I Need to Stop Playing Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, But I Can’t


Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

By: Jason Siu



7 min read

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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth might just be the best game I've ever played

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Spoiler Alert!

This article contains spoilers for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, including some of its side quests and minigame activities.

It has been nearly a month since Final Fantasy VII Rebirth was officially launched, and it remains the only game I’m currently playing. As I write this, I stare at an unopened Unicorn Overlord that I picked up on launch day. The Vanillaware title was one of my most anticipated games of 2024, and I fully expected to take a break from Final Fantasy VII Rebirth to enjoy it when it released on March 8. Unfortunately for that game, the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Platinum Trophy has consumed all of my free time, and continues to do so because I can’t seem to “git gud.”

In the opening of my Final Fantasy VII Rebirth review, I used a quote from Final Fantasy XIV to describe Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: “Oh come now, it’s been a gripping tale. Unbreakable bonds and noble sacrifice, sprinkled with moments of levity to counterbalance the pathos. It’s got it all.” This quote rings even truer to me now that I have spent over 160 hours in the game, working towards the Platinum Trophy. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is one of those rare games that can appeal to a variety of gamers. If you’re casual and want to just experience the story, put it on Easy and ignore all the side quests. If you enjoy a variety of minigames, well, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is filled with them—to the point where some players have started complaining. If you love challenging boss fights, which have made the soulslike genre so popular, Rebirth surprisingly offers those as well.

Sephiroth in the 3D Brawler isn't even the most frustrating Sephiroth in the game

Sephiroth in the 3D Brawler isn’t even the most frustrating Sephiroth in the game

After completing my initial playthrough of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, which took about 60 hours, I went back to complete all the World Intel, slowly working through the checklist of trophies. My initial plan was to mirror my approach for the Final Fantasy VII Remake Platinum Trophy, aiming to complete everything and leaving the Hard Playthrough as the final achievement. However, what makes the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Platinum Trophy particularly difficult is Johnny’s Treasure Trove, which essentially requires you to complete every activity the game has to offer. That includes completing all the minigame tiers and simulator battles. At first, I thought I would get stuck on the sit-up challenge or completing the piano challenges. It turns out, with some practice, none of the minigames were too challenging, though I personally found 3D Brawler to be the toughest.

I also had hoped that I would be able to get the Platinum Trophy without referring to any guides online. When I first faced the Weiss Boss Fight in Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, I spent hours creating different builds until I found one that felt right for me. Then, it took a few more hours before I could (barely) defeat Weiss. However, overcoming that challenge was very satisfying, and I hoped to replicate that experience with Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

As I worked my way down the list of Chadley’s Brutal Challenges, I began to wonder when I would hit a wall. I managed to beat the first five challenges with the same team: Yuffie, Cloud, and Red XIII. I was most comfortable controlling Yuffie and while I did have to change up my Materia loadouts on some of the fights, they all felt manageable, despite being 10 waves long. It seemed clear to me that Square Enix saw the feedback from the Weiss fight and decided to incorporate even more challenging battles into Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

Over the past few days, I’ve been stuck on Brutal Challenge Six: Ruler of the Outer Worlds. I have been comparing it to Final Fantasy XIV raiding, where each of the five waves in the fight represents a phase in an Ultimate Raid. I found myself doing whatever I could to reach the next wave for practice, then gradually identifying improvements to conserve MP or to complete each wave more efficiently. Eventually, wave three, featuring Odin and Alexander, became a struggle and caused me to look at guides online.

The first strategy I found on YouTube involved controlling Tifa, which suited me since she was my primary choice in the Weiss Boss Fight. I struggled to replicate the success, one reason being I hadn’t maxed out the Materia used in the build. I stumbled across the “infinite Limit Break” loop method and in my first real attempt with that team (Cloud, Barret, Aerith), I managed to get to the fourth phase and encounter Gilgamesh. Since then, I’ve spent over 10 hours attempting the fight and have seen Virtual Sephiroth several times, but I haven’t walked away with a victory. One person suggested that I should reach weapon level 9, but that would require doing my Hard Playthrough first. There’s a very good chance the final thing I end up doing in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth for the Platinum Trophy are Chadley’s Challenges.

