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Summarize this content to 100 words The newly-released Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is the second chapter in the modern retelling of the 1997 classic Final Fantasy VII, expanding the middle chunk of the original game into a new 80+ hour experience. Rebirth is a triumph and a joyful modernization that thoughtfully reimagines the original and sets the curve for video game remakes. It also proves that Final Fantasy VII is probably the only game that deserves to be remade in such a way.No other classic game has such a following of beloved fans, or such an infamous moment that spawned decades of impassioned discourse. Spoilers for a 24-year-old game: midway through, spritely and sweet Aerith is suddenly and permanently killed by the game’s villain. Read more: 5 things to do right away in Final Fantasy VII RebirthAerith’s death rocked the gaming world, so much that it continues to overshadow FFVII’s other groundbreaking qualities: an iconic lineup of main characters in a plot that transitions between heartbreakingly serious and comically absurd, a successful mix of tragic backstory and goofy minigames. This was all in a game with the most advanced graphics of its day, bringing the storied Final Fantasy franchise from flat 2D sprites to dynamic 3D polygons. 2020’s Final Fantasy VII Remake, the first in Square Enix’s trilogy remaking the original game, set the style and developed the real-time combat system as it follows Cloud and company through their escape from industrial Midgar. From the first moments of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, it’s clear that the middle game is a whole new level of modernization with expansive open world areas filled with activities and sidequests, inviting players to run from lush grasslands to rocky seaside cliffs to beach paradises to arid deserts to verdant jungles and more.  Watch this: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Bringing an Old Story Into a Vast Open World 00:58 Looming over all of this gameplay grandeur is the storytelling door opened by Remake, which added a meta-level of plot awareness: characters literally fight destiny at the end of the game, and seemingly gain the power to change the course of the plot we knew from the original. Thus Rebirth opens with the daunting possibility: will Aerith die in this game, too?Rebirth is like the conversation you’ve been having in your head for decades, and it ponders the same thing: can a story without its tragic peak be as impactful? The new game takes literally until its final moments to answer the question — spoilers for Rebirth ahead — but after a staggering 102-hour playthrough, I can confidently say that no matter the outcome, Rebirth has done something unbelievable: it’s boundless enough to make me feel like I was playing the original again. It makes me wonder whether any other older game can — or should — get the same colossal investment to be expanded into a multi-game remake. It’s seductive to want to re-inhabit these worlds that opened our eyes in ways that appeal to modern tastes, but short of singular culture-defining works like FFVII, maybe it’s best that other remakes simply modernize the graphics and gameplay, but let our memories do the heavy lifting.  Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Photo Mode Screenshots From the Frontier See all photos Of Segways and Sephiroths: they don’t make worlds like this anymoreRebirth is a gorgeous and expansive game, with care and thought put into the six massive regions you can visit. I frequently caught myself finding ledges overlooking vistas, pausing to admire and take screenshots. The soundtrack — including a ballad Aerith sings written by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu, who composed the original FFVII’s music — is a fantastic mix of styles with nary a miss in its extremely deep catalogue, and I struggled to find a favorite (but Gongaga’s theme is up there). Dappled light, grand cinematic views, a lush soundscape — it makes the game’s world feel richly textured. More importantly, Rebirth masterfully adapts the tone of its source material and makes it sing. The original FFVII had spiky-haired Cloud and company pursuing the mass-murdering silver-haired villain Sephiroth between segments riding dolphins and visiting outlandish desert casinos. Rebirth preserves that flow, with deft tonal transitions — midway through, you take a joyful minecart ride to end up at the dilapidated hometown of one of the characters, destroyed years ago by Shinra. An hour later, you’re in a hotel that looks patterned after Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, complete with costumed workers committing to the bit. It makes the world feel huge, varied and inhabited. Square EnixThe metatextual knowledge of Aerith’s potential coming demise looms over the whole game, so it’s a relief that Rebirth finds ways to deepen your connection with characters through joyful, goofy moments. You get plenty of sad backstories, but they’re cushioned by levity and mischievous playfulness among heroes and villains alike. Yes, you’re still pursuing Sephiroth, but you gotta take a few hours to ride a segway around Costa del Sol’s beach town. When a plot moment has Cloud and company posing as Shinra soldiers, you can stumble on a secret social club patronized by the ever-serious antagonist Rude — and you’ll be nearly kicked out for not meeting the hilarious membership criteria.I could rattle off two dozen such standout moments in the game, but I won’t for how much poorer they appear on paper. Their silliness broadens and enriches the game. I wanted to exist in the world where Cloud and company stumble into such antics on the trail of a world-threatening villain. Some of these moments are modernized versions of the originals, but many others appear for the first time in Rebirth. With gorgeous landscapes accompanied by top-notch music, great real-time action and easily over a hundred hours of game to chew through, Rebirth feels like I’m being reintroduced to FFVII for the first time. I don’t know if any other classic game’s experience can be revived in quite the same way. In a famous moment in the original game, Red XIII re-examines his own past tragedy. Square EnixWhich other games deserve to be revisited like this?After over a hundred hours of playing, I believe that Rebirth comes the closest of any remake to making me feel like I did when I first popped open an old CD jewel case and let a soon-to-be-iconic game wash over me. What’s kept and what’s changed is a lovely alchemy, showing the challenge of modernizing a bygone classic for current audiences. Which other classic title would benefit from being expanded into a three-game trilogy?Every gamer has a pantheon of formative games, defining their taste and challenging their worldview from a young age. I struggle to think of games that achieved FFVII’s trifecta: incredible popularity, revolutionary-for-its-time gameplay and graphics and a storyline so dynamic it continues to inspire debate. The latter especially is what makes Square Enix’s Remake project so apt for revisiting, so fertile for re-examining with a modern lens, even if — at least thus far — its changes are more supplementary than serious, more philosophical than plot-diverting.It’s hard to think of a classic game that is worth taking the time to do differently. What would be gained by changing the plot of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? Perhaps the original Metal Gear Solid would suit an introspective remake, but is there enough fodder to expand into multiple games? Most game studios shrewdly choose retcons and reboots for their new versions of older titles, like then-Square Enix did with the 2013 Tomb Raider series, which admirably reset protagonist Lara Croft as an adventuring survivor but didn’t go much farther to re-examine tenets of the original game that may have aged poorly — like, say, raiding tombs to pillage other cultures’ artifacts. Admittedly, not every game’s universe supports a re-examination in the middle of play as Remake and Rebirth do with their destiny-enforcing Whisper ghosts and Sephiroth’s vague mission to find a universe where he won’t lose in the end. FFVII’s mix of fantasy and science fiction in particular allows reality-altering weirdness in ways that others don’t. That would probably be tough to do with, say, the Resident Evil remakes we’ve gotten in recent years, which are more focused on revitalizing its gameplay than dramatically altering the original story. There’s nothing wrong with just updating an old game to modern tastes, and it’s certainly less of a risk to simply reproduce an old game as players remember it rather than tease big…

#Final #Fantasy #VII #Rebirth #Sets #Curve #Revisiting #Games

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