Cloud saves (the world): How well do Final Fantasy VII’s new features work?

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PC users haven’t had much luck with that final fantasy Series. I can’t say I’m considering it Final Fantasy XI a right” final fantasy Titles since it’s an MMO but apart from that we only really had Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII. The former is such a broken PC release that I know of just one person who had a specific enough hardware configuration to get it working as intended, while the latter is just a bloody awful game.

As such, this Steam re-release (and last year’s re-release on Square Enix’s own digital store) is of some significance to those who still fondly remember it Final Fantasy VII. It’s an opportunity to play it again on a system that supports every known controller, makes screenshots and videos easy, and that won’t have backwards compatibility issues in a year’s time.

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On the one hand, Cloud looks a little sharper than before. And I’m not talking about his hair.

Better yet, this is a little updated New release: to get additionally Final Fantasy VII, we’re promised achievements, cloud saves, a “character booster,” and enough PC tweaks to make the game “support the latest hardware and Windows operating systems.” Not bad. But how well do these features work and what difference do they make?

Before we begin, I should point out that this article is about a year late as it could have just as easily been applied to the original Squenix Store release. The reason it didn’t come out then is because I forgot about it, and when I got to it it was a bit late. Consider that FF7 skyrocketed Steam’s top sellers list shortly after its release, but I suspect there are quite a few people who have just picked it up and – more than likely – a few are waiting to get this to do. So yes, maybe there is still some relevance here.

Let’s tackle PC Optimization first (because if the game doesn’t work, there’s no point looking at the rest), then go through the rest of the list in its original order. Good news everyone! It works out.

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Of course, that was back when Final Fantasy games still had minigames. And world maps. And secret characters. And secret areas. And…

That doesn’t mean it’s without problems. There are reportedly issues with some antivirus programs (particularly McAfee) giving false positives, and I’ve been told it crashes fairly regularly on Windows 8, but it’s a hell of a lot less of a problem than the original PC version. By that I mean it really should work on most PCs, which I can’t really say about the first time it showed up on PC.

So if you just want to play FF7 on the PC, rejoice! This way, you can do just that without too many problems.

Next: Achievements. There’s not too much to say about this other than “Oh look, there are achievements.” They’re pretty boring and track your progress in the game and whether you beat the secret bosses, find final limit breaks, and find the Knights of the Round materia etc. It would have been nice to see some encouraging different playstyles or unique challenges (e.g. defeat Midgar Zolom before entering Kalm) but I’m pretty used to lazy achievements so I won’t complain too much about that.

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I’m not sure if an Ice Elemental like Shiva should be wearing such skimpy scraps of cloth (because she can’t get cold) or if she should be fully clad in a nice coat lined with faux fur to keep her warm (because she constantly dealing with ice). We need more details on the biology of summoning, Square!

Now we come to cloud storage. The theory behind this is that your saves and achievements are automatically synced to the Square Enix servers, and if you ever install the game on a new computer, you’ll have instant access to them simply by logging into your account! Hooray!

Although, uh, I’ve only had it once to successfully back up my save data. And…well, let me quote the Steam page: “Uninstalling the game will erase all save files that are stored locally on your PC. “

So yes. Unlike virtually every other game in the world, apparently uninstalling the game will also remove the save files, meaning you’ll either have to use the (currently broken) cloud saves or remember to back up your saves before uninstalling . I suspect the cloud saves are broken at the moment because so many people are buying the game on Steam, but it’s still hardly a confirmation of the system.

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I have really fond memories of the Gold Saucers. And also lots of reminders of the frustration in that damn battle arena.

And then we finally get to the character booster, which always struck me as a pretty good idea. Stuck on a boss? Tired of grinding? Use the Character Booster to speed up your way over! Or, hey, if you’ve finished the game a few times on other systems and just want to get to certain scenes quickly, you can power up your characters from the start and speed through the game. In short, something that would open up the game a lot more.

