DLC REVIEW: ‘Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade’ (PS5)

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Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, an action role-playing game published by SQUARE ENIX, released on the PlayStation 5 on June 10th, 2021. The game includes an upgraded version of Final Fantasy VII Remake and a DLC which follows Yuffie and Sonon as they infiltrate Shinra in order to steal an ultimate new materia. Along the way, Yuffie and Sonon team up with the original Avalanche group in order to provide a way into Shinra. The events of the DLC take place in between Cloud’s disappearance and his adventures with Aerith.

With Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, nothing new is added to the base game. Besides new game modes and a DLC, everything from the base game is the same. Even the trophies that players who played the PS4 version of Final Fantasy VII Remake earned are carried over to the PS5 version. However, playing the game over again, especially if it’s been a while, will serve as a nice refresher. It could also serve as a reminder of the events that lead up to the DLC that focuses on Yuffie and Sonon.

One of the newest additions found in Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade are the Graphics and Performance modes. As their names describe, one mode focuses on improving performance while the other focuses on graphics. Various improvements have been made in terms of lighting, shadow areas, scenery, and battle effects. After playing the game for the first hour while Graphics mode is on, which makes the game run on 4k resolution and 30 FPS, it is fantastic to see how incredible it looked. However, I found a better liking to have the game run on Performance mode. While this mode is on, the gameplay runs on 60 FPS, which made it much easier to avoid damage and win fights more easily. Putting the game on Performance mode, especially for the final fight, could prove to be beneficial. Both modes offer an enjoyable experience for whatever players are looking for when they play.

Most of the mechanics from the base game are carried over to Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade. Players can switch from close-up and long-range attacks, unleashing devastating combos to take down enemies. Spells are still assigned based on what materia characters are equipped with. Abilities can still be used to dish out major damage to opponents and can help players in tight situations. Limit breaks are also included but change based on what weapon is assigned to a character. Summoning materia can still be equipped and are earned by completing Bradley’s training simulations. Weapons, armor, and items can either be found or bought as the game progresses. Materia can still be equipped with weapons, armor, and items. The upgrade system for weapons is the same, but with it being such a short DLC, it would be wise to determine what to upgrade based on a player’s preference.

For Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, there are a few new mechanics that help out during battle. For one, Yuffie alone can do both long-ranged and close-combat attacks. She can throw her weapons at opponents and call back for them to continue the combo attacks. After throwing the weapon at enemies, players can have Yuffie cast spells without wasting MP to continue a garage of attacks. Throwing Yuffie’s weapon is also useful for destroying boxes that are too far away or for activating switches to get to new locations. Players can reach new areas by wall-running or hopping on different cranes. With players only being able to play as Yuffie, they can still assign specific attacks for Sonon to use. There are also synchronized attacks that both Yuffie and Sonon can do to deal even more damage. Each synchronized attack takes time to charge up, which means players much strategize on when to use them.

One of the most prevalent additions to Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is the Fort Condor min-game. The rules of the mini-game come straight from the original version of Final Fantasy VII. Players must choose from different layouts of battle troops to fight against an opponent. Each person takes turn sending out troops in order to destroy their opponent’s towers. The match is won when a player destroys their opponent’s towers or if they have the most towers remaining. Sending out troops wastes energy, so players must be mindful of how many troops they send out and how long it will take for energy to be replenished. Players climb the ranks as they defeat multiple opponents and the difficulty only increases. The final Fort Condor match is against the Grand Master. Dealing with the Grand Master earns players an immense prize.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

The new music in Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is an outstanding addition to the game. There are new music tracks introduced in the game that deal with the “Happy Turtle Bar” side-quest that Yuffie must go on. During the “Happy Turtle Bar” side-quest, Yuffie must collect 6 brochures of the bar and return them to the owner. Returning the brochures gets players a new prize and a mutual trust with the owner of the bar. As players search for the brochures, music tracks play whenever Yuffie is near a brochure. These songs are a variation of the “Happy Turtle Bar” jingle. Each song is a different genre, making it much more noticeable for players to know whenever they’re near a brochure they have to collect. It’s a surprising new addition to a side-quest, especially once I noticed that the songs would be different genres. I won’t be surprised if these songs don’t get stuck in player’s heads after hearing them until they find a brochure or if these songs appear in any future games if the “Happy Turtle Bar” makes a reappearance.

Having only recently played the original Final Fantasy VII game, this DLC could not have arrived at a better time. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade offers a perfect introduction for Yuffie’s character than the original game. Fans of Yuffie from the original game will be thrilled to see her again and for her to get a more in-depth focus before she meets up with Cloud and his friends. Her mannerisms, clumsiness, and up-beat personality are what make her such a captivating character. There are vast differences between her and Cloud, which makes for an even more interesting dynamic of having the two of them as main protagonists within the world of the remake. Her desire to bring Shinra to justice for everything they’ve done serves as proper motivation, even if not all of her backstory has been revealed yet. It will be interesting to see how future games develop her character even more, given the events of the original game.

Sonon is a brand new character introduced in Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade but will prove to become a fan-favorite character. His backstory is rooted in the conflict that Shinra has caused for many years, which explains his decision in joining Yuffie on her quest. He quickly proves to be a reliable ally to Yuffie, even after spending so little time together. Their determination to reach their goal and hurt Shinra in the process is what brings them together. However, the game could have done so much more for his character. There were moments where an extra scene or dialogue sequence could have added more of his backstory. Perhaps if this had been a longer DLC or even an entire game could have meant Sonon would get more character development.

Ultimately, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade offers a fun and enjoyable new adventure with new characters and new game modes that improve performance and graphics. While nothing new is added to the base game, the new modes will certainly make either replaying the game or starting it for the first time worthwhile. The DLC adds more to the story for new and old fans to enjoy. The upgraded version and DLC will certainly leave fans excited for what’s to come in future games.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is available for purchase now on the PlayStation 5.

This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Ultimately, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade offers a fun and enjoyable new adventure with new characters and new game modes that improve performance and graphics. While nothing new is added to the base game, the new modes will certainly make either replaying the game or starting it for the first time worthwhile. The DLC adds more to the story for new and old fans to enjoy. The upgraded version and DLC will certainly leave fans excited for what’s to come in future games.