Releasing in tandem with Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade on PlayStation 5, episode Intermission allows fans of Final Fantasy 7 to play a whole new DLC story as fan favourite character Yuffie Kisaragi, the Wutai Ninja and materia hunter.
Spoiler Warning! This article will be reviewing the story of Intermission along with gameplay mechanics, so if you’d rather go into Episode Intermission with no prior knowledge of the events, stop reading now!
Episode Intermission explores a previously untold chapter of the Ninja from Midgar’s enemy nation, Wutai. The story takes place in the days following the attack on Make Reactor 5, with Cloud currently mooching around Sector 5 playing bodyguard to Aerith Gainsborough, with Yuffie and new character Sonon Kusakabe joining forces with the freedom fighting group Avalanche to break in to Shinra’s Advanced Weapons labs and steal the Ultimate Materia for her homeland.
The first chapter of this 6 hour DLC takes place in the Sector 7 Slums with Yuffie arriving on the outskirts of the area, slowly making her way to find the “man in a Moogle hat” before meeting the members of Avalanche HQ and Sonon, then venturing to the area’s below the sector 7 slums to try and rescue one of said members after an unfortunate run in with some Shinra goons before a climactic battle against a Shinra mech – The Gigantipede.
The second chapter however, is where things take a turn. After gaining access to the Shinra building, Yuffie and Sonon are trapped in a set of weapon tests by Shinra’s head of Advanced Weaponry Scarlett. The pair must then battle their way out of Advanced Weaponry, resulting an exciting battle against Scarlett and her personal war mech The Crimson Mare, before Scarlett brings out Nero (from action spin-off Dirge of Cerberus) for the final battle of the DLC.
As a long-time fan of the Final Fantasy Series, and the Remake being one of my favourite games released last year, I was impressed with the additional story elements that have been brought in during this DLC. And it’s nice that Yuffie gets her own story, especially when Yuffie was an optional party member that some players of the original could have missed entirely. However, my excitement was nearly uncontainable during the finale when we had a look at Deepground, the Tsveit soldiers and both Nero and Weiss, the main antagonists from action spin-off Dirge of Cerberus released on PS2 back in 2006.
In terms of the gameplay mechanics, the additional traversal elements made possible by Yuffie throwing her ninja star at objects in the environment to interact with them made the remade world of Midgar feel more alive. Bringing a nice little additional mechanic similar to the commanding of Red XIII during the latter chapters of the main game.
Then there is the way Yuffie handles in combat. Clearly some people over at Square Enix have spent a long time wanting to bring Yuffie and her combat style to life and this is very present in the way her combat is handled. The movements and combos that Yuffie will do from the standard attack are exciting to watch, but where she really shines is in the elemental ninjitsu that becomes available after you hit triangle to throw he weapon at an enemy. The ninjitsu forms available to her cover the standard non-elemental magic (the basic one) along with fire, ice, thunder and wind elements. This allows Yuffie to switch from close combat with the ninja star to a ranged attacker throwing out spells with awesome animations.
Where the DLC differs from the main game is in the controlling (or lack of) for Sonon. He is a completely AI controlled party member outside of synergy attacks and other ATB based abilities. However, I didn’t find this to be all that much of an issue, as like most of the other party members in the main game, Sonon is able to be equipped with materia that mean you can have him throwing out heals when both his and Yuffie’s health drops too much, a very useful thing when you are going up against the final set of bosses.
Intermission is a nice, compact story that gives players a nice portion of extra information and character building on one of the series’ most loved characters. It’s also gives those of us waiting for updates on the future releases of the 7 remake series something small to keep us excited.
Get Final Fantasy Intergrade here and download Intermission from the PlayStation Store.
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