Yeah, it… doesn’t really work like I was hoping. What it offers is a way to instantly – and irrevocably – boost the health and mana of characters currently in the party to their maximum stats, and gives you a massive amount of cash.

What seems like a missed opportunity. If you get stuck on a boss, you can either keep trying until you get lucky, gain more experience, or make the rest of the game a complete breeze. You cannot level up a level or two or change the values ​​to numbers of your choosing. You cannot boost yourself temporarily and then reset again a little later. Had it really been that hard to do as a more powerful character editor rather than a button that breaks the game wide open? hmm

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Oh yeah, and most of the supporting characters are constantly stuck and making a :O expression. This is one of the few times in the game where this actually makes sense.

It even causes a few additional problems. Battles will still take the same number of hits as character stats remain unchanged, but limit breaks will occur much less frequently (as the limit bar increases based on the percentage of health lost). In short: use the character booster and while you are unlikely to die, the fights will likely last longer.

Oh, and you can only use character booster for cloud saved games. So right now this option isn’t exactly functional.

As for the rest…well, that’s it Final Fantasy VII. That’s it, literally: as far as I can tell, very little else has changed. The models look sharper and there are a few extra shaders, the FMVs seem to have been slightly upscaled, and the music is a little better than the original version’s MIDIs. The Magic Defense stat has a purpose again. Oh, and you can play it in a window.

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I actually have a friend who never got past this boss because she never found out about Cloud giving bad advice. She really never got into the game for more than 15 minutes because she thought it was too hard.

The problem is that there are a lot of things that has not been changed. The translation hasn’t been changed (aside from a few very small bits), meaning Cloud’s advice early in the game was “Attack while your tail is up [sic]’ stays exactly the same. For the uninitiated, attack the first boss along the way it is tail up leads to a very nasty counterattack; should he say not attack it.

The music is now in OGG format, but it is quiet not as good as the PlayStation original for some reason and still sounds pretty much like the MIDIs. Running the game in full screen tends to result in huge black borders on the sides and below of the screen, even in areas where the background size is large enough to comfortably display a little more.

Well, I’ll admit that the latter could be quite an extensive hack and seeing more specific areas could actually break the game, and there would probably be a subset of fans who would complain if there were even mistranslations like Cloud’s would give idiotic advice changed. But why does the uninstall remove saved games? And why the hell we still settle for a horrible version of the game’s wonderful music, 15 years later?

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By the way, have you noticed the huge black borders on the sides and bottom of the screen in all those screenshots?

If you don’t believe me, here’s a link to a YouTube Let’s Play of this PC update, with the timecode set to start with the Cosmo Canyon theme (minor spoilers, of course, if you haven’t gotten that far). Listen for about 30 seconds. Now here is a link to the Cosmo Canyon theme as it was on PlayStation. Do you hear the difference, especially when the main theme kicks in? Pooh.

On the plus side, this is – of course – a PC version, which means some of this stuff can be modified (and this link also assumes that the lack of modifications could be due to a lack of source code). A bit of exploratory Googling reveals that it’s fairly easy to swap out the music if you like – even going so far as to use one of the piano/orchestral arrangements if you like – and there are a number of different character models that do this can be used to give the graphic a little boost. Of course, this will apparently prevent you from using cloud saves/achievements/the character booster.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy Final Fantasy VII on PC. It’s still the same game as ever, only this time it actually works; if you wanna play Final Fantasy VII on your PC (and I do) then this will absolutely fit the bill. The problem is that it is It was always the same game: The music is still inferior to the original, typos and translation errors in the dialogues are still present, and the touted changes really don’t change much or are significantly worse than you might have imagined. This is a bloody missed opportunity. Rather than being the final version of FF7This is quiet worse than the PlayStation original.

It is Final Fantasy VII, and for many people that is enough. I don’t deny that, and I’ll no doubt play through it again because I have a nostalgic weakness for it Final Fantasy VII. But as far as ports and updates go, the only thing that improves it over the original version is that this time it runs fine on most PCs.

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