Final Fantasy VII - Rebirth:  The Journey Continues

For some, Final Fantasy VII Remake was a fantastic game that had an ending that wasn't agreeable.  At the time, the direction the development team was taking didnt really sit well.  It was hard to see the direction in which they were taking, that is until now.  After rolling credits on Rebirth, you can see the entire vision they have for the game and how they are starting to bring it more into the Advent Children timeline.  It is hard to talk about this game without discussing key points in the game, however these points must be experienced first hand.  Part of what makes Rebirth so much better than Remake is how it is pulling at your emotions without your realizing the game was already hooked into them.  Many a time was a tear shed because of how some of the scenes hit close to home.  For fans of the game, we are introduced to 3 new characters in Cait Sith, Cid, and Vincent.  Unlike the first game, Red XIII is not a playable member of the party.  Cait Sith and his Moogle are playable in two different combat modes.  Cait Sith will either fight on his own or he can ride on his Moogle.  From the opening of the game we are introduced to a vibrant open world that is full of beautiful detail and an equally beautiful score written by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu.  The towns have gorgeous set pieces and they are populated with an amazing amount of NPCs(Non-Playable Characters). The voice cast is just as amazing as it was in Remake.  John Eric Bentley stole the show this time around with his range on full display as Barret is taken on an emotional journey over the course of the game.  Newcomer to the series, Paul Tinto, brought life to Cait Sith in a way that makes you truly care about the character.

Much like the Mass Effect series, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth took the mechanics of the first game and enhanced them.  The combat mechanics receive some good upgrades, especially with the introduction of Synergy Attacks.  These are character team-ups that become available after you have used a certain number of ATB action commands.  They range from higher damage attacks, all the way up to adding additional segments to the ATB bar.  Leveling up is done both through experience points but also the Folio system.  Similar to the Core System from the first game, the Folio system still uses SP as the currency for leveling up but it adds on elements from Final Fantasy X's Sphere Grid leveling system.  Inside of the Folio system, players will be able to unlock action commands, synergy abilities, stats boosts, and higher tier limit breaks.  Summons back their return and feel like they can be used a bit more often than in the first game.  Series favorites like Shiva, Ifrit, Ramuh, Odin, and Bahamut make presence known when used on the battle field.

With Final Fantasy VII Remake, the ending left me in a place where I loved everything about the game except the ending.  The ending for me felt detached from the Final Fantasy VII everyone grew up with.  After rolling credits on Rebirth, I can safely that I am in a place where I want more.  I want the third game to be here already instead of waiting another 3-4 years for it to release.  Nobuo has said that we doesn't have the strength to do entire scores any more.  I hope he finds the strength for the third installment to be his swan song.  He deserves to see this one through to the end.  The dev team has laid out an amazingly intricate story that is taking a beloved story and evolving it for a new generation while still paying respect to the original vision.  The ending to the game is powerful and has set up the third game for an amazing final act.  This game is a must play for any Final Fantasy Fan.  

Matt Diorio (CGN Host)
Matt Diorio (CGN Host)
Editor/Podcast Host/Content Creator