Editorial · PS4 · Video Games

We Need a Final Fantasy VII Remake

By James Daly

Back in 1997, on January 31st, something very special happened in the world of video games: Square Enix released Final Fantasy VII.

FFVII follows the story of an introverted mercenary by the name of Cloud Strife, and his iconic Buster Sword, as he strives to save all of creation from the evil Sephiroth, and… that’s pretty much all I know.

I would like to mention now that I have never actually played Final Fantasy VII. Even though I owned a Sony PlayStation back in the day, I was only seven years old, so I wasn’t quite mentally developed enough to adequately communicate my video game desires to my parents.

However, that was back then, so I have since had 20 years to acquire a copy of FFVII through my own means, a task made even easier to complete now that the game is available to download on the App Store.

Cloud Strife
HD Cloud is going to break some hearts

The thing is, I want that magical experience so many people had back in 1997. I want to pick up a brand new copy of Final Fantasy VII, take it home and play it like my life depends on it. I want to be blown away by the cutting-edge visuals, industry-leading gameplay and enriching story, and I don’t think the original version of FFVII (or the App Store version) is going to deliver that in 2017.

The only option we have now, if we are to experience Final Fantasy VII in all the glory it was intended to possess, is to await the remake that Square Enix have been teasing for so long.

Square Enix were originally looking to remake FFVII for PS2 back in the early 2000s, but his never came to fruition due to concerns over the size of the project, coupled with the fact that Square Enix were focusing on developing Final Fantasy VIII.

Cloud Buster Sword
The Buster Sword is back

It took until 2015 for Square Enix to finally begin working on a remake of Final Fantasy VII, so when the developers officially announced this at E3 2015, resulting in ecstatic fans and more hype than you could shake a stick at. Following the announcement, FFVII character designer Tetsuya Nomura explained that the remake was being made by almost all of the original team so they wanted to act sooner rather than later, before the original staff were too old for such an intense project.

This remake is set to offer more than a contemporary version of the original Final Fantasy VII; it could deliver the very experience gamers like myself missed out on back then. This FFVII remake would be the closest thing to time travel we are likely to get, with players being transported to an alternate 1997 with better technology. This is why we need a remake of Final Fantasy VII.

I love Final Fantasy XV, and I am now on a mission to make up for all of the Final Fantasy games I have yet to play. Final Fantasy VII is the one that really matters to me most, and I am seriously going to buy a PS4 just so I can play this game.



Editorial · PC · PS4 · Video Games · Xbox One

Genji is the Best Overwatch Character

By James Daly

There are many characters in Blizzard’s Overwatch to choose from. The characters range in class, either falling into attack, defence, tank or support. Each class offers a range of fun characters, but the attack class is usually the first choice for players who want to have the best Overwatch. It is in this class that you will find Genji, and Genji is the best Overwatch character.

How to Play as Genji

Genji, like the other attack class characters, is designed to strike the enemy directly, using  his basic shuriken and Swift Strike move to attack from distance. These attacks offer different advantages when playing as Genji, but his best attack is ironically his aptly names Defend move, a technique where Genji uses his wakizashi to temporarily become invulnerable and deflect almost any blow he receives toward wherever he aims, making for some heavy damage to opposition when they are least prepared for it. This move is vital for anybody playing as Genji as it is the only way to avoid certain death at the hands of physically stronger opponents, or indeed any opponent with a decent attack.

Genji Move List
Genji’s moves and abilities

Typically, Genji is seen to exist solely for the selfish players who would rather rack up eliminations than pursue the match objective, be it pushing the payload or securing a designated area. This is because Genji has a rather small amount of HP, meaning that he does not always do well when attacked directly as he becomes a sitting duck, so Genji players like to stay mobile and cover more ground to avoid being an easy target for their opponents. This is best done by using Genji’s wall-climbing and double-jump abilities, adding a slight parkour feel to the game. To successfully play as Genji you have to be prepared to abandon any point or risk certain death, so Genji often flees at the first sight of serious danger, allowing the objective to be compromised at the drop of a hat. For this reason, many Overwatch players see Genji as a hindrance more than a boon.