Chocobo Racing is a welcomed diversion in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Chocobo Racing is a welcomed diversion in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Here’s the thing though. Despite the hours of failure, I can’t bring myself to put the game down and walk away. Though frustrating at times, especially due to the length of these fights, the combat in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is so satisfying and fun that I can spend eight hours straight on the same fight. The smart thing for me to do is to take a break and enjoy Unicorn Overlord, but I can’t get myself to do that. Oh yeah, content on this site has suffered a bit because all I want to do is play Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

I’ve been debating where Final Fantasy VII Rebirth falls on my list of the best games I’ve ever played. Although I initially thought the ending was a bit messy, a second playthrough of Chapter 14 led me to reconsider; it’s not as bad as I first thought. It’s not exactly how I would have approached it, but there’s a good reason I’m not part of the development team. I can understand the complaints, but at the same time, I can understand why the team made the decisions it made for the ending. I believe all of this sets up an emotional finale to the trilogy, though, unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a few years to see it.

If you care for my opinion, I find the remake series is shifting the focus from Aerith’s death to Cloud’s confusion. For decades, Aerith’s death has been the most-talked about moment in Final Fantasy VII, to the point that non-gamers know who she is. In this reimagining, however, the team aimed to avoid rehashing an already known story. Instead, the focus is now on Cloud and putting the player in his shoes. This is, after all, a role-playing game. If you’re confused by the ending, then Square Enix has actually done its job—because Cloud is obviously confused. Let’s face it, if the ending were different, people might not be as curious about what the third game has in store. We already know the destination—Sephiroth will lose—so the journey is all that’s left to discover. Personally, I believe this is going to be a bit like Final Fantasy XIV’s Endwalker expansion, which to me, improved the story of Shadowbringers. Once the third game is released, I have a feeling the ending of Rebirth will make a lot more sense. Hopefully.

Queen's Blood should be a standalone mobile game

Queen’s Blood should be a standalone mobile game

As a closing thought to my rambling, I’m completely surprised Queen’s Blood hasn’t been released as a standalone mobile game. The quick matches Queen’s Blood offers are perfect for the mobile platform, and battling against other players sounds more appealing to me than Marvel Snap. Plus, Square Enix can dig into numerous other Final Fantasy games for expansions and themes. Imagine new cards inspired by different Final Fantasy games being added every few months. Squall, Yuna, Lightning, Onion Knight, Cecil—you get the point. Having played dozens of card games throughout my life, I’m pleasantly surprised by how well-designed Queen’s Blood is and I really hope to see it expanded in the future.

I find it curious that Square Enix hasn’t announced any official sales numbers for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. This doesn’t necessarily mean the game hasn’t sold well, but it might suggest so. Nonetheless, I hope more people give the game a shot, as it truly is remarkable with a wide variety of content appealing to all sorts of gamers. Remember, many activities in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth are optional, but if you’re like me, aiming for a Platinum Trophy, know it’s not an easy one to get.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to figure out how to incorporate pressing R1 into my playstyle to finally defeat Virtual Sephiroth.

Updated March 23, 2024: I have finally managed to beat Brutal Challenge 6: Rulers of the Outer Worlds, thanks to a strategy I found on YouTube. Here’s a video of the completion, which was actually my first attempt with that specific build. You can find more details on the video description.

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With over 20 years of online publishing experience, Jason Siu is currently the Content Director at VerticalScope and used to spend most of his time writing about cars. His work can be seen on websites such as AutoGuide, EV Pulse, FlatSixes, Tire Authority, and more. As the former co-founder of Tunerzine.com and West Coast Editor of Modified Magazine, he has also authored two books for CarTech Books. In his spare time, he founded FullCleared to indulge in his passion for writing about games. Although Jason is a variety gamer, he generally prefers RPGs.

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