Let me preface this with, like most, Final Fantasy VII introduced to me to JRPGs at a very young age. The adventure opened the door for me to explore more of the genre, which includes a variety of notable titles. Anyway, I’m just trying to say that I’m a huge fan of this game for what it is and what it has done for me.
When Final Fantasy VII Remake was announced in 2015, I cried. The game shocked me with its visual presentation of recognizable scenes and characters. I was hooked, and eventually pre-ordered the game long before it had a release date or any information. Fast forward to 2019, when the game received a release date, and I’m starting to have some issues with this modern take.
In Final Fantasy VII, players assume the role of Cloud Strife, an ex-SOLDIER member as he works as paid help for the eco-terrorist group known as AVALANCHE. The goal for Cloud is mainly to make some money, but he doesn’t really have any solid plans. Throughout the game, Cloud’s personal mission changes and he goes on on a quest to learn more about himself to eventually saving the world from a meteor, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
There are equipable items in the game known as Materia. Materia has a range of different effects, depending on its type. Wanna launch Blizzard? Equip an Ice Materia. Want that to be able to hit all the enemies on the field? Equip an All Materia. You get it. Materia is everything in Final Fantasy VII, and each battle gives player AP that is used to level up the equipped Materia.
One Materia that ends up becoming very powerful is the Summon Materia, which allows characters to summon a creature that will attack the enemies with high levels of damage, see Knights of the Round. While some of these Materias are hidden, others can be found lying around or just given to the player. What needs to be kept in mind here is that this is all free content within the game.
Now, what strikes me as odd with the Final Fantasy VII Remake, is how the game will have numerous pre-order bonuses, including “Summon Materia DLC” that’ll let players summon Carbuncle, Cactuar, and Chocobo Chick. These creatures will most definitely give the player a leg up in the game by making some encounters easier, especially since summons can be brought into battle at any time. I only say this because Final Fantasy XV had special circumstances that needed to be met in order to call for the summons.
While this Summon Materia DLC sounds nice for the players who wish to pre-order, it opens the door for paid DLC opportunities for other Summons. This means that Square Enix could eventually charge players to gain access to paid exclusive summons, that will make playing through the game easier, and that just doesn’t sit well with me.
All summons in the original Final Fantasy VII were always free and that shouldn’t change now. Players need visibility on whether or not the pre-order Summon Materia DLC will become available later down the line for free or as paid DLC. Regardless, the content shouldn’t be locked behind a paywall for longtime fans who wish to see their favorite summons with all new designs. Furthermore, Summon Materia should be accessible through gameplay and not just offered as DLC.
I’m extremely excited about Final Fantasy VII Remake, but I’m not excited about this trend that can lock content behind paid DLC that was once offered for free. I’ll eagerly be waiting for more news about summons in Final Fantasy VII Remake as we get closer to the game’s March 3, 2020 launch on PlayStation 4.
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