Hello, my name is Aoife and I like Final Fantasy. A lot. Just ask my long-suffering colleagues at Eurogamer who were lucky(?) enough to attend Sony's E3 conference in 2015 with me and watched as I broke down and cried when the Final Fantasy 7 Remake was officially announced. It was a game I'd dreamed about for years, ever since the first time I'd saved the world with Cloud, Tifa, Red XIII and the rest of the party as a kid. And although the wait was long, the game that launched in April 2020 was worth it. Mostly. The ending is a whole other topic that I've covered (extensively) elsewhere, but Final Fantasy 7 Remake on PlayStation 4 - though beautiful - did suffer from texture issues throughout. For someone who could not wait to relive this adventure with shiny new visuals, it was heartbreaking when key story moments were undermined by a flower bed looking like it had been run over by a truckload of vaseline, or a smeary cityscape prompting me to check whether I'd forgotten to put my glasses on.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade, an upgraded PlayStation 5 version of the game, goes a long way to fixing these issues, as well as shortening some of the longer load times experienced on the PS4. I'm playing through the entire game again right now, and although not every low-res texture has been banished, it is a huge improvement overall. It was even better that Intergrade's base game was offered as a free upgrade to PS5 owners, but it did also proposition one little extra that players would have to pay for. Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade: Episode INTERmission, despite the kafkaesque nightmare of a title, is an incredibly fun piece of DLC that takes place alongside the earlier events of the main game. Although that means players explore a lot of the same areas and assets, the real draw of Episode INTERmission (I know, I die a little inside every time I type it too) is its star, Yuffie Kisaragi.
Yuffie was an optional secret character in the original game, and one that you could only meet after leaving Midgar for the first time, but they've expanded on her character here and in doing so enriched the larger world lore around the oft-hinted at but never really talked about war between Midgar and Wutai, her country of origin. It's a short but fun piece of standalone content, and Yuffie herself is utterly perfect, brought to life by the impressive voice talent of Suzie Yeung, who I had the good fortune of chatting to recently about her experience of joining the Final Fantasy 7 Remake cast, and her hopes for what it'll look like when Yuffie officially meets the rest of the party. Anyway, this is all a really long-winded way of saying watch the video below, not least because Suzie is wonderful and gives some fascinating insights, but also because I'm quite proud of how I edited the Zoom call to look like the OG FF7's menu screen. That's some real dedication to being a Final Fantasy 7 dork right there.