The Combat in the Final Fantasy VII Remake is in the Trial-and-Error Stage

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This week’s Famitsu (via Hachima Kikou) has revealed a very interesting tidbit regarding the development of the Final Fantasy VII Remake on Playstation 4.

The news comes via an interview between producer Yoshinori Kitase. “We’re beginning to see a direction on the visuals,” said Kitase. “However, we’re also working on the battle system, among others, via trial-and-error.”

“There’s a chance the command battle system from old might not work now, so we’re thinking of what direction to take it. When you normally do a remake, it tends to become something like an action RPG, so we’re considering how we can make something like Final Fantasy VIII, while also still having surprised players.”

Finally, Kitase seemed to finish with a plea to fans. “Please don’t question how far we are into development, and such. (laughs).”

Square Enix has not confirmed a release date for the Final Fantasy VII Remake.



Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic

  1. NuclearCherries
    August 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    I still think that they should keep the old battle system. Why fix what isn’t broken?

  2. deadeye
    August 26, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I wouldn’t say there are any really big problems with FFVII’s combat system, but its not particularly great or noteworthy either. It’s absolutely worthwhile to renovate it and make it better.

    It’s biggest flaw is really just that it’s incredibly archaic and has been done to death. And done better. I don’t want to spend $50 or $60 on a game with an early PS1 era battle system.

  3. Nagato
    August 26, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    I’d rather have a turn-based RPG that holds up to the genre’s standards, than another mediocre “action RPG” that pales in comparison to actual action games.

  4. Vampok
    August 26, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    I’m hoping for something Tales style. At least be able to switch characters on the fly and have something like 12’s gambit system for when you aren’t controlling them. Whatever they do, it can’t be as bad as the old “Mash the fight command and watch 5 minute attack animations” style of the original.

  5. deadeye
    August 26, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I’d rather have an attempt at something good than just a lazy copy/paste.

    And it doesn’t take much these days to have a JRPG that meets standards since the “standard” has been plummeting since the early 00’s.

    JRPGs need something new to drive them forward not to go backwards to shit that’s already been done.

    Also, they haven’t said anything about it being an action RPG. In fact, what he said here implies just the opposite.

  6. Misogynerd
    August 26, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I wouldn’t mind a more action oriented approach, but I really don’t want Cloud to be the only playable character… oh and that you can use magic spells easily and without making them skillshots.

  7. Joe Gamer
    Joe Gamer
    August 26, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    I’m afraid this is going to be quite a disaster…
    It will still sell like crazy so they will think it’s grand but they don’t seem to understand what really matters to their fans.

  8. flashn00b
    August 26, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Unless Square-Enix wants Tales of Berseria to eat the FFVII remake for breakfast, I still think that the best course of action would be to hire Bandai Namco Studios to do the combat. Perhaps use a heavily modified version of Tekken 7’s iteration of Unreal Engine 4?

  9. flashn00b
    August 26, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Because the old battle system aged like a guardsman in a lictor’s stomach, and said lictor had a bad day with a Chaos Dreadnought.

  10. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    August 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I’ll just say the same thing I said when I saw the lighting changes in Wind Waker HD or pretty much anything that happened in Twin Snakes.

    People just want a prettier version of that game they liked back in the day. Why ca’nt you just put that out and let people choose these other new ideas as options? I mean I’ve seen remakes that include the original with them and while that’s not exactly what I’m talking about that’s still a fine enough compromise.

  11. Misogynerd
    August 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Really, I think the ATB system’s still good. Hell, the Press Turn system still works fine today. That being said maybe the ATB could be done much faster today, the first boss changing to their counter form much quicker, without text interruptions and maybe involve more character positioning.

  12. Touma Kazusa
    Touma Kazusa
    August 26, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Dragon Quest has used the same battle system in all it’s titles tho. Even DQXI on PS4 will use turn based combat so I don’t get what’s Square deal with FF

  13. Touma Kazusa
    Touma Kazusa
    August 26, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Final Fantasy is suffering from Sonic decease where they can’t just settle with one gameplay style and feel the need to reinvent the wheel with every new game since IX, Bravely Default did well, Dragon Quest has had the same core battle system for decades now, people still like turn based combat Square Enix, just stick to ATB and stop trying to be gimmicky

  14. Dom The Elegy
    Dom The Elegy
    August 26, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I still think they should pursue the system of X. All character and story issues aside, the battle system was excellent just dump the stupid sphere grid.

