We talked before about how the Final Fantasy VII Remake makes its characters feel like individuals.
Cloud and Barrett’s fighting style feels very distinct, more so than it ever did in the 97 original. The difference of firing puncturing bullets into bats and Prowlers, compared to dicing them with a Buster Sword and a Braver makes both suited to particular combat scenarios.
But when I got to fight as Tifa, I felt a connection to another bare-knuckled brawler and it made me crack a huge smile.
I’d never really thought about it before, but there are a lot of similarities between Tifa Lockheart and Streets of Rage veteran, Blaze Fielding.
They have a similar street-fighting style with an emphasis on fists and feet. Both are incredibly athletic and powerful, are fiercely protective and willing to take risks. They even have a similar aesthetic with a clear love of the colour red.
Now that comparison has never felt more appropriate when jumping into the Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
When fighting as Tifa, you can quickly build up a combo through punching, furiously tapping square. This can be topped up with a fierce whirling uppercut, or brought down with a Rise and Fall.
She even has a somersault kick limit break, a proper homage to SEGA’s ex-cop’s own Embukyaku move.
Blaze’s style is considered a mix of judo and sambo. She uses her whole body to bring down her enemies, slamming them to the ground, jump kicking them in the face
Tifa is also a mixed martial arts expert, though she’s not best known for supplexes and slams. At first, one might consider her a kickboxing type based on stance, but there’s definitely a deep understanding of streetfighting in there as well.
Both women favour fast attacks, which tend to come together in stages of three and neither really have need of weapons, unlike those they fight alongside.
With Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s full 3D, real-time battle system, I guess this just gave me a taste of what a free-roaming Streets of Rage might feel like.
Streets of Rage has – and continues to – stick to a side-scrolling style – that seems unlikely to change – but Tifa really adds a refreshing dynamism to turn-based combat that could change the face of RPG combat.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me and I’m seeing similarities that aren’t there. All I know for sure, both are awesome leading female characters that are about to get plenty of time in the spotlight with brand new games. And they kick ass.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake is now available on PS4
Review code received from publisher