Final Fantasy 7 Remake - The Death of Turn-Based RPGs - Prima Games

Final Fantasy 7 Remake – The Death of Turn-Based RPGs

by Bryan Dawson

Final Fantasy 7 Remake has been the most anticipated and desired game of all time. There is no other game that fans have wanted more than a current generation remake of this beloved PlayStation RPG. Square Enix got a lot of hate at PlayStation Experience 2014 when the company announced the PC version of the game would be coming to the PlayStation 4. However, they made up for it when Final Fantasy 7 Remake was announced at E3 2015.

While most assumed that the battle system would change, Square made that information official shortly after the E3 announcement. At the 2015 PlayStation Experience fans got their first taste of the gameplay in the latest trailer for the upcoming title. Reactions were decidedly mixed as the trailer seemed to indicate the game would be almost entirely action-based. Given the direction of Square’s recent RPG efforts, this wasn’t all that surprising.

In interviews following the announcement Square stated that while the game would not be a traditional turn-based RPG, it wouldn’t be an action game along the lines of Dissidia or even Kingdom Hearts. We’ve already detailed what you should be expecting from the battle system of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and without one of the most iconic turn-based RPGs returning in turn-based form, this effectively brings an end to a classic gaming genre.

Now let’s be clear about one thing. We will continue to see turn-based RPGs on the Nintendo 3DS and mobile platforms. There will even be the occasional console title here and there, but with the house that Cloud built opting to go with a more action-oriented combat system for Final Fantasy 7 Remake, it’s clear that turn-based RPGs will soon be a thing of the past for AAA (big budget) releases.

With turn-based RPGs becoming a thing of the past, RPG fans should expect more action-based titles with the growing trend of making games easier. As gaming gets bigger and bigger, and budgets for games increase exponentially, publishers need to sell more games to more people in order to stay in business. Over the last few years we’ve seen a number of high profile developers and publishers go under due to the high budgetary demands of modern game development.

There are occasional gems such as the Dark Souls series of titles that has made a name for itself by being more difficult than the average title. However, if you go back to the Super Nintendo era you would see games with the difficult of Dark Souls on a regular basis. These days games need to appeal to a very wide audience, so you end up with developers such as Capcom removing sexual gestures from Street Fighter 5, and games that hold your hand and tell you exactly where to go and who to fight. It’s all in an effort to make more people want to play more games.

The Super Nintendo only sold 49 million units in its lifetime. That was back when gaming was more of a niche market. With the release of the original PlayStation gaming started to become mainstream. Budgets began to rise and games not only had to be bigger and better, but also sell a lot more copies. The original PlayStation sold 102 million units, more than double that of the SNES. The PlayStation 2 is the highest-selling game console in history with just over 155 million units sold. A lot has changed since the Super Nintendo days and to bring more people into the gaming world, the big titles have to be accessible to the widest possible audience.

To circle back around to our original point, turn-based RPGs offer relatively slow pacing and can be difficult if you don’t level up properly or have the right tools or abilities to beat the next boss. The first time some of our colleagues played Final Fantasy 7 they rushed through the game. They were new to RPGs as many PS1 owners were, and they didn’t understand the need to grind and level up. When they reached Sephiroth at the end and saved right before entering the final battle, it was essentially game over. They were severely under-leveled and got obliterated by the final boss. That won’t happen with Final Fantasy 7 Remake because everything will be easier as a more action-oriented title.

There will still be the occasional challenging game, or slow-paced RPG, but they’ll be few and far between, especially with AAA budget concerns. Gaming has gone mainstream, and while that’s great for the industry, the classic gamers who grew up loving the challenge of Super Nintendo and old school arcade titles will have to adapt to the new, easier way of gaming. It’s not a bad thing, but we’re sad to see this passing of the torch.

For more information on Final Fantasy 7 Remake, take a look at what to expect from Episode One!

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