Except for Resident Evil fans, who have been armed with courage for a few days and are facing fear in the eighth main episode of their favorite franchise (for all the details on the horror anthology according to Capcom we suggest you consult the our review of Resident Evil Village), May 2021 will appear damn poor in the eyes of fans of Japanese-made video games, which, however, will be able to make up again during the next month. Between Scarlet Nexus e Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny, passing through Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection, Guilty Gear -STRIVE- and Neptunia ReVerse (which we talked about in our special on the JRPG presented at the New Game + Expo), June will in fact overflow with titles from the land of the Rising Sun.
One of those we look forward to most anxiously is Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, that is the re-edition for PlayStation 5 of the monumental makeover that landed last year on the previous Sony flagship (here you can find our review of Final Fantasy VII Remake for PS4). Since only about thirty days still separate us from the second return of the seventh final fantasy, Square Enix has released a new trailer on the net to show us again the progress made on the technical and the contents of the new DLC focused on the character of Yuffie Kisaragi. Without further ado we propose below our analysis of the aforementioned video, from which we have tried to extract as much information as possible on the so-called “Episode INTERmission“.
New allies …
As anticipated earlier, the first seventy seconds of the movie offer a rich overview of the devices studied by the Japanese giant to perfect the technical performance of the product, which using the performing hardware of PlayStation 5 will present, for example, textures, backdrops and polygonal models with 4k resolution. , virtually zero loading times and above all a performance mode that will ensure 60 frames per second, against thirty of the original edition. Having already talked in our previous preview of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade of the new lighting, the effective fog effect that will enhance the rendering of night scenes, the Photo mode and all the other devilry devised by the team of Kitase and Nomura, in this instead we will focus on the unpublished adventure starring Yuffie and Sonon.
Let’s start with Sonon, an unpublished character who at the announcement of Intergrade we thought was a key figure in the division of AVALANCHE contacted by the girl, but who in the past months it turned out to be a Wutai ninja instead. Trained by Yuffie’s father, the valiant warrior participated in the war between his country and the Shinra Electric Power Company, during which he witnessed the devastation wrought by the overwhelming warpower of the enemy.
Moved by a gutted hatred towards Shinra, who in the midst of the conflict deprived him of his sister (a girl called Melphie and who looked a lot like our Yuffie), Sonon was chosen to accompany and assist the young Kisaragi in the delicate mission assigned to her: infiltrate Midgar and steal a precious Materia kept inside the Shinra headquarters, apparently considered essential in order to restore Wutai’s past glory.
Although Yuffie is on balance her direct superior, it is plausible that Sonon is the brain of the operation, as endowed with a serious personality and perfectly able to counterbalance the exuberant and eccentric nature of his partner.
For some reason we still don’t know, at the beginning of the DLC the two characters shouldn’t know each other yet (a detail that misled us when the game was announced), but they will meet for the first time in the underground hideout of the AVALANCHE division which includes the new entries Zhijie, Nayo, Billy Bob and Polk.
According to what has been revealed, Zhijie is a resident of Wutai who acts as a link between the new government of his nation and the headquarters of the eco-terrorist organization, which is why he will make available to Yuffie and Sonon his gab and deep-rooted knowledge of life in the underground city. Born and raised in the slums of Midgar, Nayo it is a precious element of the AVALANCHE headquarters and as such it keeps an eye on the movements of one of its cells. After receiving the order to assist and collaborate with the two ninja of Wutai, she will be the one to provide them with the necessary identity documents to get around the city and implement her plan. In spite of the excessively relaxed and liberal attitude, the more experienced (and older) member of the group is instead Billy Bob: a heavy drinker who spends a lot of time in bars, but where he stealthily collects as much information as possible. Finally, the youngest and most recent member of the team is Polk, who for this very reason is often teased by his older companions. Although dedicated to the cause of AVALANCHE, his true passion is Fort Condor, which is a very popular board game in the slums of Midgar.
… and historical adversaries
As for the antagonists, the new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade has revealed that in the course of the mission the two ninja will have to deal with the fascinating and equally cruel Director of the Armaments Department of the Shinra. The only woman on the board of directors of the powerful electricity company, judging from the images it looks like her own the ambitious Scarlet will notice the presence of the two intruders in the facility and will decide to personally intervene to eliminate them, piloting one of the most advanced, impressive and recent combat Mechs developed by Shinra into battle: an apparent prototype of the Proud Clod appeared in the original FFVII from 1997.
