Final Fantasy VII Remake took a long time to finally get here, but now that it's here it seems to be more than worth the wait. Longtime fans have their beloved cast of characters and a world they adore in a fresh and modern way, while new fans have the opportunity to see the absolute best version of a certified classic. The game does a fantastic job of catering to both of these audiences, walking newcomers through the various systems and giving experts the chance to skip these tutorials if they so choose. That said, there are still a few things the game either glosses over or doesn't really communicate as much to players, and we've collected these into one handy guide to make your journey through Midgar even better.
Some of these are more quality of life improvements, while others are things that will ensure your journey through Midgar is a pleasant and rewarding one, and one not fraught with frustration. Others are just cool little tips and tricks you might want to keep in mind, and others will help keep you on the lookout for valuable items that you won't want to miss.
You can check out our full list of tips and tricks starting on the next slide, and you can find the full Final Fantasy VII Remake description below.
"FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE is a reimagining of the iconic original game that re-defined the RPG genre, diving deeper into the world and its characters than ever before. The first game in the project will be set in the eclectic city of Midgar and presents a fully standalone gaming experience that provides a great starting point to the series.
Along with unforgettable characters and a powerful story, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE features a hybrid battle system that merges real-time action with strategic, command-based combat. For players who wish to focus purely on battle strategy, a menu-focused ‘Classic Mode’ provides a gameplay style more similar to the original game. More information regarding the newly revealed Classic Mode can be found on the Square Enix Blog."
Final Fantasy VII Remake is available on the Playstation 4 now.
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Punisher Mode Is Your Best Friend
You'll learn early on in the game that Cloud has the ability to switch modes from a standard attack mode to Punisher mode. The game explains that this will strengthen your attacks significantly but will also slow you down, and while it does mention a counterattack is part of the deal, it does not stress how important this element of the mode is.
Seriously, this will become indispensable, especially early on after the attack on the first Mako Reactor. You'll find yourself surrounded by a host of soldiers of varying types, including ones with grenades, shields, and stun sticks. The latter will require some dodging, but you can make shield enemies much easier on yourself if you switch to Punisher mode and let them attack you. Early on the resulting counterattack will all but obliterate them, and even if it doesn't it will leave them vulnerable to your normal slashes, taking care of them quickly.
Spells and Specials Can Miss
The game explains the spell system and the materia system that those spells originate from, but it does leave out that if you are not careful, you can completely whiff when using them. You'll see this rear its head when combating enemies that are quick on their feet like attack dogs or darting back and forth in the air like Drakes, as the small delay between when you use the spell and when it launches can be enough time for these enemies to have moved, thus your sweet fireball will just fade off into the distance hitting no one.
The same goes for unique special attacks (every character has them) and Limit Breaks. For all the power and dazzle these attacks have, they can completely miss, so make sure your enemy isn't about to move or in mid charge before you dish one out, otherwise your ATB and MP will be lost fo nothing.
Maximizing Joint Materia
You'll soon start to notice that some of your weapons and armor have Materia slots that connect, and those are known as joint sockets. These sockets can be used in a variety of ways, and early on you'll want to utilize one of the slots for the Elemental Materia. The Elemental Materia allows you to gain a big resistance boost to whatever that Materia is joined with, so for example, if you pair the Elemental Materia with an Ice Materia (a personal fave), you will then gain resistance to Ice as long as you have that equipped, with attacks cut in half until you unequip that combination.
You can also put the Magnify Materia in this slot to enhance your spell attacks. The Magnify Materia will allow you to target multiple enemies with a spell as opposed to one, though the primary target will get the bigger amount of damage. This can also be paired with things like Esuna to remove status effects from multiple party members or Cure to heal several people at a time, and you'll want to experiment to see what works best for you.
Speaking of Materia, you'll get access to one early on that you need to equip ASAP, and that's Auto Cure. You'll notice quickly that your HP and the HP of your teammates can spiral downwards quickly when things don't go according to plan, and this Materia will Auto Heal whoever equips it a certain number of times, starting off with 2 and then unlocking more as it levels up.
You might think this will be a nuisance, but it comes in incredibly handy, especially early on as you're still getting used to operating your squad as a team and not a one-man army.
Don't Sell Materia
Alright, last note on Materia, but DON'T SELL IT! We know it's tempting because at times it can command a pretty penny, but even if you find one you don't necessarily like at the moment, just set it aside. You might find an enemy later in the game that is weak or vulnerable to a combo that can be created from it, and you'll kick yourself if you can only equip one person with it before a boss fight because you wanted a few extra bangles. Plus, there are so many ways to earn money in the game that it's really not worth the tradeoff.
