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Final Fantasy VII Intergrade & Intermission: The Final Fantasy VII remake was a success. Not unconditionally, of course, and he had enough haters - but he brought Final Fantasy back to the center of the discussion, reminded everyone what expensive Japanese story games can be, and competed on equal terms with  Yakuza: Like a Dragon for the title of the best RPG of 2020Many hoped that in 2021 its exclusivity period would expire and the owners of not only PS4 but also PC could enjoy the adventures of Cloud. However, Sony does not let go of "Finalka": the improved reissue of the FF7R with the subtitle Intergrade has become a PS5 exclusive - as well as its only DLC Intermission.
Final Fantasy VII Intergrade & Intermission.  Second best PS5 exclusive

He sawed down the door for me

Final Fantasy VII Intergrade & Intermission: Intergrade's improvements over last year's FF7 Remake for PS4 are pretty obvious: everything we expect from literally every PS5 game. This is support for two graphics modes - or 4K, or 60 fps - as well as a more subtle tactile feedback from the DualSense controller. Intergrade also includes another nice bonus: a photo mode with many options.
The most conspicuous problem of the remake - low-resolution skyboxes and non-loading door textures - the PS5 version eliminated. However, it cannot be said that all the textures here are crystal clear. How lucky with that: some are great, others are soapy. In general, the game looks like a decent cross-gen-title: we expect the PS5 to be revealed from the next part of the remake.
Fan theory says Square Enix didn’t fix the door's texture on PS4 on purpose to motivate people to move to Intergrade.
Final Fantasy VII Intergrade & Intermission: It is also commendable that the transition to a new platform does not mean the loss of progress: from the PS4 version, you can upload a save file to the cloud, and then import it to PS5 - and instantly receive all trophies up to platinum. You can replay at least the entire game, at least any segment to choose from, if there is a save after the final.
The game itself, however, will throw only one reason to return to Cloud's adventures: this is a new boss that will be added to the VR simulation after completing the Intermission DLC. The optional opponents in FF7R weren't too difficult, and the developers decided to fix it. This new boss - Weiss from  Dirge of Cerberus - will force you to completely rethink the approach to combat: the old techniques that went through all of his predecessors do not work with him. It balances on the line between "very difficult" and "dishonest" and requires an individual approach, excellent reaction, and strong nerves.
Weiss and his colleagues at the Dirge of Cerberus were rather empty antagonists; they remain the same in the remake

Rising star

Final Fantasy VII Intergrade & Intermission: But the main reason to pay attention to the updated FF7R is the Intermission episode, which is part of Intergrade with a separate purchase and is sold as a DLC for those who pumped their version from PS4 to PS5 for free. He talks about a visit to Midgar by Yuffie Kisaragi, a ninja from the city-state of Wutai defeated by the evil Shinra corporation. Her plan is to steal from Shinra the company's advanced developments in the field of magic because unprecedented power can be hidden in small crystals called "matter". So Yuffie is going to both help his homeland and take revenge on the oppressors.
While nothing like this was in the original Final Fantasy VII, it fits perfectly into the canon. Hatred of Shinra and the urge to gather more matter to get Wutai off his knees were Yuffie's main motivators - so it's only natural that her journey should start in the city where the corporation has its headquarters.
Chronologically, Intermission takes place in the interval between chapters 8 and 12 of the remake: the heroes left to sabotage the fifth reactor, but they returned from there without Cloud; while Tifa tries to find out the plans of the corporation, Yuffie walks through the seventh sector, before the death of which there are only a few hours.
Final Fantasy VII Intergrade & Intermission.  Second best PS5 exclusive
All Intermission rides on the charisma of their heroine. Yuffie in the old FF7 was the brightest character - a real rebel, often contrary to the opinion of the majority. But there she, alas, remained an optional heroine, and this hit hard on her involvement in the plot scenes. Intermission is Yuffie's benefit, which she fully deserves.
All other heroes of the remake are all traumatized people. Barrett pours his trauma into aggression, terrorism. Tifa always feels trapped: while she internally struggles with conflicting emotions, the plot pulls her along. Iris looks cheerful and outgoing, but she is infinitely alone in her divinity. On the other hand, Cloud is yesterday's vegetable, a completely frostbitten person with no past and no future.
And Yuffie is their complete opposite. She is lively and sincere. She is only sixteen - she is no longer a child, but not yet an adult, and Intermission perfectly reveals this feature of her: with her behavior, cues, and facial expressions. She is naive and inexperienced but comically tries to hide this with hypertrophied conceit, which is reflected in the pretentious speeches that she willingly delivers in front of any audience (and the absence thereof). Her enthusiasm is infectious; in the company, with her, I want to spend not seven hours, but all seventy.
Final Fantasy VII Intergrade & Intermission.  Second best PS5 exclusive
Final Fantasy VII Intergrade & Intermission.  Second best PS5 exclusive
Yuffie's dazzling brightness is set off by her partner Sonon - emphatically serious, laconic, with a tragic past. He prudently keeps in the background, acting as a voice of reason, but generally preferring to agree with the eccentric fidget. And he is also her fellow countryman, a kindred spirit in a strange, alien, and hostile Midgar.
Together, Yuffie and Sonon first run through Sector 7 and its surroundings, collecting fake documents to infiltrate Shinra's headquarters, and then wade through the crowds of enemies in the basement of the mega-building. The locations here are rather gray and nondescript, but this is the whole of Midgar: what is not gloomy corridors overflowing with mechanisms, then a dried up lifeless land and an endless garbage can. High tech, low life.
In addition to passing the linear storyline and completing a couple of side quests, in the seventh sector you can take part in the competitive mini-game "Fort Condor". In the world of the game, it is presented as a board game, but in reality, it is a simple RTS where the player controls the spawning of units, but not their behavior, and the winner is the one who demolishes the enemy as many buildings as possible in three minutes. Units are sometimes dull, but overall the mini-game leaves a positive impression.
Final Fantasy VII Intergrade & Intermission.  Second best PS5 exclusive
In battle, we control one Yuffie; Sonon can be given commands or ordered to synchronize with the heroine so that he repeats the selected type of attacks on the selected enemy after her and conducts joint supers. Since the combat system of FF7 Remake was built around aggro management, Sonon has a skill that allows him to turn the attention of enemies to himself. Well, if this did not help and the villains were able to defeat Yuffie, the faithful partner sacrifices himself, resurrecting the heroine and transferring his health reserve to her. Thanks to this, the battles in Intermission retain both the dynamics and tactical depth inherent in the remake.

As a result, almost everything in Intermission is good - except, perhaps, the music (it has become even more controversial compared to the remake): after completing this episode, I immediately want more. If you haven't tried Final Fantasy VII Remake, then Intergrade is a good reason to do it, and if you passed and want to brighten up the wait for a still-unannounced sequel, then grab the DLC - it's worth it. 

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