Review by SCCAN85

"As Edge and Christian would say "This game totally reeks of awesomeness!""

INTRO

Now back in 1997 I was not really into video games much, nor RPGs for that matter. I played Final Fantasy 2 for SNES and that was my favorite game at the time and people at my school were talking about the long awaited Final Fantasy 7. Final Fantasy 7!? I beat Final Fantasy 2 and there's a 7!? When did this happen? I never really looked around for upcoming games and I heard about this game from fellow friends. They bought it and said it's the greatest game of all time. I didn't really think much about it first, but constantly hearing about Final Fantasy 7 being the greatest game ever day in and day out it kind of bugged me. I decided to see how good this game was so around my birthday (December 16th) I asked my Mom to get me a Playstation and that was my birthday present. Then, nine days later in nice green wrapping of a big fat CD was my very own Final Fantasy game. I was very pleased and then after opening all the presents I moved immediately to the TV and inserted that bad boy into my Playstation. After hearing the familiar great Final Fantasy song I knew I was going to like this game. Final Fantasy 7 is possibly the greatest RPG of all time and is of course made by Squaresoft and was released in the USA on September of 1997. To tell you the truth this was the first reason for me to get a Playstation. I love this game and everything about this game. This used to be my favorite game for about a year, but then all that changed. I am going to tell you everything you need to know about Final Fantasy 7 because this is the game and it is that damn good. Read on for more information.

STORY: (10/10)

The story is simply amazing, but it doesn't really start to happen until later in the game around the end of disc one. The story contains much emotion because some people I know cried during the game. I didn't, but a couple of people did. This game can easily get you emotionally charged and that is what's so great about the story. The time is in the future instead of being medieval and I personally think that is better. At first, here's how the story is portrayed as. A small group by the name of Avalanche is trying to destroy reactors in their city, Midgar, to save the world from pollution and the main character just got recruited. His name is Cloud (which I changed because personally I think that is a really stupid name) Strife and he is a really tough and quiet mercenary. He helps the team avalanche, who's enemy is a company named Shinra which rules all of Midgar, to attempt destroying a reactor with the team. From there on an amazing tale of good vs. evil takes place which will blow you away. Now that's the start of the game, but trust me the story is awesome! There's something strange about Cloud though, something very mysterious and no one really can find out because he does not open up. That's his attitude. The characters in the game are great. Such filled with emotion that it makes you feel as if they are real. The characters are ....
Cloud Strife: A mysterious mercenary with no motives and is careless. Spiky haired punk to some.
Barret Wallace: A big black guy like Mr. T who is the leader of Avalanche. He has a gun-arm.
Tifa Lockheart: Clouds childhood friend, also in avalanche.
Aeris Gainsborough: Flower girl in Midgar, meets Cloud by accident. Very happy.
Red XIII: A red lion who is a lab experiment. Very intelligent and friendly.
Cait Sith: A big stuffed cat doll with a sense of humor. Lives in the gold saucer.
Cid Highwind: Another Cid, but he's a pilot with an attitude and a spear.
Vincent Valentine: Very mysterious and scary man with a gun. Lives in a coffin in a mansion.
Yuffie Kisaragi: A thief! A young girl who is very untrustworthy but is very helpful too.
Sephiroth: An evil yet mysteriously powerful man who is very unknown to the world.

That is just an incite of the characters. As the story moves on you learn much about the characters as well. Overall, excellent story.

