Review by clixpsi
"Is This Game Only Hype?"
Final Fantasy VII is one of the most debated games in RPGs this day. This is thanks to its sudden burst of prequels, sequels, and a possible remake. Back in 1997, it became one of the most popular RPGs in America instantly. Or, at least I take it from what I read. In 1997, I wasn't even playing video games. And, my first RPG would be the summer of '99 with Pokemon Yellow. So, the first time I played Final Fantasy VII was less then two years ago. It was also not my first Final Fantasy. No, it was about my 4th Final Fantasy experience after Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Final Fantasy, and Final Fantasy II. And, yet, it ended up becoming one of my favorite games, despite its obvious bugs and dated technology.
GRAPHICS - 6/10
The graphics are said to be "the best in 3-D" on the back cover. I am not being that. I've played Crash from 1995, and that game has better 3-D graphics. Now, Final Fantasy VII does have beautiful backgrounds, a decent over-world, good battle graphics, and somewhat cartoony cut-scene graphics, but I want to know just what happened to the people. When I first started to play, I almost stopped when I saw that all the characters were deformed midget things. I had to force myself to ignore them and keep playing. It's said to think Square cut corners here. Maybe they would have been less lazy if they would have known that it would become their bestseller.
GAMEPLAY - 9/10
Sure, it's not too different from most of ATBs, but it is fun. But, this was the first Final Fantasy I played with the ATB. The Limit Breaks are enjoyable, and I actually have played long enough to go out of my way to get Aerith's 4th Limit and such. There's really nothing wrong with the system. My only annoyance is that it's only 3 characters in a battle. Also, for a remake, I'd like to see something with the best feature of Final Fantasy X, the inclusion of character swapping in battle.
Now, exploring places in this game was sure fun to me. It usually did no take too long to get from one place to another, so I was rarely bored out of my mind. And, that is always a huge plus. If I wanted to fall asleep, I would start yawning around others in order to create a chain reaction of yawns so I could sleep. Now, I feel like there could have been a bit more interactiveness with the environment, but I've sort of stopped expecting that out of most RPGs.
EQUIPMENT SYSTEMS - 9/10
I'll be frank: I love the Materia System. Now, what I do miss is a lot of armor and such. After picking this up from playing Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II, and Crystal Chronicles, I missed all the multitude of armor and such. But, I believe the Materia System helps make up for this. It's simple, effective, and sometimes even really fun. That's good enough for me. All that was really missing was a Jump Materia, in my opinion.
Of course, I was glad that they had some accessories in this game. And, I was happy that I could buy new weapons. For some reason, it just feels wrong when you can't do either in a RPG. Maybe that's why I don't like Final Fantasy VIII too much. How well, such a rant can wait for another review. Just as soon as I beat that game...
STORY - 10/10
I came for the story and stayed for it. All the plot twists were well placed in my mind. Even though I knew what would happen on Disc 1's end, I was still somewhat in awe. I've heard some say all the plot twists are cliched and such. Well, they aren't to me. Maybe I missed something. It might not be the best story, but I enjoyed every last part of it, so that is all that matters to me.
Now, parts of the story can be confusing. For some, two or three new games are required to understand it. Also, there were many errors in translation, such as "clones" and Tseng's "death." Hopefully, if a remake or even port came about, those errors would be settled. After all, I am sure there are still some people trying to figure out how Tseng survived to be in Advent Children.
EVENT SCENARIO - 8/10
I basically divide the events of the game into four categories: Midgar, Flashbacks/Cloud's Psyche, Northern Crater, Other. Now, my favorite parts of the game are those in Midgar. All the stuff to do in the Wall Market has become one of my favorite parts of any video game. And, the events to take place in Shinra's HQ were also some of my favorite parts. However, I was at time annoyed at the events in Flashbacks/Cloud's Psyche. Why? Well, it's very simple: They lacked a lot of playability and interest at times. Also, I will punch a screen if I have to see Sephiroth in a flaming mass again. Thanks to almost every Final Fantasy fan-made music videos and Advent Children, I've grown sick of that scene. The events in the crater where interesting... yet somewhat random. Why was Sephiroth a giant thing? How did he warp into an angel-demon thing in crack? How was he able to destroy the solar system five times? You should get my point. And lastly, I felt parts of the rest of the games events to be sometimes lacking. At times, they grabbed me through the story's plot twists in them, but that was not always the case. If not for Midgar, this score would be a lot lower.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT - 9/10
Just about all the events that happened to the characters were apparent on their characters. I did not think Cloud would end up going crazy and doubting his existence. I didn't think Tifa was actually somewhat weak. Who knew that Yuffie would somehow fall in love with Cloud and still betray him at many points? Over all, I enjoyed all of the characters, except Cait Sith. Seriously, he's annoying. Reeve is cool... but he acts stupid and annoying when behind the wheel of a cat robot riding on a moogle robot thing. Of course, most games have one annoying character. Or at least a remotely weird character. As long as there's only one per game, I think most of us can survive.
Another reason I might have rated the characters a bit high is because some of my favorite characters are in this game. My favorite character of any video game is Yuffie. I just wish she was more important and not a secret character. My third favorite video game character is Cloud. For some reason, I can relate to him. Still, I want to know how he able to carry those huge swords. Better yet, I want to know who exactly is making them. Also, I love that Cid is playable in this Final Fantasy. I think it is by now a proven theory that if Cid is playable, then he is much more enjoyable. My favorite Cids are those from Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IV. Really, I think we need a new playable Cid. I'm hoping Final Fantasy XIII will deliver.
MUSIC - 10/10
I've heard many complain about it being MIDI-afied. Honestly, it never bothered me. The soundtrack for Final Fantasy VII is one of my favorites. I think I might even request Aerith's Theme be played at my funeral. I can only hope it would be redone by Nobuo Uematsu if a remake was done. Anything else could be a sad testament to the soundtracks beauty.
The sound effects were somewhat odd, but I found them funny. I'm not really sure what I was meant to think. After all, what kind of noise is suppose to be made when doing stretches and such? Oh well, I found the noises funny, and, to me, they do not effect this score.
OVERALL - 9/10
This is a game worth playing once for any RPGamer. Don't listen to negative stuff about it being the worst or the best. Just play it and find out why a guy who only played it two years ago is in love with it. And, for those that think it is nothing but hype, then maybe you didn't enjoy the game because you destroyed your experience when you only thought on that. Yes, this game might be overrated. However, that's not really a bad thing, in my opinion.
Anyway, if it is only hype, then how come it sound so well? How did it spawn sequels and prequels almost a decade later? If you have really nothing useful to say, you should just keep quiet. Yes, many fan boys of this game are annoying for calling it the greatest game ever. Guess what, there is no such thing and never will be. It's just like how there will never be the great American novel. Everyone has different tastes.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/09/06
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