UPDATE 17/08/2015: A short playable demo of the fan-made Final Fantasy 7 beat 'em up has been released. You can download it from the Final Fantasy 7: Re-imagined website.
In the one level demo you play as Cloud or Tifa, or co-op locally (you need at least one controller to go with your keyboard). Barret is fire support on a timed recharge system, so you call for his help sporadically.
As in Final Fantasy 7, in Final Fantasy 7: Re-imagined you can perform summons. Cloud has Ifrit by default, and Tifa, Shiva.
There's Materia, too. Cloud and Tifa come pre-equipped with Fire, Ice and Lightning, which are triggered at the end of a four-hit combo.
Give it a shot! You never know when Square Enix may force it down.
ORIGINAL STORY 14/08/2015: Final Fantasy 7 is one of the most iconic video games of all time and the Singapore-based developer PD Design Studio has decided to recreate Square's classic RPG re-imagined as a 2D side-scrolling action game.
PD Design is aware that it won't be able to sell FF7 Re-imagined for money as it doesn't have the license, but that's okay. "This is a non-profit fan made project, done purely for fun," the developer said. "In no way does the fans who made the project is seeking to profit from the fan project."
Still, it gives us a way to envision Cloud and Tifa kicking ass in real-time against the glorious steampunk backdrop of Midgar. That's got to be worth something.
PD Design noted on its Facebook page that it's "almost done with this" fan project, but that it's "gotta get back to what's important."
The developer noted on its official site that FF7 Re-imagined will likely only be a short one level demo, though there's a pretty extensive outline of what mechanics it would like to add should this get fleshed out into a full game. But assuming that doesn't happen, it will just allow players to take the roles of Cloud and Tifa, with Barret operating as your fire support.
The question is: will Square try to shut this down anyway, or will it revel in the flattery of it all? Perhaps it will go the route Trilobyte did with the fan-made The 7th Guest sequel and offer it a licensing deal? It seems unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
Prior to the FF7 Re-imagining, PD Design Studio made the similarly stylish beat-'em-up Dusty Revenge, which arrived on Steam early last year. The studio is currently working on its prequel, Dusty Raging Fist.