Top critical review
Lower your expectations
Reviewed in Canada on September 28, 2020
If you're getting this expecting it to dish out more secrets from the Remake you're going to be dissapointed. If you're looking for an in-depth art book, you also will be dissapointed. I bought this because I'm a lore book junkie and I love Final Fantasy and it's artwork.
As far as lore/artbooks go this is really vanilla. I know square can produce great art books, but they are never released with an English translation. This is a translation from a book of the same name that was released in Japan prior to the Final Fantasy VII Remakes release, hence the title World Preview. Because of this a lot of the information provided is basically non existent.
The book is separated into three chapters. One focusing on characters, one on the world, another on game mechanics.
The character one would have been nice if they actually included every character that's in the game. Now remember this is a translation from a book that was released before the game came out. So sure, they are hiding some things but not even Rufus Shinra gets a page dedicated to him, I just found it odd. I also noticed that each character gets their English and Japanese voice actors listed. However both Sephiroth, and Chocobo Sam only have their Japanese actors named.
This section is then followed by a timeline which I thought was really neat. They included some of the Compilation titles like Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus and Before Crisis. However that being said, the timeline is hardly complete and leaves a lot of information out. It is a welcome addition that I didn't expect.
The section that focuses on the world was super lackluster. Just giant Pictures of locals with tiny blurbs about them. I found myself quickly skimming this section since the information.provided was things I already knew. They do however show some locations from the rest of Gaia.
Then there is the third chapter which lightly touches on game mechanics. This talks about limit breaks and summons. It's okay but since this book is essentially a translated promotional book the info here is real scarce.
Then we get a section showing all the merchandise you can buy for the game. This is pretty normal for square to do this, some Ultimania's I own have little sections like this as well.
Now for the final section, a short story that is supposed to detail Areith's childhood. This got me really excited since I'll take any new lore to the VII universe like candy. Unfortunately this was a real slog. The story focuses mainly on a Shinra Trooper that knew Areith as a kid, it's entirely skippable in my opinion.
Final thoughts, depending on what you're looking for in a translated art book from square I would say skip this. It really should have been translated before the game came out. It's been 6 months since the VII Remake came out and I really dont see the need for sending this one out after the game has come out. Fans will most likely preorder this to see if the book has any extra information about the world and it really doesn't.
If you are new to Final Fantasy I guess sure, pick it up. For long time fans there is nothing in here that warrants a purchase since this is all information we've known for years.