or Kingdom Hearts 3 are short, streamlined adventures. Midgar was a pretty minor part of the original, as far as I remember, and I really don’t see how it justifies a whole game on its own.

At the very least just two parts would’ve been enough. I don’t remember anything that happened at the end of the Midgar bit that justifies it being a cliffhanger. And in fact aren’t most of the changes in the end, implying they had to make one up? I’ll find out for myself soon enough I guess, but a lot of people are going to be confused when the game doesn’t have a proper ending and Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Chapter 2 gets announced in a few month’s time.

Visual oddity
So, the reviews are in and Final Fantasy 7 Remake is… pretty good? I really didn’t know what to expect with this one as the demo was right at the beginning of the game and so not really something you could judge it by. But thanks to GC’s very exhaustive reviews, which seems to agree with the broad consensus, it does seem a good game.

I am surprised that the graphics came in for such criticism though, as I figured that was one of the big draws. Obviously they had all the good stuff in the trailers, and I’m not doubting the complaints, but if they’re not that great then what took all this time? I am assuming that the next chapter is going to be a lot quicker off the bat than this or it’s all going to seem a bit odd.

It also makes me wonder whether there really will be a PlayStation 5 version. I’d discounted that before, and assumed they’d just do it with backwards compatibility, but if there’s going to be a massive gap in graphical quality between the first one and all the rest that’s going to be unfortunate.

Flawless logic
So I’m in this Final Fantasy 7 Remake group on Facebook and a person posts about IGN’s review, basically saying that they were rubbish because they gave it 8 when they have Resident Evil 3 on 8.5. His argument? ‘Final Fantasy 7 is a better game so they are rubbish because they gave it a lower score’.

Now I rarely read reviews, I don’t even read all of the reviews on here, but I know that what you print is your opinion. I may choose to ignore it but when a game comes along that I might like then I’ll read what you have to say about it. And I feel that’s what everyone should do, and it makes me sad that fanboys are still around that automatically dismiss a review because it doesn’t line up with their viewpoint.

I trust what you write as it’s the most level-headed and non-biased review site and I enjoy reading it so keep up the good work and I hope you don’t have too many fanboys giving you grief!

GC: Thank you.

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Playing the odds
I’m not sure what purpose inviting the public to E3 really does. Most of us aren’t going to be able to get to L.A. whether it’s open to us or not and all the best bets are the shows beforehand, not E3 itself. The benefit of E3 is that it concentrates everything into a single week and then we two or three days of revelations.

Except often we don’t and it turns out to be a bit of a letdown, but imagine how much worse it’s going to be when everyone is doing their own events whenever they want. Instead of a couple of days where the odds of some interesting news and a relatively lack of waffle (because they next guy’s on soon) are high we’ll get endless false hopes that turn out to be a waste of everyone’s time.

Imagine a dozen Nintendo Direct Minis and you could have a good idea of what will replace E3. Personally, I preferred it how it was and I don’t understand anyone that would feel otherwise.

Deep pockets
Can’t help but feel underwhelmed by the Amazon Project Tempo news. Whilst it’s obvious that streaming will eventually become the primary distribution method of gaming in the future, it feels like there are already too many companies looking to get in for a piece of the pie. Without even considering things like EA Access, UPlay, Apple Arcade and their ilk, it’s clear that the big guns of Microsoft, Sony, Google, and Amazon* are working towards a form of streaming service, likely via a subscription model with the ability to purchase additional premium content.

I’ll try and stay open minded about each offering, although that’s hard considering how underwhelming Stadia has been so far, but I wonder how many subscriptions people are willing to pay for? I think it’s pretty common with traditional console cycles for most consumers to choose one as their primary console, then buy a second console further into the generation to complement and mop up the exclusives that have been missed. If this evolves into having to subscribe to four or five streaming services I can only see this as fragmenting the userbase more than we see now. Or, more likely, some services crashing hard.

It’s going to be an interesting few years to see which victors emerge. I wonder what Nintendo’s plans will be?
ProEvoSan78 (PSN ID)
*Google and Amazon can only be considered gaming ‘big guns’ based on their incredibly deep pockets and how much they could invest to disrupt the status quo.

The worst one
Like many, I have been appreciating the Resident Evil Three-make over the weekend. Did anyone else notice that very cheeky bit of trolling in the Trophies and Achievements list for the Clock Tower monument? Power Stones? I groaned but also quite liked it. Shame the final prize wasn’t some kind of Dreamcast gun or something.

Also, I think I might prefer the PS1 original. Maybe. Cutting the Clock Tower is a mistake, as is much of the locations you used to visit in the 1999 game. Like the newspaper offices. I really loved all of Resident Evil 3’s bizarre eccentricities, like the live selections and odd structure and that you could make freeze rounds for your grenade launcher. Seriously, why cut out the freeze rounds? Unthinkable! And the live selections, for that matter – they were the very soul of the original game! Quite the missed opportunity, as you infer from your own review, GC.

