Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade Game Poster Image
PS5 upgrade adds a loveable new character, more heartbreak.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The core story tackles timely themes including abuse of privilege and activism, with the heroes focused on taking on an evil corporation. The new chapters do likewise, with an added emphasis on teen girl empowerment.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters are a motley bunch and slow to gel, but each has their own noble motivations and personal issues that they need to overcome with the help of their friends. The new hero, a teenager named Yuffie, is a bit naïve and overeager, but she's strong, clever, and earns the admiration and trust of her friends through her actions.

Ease of Play

Combat's unusual and not necessarily intuitive, but multiple difficulty settings and modes of play allow players to customize the level of challenge. Rookies should be able to make progress without too much trouble.

Violence

The heroes fight robots, monsters, and humans using swords, guns, and magic. Enemies collapse, explode, and disappear without blood or gore, though dramatic non-interactive scenes occasionally show small blood spatters when key characters are injured. Some environments have wounded and dead bodies strewn across the ground.

Sex

Some female characters are dressed provocatively and show deep cleavage. Yuffie, a teenager, wears shorts with the top button undone and zipper partially unzipped.

Language

Spoken dialogue includes plenty of mild profanity, including "ass," "damn," "hell," and the occasional "s--t" or "s--thead."

Consumerism

This game is part of the immensely popular Final Fantasy franchise, which includes more than a dozen games, books, films, toys, clothing, and other items for fans to collect and consume.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The core game features scenes set in bars where people drink to intoxication. One character smokes a cigar. The new chapters include plenty of talk about drinking and getting drunk, but don't show it.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that . Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is a special edition of Final Fantasy Remake for PlayStation 5. It includes the core game with enhanced graphics, plus a new story arc. Players control a group of heroes who rebel against an evil corporation imposing its will on the citizens of Midgar. They're a motley but good bunch, each with their own noble motivations and personal issues that they work on with the help of their friends. They're sometimes a little quick to enter combat, but typically with good reasons that generally fall under the banners of activism and justified rebellion against tyranny, though some of their actions are labeled terrorism by the authorities. Social themes running through both the core story and the new chapters include friendship, diversity, and the inequity of classism, with the new chapters adding an emphasis on teen girl empowerment. The new hero, a teenage ninja named Yuffie, is confident if a little naïve, and earns the trust and respect of her friends. But like some other female characters, she's mildly sexualized -- mostly due to her shorts, which are oddly unbuttoned and partially unzipped throughout the game. Players will fight against human, monster, and robotic enemies with a variety of weapons, though little blood's shown as a result of combat. Parents should also be aware that spoken dialogue contains a good deal of profanity, and that characters talk about and consume alcohol to the point of intoxication.

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What's it about?

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE is a special edition of Final Fantasy VII Remake for PlayStation 5 with upgraded graphics and five hours of new content. The original game -- which tells the story of Cloud Strife and his ragtag band of rebels fighting the evil Shinra Corporation to free Midgar of its evil and murderous influence -- is presented in its entirety, with visual upgrades including more detailed textures, fog, and lighting effects, as well as quicker load times and a new photo mode. If you already own the PlayStation 4 edition, you can download the upgrade for free on your PlayStation 5. But if you aren't buying it for the first time, you'll need to spend $20 to access the new story chapters. These chapters take place concurrently with the events of the main narrative. The star is Yuffie, a spunky teenage ninja who comes to Midgar to join the rebels in their fight against Shinra, and maybe find some powerful new materia (magic orbs) while she's at it. She's strong right off the bat, beginning at level 25, and has the handy ability to throw shuriken at distant objects to break crates and hit switches. She also gets up to a few side activities, including a board game mini-game called Fort Condor, that sees two sides pitting automated units against each other in a sort of super-simplified version of a MOBA or multiplayer online battle arena (think League of Legends).

Is it any good?

If Final Fantasy VII Remake was pretty, this enhanced edition is downright jaw-dropping. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is about as easy on the eyes as games get, with subtle upgrades to textures and effects that breathe life into the world and crank up the level of spectacle in combat to eleven. This is especially true when exploring Shinra headquarters, with its intricately detailed factory environments and mind-bending boss battles. And with virtually no load times, you're never jarringly removed from the world as the next area is cued up. If you've never played the game before you're in for a treat, and if you played on PlayStation 4 it's absolutely worth downloading the free upgrade just to see how the developers have turned up the graphical goodness.

The real draw for returning players, though, will be Yuffie's story. She has an upbeat attitude and loads of self-confidence with the combat skills to back it up. Tossing her boomerang or shuriken and tapping the square button to keep hammering enemies from a distance feels both unique and satisfying. Her occasional clumsiness only makes her that much more likeable. And while she only gets a handful of side quests -- such as collecting posters for a local pub owner -- they help provide a bit of backstory about who she is and where she comes from. Her chapters don't really change or affect anything in the original story, but it's a safe bet that she'll return as a key playable character in the sequel, making this quick story something close to essential for serious fans of the series. With its stunning visual enhancements and exciting new story add-on, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is the definitive way to experience the first part of Square Enix's epic retelling of its most famous game.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about character strengths. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade's new character, Yuffie, is all smiles and enthusiasm at the start, but what lessons does she learn and how has she grown by the end of her story?

  • How does music affect our experience of both real life and fictional stories? What role does music play in movies and games? How does music affect your own mood in day-to-day life?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5
  • Price: $59.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid (Players who own Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergade for PlayStation 4 can download the Intergrade upgrade for free on PlayStation 5, though they will need to pay $20 extra for the new story content.)
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release date: June 9, 2021
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Robots
  • ESRB rating: T for Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence
  • Last updated: June 14, 2021

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