Edge Of Eternity: Every Cloud has a silver lining - Games Weekly

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Edge Of Eternity: Every Cloud has a silver lining

Final Fantasy VII is practically a perfect game. We all know this. But if you don't fancy picking it up from the PS Store and playing it for the eighth time later  on this year when it comes to PS4, there is a studio dedicated to giving you an alternative. The aptly named Midgar Studios has relaunched Edge Of Eternity on Kickstarter a game that wouldn’t exist without Final Fantasy VII’s influence.

It’s all a bit familiar, yet different where it counts. As much as everyone’s banging on about a complete remake of VII, it’s nice to see games that try and move the traditional JRPG to the side a little slightly innovating  here and there, but not bringing in ideas that just won’t stick (did someone say Lightning Returns ?) and to that end, Edge Of Eternity is a like a ‘Best Of’ JRPG album, taking the world design from Star Ocean, the battles of Grandia and the character design and ‘feel’ of Square Enix’s flagship franchise.

The story is as fantastically nonsense as you’d expect, and we love it; it’s about space aliens invading a planet, and slapping a virus on the population to turn them into subservient metal monsters, in hopes of total annihilation. Daryon the game’s spiky-haired and presumably moody hero leaves his hometown, plagued by his old friends and family, now turned into metallic monsters. He sets out to journey though the world of Heryon, undertaking a quest that’ll reveal his origins, and end up with him saving the world.
Midgar Studio is working with the Symphonifilm orchestra to record a live OST for the game, and it’s a shame we can’t send you all a USB stick with the soundtrack on it, because it’s like John Williams is channeling his inner Nobuo Uematsu. Violins, violas, trumpets, cellos they all mimic the 32-bit tracks that’ve been stuck in our heads since we first changed discs between saves on the PSone.

The world design which we have seen so far comes off a little bland, but tech demos tend to be more concerned with mechanics than with trying to wow you with stunning vistas and interesting dungeons. Still,  rolling plains peppered with ruins and a dungeon coursing with electricity aren’t new and amazing places, and the game’s ‘space’ setting seems cautiously domestic so far. You do see the Earth hanging, suspended in the sky at one point, though.

The battle system makes no secret of its influences the game shamelessly boasts ‘ATB’ above the charge meter, and it seems to have an alternate display that lets you watch the action unfold Grandia-style, with the one scrolling bar and your character icon racing enemies to the ‘Perform’ line. Character animations look a bit wooden, but that seems to be a tribute to the stoic battle animations of JRPGs gone by. The enemies all seem uniquely brought to life, though at least they’re more than just them mess of polygons you see in PSone JRPGs.

Speaking of enemies, so far we’ve seen tiny violent pigs, something that looks like a glowing Boldore from Pokémon, and an angry lich-like thing. Isn’t that all you need to know, really? The game also makes up its own silly magic names instead of Thunder/Thundara/Thundaga, it’s Thunderift, Thunderstorm, and so on. And it’s not a mage that casts them it’s some character who uses a flute.

So far, so JRPG. Except it isn’t, not really. Midgar Studio is actually a French developer practically operating on a tiny budget not a Japanese juggernaut with the enough cash to let the game take a beating. Midgar Studio has a lot riding on Edge Of Eternity, and if the game makes it through Kickstarter we’ll finally have something to scratch that old-school JRPG itch we’ve had since Child Of Light.

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