That said, as you might be able to tell, I had a lot of affection for the PS1 release, which I actually played on the Dreamcast. It surprises me to see it the punching bag of the early PS1 titles, it was much more fun than the remake of Resident Evil 1 on the GameCube. Yeah, that’s right! I said it! Long sections of it was just… boring. ‘Oh, it’s so atmospheric!’ Well, yeah – but an evocative atmosphere can only get you so far in my book – it still needs to be more fun to play. Sorry, but not sorry.
PS: Hopefully that Power Stones Trophy means that Capcom are giving a sequel some serious thought…

GC: You said it, but that doesn’t make it true.

Strange desires
I already own Defender, Robotron, and Joust and others that were my fave from my childhood. But now I want two new games to add to it.

Star Wars Battle Pod (Namco)

It’s no Rogue Squadron (pic: Bandai Namco)

After playing this one I was hooked. 180° gameplay was enough to make me smile and laugh as I destroyed enemy ships, challenging me to survive this onslaught of enemy fire gave me thrills galore.

Speaking of thrills this next one did the same for me.

Moto GP (Raw Thrills)

Is it any better than the console games? (pic: Raw Thrills)

That’s about $200K of pure adrenalin pumping game play. Nothing like sitting in a battle pod chasing the evil Dark Side enemies or on a bike scooting around ultra realistic tracks.

Consoles can’t touch the interactive experience of these coin-op arcade beauties. Both Namco and Raw Thrills are still at it to enhance our gaming experiences. And make a killing on the coinage waiting in line at arcades.

GC: Really? We’d rather have those golden age classics you mention.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Edge of the world
Like so many at the moment, I’m working through my extensive backlog of games. Like my good self, I’ve noticed a lot of people seem to be playing The Witcher 3. The game offers so many hours of play that perhaps quite a few people must have originally given up all the side distractions and just finished the main quest line. Now they’ve returned for the side quests and all those white question marks. I always found the side quests were the most entertaining and had the best stories attached to them.

Anyways, while wandering around the oh so lovely and sunny Toussaint, a joy after the dank war-torn landscape of the main map, I came upon a couple of roads and a river leading off towards the map’s edges. Some may recall I can’t resist following a river and to a lesser extent a ’wonder where that goes’ road, so off I went. Of course, the ‘Can’t go that way’ occurred, stopping me cold. What narked me most was seeing the land in the distance which had obviously been designed rather than just being a blurry chucked together area, and not being able to sample its delights. The river even had a waterfall up ahead, that I didn’t get to play in.

I understand that I can’t go beyond the boundary to a game, they’re not limitless landscapes, but ‘Can’t go there’ or the dreaded invisible wall are so old school and frankly annoying, and ruin the immersive feel of these virtual worlds. Perhaps the next generation of machines will provide enough grunt for game developers to come up with better and more inventive ways of handling the edges of these virtual worlds. GTA 5’s solution of an island at least seemed realistic, although as a boundary pusher I did jet-ski into the distance until the game sunk me and I respawned.

Back in the day, Skyrim used to bug me with this, following a road only to be blocked, even though the road carried on into a viewable landscape. And didn’t the makers claim, ‘If you can see it you can go there’, or is my memory unsafe on this. I do remember some people beating the system (console commands or whatever) and travelling beyond the map, even finding bits of previous games pencilled in, which some guessed might be part of some future DLC that never happened.

Do we live in the real world? For your daily virus restricted but allowed exercise, try walking down that road you’ve always wondered where it went, and see what happens, Ho hum.
Spooky Dreamer (SpookyDreamBoo – gamertag)

Inbox also-rans
Yes, Sony are releasing some or all of their games on PC, but it’s been three years after they first came out on console. Like I said before if Microsoft waited two or three years before they came out on PC players would have reason to think about buying an Xbox.

GC: The first game is three years old, that doesn’t mean the others will be. The Last Of Us Part 2 has already been rumoured.

Isn’t it weird that Zipper T. Bunny from Animal Crossing looks exactly like the theme park mascot from Silent Hill 3. Which came first?

GC: Silent Hill 3 by half a decade, and you’re right that they do seem quite similar. Which is weird.

Zipper doesn’t look well (pic: Konami)

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tenhunter, who asks what retro video game would you most recommend to a modern gamer as something they’d enjoy today? Especially given so many people are currently stuck at home with nothing new to play.

Assuming retro means anything from the PlayStation 2 era backwards (including PC games up to 2006) what games do you think have held up the best, and why? What games have aged well and which ones, even if they’re considered classics, do you think are now hard to appreciate for someone that didn’t play them the first time round?

Have you been playing many retro games during lockdown and are there any you regularly getting out when stressed or bored?

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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