Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: Final Fantasy 7 Remake is, by far, the best remake I've ever played even though it was based on a really fantastic game. If you haven't already picked it up, you should definitely pick up Intergrade for the PS5. If you have, you can pick up the INTERmission DLC separately for a couple chapters of fun with everyone's favorite Wutai ninja, Yuffie Kisaragi!
Fast and engaging battles
DLC exists in a separate save file
A little too lighthearted compared to Remake
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It's been a little over a year since Final Fantasy 7 Remake finally launched on the PS4, and after nearly two decades of rumors, it was well worth the wait. Now, Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade, the version of Remake for the PS5, is here (if you're still trying to get your hands on one of these consoles, check out our PS5 restocks guide), promising to take full advantage of the powerful performance of the new console while providing some bonus content. Not only do we get an upgraded game for next-gen consoles, but we get the INTERmission DLC, which features a previously under-utilized character.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake completely floored us, but will Intergrade continue to impress? Read ahead to find out.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade: What you'll love
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is an enhanced version of Final Fantasy 7 Remake specifically for the PS5. It boasts improved textures, lighting, and background environments, as well as new graphics and performance modes that prioritize 4K and 60 FPS, respectively. Remake was already a stunningly beautiful game, but the developers clearly had fun with the upgraded software. I wouldn't go so far as to say it would be worth picking up a second copy, especially since players who already own Remake for the PS4 get the upgrade for free, but it's definitely worth the list price if you don't already own it.
|Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade
|DLC Play Time
The real jewel to Integrade, however, is that it comes packaged with Final Fantasy 7 Remake Episode INTERmission, which is brand new content focused on a character we didn't get to meet in Remake, Yuffie Kisaragi. INTERmission was built exclusively for the PS5 and features incredible graphics, music, and voice acting, on top of being a lot of fun to play. If you already have Remake, you can purchase INTERmission as a separate DLC.
Yuffie was an optional character in the original Final Fantasy 7, and she's since gone on to appear in Before Crisis, Dirge of Cerberus, and several entries in the Kingdom Hearts series. However, despite her popularity and frequent appearances, little attention has been given to her. Luckily, Intergrade and INTERmission change that, giving Yuffie a starring role in a couple new chapters of entirely original content.
Fans of Remake who have been (not so) patiently waiting for more information about the next Final Fantasy 7 game will be delighted to have a little more time in Midgar, while fans of the series as a whole will enjoy getting to know this previously neglected character. Although Remake did a fantastic job of weaving in new characters and elements to the existing story, INTERmission takes us to events that were only hinted at in previous games and gives us the chance to really get to know Yuffie. And let me tell you, Yuffie is a trip.
Although the Wutai ninja was always a bundle of sunshine and energy, she's never been so vivid. Part of this is due to the amazing graphics of Remake, made all the more incredible with the PS5. However, more than the graphics, Suzie Yeung's amazing voice acting is what drives INTERmission. Yeung brings Yuffie to life with so much vibrance, which is befitting of her impressive filmography in anime like Tenkuu Shinpan, Wonder Egg Priority, and others.
I also especially loved how INTERmission incorporated Yuffie's battle style. As a huge fan of turn-based RPGs and the original Final Fantasy 7, I was skeptical as to how the folks over at Square Enix would balance the original game with the active battle system in Remake. Ultimately, they did a stellar job, but the way in which Yuffie handles in battle puts even that to shame.
In the original, Yuffie's served primarily as a thief. She was useful for getting ahold of rare items that could only be stolen from certain bosses. INTERmission focuses on her role as a ninja, if not more, and it works beautifully. The active battles really reflect Yuffie's agility and rapid-fire attacks. She can steal stuff too — in fact, the story arc is all about her stealing the "ultimate materia" from Shinra — but tossing both a shuriken and Yuffie at the various monsters and Shinra goons is way more fun.