Grinding Weapon Proficiencies
Speaking of items, one of the coolest enhancements is weapon proficiencies, which are opened up considerably here. Each weapon has a host of upgrades that can be earned that affect your chosen character, but the best part about them is their unique special abilities. Each weapon in the game has a unique ability assigned to it, and at the beginning, you have to be using that weapon to utilize it. The more you use it though you'll see a green bar underneath the name fill up, and if you can get the bar full you'll eventually become proficient in that ability.
What that means is that you can now freely switch between weapons and still utilize that ability. That's why it is best to try out new weapons as soon as you're not in some difficult throwdown because the sooner you can grind a bit and unlock that the sooner you can go just find a weapon that suits your play style and go with that, having the best of both worlds.
Materia and Weapons Don't Fall Behind
Now, as you use weapons you'll also build up SP, which is what you use to enhance your weapons and buy those additional buffs, which do things like increase health, attack, defense, or certain other stats and abilities. The best part is that you don't actually have to use a particular weapon for it to gain SP, so if you are favoring one particular weapon, don't fret, because your other ones are gaining SP and are probably due for an upgrade if you haven't taken a look at them in a while.
The same goes for Materia, which also gains levels regardless of whether you're actively using it, so long as it is currently equipped to a character.
Final Fantasy VII Remake has really upgraded the battle system, enhancing the combat with a number of changes that are directly controllable by the player in real-time. That said, these might not be for everyone, especially fans of the previous system that had the characters doing the actual fighting but you running the plays so to speak from the menus. You can actually go back to that in a way by picking Classic Mode from the Command Menu, and doing so will have your characters automatically moving, attacking, and defending, leaving you to focus on giving them orders and managing the battle overall.
Weapons aren't the only way to use special abilities. Each character also has a host of special abilities unique to them, and one of the most interesting and at times challenging to master is Aerith's Tempest ability. This ability sees Aerith unleashing a crystal at an opponent that once it reaches its target does a modest amount of damage, but this whole thing isn't instant, especially if you want it to hit with some impact.
First off if you want more power to accompany the attack you'll need to hold down the triangle button to charge it up, and the longer you charge it the more powerful it becomes. Then once you unleash the attack the crystal heads over to the enemy and then takes a bit before exploding, damaging the enemy and whoever else is around.
This can go awry though in a number of ways. Because it takes a bit for it to explode, an enemy can move, thus it can go off with no one around. Secondly, you need to charge it for a meaty punch to your enemy, and that prolongs it even more. This means that you should likely save this for when the enemy has just been staggered or is being preoccupied with your teammates, ensuring it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
New Game Plus
Along the way, you'll find a number of side quests that are definitely worth taking some time to complete. That said, if you would rather just plow through the main story, you will be able to go back and finish things up thanks to a new game plus style chapter select that opens up after you beat the game the first time through. You can then pick your chapter and go back to find any side questions or missions you didn't finish, though you will start from the beginning of that chapter.
You know how we mentioned side quests are useful? Well, a perfect example of this in action is when it comes to Moogle Coins, coins that you find in stray Shinra boxes spread throughout the game. These are randomly generated, but if you do grab a couple there is a merchant that opens up during the game that you can exchange them with for cool items. That said, you will meet the merchant in a side quest, not the main campaign, so be sure to seek these out when you can.
It wouldn't be a Final Fantasy without summoning some powerful creators and Gods and you can certainly do that in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Some you'll just pick up along the way in the main story, but others will require a little legwork, and it all starts with meeting a character named Chadley. You first encounter Chadley in the slums near 7th Heaven, and that's where he gives you a Materia known as Asses.
You can use this Materia to scan enemies and reveal their stats and weaknesses, which is part of his first Battle Intel Challenges. After those, you will open up some other opportunities with Chadley, ones that will enable you the option to fight for a summon's allegiance by beating them in battle. So, make sure to check with him often and complete these battles to open up cool Summons, aside from the ones you can unlock through just making your way through the game. Also don't forget to pick up the Summon Materia in Chapter 6, because you can leave the area without it.
This one is more a quality of life thing, but it is a time saver. If you happen to be in the item menu you don't have to select one potion and then go through the menus again to select another one. Instead just hold L1 down when using items and it will stay on this screen, allowing you to keep using items until you're all the way through. This is the handiest in between battles and makes an annoying process much less so.
Another quick but useful tip is once an enemy has been assessed, you don't need to utilize the skill again to see those stats and weaknesses. Instead when in battle just hit the touchpad and that info will pull right up. Again, a small thing, but these all add up.
This one is more of a recommendation, but trust us, don't worry about hoarding your Limit Breaks. As gamers we've been trained in the past to not use powerful items or abilities until we absolutely need them, but in Final Fantasy VII Remake your Limit Breaks go away and reset after each battle, so if you've got one built up don't waste it!
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