Editorial: The World Doesn't Need A FFVII Remake
Many years ago, well before even I was born, color was on the verge of changing television and movies forever. According to what you will find in the history books, many artists of the time didn't take too kindly to the idea, although it sounds like a perfectly logical and appreciated step forward from our viewpoint. Obviously, there was something in the black-and-white portrayal that may have forced the creators to rely on substance rather than flash. When Orson Welles heard that a certain someone wanted to colorize Welles' classic film, "Citizen Kane," his response was, "Just keep Ted Turner and his damn Crayolas away from my movie."
For the longest time, I was all gung-ho for a Final Fantasy VII remake. You will probably be able to find an editorial where I say it's a great idea, and that I would really love to see a revamped and enhanced version of what I still consider to be the greatest RPG of all time. This new viewpoint came about thanks to "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children;" after seeing Cloud in that brilliant CGI, I just got the immediate craving for a remake. However, now that I've thought about it more - and now that it seems as if the possibility is non-existent - I think I'm taking the position of Welles in this matter. FFVII is a masterpiece as is, and I really don't think they can make it better with superior technicals. Sure, it'd be more appealing to a new generation of gamers, which is indeed important and exciting, but how would the original fans feel...?
A lot of people I speak to these days are starting to feel the same way. I've even heard some people say, "if I had the choice of playing a FFVII remake, or just popping in the original FFVII again, I'd go with the latter." It seems like an absurd sentiment on the surface but surprisingly, I found myself agreeing. Yes, I'm well aware that nostalgia rules such an idea, but so what? A fair portion of what makes classics "classic" is nostalgia; the mere fact that people who fell in love with it still love it, and will always love it. I'm not saying I don't want to see a remake - that wouldn't be true - but I am saying that it really isn't necessary, and that in my experience, the true fans don't need it. Perhaps Square-Enix wouldn't care about this, and all they want to do is bring the legendary RPG to a whole new audience. But either way, I think it just comes down to this:
If they kept everything exactly the same and merely issued a technical overhaul, which made the game shine as bright as humanly possible, one would have to conclude they made a better game. All things being equal + enhanced graphics and CGI = "better." However, what the fans value is the experience, and a huge part of that experience relies on the game being the same way it was when we first played it and adored it. Wouldn't you agree?
3/20/2009 Ben Dutka