GAMEPLAY: (10/10)

Now if you haven't played a Final Fantasy game then you need to now because these games are amazingly fun. Final Fantasy 7 has a great battle system and magic system that is similar to other Final Fantasies, but just changed around a little bit. It's kind of hard to explain how the game works, but I'll try. OK, the main character is Cloud (you) and you control him through the game and you can equip armor, weapons, and accessories on him and the rest of the party as well as materia which I will get to later. The gameplay is like many other RPGs. Walk around and fight and level up while advancing through the story. The only thing different is the use of materia and the story. Well, before I tell how battle is, the world map is large. There are a decent number of towns and each town is fairly large. There are airships, planes, submarines and ships you can ride on as well as a buggy. There's many items and there are even limit breaks for battles. Limit breaks can be gained by two ways. The number you use them and how many enemies that person kills. There are limit breaks for each character. Limit breaks are powerful attacks that can be executed during battle when the limit bar of that character starts blinking. A good thing about this game is that it is very long. It took me about 60 hours to beat. Life ranges to maximum of 9999 and magic goes to 999. There is a large variety of magic, some new and some old (like fire and ice). Summons are also introduced into this game. These are similar to espers of Final Fantasy 3 (6 for Japanese people) for SNES. These however are portrayed as materia which I'm going to talk about right now.

Materia - Materia is a replacement word for magic with a new system. Materia is required to use magic whether it's summons, magic, command, independent, or support magic. Materia is little balls of magic which you equip into your weapon. This is a very brilliant creative and new idea to the world of RPGs. There are many different types of materia and I just listed them up above. Summons are monsters which you summon to help you during a battle. Magic is used to either heal your party or attack the enemy with either a status change or a magic attack such as fire, ice, earth, etc. Command is inputted into the battle screen under your character for you to do something during battle, like a type of attack (like morph or coin). Independent materia can increase stats, for example HP plus increases your HP. And last but not least, support magic supports the materia that is linked, for example all materia linked with ice allows you to attack all enemies with ice. There are links in your weapon allowing such acts as that. There is something called AP which you receive during battles and is like experience from battles but this is experience for materia. Materia has levels too, but most of them limit up to 5 levels. Materia takes a long time to master so it'll take you a while. The reason for materia leveling up is to enhance the magic. If you have ice materia and you get it to level 2 then you'll have ice 2 which is a more powerful form of ice magic. There is drawbacks to materia. When equipping materia most likely it will reduce your maximum amount of HP, but not by much, and increases a little bit of your MP. For this reason there is independent magic :) . That's basically everything needed to know about materia.

Battles - Battles are the same as any other RPG. Not much difference except for the fact of Limit breaks which I explained above. Anything else to say in battles? Well the only thing you need to know is that the battles are turn based and there are three people allowed in a party to fight. Battles pop up at any time and by knowing this the screen will disintegrate into the battles screen. The battle screen shows you the limit meter, time meter for your turn, amount of life and magic, and barrier in case you have any on. That's it.

There are also mini games for you to play at the Gold Saucer (a place you'll find out about later) such as snowboarding, boxing, biking, submarine battles and even a basketball shooting game. Pretty cool. There are also chocobo racing and you can even breed and train chocobos. If you do not know what chocobos are then I'll tell you. They are birds that look like big birds and they differ in color. There is also something very unusual which is only for the American Final Fantasy 7 which is two new and very hard weapons. Those weapons are called Emerald and Ruby weapon. That's all you need to know about the game. Overall, the game is very fun and there are many places for you to explore.

CONTROLS: (10/10)

The controls are very good in Final Fantasy 7. The button configuration is similar to the Super Nintendo Final Fantasies, where O is the main button used. X is the run button and triangle is to view the menu. Square isn't really used unless specified. The camera view is very good too, except for battles where it can get annoying at times. The controls are very smooth and responsive. There was no time where I had trouble with the controls so they are basically flawless. Every button is used whether it's to rotate the camera or point out something. There should be no problems for the controls, because at parts of the game the computer tells you how to work things so this will help you a lot. That's all I can say about the controls. Overall, excellent controls!

MUSIC/SOUND: (10/10)

The music of Final Fantasy is just great! I have heard better songs in games, but that's a matter of opinion. This is truly one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard for a game. I can't even really think of a song I hate except for Yuffies song when you first see her (that's annoying). The music is very clear with good rhythms that can easily change your mood. My personal favorite is the end bosses theme (one winged angel) and the motorcycle ride. Everything about the music is very good because it is very pleasant to listen to and totally fits with the game. The sounds are also very good. Now I don't really pay much attention to the sound FX, but I can sometimes take notice of some things. Cloud slashing that huge sword into an enemy always gives off a loud slice. During FMVs, the sounds are really good. This game does not contain any voice acting whatsoever so that's one thing we don't need which is stupid voices for a great game. Overall, the music and sounds of Final Fantasy 7 are great.

