Earlier this week, two of Final Fantasy XIII‘s developers, Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama, were interviewed over at Tech Digest. Along with questions about FFXIII and the current RPG market, the two were asked the eternal question of the possibility of a remake of Final Fantasy VII. The two had both worked on FFVII, so few could better offer insight on Square-Enix’s interest in the idea.
Yoshinori Kitase offered these words of discouragement:
If it were possible that we had all the right facilities and the right environment to be able to make and prepare a Final Fantasy VII remake within a year, we’d very much like a go at it! But even Final Fantasy XIII has taken over three and a half years to create. If we were to recreate Final Fantasy VII with the same level of graphical detail as you see in Final Fantasy XIII, we’d imagine that that would take as much as three or four times longer than the three and a half years it has taken to put this Final Fantasy together! So it’s looking pretty unrealistic! But if any such situation came about by any remote chance, then yes, we’d do it!
This is an excellent point…at first. There is no argument that each installment of Final Fantasy’s canon should continue to uphold the highest possible standard in graphical quality. However, the same need not be said of remakes or spin-offs.
Many fans of FFVII would like to have a remake of the game that is a heavy competitor for its current-gen cousins. But what they (or I should say “we”) want is a reasonable revamp of the original blocky polygons and incongruous cut scenes. The level of graphic quality from PS3 launch titles would be welcomed with open wallets. The FFVII tech demo–nearly 5 years old now–exhibits an impressive graphical facelift that could easily be applied with current development technology.
My suggestion would be to use the same visual style as Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core or Final Fantasy: Dissidia. While not photo-realistic, it has a beauty that is both captivating and appropriate to that world.
There’s an undeniable market for Final Fantasy VII that Square-Enix is foolishly reluctant to tap. Since its release, the PSN port of the original FFVII has held strong at the top of the charts (with only a brief decline around the release of the PSP version of Little Big Planet). In fact, with graphics that are properly rationed, a FFVII remake could be available for download on either PSP or PS3 platforms. It could be the perfect incentive for gamers to more openly adopt Sony’s otherwise fruitless PSP Go.
There would always be fans that nitpick and the game’s developers may not be as artistically satisfied, but the game would sell like crazy. And isn’t that what this business is all about?