I’ve been playing Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis for a week now, and I can’t really say I’ve been having fun. Between the blatant attempts to beg the players for money with every “limited” deal banner that pops up after you do literally anything in the game and the endless cycling between a dozen menus to level of characters or weapons, I’m just not impressed by what the game is trying to do. That is why I am absolutely shocked by how much I am enjoying the new Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis Beach Festival Fun event that started last week.
Editor’s Note: There will be spoilers for some story events from the Beach Festival Fun event in Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis.
On September 10, 2023, Square Enix started the Beach Festival Fun event to celebrate the end of the summer season. It contains a new swimsuit costume and umbrella weapon for Zack thirteen quests to complete the main story of the event, and additional quests to earn materials for weapon enhancements and synthesis. I had very little expectations when I first started the event, thinking it would be a pretty barebones activity with no story. When I realized there was a story and it wasn’t just retread of Zack’s vacation during Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII, I started to actually engage with the event and realize this is where the experience shines.
On a beach in Costal del Sol, Zack is enjoying his vacation away from Shinra when a giant Watermelon Tonberry suddenly appears, seemingly trying to attack the beachgoers. This prompts Zack to defend everybody and take on the strange enemy. Zack stops the Tonberry, but it teleports to another beach where Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith are hanging out. As the trio faces off against the Watermelon Tonberry, Aerith comes to realize that it is harmless and only wishes to help the beachgoers have a fun watermelon bashing festival by creating giant watermelons. The three heroes help the Tonberry with its wish and even write a letter for it to carry around to inform other people on different beaches that it isn’t a danger to others.
The event is simple enough, but it is absolutely adorable in its execution. The chibi art direction of the character models in every cutscenes are charming, especially since Zack, Cloud, Aerith, and Tifa all have their own beach costumes they wear. Aerith and Cloud got the best costumes, in fact. Aerith’s swimsuit is a cute pink bikini with a white lace cover-up that really fits her style. Cloud’s outfit is like a sailor outfit with very stylish gold aiguillettes and he is wearing fun boot sandals. Meanwhile, Tifa’s costume is lackluster and Zack’s costume is from Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII.
The story in Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis contains its own original plot and also seemingly non-canon due to Zack being alive during a time when Cloud, Aerith, and Tifa are also friends. Despite its precarious placement in the Final Fantasy VII canon, I still found myself wishing to spend more time in this particular timeline just to see how the other characters fit into it, all because I was so charmed by it. For a low-stakes, heartwarming story about having fun at the beach, the development team really put a lot of care into writing the story and making it enjoyable for players to experience.
Where this event fails to stand out is with the enemy variety. The enemies are typically water-based ones like Saharan, Castanets, and Scissorclaws, but they get repetitive as you run through each mission. Also, the Watermelon Tonberry get a bit boring as well once you learned their attack pattern. A new update released on September 16, 2023 added a new series of quests against a Yellow Watermelon Tonberry along with new rewards to earn, but I didn’t find them worth the hassle after completing the first quest. Unless you are somebody who has been spending money on the game to get better equipment, it isn’t worth dealing with the frustration of the Yellow Watermelon Tonberry gaining more strength as the battle progresses.
While I still have my doubts about Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis, I certainly am having a good time with this event and I am hoping the next event will maintain this level of commitment to creating a fun story and unique designs for each character.
Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis is available to download on iOS and Android devices. The Beach Festival Fun event will end on September 28, 2023.
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