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CJ and Holmes disagree: Is the Final Fantasy VII remake like a live-action Simpsons' porn parody?

February 09, 2020 3 min read

[CJ and Holmes Disagree is a series where Destructoid Features editor CJ Andreissen and washed-up Dtoid Show host Jonathan Holmes disagree about video games. Who will you agree or disagree with?]

[Realistic Simpsons art by Brad Anderson]

This community blog from 13 years ago is my first piece of published, prime-time game blogging. I was shocked to see it moved to the front page at the time, as my opinion that  "realistic graphics aren't that great, actually" really went against the grain of the PS3/360 "hardcore gamer" at the time. But here we are 12 years later and it turns out I was right. Colorful and abstract titles like Fortnite, Minecraft, Overwatch, and Pokémon Go are the biggest games of the decade. Pixar and Dreamworks films are nearly as popular and equally "cartoony," while attempts at photo-realistic CGI films like Beowulf and The Polar Express are all but dead. 

Ironically, the exception to that rule comes from Disney, the former figurehead of cartoon cinema. Despite general tepid critical responses, their recent run of "live-action" remakes of their own 2D, animated films have been huge hits. When given the choice, people would rather buy tickets to a movie they've already seen before than take a chance on something new, as long as the old movie in question has been given some sort of technically impressive face-lift. The same trends have found a place in both games and pornography. Remakes of 10-year-old+ games have never sold better, and in the porn world, CGI and/or cosplay-based porn parodies are hotter than ever. People like re-experiencing things they are already attached to in a new, sometimes fuckable, light. 

That's all well and good, but my question is, are these game remakes all that different from the porn parodies? I can speak for myself when I say that the Barrett in the Final Fantasy 7 remake does not look like Barrett. He looks like a Barret cosplayer at best. That character, and most of the characters from Final Fantasy 7, were never meant to look anything like real people. That's why they carry swords that are longer than they are, or are talking cats, or are a talking cat that's sitting on top of a giant white cat-like monster with bat wings. This is not a series that has been striving for realism from the start like Resident Evil, which was born into this world with a now-infamous live-action cut scene. This is the game where you ride giant chickens down a rainbow road before doing some sick jumps on your snowboard and then save the world from a combination of corporate greed and a symbol of your impostor syndrome. 

Sure, Final Fantasy 7 could use a technical update, but not at the expense of its original art direction. It's impressive looking for sure, but it's not that different than watching a guy painted yellow with really impressive make-up, wearing a really impressive-bald cap, porking a lady with a really impressive blue beehive wig on. If I were the kind of guy to watch that kind of Simpsons' porn parody, I would enjoy it because I like those characters, and I like that the people who made the porn probably likes those characters too, but I wouldn't feel like that really was Marge and Homer bumping uglies up on the screen. I'd feel like it was impassioned fan art that is in no way a replacement of the real thing, worth a few minutes of my time for a laugh and acknowledging nod, but that's about it.

But I have a feeling CJ may see things differently. 

CJ and Holmes disagree: Is the Final Fantasy VII remake like a live-action Simpsons' porn parody?  screenshot

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