Review by OrdinaryTurtle
"The game that ended the fantasy in Final Fantasy"
I had always been a fan of the Final Fantasy games in the past. I had played Final Fantasy I, IV, Mystic Quest, and VI and beaten them. I always had that feeling that it was a fantasy and nothing more. One birthday I got Final Fantasy VII for the PC. I had high hopes of the game and I installed it and the game was great. That was until I left Midgar.
I didn't have a Playstation at the time of this game but when I got it, the graphics were pretty disappointing to me. I don't care for graphics usually but these were just simply bad. Lego people weren't what I had anticipated before when I installed the game. When you get to the FMV's the graphics do get better but there are some scenes where they still use the Lego people. It seemed to me that they were just a bit lazy when it came to those FMV scenes.
This was probably the only thing I liked about the game. This game's music is one of the best I've heard. Who can forget the ever saddening theme of Aeris'? Or the upbeat march of the President's theme? There were many more and they were all very good. But after awhile they tend to use the same music for everything, which was good but then again, it made Squaresoft seem lazy.
Oh yes, the materia system. How I loathe the materia system. From what I've heard it is praised, as it is so great that each character can be custom made as you wish. Which seems like a good idea from the outside, but when playing the game you could care less if you have materia on or not. From my own experience about half way through the game I stopped using materia all together and kept attacking. That's what you'll be doing throughout the game a lot. Just attacking, magic is useless in the most part. There's only one good summon. The materia system may seem like a good idea, but to me personally. It made everything too easy. Say you lose a party member for oh so long during the game and you're stuck with your weakest character. What do you do? Put on some strong materia and kick some butt! Yes it seems easy, but what does that take away from the game? Challenge. I won't get into that yet, but the materia system takes away challenge and individuality between characters in battles. The limit breaks were good for all characters but seemed a little cheap and easily gained. Leveling up was way too easy until you get to level 90. Then it seems to drag on and on.
This was another thing that griped me about Final Fantasy VII. There was a lack of challenge. Even if you went through the game with low levels it would still be easy to do. Every single boss including the WEAPONs were too easy. I'm not trying to make it seem like I'm a pro or anything. Seven reminded me of Mystic Quest. This game seemed more for beginners, people who have never played RPG's before and do not know what challenge is. But nonetheless, for me a game needs challenge for it to be enjoyable.
Once I started playing the game it seemed great, I loved the characters. I loved Midgar and everything else. But once I left Midgar it seemed, well empty. The story only seemed to be about, getting Sephiroth. What happened to stopping Shinra? Basically throughout the game you'll be chasing Sephiroth, but then again you won't be. It might of been the translators of the game or the people who wrote the story of the game, because after Disc 1 it seemed to slip through the cracks and became a very badly put novel. The game still has its points but they are very few. Character development was also bad. They seemed to talk about a characters past and they never talked about them again. It was all about Sephiroth, Sephiroth, Sephiroth. If I could sum up the story in a few words it would be this: Chase Sephiroth guys!
Surprisingly this game does have replay value. After beating the game there's always mastering your materia and getting to level 99 with all your characters. There's also the amusement park,Gold Saucer, and you can raise Chocobos or fight off the two new WEAPONs. Chocobo raising is fun but after awhile it becomes boring. The Chocobo racing is fun also. That's about it for replay value.
It was a good game, I give it that. But I don't think it deserves the praise it gets. I think of it as a beginners RPG. It started off with a good plot then it just died. What killed it for me was the bad gameplay and the lack of challenge.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 06/01/03, Updated 06/01/03
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