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Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will bring back controversial FF8 feature

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Square Enix has confirmed that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is going to bring back a controversial difficulty feature that has largely disappeared since the original release of Final Fantasy 8.

The Final Fantasy series hasn’t traditionally been scared when it comes to adding new gameplay mechanics to its mainline games. Some of these additions are missed, like Final Fantasy 9 track the stories of side characters with optional cutscenes. Some of them aren’t missed at all.

A lot of the features introduced in Final Fantasy 8 fall into the latter category, but that isn’t stopping Square Enix from dusting off one of them. FF8 used a unique system that adjusted all enemies’ HP and power based on the party’s level. This theoretically made battles challenging but inherently winnable, but also fundamentally changed how players approach the game. The company is bringing that back in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth as a difficulty mode, something fans are cautiously optimistic about.

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What does Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s dynamic difficulty mode do?

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s dynamic difficulty automatically adjusts the difficulty of enemies based on the player’s skill level.

The first part of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trilogy shipped with three difficulty levels; easy, normal, and hard. The easy and normal difficulties only affected enemies’ HP and damage. The hard difficulty players unlocked after beating the game altered item usage and changed the way boss fights played out.

The new dynamic difficulty will take a different approach by scaling monsters’ power based on the strength of the player’s party. This feature is reminiscent of the level scaling in Final Fantasy 8. This system forced players out of grinding for levels and instead forced them into focusing more on the game’s junction system, a different grind where magic needed to be drawn from enemies to upgrade the stats independent of levels.

While this wasn’t well-liked in FF8, this difficulty mode could work well in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. In theory, having enemies with levels that scale with the party will encourage players to actually get good at the combat mechanics of the game and use each character’s unique abilities to command the flow of battle.

New materia coming in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will add new materia and let players use spells with multiple elemental affinities.

There will be many ways for players to approach the difficult enemies of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. In addition to the new difficulty mode and new playable characters, Square Enix confirmed that players will be able to develop new materia and acquire spells with multiple affinities and unique mechanics. 

Players will also have access to summoning materia, which summon iconic monsters from the series to aid the player and use unique spells. In addition, characters will be able to use “synergy abilities” to launch synchronized attacks against enemies. There should be plenty of options to make fighting equally leveled enemies interesting and manageable.

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Written by Mohamed Hassan

Mohamed still treasures his time playing games on the original PlayStation, speedrunning through the Megaman X games and replaying acclaimed role-playing game Chrono Cross countless times. Since then, his love for JRPGs and platformers has only grown and is among the driving forces behind his passion for writing about video games.

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