FINAL FANTASY VII INTERGRADE – INTERmission [Review]: The Amazing Yuffie.

Dee Assassina
@assassinasan

I didn’t expect to see anything on Final Fantasy VII Remake for a very long time following its successful release in 2020. During one of PlayStation’s “State of Play”, it was announced that a PS5 upgrade and DLC for this game would be released as a package called Final Fantasy VII Intergrade. In the DLC called Final Fantasy VII Intermission, we would be following Yuffie Kisaragi. Yuffie is an optional playable character in the original Final Fantasy VII , who is a ninja from Wutai. Unfortunately, this upgrade and DLC were only available to PlayStation 5 users. After finishing the DLC, I can confidently report that I do not understand why this DLC was not on PS4. Therefore, I’m going to rant for a bit, but please keep in mind that I did adore this DLC…

Before I get into my full thoughts on the actual content of the DLC, I need to air out my grievances about the release of the whole package. Around the time FF7 Intergrade was announced, it was also announced that Final Fantasy VII Remake for the PS4 was available as a free PS+ game. Sounds like perfect timing, except it’s actually not. You could only get the PS5 upgrade for free if you purchased the game. Therefore, if you only have the game through PS+ and you have a PS5, you will not be able to redeem that upgrade for free and will instead have to buy the game anyway. This made things extremely complicated for players and I think everything would’ve been simple if they just allowed everyone to claim the PS5 upgrade, regardless if it was previously purchased or redeemed for free through PS+. Simply charge $20 for the DLC for everyone. This would have motivated more people to purchase the DLC instead of tricking people into paying full price for PS5 upgrade and $20 DLC for a game that’s older and already available for free on PS+. Putting that into perspective, they’re charging $30 for a PS5 upgrade, which seems unfair. RANT OVER… 

Actually, one last thing before the rant is truly over. The other frustrating part about the release is that Square Enix never made it clear how much the DLC would be by itself, for people who already purchased the PS4 version of FF7 Remake and would thus be eligible for the free PS5 upgrade. Instead, we had to wait until the day it released to decide if the DLC price was worth it and to figure out how to claim the full FF7 Intergrade package. The only way you could claim it is to download the PS4 version, choose an old save from the cloud, then change to the PS5 version. From there you download the upgrade and DLC. Thankfully, this DLC was worth $20 but I wish the process would’ve been more simplified, clear, and consumer friendly. FF7 Remake isn’t the only PlayStation exclusive title with these issues. Okay, rant over for real. 

It was all worth it in the end because I was brought right back into the magic that is FF7 Remake. Except, now exists the improved textures that should’ve been in the original game. It felt good to come back, explore Sector 7, and take on Shinra. This DLC takes place parallel to the events of FF7 Remake around chapter 8, right after the Airbuster boss. Yuffie Kuseragi and her friend Sonon Kusakabe come from Wutai to gather an ultimate Materia from the Shinra headquarters. This leads them to joining with Avalanche, but we won’t be playing as any of the original cast. The DLC spans over two chapters with few side quests available.  

I’m glad the DLC didn’t force us to spend too much time in Sector 7 when completing fairly boring side quests. A few side quests are available and they’re pretty quick to complete. Yuffie has the option to challenge others to Fort Condor, a simple strategy mini game that’s quite fun. Then there’s Happy Turtle flyers sprinkled around the Sector 7 slums that play a silly tune when you’re next to one. The only other side activity is completing a new Battle Simulator challenge to unlock a summon. When you finish the DLC, you’re also given the option to complete everything on hard mode and fight a new boss in the Battle Simulator of the main game.  

Fort Condor Grand Master

Yuffie runs into some original cast members who for some reason didn’t take notice of a small girl dressed in a Moogle costume. It was really nice to see some original characters again. However, this DLC is solely focused on Yuffie and doesn’t provide any new information too crucial to the original story, with the exception of a few subtle hints of what’s to come in the next part of FF7 Remake. I adore every single character in FF7 Remake and Yuffie fits perfectly into this mix of amazing characters. She is energetic, silly, clever, and a bit thirsty. She added so much excitement and comedy to this DLC, so I’m really looking forward to more Yuffie and how she interacts with the main cast.  

Maybe No One Will Notice Me (I Am Ninja)

You’re not doing anything drastically different than what you did in FF7 Remake because you’re still exploring the same areas and fighting the same Shinra goons. What makes the gameplay feel refreshing is Yuffie fights completely different. She has a ninjutsu ability where she can activate different elements to her ninja stars– making it very easy to exploit enemy weaknesses without having to use a Materia slot for elemental damage. She can use here ninjutsu from a distance but she can also run up close for some fast and devastating attacks, making her extremely versatile and a bit OP.  

Your only party member is Sonon, but you can’t take control of him like you could all of the other characters in the main game. You can activate his abilities and spells, but you can’t switch to build up his ATB bar with basic attacks or get him out of trouble if his health is low. This made combat against harder bosses more challenging than necessary because there was only so much that could be done to keep him alive. Yet, it’s completely understandable why they didn’t pour resources into adapting a new combat style like they did for Yuffie. The cool part about playing with Sonon is a new synergize ability where you can both activate abilities at the same time to deal more damage. Since Yuffie and Sonon are both ninjas, these synergized combos look really cool.   

Wutai’s Finest

I absolutely loved Yuffie and Sonon, but there were some other characters introduced that seemed a bit unnecessary and not very memorable. They even brought in some characters from games in the FF7 universe like Dirge of Cerberus, but it’s still not clear how important they are in this multi-part remake. This didn’t take away from the DLC by any means, but I wonder if any of these characters will serve any relevance to future games. 

My only other criticism of this DLC is extremely minor. I didn’t really have fun navigating through the Shinra HQ yet again; and, exploring for extra items isn’t exactly welcoming. Another weird addition is during the last chapter you’re forced to play a Whack-A-Box mini game, which completely takes you out of the intensity of ascending the Shinra building to fight off Scarlet’s mechanized weapons. I personally enjoyed the mini game and went for the high score, but the placement of it isn’t the best. Thankfully the funky jazzy music is really good and gave the whole DLC a different vibe.  

Synergy

The Final Fantasy VII Intermission DLC is an absolute treat, but there wasn’t anything particularly advanced about it that stood out. I don’t understand why it couldn’t be on the PS4 so that more people could’ve enjoyed it like I did.  I enjoyed the main purpose of this DLC, which is getting to know Yuffie and her unique combat style. I loved her so much! I think it’s pretty genius how Square Enix perfected this action, turn-based hybrid combat style and still managed to make every character, including Yuffie, feel and play completely different from one another. 4/5 Whiskeys.

-Dee Assassina

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