Not only will meeting Yuffie and Sonon reveal that Scarlet played a key role in the war with Wutai, having built among other things the machine that resulted in the tragic disappearance of little Melphie, but her presence in the DLC could justify her. little involvement in the main story of Final Fantasy VII Remake, thereby strengthening continuity and the albeit marginal link between the two parallel events.
Scarlet, however, will not be the only thorn in the side of our two rebels. The inclusion of “Weiss the Immaculate“as an optional boss that can be faced within the VR simulator, he had already activated an alarm bell about Nomura’s intentions, immediately leading us to suspect that the director aspired to engage and explore through the remake of Final Fantasy VII also the characters and organizations that appeared. only in its various sequels and prequels.As confessed last time, it was a doubt that fascinated and frightened us in equal measure, but which has now turned into a certainty.
During the mission, Wutai’s ninja will in fact be forced to face the soldiers belonging to the Deepground – the top-secret military organization founded and financed by Shinra – and above all they will come across the lethal “Black the Sable”, a member of the superhumans called Tsviet and capable of creating black holes from which no one can escape, except those who summoned him. Biological brother of Weiss himself, so far the Tsviet had only appeared in the forgettable Dirge of Cerberus, which following this revelation seems to have actually returned to Nomura’s priorities. While waiting to deepen the role that Nero will play in the Episode INTERmission, we cannot help but wonder if the whimsical director intends to strengthen the bond between FFVII and its disastrous spin-off, or if the inclusion of the Sable does not betray the will of definitively excommunicate the least successful episode of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
On the other hand, if the “journey unknown“anticipated by the final chapter of Final Fantasy VII Remake – Part I implies the possibility that Square Enix modifies even partially the course of events told by the seventh final fantasy, perhaps to remove those sequences that today would not work as well as in the 90s , our sincere wish is that the aforementioned expedient will be used to plunge Dirge of Cerberus into the deepest of oblivion. An eventuality that would allow Tetsuya Nomura and Kazushige Nojima to subjecting the deadly Tsviet to the same process that made Jessie, Hojo and Rufus Shinra much more interesting characters than they were initially (for all the details recovered our special on the narrative differences between Final Fantasy VII Remake and the original).
Ninjutsu, invocations and mini-games
Finally, moving on to the play plan, from the recent official press releases of Square Enix we have learned that Yuffie will not only count on the gigantic shuriken that she always carries with her, and that after each launch it can be recalled by pressing the appropriate button, but in battle he will also rely on a series of ninjutsu.
First of all, the young ninja will be able to use elemental ninjutsu to change the affinity of her attacks and infuse them with the properties of fire, ice, electricity and wind, thus exploiting the weak points of the enemies encountered from time to time. The “Banishment” ability, then, will cause the ATB bars spent in other commands to increase the damage inflicted, while the “Windstorm” skill will create a gust of wind which will damage all surrounding enemies. To the delight of nostalgic fans who missed it during the adventure of Cloud and his companions, the final trailer of Intergrade revealed instead that Ramuh will also return in the DLC, the powerful invocation that Yuffie can summon in case of need. Linked to thunder, the summon will smash enemies with spectacular lightning bolts and thunderbolts that promise to wreak havoc on the entire battlefield, reversing the outcome of the most desperate and agitated clashes.
In full respect of tradition, in Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade there will also be some unreleased mini-games, like the aforementioned Fort Condor. Inspired by a fortress located near Junon and that in the original FFVII gave access to a strategic mini-game in Tower Defense sauce, the board game present in the secret lair of AVALANCHE will in turn give life to a mini-game in which the user will be called to maneuver your units wisely to annihilate the opposing ranks and win victory.
Not only will the aforementioned sequences have a time limit, indicated by a counter that is always visible and placed at the top of the screen, but both factions will have ATB bars, support spells and so on. The very short clip is not enough to get a precise idea of the mini-game, but it must still be said that at first glance the idea it would seem fanciful and fun.