    Also: “[…] we’re considering how we can make something like Final Fantasy VIII, while also still having surprised players.”
    Please tell me that’s just a typo. If VII gets shit like drawing magic, I will straight up murder motherfuckers.

  15. Raziel Barkrai
    Raziel Barkrai
    August 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Why not use X-2’s battle system? From what I remember, it was ATB and encouraged chaining attacks together.

  16. Misogynerd
    August 26, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I always liked that they tried moving between distinct and customizable characters in the first installments.
    Are your characters always going to be X role, like in 1, 4, 6, 9, 10?
    Can your character be essentially customizable like in 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10-2? (Lack knowledge of the other games to make a strict statement about those)
    4-9 had the same framework with the ATB combat, they just changed how much you could customize your character and had their own unique mechanic, the Job System (know it’s in other games but it’s the only game between 4-8 to have it) in 5, the Magicite in 6, the Materia in 7, the Junction in 8, the AP/Equipment system in 9. I think it worked great and the gimmicks are distinct enough, but don’t completely change the core experience.

    Still Final Fantasy does have that Sonic problem where the games are so distinct, the fans are too varied so they spend all the time bickering over their differences.

  17. FalseTragedian
    August 26, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Final Fantasy has been reinventing its combat system since II. It’s a defining trait of the series: Whereas DQ had generally similar combat, FF has significant changes if not a complete overhaul every numbered release.

  18. Touma Kazusa
    Touma Kazusa
    August 26, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Nope, only II was the oddball, from IV through IX they all used ATB, with their respective gimmicks to differentiate the games but they were just that, gimmicks, at it’s core the gameplay was the same, starting with X they felt the need to overhaul the entire battle system with every single title, granted XIII sort of went back to ATB but the game was so automatic and limited it ended up being more shallow than anything else

  19. Misogynerd
    August 26, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Like I mentioned in my other comments, FF 4 through 9, and 10-2 had the same framework, with the ATB system, they just changed how much customization the characters had. 1-3 and 10 were turn based affairs, although 10 is more similar to FFT where fast characters can take more turns overall than slower characters. Only 12 and the 13 installments had weird real-time systems and could be done more in autopilot. That being said 12 was done that way since they implemented stuff that was cut from Vagrant Story.

    DQ is insanely similar in that the same item has the same spirte with the same cost at the same price with the same stats. I love that about DQ though.

  20. Some furf
    Some furf
    August 26, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Gonna be honest here, I really hope they drop ATB. It’s not a very functional system. In practice, it rarely makes much of a difference from regular turn-based combat, save for how you have a strong tendency towards building a pileup of blind commands. You can have situations where an enemy charges a powerful attack or goes into a counterattack stance and your best option is obviously to defend or heal, but two of your characters already have attacks prepared and they’ll end up not getting a chance to defend the powerful attack or they’ll suffer a counterattack that couldn’t have been reasonably forseen.

    It also has the problem of making the speed stat completely redundant. Whenever a character completes a move, they are one animation behind the next character in the queue and one animation ahead of the next person to act. Without haste or slow in effect, it is almost impossible for any character to make up the multiple seconds of difference.

    If the game completely paused for each character as their turn came up, that would mitigate this problem (And also turn it into Final Fantasy X, which I think is a much better system, especially given the instant character swapping, which makes you use every character instead of picking the three you want and dumping the rest). Or it could allow multiple characters to act simultaneously, which would be better, but I worry I might personally find that to be too fast and chaotic to keep up with, which I found with FFX-2.

  21. ShadowFang
    August 26, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Please don’t be a messed up action/turn-based hybrid (like Final Fantasy XIII, or, say, Ni No Kuni) and please don’t be a Nomura-style dumb action game where you just mash buttons until some flashy QTE attack is available (Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy XV?). Oh man, I am worried about this…

    Hopefully they keep it turn based. There’s a ton that can be done with turn-based stuff – all you need to look (hello, Radiant Historia battle system!).

