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The Simple Joys of Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth

The second part of the Final Fantasy 7 remake – Rebirth – got a reveal yesterday, and it was the most joyous moment of gaming I’ve had in a long time.

Sometimes you get into a rut, and nothing you play seems to capture your imagination. We’ve all been there. And that might be due to busy schedules, or changing tastes, or a mild dislike of many modern games. For me personally, it’s just a bit of burnout.

But I can tell you I was smiling from ear to ear watching the new trailer. Every moment made me feel like a kid again. The power of nostalgia is incredible.

But it’s more than nostalgia. It’s a game that clearly has a lot of passion behind it, where everything seems to be made with fans in mind. I played Final Fantasy VII in the 90s when it was released, and I’m all in on the Remake series. Even the changes, designed to keep me on my toes, are not an affront to my memories of the original game.

I could talk about the hints at further changes to come, or about the buddy attacks showcased in the trailer. Paragraphs could be written about the visuals alone. But you can get that elsewhere.

This article is about the very real, very visceral impact that video games, amongst other mediums, can have on us. From the second I heard the music, heard the voices, saw the designs, I was taken back to another time. And I desperately wanted to play a video game.

Unfortunately for all of us, that means waiting until the beginning of next year. And there’s no shortage of amazing things to play between now and then. But it’s that game that will be holding my attention until next year (and beyond).

The Rebirth of Final Fantasy

We all have our favourite franchises. I’m almost as interested in the Metal Gear Solid 3 remake – although the red flags are showing a little bit. My wife loves Resident Evil and the recent releases have given her as much joy as I’m sure I’ll get out of the games I’m looking forward to.

Sometimes, in the discussion of whether games are art, or if lootboxes are predatory or the endless other discussions that hit this industry, it is easy to forget that games are supposed to be fun. And developers forget that sometimes too.

But in those moments where we feel that childlike happiness all over again – like I experienced with Rebirth – it makes everything else feel almost worth it. Almost.

And yes, every game seems to be getting remakes and remasters to take advantage of this feeling. That isn’t necessarily a good thing. But each year new games are being released that mean something to somebody, and will make them feel how Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth makes me feel. Now, and in the future.

That is the beauty of this industry, and of this medium. And it’s so important that we remember that. It’s sometimes far too easy to forget.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott