Wow, really ?
No one ? 48h for the normal mode, missed Tifa's Purple Pain and Aerith's Planet Protector (and you can't go back until you finish the game), and that fucking Raise materia takes forever to level up, so I missed that last battle report and Bahamut. Well, at least I have something to do with the chapter selection ! Beside switching the audio to Japanese, anyway. I loved Barret's performance, but I have to redo this in Japanese. "Nailed it, I know, moving on !" was the best line in the whole game. Jessie... was a funny surprise the first time when she suddenly got a personality in the demo, but for the whole game ? I dunno, it feels really weird. Even Cloud asks her if she's that desperate (and yet he still doesn't clap those cheeks for SOME reason). At some point it's just super weird and creepy that every single girl wants to jump his bone. No item, no MP regeneration, hard mode sounds hella scary. Chakra, Pray, and Elemental materia will be great to mitigate the lack of items, cures, and elemental magic, but if one character dies in a fight, I'll just assume I'm fucked. Typical game plan is to stock pile on items because you never know when you'll need that extra single potion even in the end game (and keep those grenades but never use them), now it'll be "never use any spell because you never know when you'll need that last MP". Great.
The very end (click to see content)
Okay, sooooo timelines. Rrrrright... Fine, let's see where that goes if they want to make something else for the world section. In 5 years.
So we're making a timeline where everybody gets to live. The three Avalanche members (I assume Jessie is also alive since we saw her gloves and headband, and I assume Wedge also made it out of the Shinra building), Aerith, and Zack. That's clearly where this is going, right ? I don't even know how that would work out for Zack. Are we retroactively altering destiny, and he'll find a way to a timeline where he gets to live ? But that won't affect our timeline, I assume, or maybe not retroactively (Cloud still gets the Buster Sword), maybe he'll cross into our timeline ? For players who already know Sephiroth's deal, it's fine, but I don't know how new players are receiving him. I assume part 2 will open with the Nibelheim flashback just like the pit stop in Kalm, to set the tone for the chase for Sephiroth, which means we're still getting Cloud's identity crisis, especially if we're also getting more Zack (someone did remember Cloud never made it to SOLDIER in one scene near the end). And yet it kind of felt weird that we're apparently getting a new plot from Sephiroth, he seem to have a plan against those whispers and harbingers of fate, so are we skipping the whole "absorb lifestream, become god and sail through space on a dead planet" plan to jump straight to whatever he's doing with destiny ? Because I guess this version of Sephiroth already knows that said destiny involves him getting shafted ? (plus if we're saving Aerith, there will be no meteor vs lifestream clash) But the logo still focuses on the meteor. And since that meteor plan was inspired by mommy, does that mean we're also skipping the whole "thinking he's an Ancient > realizing he's created from the calamity from the sky" part and going straight for whatever his new "defy destiny" plan is ? Because that plot line was pretty damn good. They still made a big deal of the failed clones and the reunion though, so... I've no idea where they want to go with this. (at least the first flashback while escaping the first reactor makes it pretty clear that Sephiroth is a "war hero" who torched Cloud's hometown and killed his mom and Cloud has PTSD from it, and Cloud thought he killed him, so new players are not completely lost about who Sephiroth is as long as they pay attention to the dialog) Oh, speaking of Jessie and saving everyone, I assume the Avalanche group will come back in part 2. I hope Jessie will give us more than nonstop raw thirst... And by the way... Giant hyper tech city just spawning from nothing right in the middle of the desert with no water anywhere in sight ? That's not how civilizations work. On another note, VIDEO They made the AI do most of the work on lip sync with any language, facial expressions depending on the intonation of the voice actor, camera placement during minor NPC interactions, etc. That's insane. edit - doing my second play on Hard, and I really appreciate how they spread a shitload of dialog and visual cues all over the game that sprinkle very tiny details about the past (for Cloud, Tifa, Sephiroth). New players can take the time to replay this multiple times and notice all of those little dialog hints. So if you're a modern new player that likes to analyze his games and theory craft, you can gather up all those bits of information, line them up and connect them to understand the sequence of events, and figure out why Tifa hates Shinra and Cloud hates Sephiroth. You even have an equivalent of the Gold Saucer date scene, with a possibility to see Aerith, Tifa, or Barret in that night scene in Aerith's garden in chapter 14, and if you get Tifa, you can back up your understanding of their past some more. This should be working rather well on today's Internet and Youtubers analyzing every detail of a game, even though it's easier to just look up the original game's wiki.
the end, again (click to see content)
I'm just a bit annoyed at the writers blatantly writing the fans of the old game into the remake as those whispers, the old fans are the ones who want to force events to match the original game, and the player has to chase them away, telling the old fans to shut up and accept that the story will be new.
I mean, sure, it's an effective way to pass a message, and I'm okay with the writers wanting to write a new path for the story. But the writer inserting the old fans into the game to fight them is such a weird trope that is so disconnected from the actual story you want to write. If you want to write a new story, just do it, don't sidetrack it with something confusing that you are literally telling us will have no further impact on anything else and doesn't matter, you're literally putting them here only to be defeated, it'll never come back, it'll never be explained, everything they've done until now is irrelevant now that you've wiped them out, and that only burdens the actual story of this game.