Final Fantasy 7 is one of the most iconic franchises in turn-based JRPG history and is most commonly the fan-favorite out of the franchise. Last year in 2020 we got to partake in a full remake of the game and it was extremely successful landing high ratings for game reviewers such as IGN and Metacritic. Now that the game has been out, Square Enix has released the first episode of the Intergrade DLC known as Intermission. It was a fantastic addition to the story, but also interestingly enough changed the story completely. This DLC follows Final Fantasy’s beloved Yuffie Kisaragi and ties in the Wutai Clan’s story perfectly with the overall plot of the game. There is also a lot of extra content which makes the short tale entirely worth the cost of 19.99 USD, but sadly only PS5 players get to play this content.
The story follows Yuffie trying to obtain top secret powerful materia that the corrupt corporation Shinra was developing. Wutai as per the original story is aiding Avalanche to take down Shinra, and sent Yuffie to meet Sonon who was already undercover living in the slums. While in the original game Yuffie was not introduced until after Shinra, this was an interesting change to the plot and tied in without ruining any essential plot elements. Yuffies character was also portrayed well, and kept her light hearted, loud and comical just as she was in the original, and also keeping her balanced out with Sonon’s more mature and quiet demeanor. While the story is fairly short and takes a few hours to beat, not only was it a powerful roller coaster that makes up for it but there is a lot of fantastic side content implemented to keep players actively entertained. I loved following Yuffie and Sonon’s overall character development throughout the first two chapters of the game, and I can’t wait for more to come!
Yuffie and Sonon’s gameplay was extremely fun and combat-heavy. Yuffie’s weapons were followed to the remake, using her ninja weapons like her four-point shuriken, while Sonon used a staff. Both characters had the weapons skill tree and materia was equipped the same as in the remake; however, you could only play as Yuffie during combat and use Sonon’s abilities but not switch to him. One new addition to the combat was that they could use combo attacks known as synergizing, and perform powerful attacks in sync. Another change was that if Yuffie falls in combat, since you cannot switch to Sonon he will sacrifice himself to revive Yuffie. Overall the combat still felt as satisfying as the remake, and though it is an action-based RPG and not turn-based Yuffie felt close to her roots with full-on ninja heavy gameplay. Her combat consisted mostly of heavy melee combat with ninjutsu moves to add element damage to her weapons. Yuffie also had throw in this game as well, but instead, she would throw her shuriken at enemies and then dash to them to retrieve. Sonon’s gameplay was a good mix between tank and magic depending on the staff equipped, but complimented Yuffies attacks from a ranged and up-close standpoint. He was designed to fill in whatever role he needed to be, which came in handy depending on the boss fight. I do wish I could have had more direct control over him rather than him being a sacrificial pawn essentially if needed, but I am glad that they kept it to where we could give commands when needed. My only other complaint is that while we did have a lot of side content, I would have rather have liked a smaller choice of materia for set builds. There was only one option for really grinding and not a lot of exploration in terms of this side content, so while you could choose your build and level with it players only started from scratch with their weapons and started off with about 16 SP. If the developers wanted people to grind out the DLC they should have added more grinding content or drawn out the story a bit more.
The side content created for this game was nothing short of amazing. They did bring back the combat simulator which was always fun despite being your only way of really grinding in both chapters. Aside from that players were met with an adorable Happy Turtle fetch quest (which also came with pretty lit music) and an insanely fun tower defense strategy game known as Fort Condor. The Happy Turtle fetch quest was an adorable quest where you help an old Wutai Citizen collect posters. Every Poster was found near a radio playing some form of Happy Turtle Music that ranged from metal to hip hop.
What I was mostly impressed with was Fort Condor, not only because the gameplay is fun but it also introduced a new side game that was not card related or sport related. I honestly thought it would have been a new card game like Triple Triad or Tetra Master, and tower defense strategy was the last place my mind would have went to. Fort Condor is actually a lot of fun despite how it looks, and while it starts out easier, some of the fights that are 3 star get pretty challenging. Players have 3 towers on their side of the board that they have to protect with pawns, and the pawns come in attacks, ranged, and vanguard. Every pawn has a direct counter to another pawn, and the different boards players unlock come with different sets of abilities. The way to win is by taking out the enemies towers, and the player with the most towers destroyed by the the time the timer runs out wins.
While it seems simple, players need to plan their pawns against the enemies pawns and choose when to use their special abilities. The mini game alone takes a good amount of time in the game, so what can be a 4 hour game can turn into a lot of hours alone between Fort Condor and the Combat Simulator. I do wish as previously mentioned that their were more side quests to grind aside from the Simulator, though players can blow through the game without grinding which makes up for it.
The last complaint I have is the nightmare of transferring data over to the PS5 upgrade for the game. Players who uninstalled the game after beating it like myself are met with having to install the PS4 version and avoid the upgrade right away. You then have to open the game, transfer the data, close the game, and install the PS5 upgraded version. Following that you then download your saved data to this particular version, and hope it works the first time. It is not hard, but tedious and annoying.
Overall I loved this DLC due to the amazing story with Yuffie and Sonon, and the amount of content that made the game worth it despite being two acts. I can’t wait to see how Yuffie grows throughout the next expansions and how the story will change to fix the translation issues from the original game. I fully feel that this game is worth playing and worth the price for players that are worried. Players also get to experience Yuffie again with her same sparky personality in full 4K.