    If they absolutely must make it actioney now (ostensibly to attract new fans), I hope they look at games that have done so successfully, like Eternal Sonata and Valkyria Chronicles. Titles that basically play like Worms on a base level; battles are split into turns, and when it’s your turn, you can move around in real-time until some energy meter depletes, then your turn is over. Gives you the strategy of turn based as well as injects more actioney elements for twitchy gamers with A.D.D. :P

    Just remember Square; which sold better. Bravely Default or Final Fantasy XIII-3? (Hint: Lightning Returns got it’s butt whupped in sales by Bravely Default) Making a mess in a vain attempt to please everybody (read: action gamers) will please no one.

  22. Jack Ripper
    Jack Ripper
    August 26, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I swear if it’s anything remotely close to Paradigm Shift or we can only control Cloud throughout the whole fucking game, I’m done.

  23. Fenrir007
    August 26, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    The battle system in FFVII was incredibly barebones. The materia system was fun, I`ll give you that, but horribly unbalanced and prone to abuse.

    Turn based is fine, but there is no reason to keep such a simple tactical layer on a re-release when we can do better now. Hell, even the battle system of FFXIII that everybody loves to bash has more depth and flexibility than FFVII could ever hope to have.

  24. OSad
    August 26, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Personally I’m looking forward to whatever they choose to do. Whatever fits best with the artistic direction they’re taking onto the game. If it serves the story well and is fun, then it will be good.

    I’d rather look at the game, instead of something that would tarnish my childhood irreparably or whatever, a fresh take on a game I enjoyed back in the day, and a game the new generation of JRPG enthusiasts will get to experience. I feel happy that just as I have enjoyed the game back in 1997, now this new generation will get to experience it and enjoy it, just as I have.

    If there’s somebody that wants the old FF7 combat system on a game, there’s plenty of RPG-maker grade games on steam for you to go wild.

  25. LurkerJK
    August 26, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    it is in the “we dont know wtf we are doing” stage! AWESOME

    the “we do some peyote and play games to steal ideas” stage comes next, followed by the “we bash our heads against the wall and come up with inscrutable names for everything” stage

  26. No_Good_Names_Ever
    August 26, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    I thought everyones beef was the level scaling in that game.

  27. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    August 27, 2015 at 1:25 am

    No Trial and Error necessary… just make it like it was in FF7. There’s plenty of command-based JRPGs comming out still and they’re still great, take the Atelier series for example.

  28. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    August 27, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Yeah.. As much as I’ve wanted this, if they FF13 this shit up, I’m not buying it.

  29. Chronisch Unbegabt
    Chronisch Unbegabt
    August 27, 2015 at 7:13 am

    I’m also basically like: “without ATB, without me”. One is spending a huge amount of time in battles after all.

    I really think the ATB system is/was one of the best systems out there. There is this certain order in this system compared to the chaos that I found Squares and other real time systems to be (FF XII, Xenoblade and Last Story for example).

    And while there is the order of a turn based system, there is also the (time) pressure and the dynamic of a real time system.

    Actors can be faster or slower compared to one another; taking multiple actions before another actor gets to do so.

    I really liked the take Grandia had on the system. Having separate Command (COM) and Action (ACT) phases with the ability to cancel out or evade your opponents attack added a new level of dynamic without making everything overly complex.

    So it’s not to say that there isn’t room for improvement, but I don’t see a valid reason to ditch ATB completely.

    What I could get used to is something like the PSO or the Star Ocean system. But that (as any other real time system) opens up the need to have an AI for your companions and the AI in SO wasn’t exceptionally good…

  30. TwinspectreGaming101
    August 27, 2015 at 9:05 am

    tweet to mr Nomura
    @CrazyNomura please tell him that we want ATB and no casual gameplay mechanics

  31. Dom The Elegy
    Dom The Elegy
    August 27, 2015 at 10:46 am

    My beef with VIII was pretty much everything. The story was badly told, had plot holes the size of Midgar and made no sense, the characters were annoying and completely blank slates in terms of combat, the traditional leveling up was almost pointless thanks to the scaling, so it all came down to either drawing a shitton of magic or partaking in the card game (which I also hated).

  32. TeLin特林
    August 27, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    You Ableist scum! Don’t insult my add!

