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An FF7R Style Xenogears Remake Is More Important Than a Re-release

PS1 JRPG classic Xenogears was a hit thanks to its rich narrative and exciting combat. Today, that makes it the perfect choice for a remake.

Final Fantasy VII Remake sold well over 3.5 million copies within three days, proving that Square Enix could recapture the original game’s magic and expand upon its wonder for old and new fans alike. Final Fantasy VII Remake also showed that Square Enix has potential for a growing remake market, with several other games in its expansive library that could benefit from an overhaul. When it comes to candidates for a remake, one would be hard-pressed to find a game more deserving of a complete overhaul as Xenogears.

Xenogears is a JRPG released in 1998 and centers around a young amnesiac man named Fei Fong Wong. Fei lives in the peaceful village of Lahan, where, aside from a few strange occurrences, life seems to be going well. That changes when the small village is attacked by giant robots called “Gears,” which are piloted by soldiers from the neighboring nation of Gebler. Fei boards an empty Gear and fights to defend his home, but something in his mind snaps and he ends up destroying the village. Consumed by grief and the need to keep his town safe, Fei, alongside his friend Citan, decide to leave and take the Gear with them to find out the reason for the mysterious machine’s existence and why it came under Fei’s possession.

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Xenogears has been praised for its deep story, filled with themes of existentialism, religion, psychology and mythology, as well as its multi-layered cast of characters. The game has become a bonafide cult classic and, while revolutionary at the time for its graphics and gameplay, some key factors point to why it deserves a remake. For starters, while the game did look excellent for 1998, it has aged very poorly. Part of this is because of the graphical limitations of the Playstation, but several games have stood the test of time in terms of graphics. One of the other visual nitpicks for Xenogears is its poor camera usage. While not a deal-breaker in the graphics department, it was an aggravation to move the camera about, with players having to fiddle unnecessarily with the camera to perform basic tasks.

Another point of consideration for a Xenogears remake is the story. The story of Xenogears is larger-than-life, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the player invested. While the story of Xenogears is massive, it is a little too epic for its own good. Fans have stated that the second disc of the game feels “unfinished” and even downright rushed and for a game that wants to tell such an expansive story with only two discs, this is a disservice to the full potential of Xenogears. 

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Hardware limitations of the first PlayStation would no longer be an issue in the modern gaming era. The entire story of Xenogears can now be told in its full glory without feeling the limitations of discs. Square Enix could even take a cue from Final Fantasy VII Remake and release the game in parts so that fans could savor the plot, which would allow them to add new elements to make the world of Xenogears come to life.

With remasters and remakes being expected in the modern era, Xenogears is a no-brainer for such a market. Xenogears has a strong fanbase, and the original game was a financial success. The possibilities for expanding both the story and gameplay elements would be endless. The original Xenogears also had some stellar (as far as the Playstation is concerned) anime cutscenes that, if given to the proper anime studio, would be an outstanding sight to behold utilizing current-gen gaming tech.

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