FFVII: Re-Imagined (demo)
Nope, it’s not the official remake that may or may not be an actual remake or more of an enhanced edition or who knows what. This is FFVII: Re-Imagined – a homebrew freeware re-imagining of Final Fantasy VII… that is, if it had babies with Streets of Rage and the old Dungeons and Dragons arcade game, and it’s pretty dam awesome.
Final Fantasy VII: Re-Imagined is a re-imagining of how the game would be if it’s were a classic 2D side-scrolling beat em up. This is a sadly, only a short one level demo, but you get to play as Cloud or Tifa (or co-op locally) with Barret acting as a support fire special move.
The devs have taken care to keep the RPG roots of the original in mind, both materia and summons (for some reason called Guardian Force here, despite that being the FFVIII terminology) are part of the action; Cloud is equipped with Ifrit while Tifa is rocking Shiva. As for the Materia, in a smart fusion of RPG and brawler the spells are built it into the players’ attacks. Here both Cloud and Tifa comes pre-equipped with Fire, Ice and Lightning and if pulling off a 4 hit combo, their Materia (cycled through using the hat switch on gamepad – not sure about keyboard -ed) will be activated – each to different effect: ice freezes the enemies, lightning stuns enemies but also causes other enemies that come into contact with the electrocuted enemy to also get electrocuted, while fire launches a fireball across the screen that damages enemies but also explodes at the end, causing additional area damage. This is coincidentally an actual advancement from FFVII’s fire/ice/thunder spells, which were just damage spells in different coats of elemental paint. Apparently, your characters also gain experience and level up, and can upgrade their stats, abilities (here, in the form of movesets) and materia just like in any RPG. However, I did not see this happen in-game so perhaps it’s not actually implemented yet, sadly. If it is implemented, somewhat ironically means the beat em up re-imaginging goes further into RPG territory than the original – since you didn’t have any control over stat distribution in FFVII.
Take note, being an early demo there are some bugs. Firstly, your character may become stuck, freezing in place – luckily this is easily fixed with a roll or slide. However for me, the boss also froze when it was about half health and stopped attacking – making the last part of the battle unintentionally easy. Aside from these quirks, FFVII: Re-Imaginging is looking pretty amazing, and I hope they do finish it. It’s a big undertaking however, and the copyright infringement hammer will probably rear its ugly head at some point, so grab the demo while its hot!
FFVII: Re-Imagined | Download: http://ffvii-reimagined.com/