Another big win for INTERmission is Sonon, Yufie's Wutaian partner. Sonon is older than Yuffie and even himself as a big brother figure for her, all without patronizing her. He calls her boss and he means it, letting Yuffie enjoy the spotlight. He's also a well-developed and enjoyable character in his own right. While INTERmission is definitely Yuffie's arc, I would love to see more of Sonon in future games.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade: What's not so great
Although Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade and the INTERmission DLC are fantastic, there are some drawbacks. For starters, INTERmission fits Yuffie's character very well, with all the levity and humor one would expect, but that could leave players a little confused, especially if Remake is fresh in the mind.
Remake had its humorous moments to be sure (who can forget Cloud sincerely telling Wedge, "Sorry about your ass"?). However, at the core, Final Fantasy 7 Remake is about a soulless corporation called the Shinra Electric Power Company literally sucking the life from the planet and poisoning, killing, or otherwise making anybody who stood in their way miserable. Shinra leveled an entire city of innocent people trying to kill the protagonists. A lot of people who were already living in abject poverty died during the course of the game. INTERmission, on the other hand, is skewed more to the light-hearted end. Yuffie spends the first half of this DLC dressed up as a Moogle, after all.
More than Yuffie's energy, some of the silly fun spilled over into her interactions with other characters. Although Yuffie intentionally avoids the core characters from Remake to focus on her mission, she does have the opportunity to interact with a lot of the NPCs, such as Wymer who tries to recruit Yuffie to the neighborhood watch, and Wedge who can't take a break from calming down his cats to play the CCG minigame. Some of these NPCs, like Johnny and Roche, were already pretty over-the-top, but all of these interactions felt a little too fun, given the nature of Remake.
That's not to say there aren't very serious moments, including one that had me tearing up. It is still in the same dark world of Remake and Square Enix did not pull its punches. In some ways, I found the tragic moments of INTERmission hit even harder because just a couple hours earlier, Yuffie had been bounding around the city in her Moogle get-up.
And it's not just the mood that separates the core game and the DLC. Whether you purchase Intergrade or just the INTERmission DLC, your time with Yuffie exists in a separate save file and she doesn't interact with the core characters from Remake. Summons and gear you earn in one don't carry over to the other and the stories are largely independent of each other. It will be interesting to see how Square Enix handles the next entry in the series thanks to this development. I hope that all the time and effort spent building up these characters will carry over to the sequel, but for now, INTERmission stands alone.
The biggest complaint I have about Intergrade, however, is the length of the INTERmission DLC. While INTERmission is, in fact, DLC, it's surprisingly short. Even completing all the side quests, it won't take most players more than five hours. That's not bad for a $20 price tag, but it definitely left me wanting a lot more. I will most certainly be playing through at least a second time to get the most out of Yuffie's unique battle style, but this DLC made me want the next Remake game even more than I already did.
But hey, if you really need more time in Midgar, you can always master INTERmission's tower defense CCG, Fort Condor. As far as minigames go, Fort Condor isn't bad. In fact, I'd play hours of Fort Condor before I want to see another game with Final Fantasy 8's Triple Triad. However, it doesn't add much to the game except an excuse for Yuffie to interact with characters she otherwise wouldn't have met. Her interactions with NPCs like Jesse, Wedge, and Roche feel unnecessary.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade: Should you play it?
If you enjoy action RPGs, then you absolutely should pick up Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade. If you've already purchased Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the upgrade to the PS5 version is free and the INTERmission DLC can be purchased separately.
4.5 out of 5
Despite the brevity, the DLC's missions were a lot of fun and give more insight into a tragically underutilized character. Both the enhanced core game and the DLC take full advantage of the PS5's powerful performance, which combines with beautiful music and masterful voice acting for an immersive and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade
Bottom line: If you haven't already picked up Final Fantasy 7 Remake, now you can dive back into Midgar for two more chapters with Yuffie Kisaragi and experience the Wutai ninja like you never have before.