    Kidding aside, I love your idea. It’d fit with the story…group going against an Army.

  33. Viredae
    August 27, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    ATB existed from IV to IX, and that’s about the only similarities these games had in combat, FFIV had set jobs, V let you change jobs, VI let you assign espers, VII had the materia system, VIII had the junction and GF systems, and IX had its equipment skills system, these are not gimmicks, these are fully fleshed out systems that altered the way combat progressed.

    Saying FF games are all alike because they used the ATB system is a lot like saying fruits have no differences at all because they all contain seeds to an extent, you’re either making a misleading statement or a completely stupid one, pick your poison.

  34. Touma Kazusa
    Touma Kazusa
    August 27, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    *sigh* you don’t get my point, at their core they’re all turn based combat RPGs, each with their own unique mechanics (aka gimmicks) to differentiate them, but after X Square has felt the need to do this weird hybrid Action Turn based styles that they end up being more shallow than anything else

  35. bgrunge
    August 27, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    You should probably move 6 and 10 to the “essentially customizable” list. 6 let you greatly modify a character’s stats (and therefore their role) via espers, while X allowed you to branch into other characters’ tracks and certain common areas, thereby allowing a lot of customization. 1,4, and 9 were the only ones where you can’t completely retool a character if you want.

  36. bgrunge
    August 27, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I would be completely fine with the pure turn based system of FFX, myself. I’d want hotswapping as a feature regardless; it encourages you to use characters that usually don’t get any love (read: Cait Sith)

  37. Thanatos2k
    August 27, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    They haven’t learned a goddamn thing from Bravely Default. The battle system “might not work now”? Fuck you.

    “When you normally do a remake, it tends to become something like an action RPG”


  38. Thanatos2k
    August 27, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    “I’d rather have an attempt at something good than just a lazy copy/paste.”

    Dirge of Cerberus…..

  39. Thanatos2k
    August 27, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    If you look closely though, they really haven’t. From FF4->FF10 the combat systems have pretty much been the same with ATB. Sure they add little bells and whistles with limit breaks or how you cast magic, but basically the same.

    Everything changed in FF12, and since then the games have been more and more action oriented, to the point that you no longer even control a party of characters, just one. And the games have gotten worse and worse as a result.

  40. Thanatos2k
    August 27, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    I don’t get why people think the combat system in 10 was so different. It was the same stuff. Bar fills, take turn.

  41. Thanatos2k
    August 27, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Draw system was the main complaint, level scaling second complaint.

  42. Misogynerd
    August 28, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Well most characters in 6 still maintain their unique commands (except GoGo who can use most if not all of them) separating them for other characters.

  43. bgrunge
    August 29, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Right, but that’s pretty similar to how characters in 8 (and to a lesser degree 7) had wide variance in their limit breaks, which deeply informed their role. Like, you didn’t have to really focus on making Selphie out to be a super caster, but given the way her limit break worked, it was a pretty common build choice.

  44. Misogynerd
    August 29, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    The Limit breaks do differentiate the characters in 7 and 8 somewhat, but that’s a more limited condition than a constant like Setzer always being able to use the Slots (or Gil Toss), Locke being able to Steal or Mug, Cyan being able to use his Bushido.
    You can spam Limit Breaks in 8 with Aura, but that’s pretty late in the game. FF6 differentiates the characters in the beginning. Plus there’s a lot of difference between Setzer, Mog, Umaro, Gau, and Gogo. More than between Selphie and Irvine.
    Plus FF6 also had ver primitive versions of Limit breaks, although I don’t think they really made the character differ.

  45. bgrunge
    August 30, 2015 at 1:26 am

    No, you can spam Limit breaks in 8 from the very beginning by hitting the character switch button. Each time you switch to a character there is a chance of them getting a limit break based on how much health they’ve lost. It’s common for people in FF8 to run around constantly having low health and abusing limit breaks. Not trying to nitpick you too much, just sayin’.

  46. Misogynerd
    August 30, 2015 at 1:59 am

    Ah yeah, that was the other method… I pretty much summoned Doomtrain then just spammed Limit Breaks until the enemy died. Wish I knew the Zell trick and that Quick ammo was the best, although Squall had the easiest one.