Review by Joshelplex

"Although the most overated game in history, still good"

Introduction:
FF7, ahh the screaming fanboys, the haters, I'm right in the middle, not the best, not the worst, but still a good game. FF7 made people who hated RPGs get into the scen, while it made others leave it. FF7 is the game that made RPGs mainstream, (Xenogears and Final Fantasy Tactics never would have made it here without this game) and for that I thank Square or Squaresoft, or Square Enix, whatever they call themselves now. It's a good game, and the most popular RPG of all time, but It steals the thunder of way too many other, better games. (Suikoden, Breath of Fire) I want to clarify that this is my oppininon (though i'm sure the people on the message boards won't care) The game is a good game for RPG fans and beginners, but far from the best RPG out there. The game is definitely memorable, for a number of theings. The characters were particularily famous, as millions of fans wept when Sephiroth killed a certain someone. I am an RPG vet, so I may have my standards a little too high, but this is my oppinion, and no amount of death threats, hate mail, or insults will make me change my mind. (This is my first review so don't get mad if it seems unprofesional and stuff.)

Graphics:9
These don't matter at all to me, and wont affect the score, but for the first 3D RPG, it was very, very well done, with highly detailed, almost photo realistic backgrounds, and great spell animations. The summons are especially well done, Knights of the Round is the most impressive spell I've ever seen. The characters look ackward but it's okay. I wasn't a fan of the character designs though. They were kinda bland and really only Cait Sith stood out as unique to me, thouhg Vincenmt and Yuffie looked cool too. Sephiroth is okay, but a little too generic as far as villain designs go, actually he almost looks like a 3D Setzer (minus the shoulder pads and sword). FF6 did it much better in my oppinion, thouhg the summons all look quite cool, and the enviroments are interesting to explore, as the world design is excellent. The game also has a 3D world map, which is massive, and full of hidden areas, and towns to visit. The game also gives you a good sense of scale, and when fling the airship, it looks real, and has a good sense of speed. The enviroments also look different and unique, from the sasino style Gold Saucer, to the slums of Midgar, there all well done and interesting. The stationary camera also is well done, never screwing you up as you trun a corner or anything like that. Very well done overall

Audio:9/10-Great
This has no bearing on the score. The soundtrack, though well composed, sounds poorly recorded, thouhg probably due to the company's first experience with CD games. Nobuo Uematsu blew away the competition with this one, each tune memorable, and though provoking, and One Winged aAngel is still the best composed piece of all time. THe soundtrack has been remixed many times, and is definitely worht getting if you like classical music. While I personally prefer the Chrono Trigger soundtrack overall this one is also near perfect, thouhg the boss music is really dumb, it has this awful guitar part, and it gets annoying after immediately. All that aside, the game has a masterpiece of a soundtrack. It's a grat soundtrack, you wont be muting your TV whaen you play this,

Gameplay:8/10-Good
The gameplay is the most important part of any game, and it makes up most of the score. The battle system is excellent, with the materia system giving you tons of customization. The materia has multiple types, some for spells, some for skills, some for summons, and some for abilities. Materia increases and decreases stats, balancing out the benifits and weaknesses, making a character balanced. The battles are also very fast paced, thanks to the ATB system, and the level of challenge ramps up perfectly. It is a little simple though, especially compared to games like Treasure of the Rudras or Chrono Trigger. The spell system is also very similar to FF6, where you learn a spell based on what materia you equip, though you don't keep it when you master it. It is a cool system however, and it is very easy to learn and use, while providing plenty of depth, making it difficult to overpower your characters. It's also nice that all the chartacters are good at magic and attacking, making the team a lot more balanced, since magic is used heavily in this game.

Story/Characters:7/10-Alright
Here it comes, this is gonna get me sniped for sure but the story isn't all that impressive. You are Cloud, a mercenary, and ex Soldier member. You attack an evil corporation and you soon learn of a terrible power, ancient race and you are drawn in to a battle to save the Earth. Along the way characters will join and help you, from a pilot, and ninja, a beast, a childhood friend, and even a mutant gunner. soon you learn Cloud had connections with the most powerful man on Earth, and it is up to you to stop him from destroying your world, and fufilling his desire of reaching the promised land. Sure, lots of reviewers said it was the best story ever, but it's not. The story is actually quite predictable, and the big plot twist (you know the one) wasn't as shocking as many make it seem, mainly because a certain character was poorly developed. Actually that whole part of the gaem was poorly done, and the big event was actually poorly thouhg out, considering the speed, it seemed unrealistic for that to happen the way it did. The characters are okay, but except for a couple, (Vincent and Cait Sith) I found them cliche'd and boring. You haver the standard big, stupid guy, the hyper annoying girl, the tough chick, and that rude, older guy. Red XIII was farly original, but uninteresting, and don't even get me started on Aerith, (that's her real name) she's the most pointless, uninteresting character in RPG history. Also, why do everyone say Cloud and Sephiroth are the best characters ever? I found Sephiroth not that cool, he pales in comparison to good ol' Kefka, he vaporized the world, all Seph did was kill a certain character and try to drop a meteor on the planet. Seph didn't get nearly as much developement as he should have, and Cloud was just uninteresting entirely, too bland and cliche'd. The story has some good points to it, but it definitely is not the best story of all time. If they had taken as much time to realize the characters as they had in FF6, they could have had a more interesting cast. All that aside thouhg, begginers will no doubt love it, and then they can move on to Suikoden and Xenogears.

Value:5/10-Average
This is the games biggest flaw, once the main quest is done, thyere's nothing left, no new game +, nothing. The game is lengthy, (I finished in 50 hours) but aside from a few minigames and side quests, there's not much that'll make you come back to it. Althouhg, the hidden bosses and materia may hve you leveling and playing another 10 or so hours, that's about it. They really should have left a new game + like Chrono Trigger. The game could have also let you play some of the games multiplayer too. The biggest thing that could have added to replay was trying to figure outh all the rumors. Most were wrong (getting Breath of Fire 3 Ryu, ressurecting "her") and some have yet to be determined. Very little to come back to here.

Final Verdict:8/10-Good
There you have it, my first, and hopefully not my last (I'll try not to get sniped by fanboys) review. The game is worth a buy, definitely, but it is very overated, and there are plenty deeper, more involving RPGs out there. It also goes for about $20 right now, and is very easy to find. It's good for anyone interested in getting into RPGs, but the hardcore (like me) may find it just good, not great. Definitely an influential game, it's worth a look for newcomers and fans alike. Fans should be happy to know there are about 4 spinoff projects as well, which help explain some of the story, and Vincent fans are getting a shooter, which should explain a bit about him hopefully, and even a game where you play as the Turks. It is good, but the hardcore may scoff at the simplicity and generic characters. I still would suggest you try it for yourself however, as this is my oppinion (I can't stress that enough) yours may, and probably will differ. Definitely worth checking out though.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/30/06


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