The tried-and-true Active Time Battle system (ATB) might not return for the remake of Final Fantasy VII.

According to GamesRadar, Square Enix game director Tetsuya Nomura told the Official PlayStation Magazine of Japan that his team would be taking the Final Fantasy VII remake's combat system in a different direction. Mind you, the ATB combat system has been a staple of the series for the past two decades. While many fans think the original game's combat mechanics shouldn't be changed, Nomura expresses concerns that they certainly need to be modernized.

"And of course, that being said we want to clarify: We’re not going to be changing it into a shooter or something like that," Nomura said. "We are going to be bringing dramatic changes, but we want to make sure it’s still recognizable."

While he still wants the combat system to be recognizable, the "dramatic changes" has me worried, as I wasn't particularly fond of any the series' deviations from the ATB system (Tactics excluded). In particular, I hated Final Fantasy XIII's Paradigm Shift system. While FFXV's action-oriented combat is interesting, it still doesn't feel very "Final Fantasy" to me (and it certainly could be improved). Playing the HD remaster of FFX reminds me that there's still plenty of mileage to gain out of the turn-based format. In all honesty, I'd be fine with the Final Fantasy VII remake using combat mechanics similar to FFX's, such as having the ability to switch out characters each turn, with Barret specializing in aerial enemies, Cloud focusing on armored mobs, etc.

In terms of those thinking that Nomura's team would be using the 2005 film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children as a basis for the remake's visuals, you'd be wrong, as Nomura claims that his crew "don’t intend on utilising the 3D models of Advent Children as is because, well, it’s a different technology, and it’s actually been almost ten years since Advent Children was first released."

Ouch, that makes me feel old. Since it's still quite early in the remake's development (and Tetsuya Nomura just recently started working on Kingdom Hearts III), I have a feeling Final Fantasy VII won't launch until late 2017 at the earliest (in time for its 20th anniversary). Don't forget that Tetsuya Nomura didn't even know he was directing the project until he was shown the E3 2015 trailer back at Square Enix HQ.

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