GRAPHICS: (7/10)

Now, gameplay, music, and controls are all fine and dandy but how does this game look? Well, to tell you the truth it's kind of ugly. Not really bad, but it is totally obvious that the graphics are a little bad with pixels everywhere. The characters are all very ugly with very sharp and blocky appearances, but luckily it doesn't show for their whole body. The backgrounds however are really good with very nice coloring and drawings. Towns and cities look very nice and somewhat realistic. The FMVs are really good and they are the best aspect of the graphics. The Summons during battles look pretty good too, but as the characters, they suffer from blockiness. There's nothing that bad to the graphics, it's just that a lot of things look ugly and a lot of things look good and those two elements cannot work together. If the characters features were improved this would probably have a higher score. Overall, the graphics in Final Fantasy 7 fail to use the PSXs power to the fullest.

CHALLENGE: (3/10)

Now this game may possibly be the greatest RPG of all time, but it's way too easy in my opinion. I seriously did not die once. I don't know how the game over sign looks like, will someone please tell me (j/k)? There are no extremely challenging parts and the battles are not really hard. There were some parts that are kind of boring, but not that hard. The mini games are possibly harder than the game itself. I breezed through this game, but even though it took me around 60 hours to beat it wasn't because it's hard. It's because this game is long. Now I was not really ''pro'' at this point and I breezed through this game so if you are very good at RPGs or even if you aren't very good this game will be easy for you. I think this is possibly the easiest Final Fantasy game ever. The only thing that may be very hard is the fact that there are two weapons only for the American Final Fantasy 7 so if you live in Japan I'm sorry but this isn't for you. That's the only real hard part of the game. You'll have to be really high in levels to beat these guys. Overall, not difficult ... not really difficult at all.

REPLAY: (8/10)

The replay value is decently high, but extremely high for an RPG. RPGs are usually a one time only type game, but I actually beat Final Fantasy 7 three times. That's very high for me :) . Anyway, the gameplay is just so fun that it is fun to play it over again and again. Usually people may continually play this game over just to play the mini games. I for one do not do that, but I just do what I did when I first played. I tried new stuff and actually tried harder to defeat the American version weapons my second and third time around as well as getting the knights of the round summon. Other than the mini games or just feel like playing over there is not much else to do. I don't even play it anymore *clears off dust from FF7 game*. Overall the replay value is way above average.

PROS
- 3 CDs and 60 hours worth of fun
- Great storyline
- Materia system
- Great music
- Nice cast of characters

CONS
- Graphics aren't that great
- Too easy
- Nothing other than that ^_^

OVERALL: (9/10)

Finally done with my long Final Fantasy 7 review and that is final! Well, I truly like this game a lot and I'm glad I could review it because this is possibly the best Final Fantasy. As you may know, people don't like this much because they think Final Fantasy 3 (6 for Japan) is better. Well, I didn't even like FF3 so this game totally blows that one out of the water by a long shot! My true score for Final Fantasy 7 is a 9.2. Final Fantasy 7 is probably the reason why I got more into RPGs so for that I am ever so thankful and to other people who have yet to play this masterpiece you are missing out. To everyone who has not played this do not even think about renting it, just go out and buy it. It is now considered a greatest hit and is only for $20. I got mine for $50 back in December of 1997 so you people are really getting a good deal. This is truly a masterpiece and is probably the best game ever made by Square, or at least to some people that is. Now since you've heard everything I have to say about this great game I have already done my part. That is to preach the word of Final Fantasy 7 and you the reader need to go buy this now. Now I am officially done. Thanks for reading and have a nice day! I hope you make the right decision :)


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/07/00, Updated 08/07/00


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