However, this is the big misconception behind Genji. The truth is, Genji is not meant to defend anything really, because he is an all-out attacker. His fluid combat style and ability to defend essentially anything for a few seconds is what makes him so adept at efficiently putting down opponents, so Genji simply can not stay still if he is to contribute to his team. His style may be frustrating to the unenlightened, but his destructive capability is why Genji is the best Overwatch character.

Genji Meditating
Genji meditates before a battle

Genji The Eliminator

With the release of the Elimination game mode, Genji has increased in popularity because Elimination matches are all about wiping out every member of the opposing side, instead of the usual objective mentioned above. Genji’s agility and speed make him a favourite for this game mode, as he can traverse the map with ease and usually emerge victorious from any one-on-one encounter. Genji’s selfish will to survive is actually an advantage in this mode, because in order to catch Genji and eliminate him, the opposing side must split-up to avoid losing him. This means that Genji’s team mates do not usually get outnumbered, making survival that much more likely.

Genji’s default survival style results in a default divide and conquer approach to Elimination matches, essentially making the game more even and more fun too. Naturally, this approach will not work in a 1v1 match, but Genji is still fairly strong here despite a lack of a healing ability. The trick is to constantly move and defend at key times, as the following video demonstrates:

To put it simply, if you want to play Overwatch in an attacking style, you have to pick Genji. He is the most fun attacking character to play as because he is quick and deadly, and everybody knows him but can barely do anything to resist him. Genji is designed to survive hostile situations and catch enemies off guard to deliver the final blow. All of this is why Genji is the best Overwatch character.

PC · PS4 · Review · Video Games · Xbox One

Strider is a Faithful Reimagining

By James Daly

Styled in the same vain as the original Strider that debuted throughout various video game arcades back in 1989, Capcom’s new Strider is a faithful reimagining that holds much of the nostalgic charm that keeps the appeal of traditional side-scrolling combat games alive today.

The Xbox One version of Strider is essentially a reboot of the franchise, so new gamers wont feel disadvantaged, whereas existing fans of the series will enjoy noting that this game is based on the aforementioned original arcade version of Strider. The game is also reminiscent of the NES version of the original game, as well as Strider 2. It even incorporates elements of the when the main character appeared in other games, along with some connections to the official manga.

Strider at a rave

Cheesy Story

The story unfolds in a sort of dystopian future and you assume the role of Strider Hiryu, an elite assassin sent by the radically named Strider Corporation to Kazakh City in order to kill arch-nemesis and all-round meanie Grandmaster Meio. The game takes place in a Communist Russia-esque metropolis, made more apparent by the less than subtle accent used by one of the chief villains. The whole thing smells of a cheese so fine you’d think Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jean-Claude Van Damme star as Strider Hiryu’s sidekick, and that’s exactly what the game developers were aiming for so I have to say they’ve achieved it wonderfully.

The gameplay is simple with basic controller commands that make combat intuitive, which perfectly suits the genre that Strider happily subscribes to. As the story progresses, more functions and attacks are unlocked to deal with the increasing number, and difficulty, of hostiles that all add up to give the game a welcome depth. This game isn’t an IQ test, and it doesn’t really break any ground, but it’s not supposed to, and to look at Strider that way would detract from the aim of the game.

Strider is adept at aerial combat

Thoroughly Enjoyable

Thanks to the vibrantly coloured backdrops expertly crafted for each level, and the host of assorted enemies waiting to be fought, the gameplay in Strider doesn’t ever get boring. The levels are fun to explore and retrace, often with a maze-like feel that encourages players to utilize the environments for effective combat. Even seeking out all of the collectibles doesn’t lose its sense of enjoyment, and collectibles have never really been my thing. I tend to feel as though games should replace collectibles with small insults to the player so developers can just admit they’re trying to upset people, but Strider is one of the few exceptions where the collectibles feel genuinely obtainable.

Overall, Strider is an enjoyably addictive “Metroidvania” type of game with a great pedigree. It offers user-friendly combat, rich visuals and hours of replayability. Combining HD graphics with classic retro gaming style, Strider successfully stands out as a great contemporary example of this genre, and I recommend you play it immediately.