I know I said I would have the 3’rd Amiibo tutorial out this week, but I got an idea and decided to roll with it. I’ve seen videos of people comparing various parts of the FF7R demo with the original game, and I’ve seen videos of people playing the demo (especially when it leaked) but I haven’t seen anyone do a side-by-side comparison of the entire demo to the original game. So I decided to go ahead and make that video.
Overall, the remake has me so excited for the full game, which drops in just over a month! I have played through it 3 times so far, and will probably do it again at least once before April 10th. This is going to sound kinda weird, but I’m impressed by how faithful it is to the original, while still being almost nothing like it.
First, some quick notes about the video, and then I’ll get into an analysis of the differences that stood out to me. The demo playthrough clocked in at right around 55 minutes, while playing through Mako Reactor 1 in FF7 took less than 25. So to make the important stuff line up, I had to essentially pause the FF7 video for a total of over 30 minutes throughout this video. The remake is the focus, so you’ll see my entire playthrough of it, uninterrupted, but while the FF7 playthrough is also playing, I reduced the size and put the original beside it. When the original is paused, I expand the demo to fullscreen. So if you haven’t watched the video (or at least played the demo yourself) yet I suggest you do so before reading on.
Now on to the fun stuff. There’s so much packed into this demo and I was pretty focused on trying to get through it quickly to minimize the disparity between the two videos, so I decided not to do live commentary. That’s not because I have nothing to say, but it’s actually because I have so much to say that I thought it would distract and detract from the video.
First, I have to give a massive shoutout to the voice actors for Biggs, Wedge, and especially Jessie. Gideon Emery, Matt Jones, and Erica Lindbeck all did so much to take NPCs who were essentially scenery in the original game (Seriously, count how many times they say “Code deciphered”. It’s at least 4) and transform them into living, breathing people. Cody Christian and John Eric Bentley also did an incredible job of bringing life to Cloud and Barrett, but they were always fully formed characters. I especially love the banter that goes on between them as you explore.
Also noteworthy is how many extra places there are to explore even in just this small section of the game. If they expand everything the way they did Mako Reactor 1, I can absolutely see how they can say that there’s a full game worth of content in just Midgar. And I’m so excited to see how else they’ve expanded it. Side quests, new areas to search for treasure, mini-games that can change aspects of your next boss battle. There’s some really good stuff coming.
Finally, the biggest change so far is the combat, and specifically the boss battle with Guard Scorpion. While boss battles always took longer that regular ones in FF7, I’m pretty sure that it took me longer to beat this first boss on FF7R than it did to beat the last one on FF7. That’s not a bad thing either. The fight was challenging, but not impossible, had plenty of variety, and essentially focused on learning his patterns, and attacking at the right time. I had a tendency to rush in and try the full assault method, but it seems more geared to rewarding patience and skill than just beating on it until it dies. That’s not to say you can’t brute force it like I did, you just better make sure you checked every corner on the way down to collect all the potions and phoenix downs.
In summary, I loved every minute of all 3 of my demo playthroughs, I loved making this video, and when the flash of the 2 FF7 logos lined up perfectly I got chills. If you want to chat about FF7R or how it compares to the original, or anything really, please join my Discord server, or hit me up on Twitter or Facebook. If you’re interested in seeing some of my other game videos or hacking tutorials (Nintendo Switch mostly at the moment, but I promise I’ll have some other stuff up soon) then check out the TechSupportGamer homepage or YouTube channel. If you haven’t already preordered, please consider using my Amazon link (Regular or Deluxe Edition). You won’t pay any extra, but I’ll make a small commission, which helps pay the hosting costs for this site.