Revisiting Midgard: Saving the LifeStream

As most, I was on pins and needless waiting for this game to finally have a confirmed release date. Still, as I held it in my hands, it was hard to believe it was real. I was anxious to fire up this game and go back to Midgar and venture on a journey filled with twists, turns and heartbreak. This game was probably one of the most anticipated games of the last 5 years, even though the game is NOT complete and is in fact only a very small fraction of the full game. Nonetheless, I was eagerly excited to journey back in time with my husband and revisit a story that we experienced together so many years ago.

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To start, I must say it took us a bit to get through the first chapter. Mainly because we work different schedules and promised to only play the game together (yep, we are still that same old high school couple that will take turns and experience the game together…like a movie HAHA). However, I must say when the experience was over, I longed to have just a few more side missions to do because it was THAT DAMN GOOD!

The long awaited remake is really not a remake but, in my opinion, a complete reinvention. From the look, mechanics and story, there are enough changes that can warrant this game as being a brand new experience; and I was there for every second of it! Without giving too much away regarding the ending, the fact that Part 1 ended the way it did, changed so much of the original story that I am a bit clueless as to where they are going to go moving forward and just how much of the original story they have decided to change/keep. But before I get to ahead of myself, lets talk a bit about the characters and the story set up for this first part of our journey.

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The story takes place in only Midgar for this part, where we assume the role of Cloud Strife, a former Shinra “Soldier,” fighting alongside the Avalanche team of Barret, Jessie, Biggs and Wedge as they make their way into a Shinra reactor aiming to blow it. Avalanche is an eco-terrorist whose goal is to stop Shinra from draining the lifeforce from the planet. From this point the game plays very similar to the original until you get to chapter 2 and these cloak, ghost-like entities confront you. What the entities are is a mystery in the beginning but you can start to put some clues together on exactly what they are.

As far as some of the side mission are concerned, many are the same which includes Cloud dressing up as a female in order to infiltrate an area. The big change is the unfolding events that lead up to the main bad guy of this game, Sephiroth. As you approach the ending of the first part of the game, you are pitted against Sephiroth in the classic Final Fantasy showdown which consists of battling Sephiroth in many different rounds. This is probably the only issue I had with the game. Battling Sephiroth to the degree that you have to at such an early stage in the game, was something drastically different from the original game, and I felt it took away a bit from the mysticism of his character and the eventual build to the first showdown. But this is just a small blemish on an almost perfect game. Bottom line: I am already impatiently waiting for part 2.

My Ratings: 4.75 out of 5.0 I only decided on giving the game less than a 5.0 because of the ending of the game. I wanted more of a build up to the first bout with Sephiroth rather than throwing it in early for the sake of fan service. I felt like it didn’t add on as much as it needed to but instead felt rushed and took away from the already unfolding plot. Besides that, beautifully captured game, smooth gameplay and the soundtrack is still one of the most iconic video game scores to ever exist.

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