Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade Review

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is the definitive way to experience the game, and the Yuffie Intermission DLC is a must-play for fans.

Five years after it was announced at E3 2015, Square Enix finally released the long-awaited Final Fantasy 7 Remake. By and large, the game lived up to expectations, with Final Fantasy 7 Remake earning widespread critical acclaim and being warmly received by most fans. And now that Sony’s next-generation PlayStation 5 console is out, fans can relive Final Fantasy 7 Remake with Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade, a PS5 exclusive version of the incredible action-RPG.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade Review
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade Review

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade offers basically the same experience as the PS4 version of the game, but with smoother gameplay, sharper visuals, and a couple of extra scenes. It brings the best of Final Fantasy 7 Remake to PS5 with meaningful enhancements, but that means it also brings all of the original’s flaws along as well. Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade‘s side quests are still rather dull and repetitive when compared to the main story content, there are still some sections that are blatant filler to artificially extend the playtime, and the divisive story changes are still intact.

In fact, Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade‘s new scenes double down on the story changes introduced in the original Final Fantasy 7 Remake, so those who aren’t excited about the direction the plot is going in won’t find any redeeming qualities here. But even with these flaws, Final Fantasy 7 Remake is an all-around phenomenal experience, with a fast-paced, fun battle system, eye-popping visuals, and a stellar soundtrack that makes it worth putting up with its few shortcomings.

Those who upgrade from Final Fantasy 7 Remake on PS4 to PS5 will appreciate the new features like the Photo Mode and after experiencing the game’s combat in 60 fps, it will be hard to go back to the PS4 version. It is a bit disappointing that Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade doesn’t really take advantage of the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback or adaptive triggers, but overall the jump to PS5 is a worthwhile one.

The PS5 enhancements are well and good, but the real selling point for diehard Final Fantasy 7 Remake fans who have already played Remake to death on PS4 is the new Yuffie DLC, aka Intermission. This two-chapter DLC isn’t part of the free upgrade, coming with new purchases of the $70 Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade on PS5 or available as a separate $20 download. Those wanting to get through the story can do so in a few hours, but the Yuffie DLC has a surprising amount of content overall.

The Final Fantasy 7 Remake Yuffie DLC takes place about midway through the base game’s story, and as one might have guessed, it features Yuffie as the main character. In the original Final Fantasy 7, Yuffie was a completely optional party member, and so some fans may question how much she could really bring to the table and if she would have what it takes to carry DLC all on her own. As it so happens, Yuffie is easily one of the most entertaining characters out of the entire Final Fantasy 7 Remake cast.

Whereas Cloud in Final Fantasy 7 Remake spends most of the game brooding or being soft-spoken, Yuffie has a bubbling personality and is energetic. Her dialogue is fun to listen to and not always weighed down with a bunch of deep lore babble. The Yuffie DLC in Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade also proves that she has surprising range as a character, with players getting to witness some serious, emotional moments along with plenty of goofy, over-the-top ones.

It will be great to see Yuffie integrated with the rest of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake cast when Part 2 comes out. And when Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 releases, hopefully, it lets players take full control of Yuffie in certain sections of the game, as she is honestly more fun to play than Cloud when exploring the game world. Since Yuffie is a ninja, she is able to run on walls, swing from cranes, and generally has more options when it comes to traversal. She is also able to destroy boxes in the distance with her oversized shuriken, which gives players more to do and encourages them to look in places they otherwise would ignore.

Yuffie offers a fresh experience in combat as well. Yuffie’s shuriken can be used as both a melee weapon and a ranged weapon, with players needing to switch up how they approach each enemy encounter if they want to succeed. Whereas there’s a big focus on Materia and spells in the base Final Fantasy 7 Remake game, Yuffie’s natural abilities are the real star of the show in the DLC, and learning how to utilize her skills effectively is key to winning the tougher battles.

A huge difference between Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the Intermission DLC is that Yuffie is the only playable character in combat. Yuffie’s partner Sonon joins the party fairly early on, but players aren’t able to take control of him directly. They can tell him what abilities to use and the like, but players won’t be switching between Yuffie and Sonon like they were with Aerith, Barret, Cloud, and Tifa in the main game.

Even though Sonon can’t be controlled, he still has his own health bar, abilities, and weapons that can be equipped, so he’s far more of an active participant than, say, Red XIII was in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Figuring Sonon into one’s strategies adds an extra layer of depth to the DLC’s battles, as players can choose to “synergize” with him to combine attacks. Plus, Sonon will sacrifice himself to revive Yuffie if she goes down in battle, effectively acting as a free Phoenix Down.

Sonon is a great addition to Final Fantasy 7 Remake‘s story, and his relationship with Yuffie adds a great deal of depth to her character that wasn’t necessarily there in the original game. Throw in some deep-cut villains from some of the Final Fantasy 7 spin-off games and it’s clear that this DLC is a lot more important than one would have initially expected. It’s not simply a cheap cash-grab; it lays some important groundwork that will almost certainly be explored in the sequel. And it does this without really going into the Whispers from Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which is a huge plus for fans who weren’t crazy about that particular plotline.

While fans may be most interested in seeing how the main story in the Yuffie DLC plays out, it’s worth mentioning that it has some worthwhile side content as well. The entire first chapter takes place in the Sector 7 Slums, with players encouraged to complete side quests, explore the town, and try out the new Fort Condor mini-game, which is a surprisingly fun auto-battler. Exploring all the side content that the DLC has to offer will easily tack on another two to three hours to the experience.

The Yuffie DLC in Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is certainly worthwhile, especially for diehard fans of Final Fantasy 7 and its associated media. But it’s a bit of a shame that the PS5 console shortage is keeping so many fans from playing it. The Yuffie DLC is PS5 exclusive, yet there’s no groundbreaking gameplay mechanic that requires the added horsepower that a next-generation console provides, and so it’s a bummer that PS4 owners are being left out.

Whenever Final Fantasy 7 Remake fans get the chance, they should definitely give the Yuffie DLC a shot. It’s not meaningless filler as some DLC packs tend to be, but rather it provides substantial new story content and is a fun time to boot. As for the base game, those that already own the PS4 version can enjoy the free PS5 upgrade, and while they may not necessarily feel like going through the entire game over again on the new console, they can at least use Chapter Select to pop into a few spots and admire the improved visuals and 60 fps gameplay.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is out now, exclusively for the PlayStation 5.

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