As soon as I see Yuffie crash-land into Midgar in her Moogle cape, I'm already all kinds of excited about getting stuck into Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade: Episode Intermission. Arriving as part of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade update for PS5, Episode Intermission is set to take us on an action-packed adventure with the loveable Wutai Ninja. After a rather unceremonious entrance into the city, my excitement only grows when I get the chance to see Yuffie take on all manner of foes in an early section of the upcoming DLC.
Complete with her signature oversized throwing stars, the Materia hunter heads to rendezvous with Avalanche contacts in Midgar. Setting out on a mission with Wutai soldier Sonon, Yuffie is tasked with stealing the Shinra Electric Power Company's "most powerful materia". From facing Corneo's lackeys to taking on a massive robotic Gigantipede, Intermission is full of opportunities to really test out Yuffie's ninja combat skills. But the excitement doesn't just begin and end with combat. With new characters to meet, side missions to complete, and other features such as the introduction of Fort Condor, Episode Intermission looks set to have plenty to offer for new and returning players alike.
New characters means new moves and skills, and Yuffie has an array of battle mechanics to try out. While you won't be able to control Sonon in battle, there will be chances to pull off new synergized attacks. One of the most spectacular battles in the hands-off demo sees Yuffie and Sonon go up against the Giagantipede, which essentially looks like a huge robotic centipede outfitted with lasers and missiles. When both of their ATB gauges are full, the pair can team up to perform a special attack move. With the head of the Gigantipede as the target, the Synergized Art of War attack strikes a flurry of blows at the enemy, with Yuffie and Sonon working in tandem to deal damage.
At one stage of the move, Yuffie even deftly launches off of Sonon's weapon to land one final hit. It's spectacular, and the Synergized attacks certainly look like they will bring some variety to the combat and bring an exciting element of teamwork into the mix. But Sonon isn't the only friend on Yuffie's side. Towards the end of the battle, we also get to see new summon Ramuh and his magnificent beard join the fight. As the Lord of Levin, Ramuh pulls together a whirlwind of rocks before conjuring up a huge flash of lightning to execute his ultimate Judgement Bolt attack. Just like many other summons, it's quite a sight to behold.
The Wutai ninja has some other neat tricks in her arsenal, too. As well as her Blood Bath Limit Break, she also has an Elemental Ninjutsu ability that changes up her standard attack to ice, fire, lightning, or wind so you can exploit different enemies' weaknesses. Alongside taking on foes at close range, you can also attack from afar with Yuffie's throwing stars that will return to her hand after dealing a hit. Her weapon of choice also comes into play in other ways, too. As you navigate through each area, you may come across boxes in the distance you can hit to retrieve items. Yuffie can also put her nimbleness to good use by venturing through the expansive constructions of Midgar in a variety of ways – such as climbing across beams and swinging across gaps.
Nods to the original
Outside of combat, there are some neat little nods to the original game that long time fans will no doubt appreciate. One side activity you'll encounter plays on a classic task in the 1997 release. Yuffie encounters a fellow by the name of Old Snapper who tells you that The Happy Turtle is running a contest to find six flyers scattered around Sector 7. As you may remember in the original game, you could also find flyers for a chance to win some prizes. At one stage we see Yuffie chase after a cat who's made off with one of the flyers in question, only to find a group of feline friends who are all unhelpfully playing around with pieces of paper.
You'll also have the chance to try out Fort Condor, a new strategy minigame said to be taking the city by storm. The game is inspired by a Shinra military campaign, and sees two players send out units on a board to try and conquer the opposing base. With Vanguard, ranged, or defense roles, each unit is sent out using ATB charges, and it will automatically fight enemies. Requiring some tactical thinking, Fort Condor will no doubt add an interesting new challenge to the adventure.
From combat to side quests and all manner of enemies to face, Intermission already looks like it's shaping up to take on quite a ride with fan favorite character Yuffie. It'll be interesting to see how the story unfolds as the Wutai ninja sets out to get Shinra's ultimate materia. Yuffie even appears to encounter a mysterious cloaked figure who strains out the name "Jenova", which makes me think of a Sephiroth clone. What their presence in the Episode signifies remains to be seen. One thing's for sure, Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade and Episode Intermission will undoubtedly keep us busy as we wait it out for Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2.
E3 2021 is right around the corner and we're expecting plenty of announcements from the biggest game makers in the world, Square Enix included. For more information on the all-digital event, check out our E3 2021 schedule.