Final Fantasy VII Remake's hard mode completely changes the game.
I'm not talking about enemies doing more damage or there being more of them like in so many other titles.
No, FF7R's highest difficulty gives bosses entirely new moves, takes away item use entirely, makes it so MP doesn't regenerate until between chapters, and in short, means you have to rethink everything about how you play. Materia loadouts become more key than ever. You'll need to spec towards HP and MP Ups to bulk out health and mana pools, just so you have enough to survive specific attacks and retaliate.
In short, it feels like a massive slog, but the end result is one of the most satisfying gaming experiences I've ever had.
FF7R's hard mode feels like the original game's flair for tactical thought, pre-planning, enemy-scanning and character roles, brought back to the forefront. You'll still be hopping around like there's no tomorrow and playing action-style, but if you thought the base game was a lightning fast hybrid of old and new, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Having now gotten the game's Platinum Trophy (totalling 100 hours of play-time in the process), it's high time I shared what I've learned about top-tier character builds, and Hard mode in general.