Changing The Game
For any franchise not named Pokemon and Dragon Quest, the separation from turn-based combat into the fluidity of action encounters has been largely a result of gamer preference and pressure from western releases. Flashy battles with scores of enemies at any one time have the capability to push the graphical prowess of the system they’re being played on, and the situational fast-thinking nature of action combat greatly suits the modern age of gaming. Turn-based gameplay was born of necessity, with the lack of power to the early Nintendo and Sega consoles forcing a more simplistic design.
The original Final Fantasy VII’s battle system built upon its predecessor’s success, with the otherwise basic combat enhanced by an ‘Active Time Battle’ formula that added a flavour of urgency to the strategy of its encounters. 23 years later, the Remake wonderfully fuses together the frantic, flashy fight sequences of modern hack-and-slash or melee-based action titles with the air of strategy that the original was built upon. 2016’s Final Fantasy XV was simply too much of an overstep, with glitzy gameplay that required minimal effort to overcome any challenge.
Final Fantasy VII Remake’s combat system was refreshing in all the right ways, while also reminding long-time fans of the series why the original was so beloved. The franchise has tested so many combat designs since the 1997 original, and with its remake, Square Enix have finally found the formula that every subsequent entry in the series should replicate.