Review by xBlueKirby

"Don't listen to the self-titled"

Smashing into the gaming market in 1997, FF7 became the definitive RPG. I disagree, it is not the best, but it's still third best in the FF series, second only to FF4 and FF5.

Gameplay
Final Fantasy VII follows the standard RPG format of levelling up your character to gain new abilities and grow stronger. I never tire of this, unless the levelling up becomes a chore (Breath of Fire series is a good example). The encounter rate is at the norm, a nice break after putting up with the big encounter rate of the aforementioned Breath of Fire. This also introduces the Materia system, which is all right.

However, the standard RPG gameplay is the source of much complaining from...Teh HARDDDDDDDDD-COOOOOOOOORRRRRE RPGers!

Well, the ''Hard-core RPGers'' are the people who love the more complex gameplay in such games as Baldur's Gate or Diablo, or the open-ended style RPGs like Everquest or Morrowind. I love all the above games, but in my opinion, the main attraction of RPGs is supposed to be story (which is why I'm just dying to get Xenosaga...oh...) and that leads me to the next part of the review.

Graphics
Good backgrounds, bad everything else, downright frustrating at times. But that has to be forgiven, because the most memorable scenes and gameplay style would not work in 2D, as all the previous FFs did. The characters look like little dolls floating around the screen, and worst of all, the Chocobos look like Big Bird after being exposed to radiation for a few hours! But again, it must be forgiven. This started the path for the rest of the series being in 3D. It's too bad the FF movie failed at the box office, otherwise we'd have the new PS2 version with revamped graphics and maybe (just maybe) the better ending.

Storyline
Pretty good. It's not set in medieval times, which nearly crushed me the first time, but after a while I accepted the unusual blend of swords and modern-day weaponry. The story is long and intricate, but this also leads to the ''this is a game, not a movie'' complaint, caused by the frequent cutscenes. However, for me, that's what makes the game great. It wins the Final Fantasy Gold for most memorable cutscene. I won't give away any of the story, and for the love of god don't read ANYTHING about this game on the internet except reviews. you WILL be sorry.

Characters
Ah. This is where the game gets the 10/10. The characters are so deep, and so mesmerizing in their plights, that you soon forget that you are not Cloud Strife or that it's only a game.
This takes the Final Fantasy Gold for Most Hated Enemy.
The game soon gives you reason to dislike the evil presence, named Sephiroth, and then you grow to hate him, and finally you truly wish to destroy him and all that he stands for.

I've heard people complain about bad translation, but there's not much that I can tell, except a few times where the dialogue is a little questionable as to its purpose.

Music
Very nice. The game comes close to topping Final Fantasy IV in music, but despite five superb themes, the rest of the music is rather ordinary. Still receives a 10/10.

Break it down!...or not
Graphics 4/10
Music 10/10
Gameplay 9/10
Storyline 10/10
Characters 10/10
Final Score 10/10 not an average

xBK's Final Fantasy awards: 2
putting it in third place.

Overall
Buy this game now. If you've played Final Fantasy IV, this comes close to having the same character development as that. So go today and pick up the last of the best Final Fantasies.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/05/03, Updated 03/05/03


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