Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Honest Review

The Prodigal JRPG Returns

Man, i can’t believe it’s been almost 4 years since we got Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the idea that we might have to wait for another 4 is also a somewhat depressing thought. However, if they are doing it closer to the original game that would mean they are using a lot more of the same locations as in the remake and rebirth, so technically some of the production should be faster cause of it – it’s not like there is bunch of shit missing from the map, mostly northern continent that’s mostly snow and then Wutai and some other minor island locations, which technically have no purpose like Mideel.

I mean they are going to expand on Wutai more and avalanche altogether, so there will be more wholesome detail into that whole island region (That’s my assumption given all the foreshadowing). We are also likely going to see PC release by the start of 2025 and maybe some type of DLC as well, maybe if we get something Vincent-related, that would be nice.

But lets talk about Rebirth now and how it exactly holds up as a standalone JRPG but also compared to FF7 Remake.

The True Power of PS5 Hardware

When they made the first announcement to not release Rebirth on PS4 I thought they were fucking over the audience, but seeing what we would have missed out if there were the same limitations in place by PS4 hardware now makes perfect sense. There is probably no way we would been able to have such big open space zones or at least 60 FPS with them on the old hardware so they went to release this game solely on PS5. Now this begs the question of whether are we going to see 3rd game being released only on PS6, but given that development has already started it is likely that not at least in release, or maybe the PS6 version won’t be significantly different at least.

So compared to the tube-filled linear dungeons we got in FF7 Remake, now we have actual open zones where u can travel with Chocobos & other vehicles I gotta say is pretty neat. There are also significantly fewer loading screens in this game compared to the remake, at least that’s how I remember it.

Graphical overhauls, bigger zones, and better lighting aren’t the only things that are obviously changing here. Among these, there are a bunch of other features that didn’t exist in the remake that they added including

  • Crafting System – Collect stuff from zones and craft potions, accessories, and quest items! You don’t have to buy your items from vendors anymore
  • Weapon Upgrade System Overhauled – They scratched the previous system that was akin to a sphere grid that was progress locked and changed to something more adjacent to what we had prior, but now progress is tied into Weapon levels.
  • Massive Minigames – Big minigame additions like G-Bike, Queens Blood Card Game, Return of Fort Condor minigame, and also Chocobo racing with each having a lot of depth than any other prior minigame in remake or really any other Final Fantasy (Excluding my personal favorite Blitzball that is)
  • Synergy Abilities – Now team members can perform synced moves that are akin to mini-limit breaks that increase stagger or just give other nice bonuses for the battles.
  • Chocobo Riding – Travel with Chocobo and some other vehicles that you unlock as you progress through the game
  • New Playable Characters – Now Caith Sith, Red XIII, and Yuffie are all playable party members (Sorry Cid & Vincent ain’t coming until 3rd game)

There are also a lot of other tweaks and things they added like the Party EXP system which I have my own reservations about still, plus there are a lot of side bosses in the arenas and the Chadleys simulator compared to Remake.

So Gameplay is Great, but What about the Story?

<SPOILERS> I Don’t really want to write million lines about the gameplay its great and vast and the game can offer over 100h of gameplay if you want to complete everything that the game has to offer, its truly very big scope stuff. The story is what the bread and butter here is, we knew that things were going to be changed like how Yuffie and Vincent for example would join the party – the whispers have their own role to play obviously too to distort shit and keep changing stuff from original timeline.

When it comes to time traveling, metaverse, and alternative timelines I hate all that shit because it just screams lazy writing – because when you bring things like that into the play you can make all the shit up on the fly and logic has left the building. There are very few games or movies that have done time traveling well honestly, here we kinda explore a lot more than manipulation of the timelines by Aerith and Sephiroth, and most of that is filled in the two last chapters of the story.

Up until those last two chapters I would say the story was very solid, this is how I felt about the remake too. They rewrote the Gi completely and made them connected with Cetra which was brilliantly done and some places like Junon have a lot more lore behind them, because when you really think about this setup logically that “one company known as Shinra” would just emerge and become sovereign power all around the world? It’s some odd State Capitalist system that really holds no logical ground in human psychology and behavior.

So the idea of there being rivaling republics and nations is actually a very refreshing addition to the existing lore. I also like the fact we got to see Cissnei and Glenn was also a positive twist into the mix, which makes me hopeful that we eventually see Genesis and Sephiroth’s Siblings from Advent Children, but that’s maybe pushing it – I mean they could be easily repurposed. But when it comes to the One Winged Angel himself, I have to say he’s very uninteresting to me and somewhat downgraded as a villain in this story, there is too much this omnipotent know it all feel to him, that I dislike very much. I Would have to go back and read some of his original dialogue but even in Crisis Core Reunion he wasn’t exactly quite like this.

Also last chapter allows sephiroth to just transform into a massive forms and then just revert back is also bit odd and just grandiose for sake of big cinema ending, which I disliked because it will downplay all the next encounters that happen in game three, but by then I have probably forgotten all about this.

So in short, lot of lore and worldbuilding that has been a massive improvement over the original and some changes there and there on some locations, but still staying relatively faithful. Third game is where all bets are out and we will see what direction they will take with that game, which I might write about later.

Closing Statements

I Would say this was near near-perfect experience for me as a game. It has great graphics, a soundtrack, story that holds up, combat is fun, and a lot of variety in gameplay in terms of minigames. But there were some poor game design choices that I didn’t like – for example, blocking in this game sucks badly… the sheer idea of being constantly knocked up and unlocked is not a fun experience this is something that was very irritating in Roche Duel and Rufus duels that you had to play, you don’t get any breathing room there and this shows.

Also, the weapon system still needs some work to be logical, the idea that you can just obtain all final weapons from a single dungeon is kinda meh and not the same rewarding experience as it has been in some previous installments. I also have mixed thoughts about sometimes being locked out from selecting a party at certain stages and not getting enough freedom to give party members more choices on auto-casting stuff. Also, i think this whole party-level stuff is bullshit too and we could just totally get rid of it on 3rd game.

It may seem slightly minor stuff and I admit im very close to giving this the full rating here, but I just fundamentally agree with some design and story choices of the last two chapters. Also while I usually like that there’s a lot of content to do, I join in with other critics who also felt that certain chapters and dungeons (especially Temple of Ancients) were overtly long for no proper reason than having more grinding.