I'm excited for Final Fantasy 7 Remake. You're excited for Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Dogs are excited for Final Fantasy 7 Remake. The demo released yesterday was well-received for the most part, which is a good indication we're all in for a fun time when the final game finally drops on April 10.
There's just one chattering little doubt that sits on my shoulder and casts a pall over my anticipation. The Final Fantasy 7 Remake we're receiving next month is just part one out of who-knows-how-many parts, and I don't feel Square Enix is being honest enough about that.
People who keep up with game news know Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a multi-part saga. But there are going to be a lot of people who pick up Remake because they distantly remember loving the original game on the PlayStation, and they're going to be cheesed off when the adventure comes to a sudden end. (Most likely after the Midgar chapter.)
It's not too uncommon for a game to release in multiple parts or episodes, but in most instances, the developers are up-front about the game being segmented. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is clearly marked "Episode 1" and "Episode 2." Half-Life 2 likewise gave us an Episode 1 and 2. Telltale's adventure games were famously doled out in small pieces. Generally, when you browse games that come in pieces, the "Part 1" or "Episode 1" in the title informs you you're not buying the full game.
There's no "Part 1" in Final Fantasy 7 Remake's title. In fact, you'll barely find any indication you're not buying a full re-creation of Square's original 1997 RPG. The game's Amazon page mentions it's a "multi-part saga," but only if you scroll down and read the product description. Square Enix isn't lying to anyone about Final Fantasy 7 Remake's segmented format, but it's certainly not offering the information up front and center the way other multi-part games do. Square Enix technically isn't breaking any rules with Final Fantasy 7 Remake's titling, but it still feels a little shady.
To Square Enix's credit, I don't think it's trying to rip off naïve fans who don't know Remake ends at the edge of Midgar's highway. I think it's trying to avoid the stigma that comes with episodic games, because honestly, said games have a history of sputtering out and being set adrift. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 never got its Episode 3. God knows Half-Life 2 never got its Episode 3; the Half-Life series is only now heaving to its feet after 12 years of inactivity. Telltale Games is a sad graveyard of unfinished episodic adventures.
I believe Square Enix fears a potential future where games writers pen articles about "Whatever Happened to Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Episode 3?" and the like. That's not to say Square Enix will abandon Final Fantasy 7 Remake before the whole project is finished, but you just never know what delights and surprises game development might bring to the table.
That said, I still believe it's Square Enix's responsibility to let us know Final Fantasy 7 Remake doesn't end with Cloud's battle against Sephiroth in the freezing depths of the Northern Crater. I'd be satisfied with an identifier like, "Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Midgar Chapter," or something similar. It lets buyers know what to expect, but it won't stagnate nearly as quickly as an "Episode 1" tag.
If you're in the market for Final Fantasy 7 Remake takes, we've got lots. Read about how one of Final Fantasy 7's most iconic scenes was altered for the remake, or why one Final Fantasy 7 newcomer finally understands the hype.