When Final Fantasy VII Remake launched last summer for PlayStation 4, I took my very first trip to Midgar. You see, my most immediate connection to Cloud and his band of companions was the Advent Children movie. And, from there, I spent what likely amounted to thousands of hours listening to Nobuo Uematsu’s incredible score and imagining what it would be like to play an upgraded version of the seventh game. It must come as no surprise that Final Fantasy VII Remake was one of my favorite experiences of 2020. With that in mind, you might be wondering where the review for Intergrade is now that the highly-anticipated title has been out for over 24 hours. I’m here to tell you that it’s definitely on the way and that I’ve been enjoying what I’ve played so far.
Ultimately, the review copy of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade came a little late, and I didn’t get access to the new Episode INTERmission story content until launch day. I’m still fighting my way through Midgar’s oddities as Yuffie and Sonon and their banter and fighting prowess makes combat feel just as invigorating as it was when I hopped in as Cloud, Tifa, Barrett, and Aerith about a year ago. Yuffie’s split-second ninja combos and beloved shuriken make decimating enemies satisfying (apart from having to throw her weapon at far-off crates for MP points and whatnot).
Moreover, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade runs like a dream on PlayStation 5. The Performance Mode runs in 60 frames at 1080p, but the downgrade in graphical quality is hardly noticeable because the lighting and special effects remain so visually impressive. There’s also no better way to experience the real-time action in Final Fantasy VII. I can’t promise that you’ll be able to beat all of Chadley’s reports while using the Performance Mode, but you can certainly try! The Graphics Mode, however, has been my favorite option just because the details in shadows, explosions, and reflective surfaces pop like never before. You’d be surprised how impactful it is to see flickers of light dance along the edges of the Buster Sword. And, yes, in case you were wondering: the doors truly do look just as good as everyone says.
I still have yet to complete Episode INTERmission, but the story beats definitely feel more lighthearted than the original narrative. I prefer it this way mainly because the themes and campiness parallel Yuffie’s childlike exuberance and whimsical attitude. Without a doubt, this upgraded version of Final Fantasy VII Remake is the best way to experience the classic tale (or at least the first chapter of it). Be sure to keep an eye out for the Intergrade review when it goes live next week.