Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 3D Brawler Guide: Beat the Gold Saucer polygon fighting game easily

There are a lot of minigames to play in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and most of them are simple diversions. Others that should seem simple can be devilishly tough, and one of those is the Gold Saucer's 3D Brawler game-within-a-game. Though a frivolity in concept, the latter stages of this polygonal punch-'em-out can be quite annoying to clear. With that in mind, we've come up with a quick guide to mastering the 3D Brawler through one not-so-weird trick.

What is the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 3D Brawler?

It's a 3D fighting game that you can play at the Gold Saucer amusement center in Corel. You'll get your first taste of 3D Brawler in chapter 8, when the gang visits the Gold Saucer for the first time. At the entrance, Cloud will get an introductory duel with the Gold Saucer's manager, Dio.

3D Brawler's mechanics are simple: You play as Cloud in 1997-era low-polygon form, and your opponent will be selected from an array of low-poly duelists. Your opponent will signal a punch, which you'll need to dodge by moving a specific analog stick in a certain way. Choose the wrong reaction and you'll take a hit. Take too many hits and your opponent will charge their limit break, ending the fight. You need to dodge enemy attacks and land attacks of your own until you can charge your Limit Break and win.

It's pretty simple, but it can get tough, particularly if your reflexes are on the slower side. 3D Brawler is particularly sensitive to wrong input. Even slightly brushing the wrong analog stick will register the whole move as invalid, and the timing window to read an opponent's move and select the right direction and reaction can get very small at higher levels.

How Do You Beat 3D Brawler Easily?

Well, the usual method is to memorize the unique animation every character has for their attack, and react precisely as required. You'll still need to do that to an extent.

But here's the trick: You can pause the game while your opponent is winding up.

It's really that simple. Pause the game, take a bit of time to read the opponent's wind-up, then unpause and react accordingly.

The pause gives you just enough time to decide on your action, wihtout any of the panic that comes from trying to react in the teensy timeframe required.

Pausing the game isn't a foolproof solution: You still need to guess your reaction correctly, and you need to be quick to unpause the game and counter before the window passes. But being able to pause mid-animation is a great boon for one's nerves.

Before long, you'll be 3D Brawling with the best and be well on your way to defeating a low-poly Sephiroth and earning the minigame's ultimate prize: A Ribbon accessory.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is available on PS5. Check out RPG Site's full guide slate for more!