INTERmission it is like a mirror in which everything experienced just over a year ago is reflected, which now comes to PS5 under the title of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade or the hand of a free update that does not include the new episode. In the DLC we can see reproduced all the successes of the original, as well as some of its errors. The difference? The size, rather, it is a small mirror, one with the exact curvature to miniaturize the vast image that last year’s Remake represents, introducing all its essence in the space provided by the hours (between 4 and 10) that we Yuffie and Sonon’s adventure can last. If the return of the franchise turned out to be a feast, this is a snack, a humble meal that serves to calm the hunger that occurs between noon and dinner time, which is consumed without ceremony. It is a sandwich that you eat up while you do other things, hardly stopping to rest the intake, like a freelance. In my case, the end has left me thinking about the good aftertaste it has left me and also, by not overeating, indigestion is ruled out. Maybe that’s why I’ve been wanting more.
Yuffie knows how to paste
The DLC starts with Yuffie Kisaragi at the gates of Sector 7, Wutai’s ninja arrives in Midgar with a mission to get hold of a special matter that will bring power to her nation. The object of desire is found in Shinra’s facilities, and to enter them and get hold of it, he will have the help of Sonon, a former student of his father who, like all his compatriots, carries traumas produced by the war between Wutai and Shinra (one of the main themes). Little more can be added without going into spoilers and little else is missing. Yes, there are a couple of notes in the final fireworks that, in fact, I consider relevant when facing a second installment, but that can easily be summarized in two flashbacks three minutes when it is necessary to refer to them in future installments. Which brings us to main reason to attend INTERmission: combat.
In this miniaturized image, the highlight is what, without a doubt, has aged best in memory, its combat system and the incredible charisma of its characters. Continuing with what was stipulated then, introducing a new actor means presenting another way of facing the confrontations, but with a nuance: now there are no two companions between whom to distribute responsibilities, we cannot delegate magic in Aeris, nor the ranged attack in Barret. At best, Sonon can handle melee, but that wouldn’t be a very accurate description either. The consequence is that Yuffie becomes a kind of all-rounder that can do everything. The Wutai Special Forces member is able to change the element of her shuriken’s attacks, combine melee with ranged damage with the push of a button, break boxes from afar, and use magic at convenience. . All this is accompanied by a new system of combo attacks in which Sonon and the protagonist collaborate to increase the damage caused to the rivals with spectacular animations that populate the screen with color and flashes everywhere.
The result is so satisfying that, when I think about how it could be combined with the rest of the main group, it raises my doubts. Having Yuffie, the rest are not necessary, press triangle to launch the shuriken and execute ranged attacks with it until calling it again or, failing that, rushing up to him to continue with a BTC skill is definitely more satisfying than toggling between Cloud and Barret. The climax comes from the hand of Sonon, the brotherly (or perhaps not so much) companion of fatigue, with which it is possible to unleash powerful combined abilities and toggle between joint attack (that the two strike in unison when pressing square) or automatic attack with just pull trigger L2. With these two layers a system is completed that already worked quite well and that allows us to experiment, until we get tired, to configure the character and overcome increasingly difficult challenges (we will return to this later).
Less material and better rhythm, guarantee of success
I can’t get over the feeling that Square is well aware of all this, that Nomura and company took note of the feedback received and used it to conform a product that, while lazy in certain ways, such as locations, strives to celebrate combat. There are several remarkable confrontations, either against phase bosses or unique enemies, that we find in their short duration, and in each of these confrontations there is a previous ceremony that leads us towards the high that a good adversary supposes in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Whether through molonism, that white and somewhat dysfunctional humor that he sometimes handles or the theatricality of the Super Sentai, the game manages to elevate us before each one of those confrontations that, incidentally, have left me more than satisfied.
Now, we have already said that this was about mirrors, reflections and replicating in miniature the image that represents Final Fantasy VII Remake, one in which the way to solve the gaps that remain between each fight was not always the most successful, in which the excess in its duration played a trick on him. Staying below 30 hours on average seemed unacceptable to the public, so we were forced to play useless chasing pigs down the sewers, wander through artificially elongated bland dungeons, or learn to discern between useless secondaries and less useless secondaries. The good part was taken by the mini-games, and this time they stand out even better thanks to the presence of Fort Condor.
The minigame style tower defense del Final Fantasy VII original returns, reinterpreted, to act as the visible head of the affection and attention placed at the service of the lifelong fan (something that is also noted in missions like the Turtle Paradise). Around you build a whole series of confrontations with recognizable characters and luxurious secondary characters that, in addition to the duel, will provide us with dialogues that help to clarify both their personalities as his state of mind, let us remember that what is narrated here happens at the same time as the events experienced by Cloud and company. To round off the matter, a couple of Box-related minigames, but with a more satisfying approach thanks to the ninja’s ranged abilities.
Target the fan and it is not essential, but it is advisable if you enjoyed FFVII Remake
Thus, the filling, by not having to occupy so many hours of play, is better resolved, resulting in more meaningful and less anodyne content. It is not necessary to force ourselves to carry out eternal and extremely absurd persecutions (although there is some of that). Therefore, the final feeling is that of not having felt obliged to pay tolls linked to the design commitment that all publishers seem to acquire with the market and their appraisal of the video game in hours. That always helps.
Finally, after about 5 hours (7 in my case), you can see this DLC finished, which has only two chapters. The final colophon provides enough material to justify the time invested and, again, it shoots straight into the heart of the fan of the Final Fantasy VII universe, the one who went beyond the original, reaffirming the statements that announced that this project (for all Final Fantasy VII Remake) It covers all the products that have shaped the world of “The Planet” and its history. After the credits of INTERmission, not only are the characters better located, but also some questions that assailed us after seeing the sequences that served to close the base game are answered.
Final Fantasy VII Remake turned out to be a roller coaster, a path full of unevenness that left me exhausted at the end of the route. A journey in which the rewards demanded communion with elements that I deeply detest. Here everything reduces its scale and, in proportion to the number of hours, there are more interesting fights, more secondary with some grace, better minigames and less space for stuffing. After having completed INTERmission It is easy to stay for a while to play the Condor, or to start the journey with a higher level of difficulty to continue exploiting its magnificent combat system. Yes, it is short, but it opens the same window to replayability as the Remake, except that this time, instead of closing it with force, I am already taking advantage of it. Hopefully, looking to the future sequel, someone at Square realizes that less, sometimes, is more. Yuffie has left me wanting to continue playing, and that in a video game comes in handy from time to time.