Review by Sephiroth815
"The Highest Edifice, With This It's Most Prized Work"
Ah, yes...the Final Fantasy series's most popular game, in my opinion. I remember getting into this game when it first came out, but I had never truly given any thought to how I would rate it. That's where this lovely review comes in. Sure, it may be some years late...but I was reflecting on it, and decided "why not?" I believe that the game had come out in 1997. Sure, there were other titles that had come out, but they just couldn't touch the release of this particular game. I was at home one evening, and I had been reading up on what this game was going to be like. Having played many an adventure game, I decided that I would give it a try. Now, I must admit...I've given this game up a few times, but I have recently picked it back up and haven't put it down since. We're all the way up to XII, and I believe that XIII is going to be coming out somewhere along the road, but I'll still keep VII in mind when I putting the discs into my game system for the day.
Final Fantasy 7 is the tale of Cloud Strife, an ex-SOLDIER who joins the group AVALANCHE. As a mercenary, he embarks on a journey to "find himself" and destroy the likes of Sephiroth, the game's villain. Just how well did this go? Excellent, if you ask me. He has a great cast behind him, including the "white mage of white mages". There's a wild and hyper gunman, a naive but witty ninja, an intelligent beast, an easily-tempered pilot, the supportive bartender, etc. These characters all create a circle of plot progression that makes this game one of the best of it's time, and of future speculation when compared to a lot of games that are going to come out for this system, as well as others.
Game play: 10/10
I loved it. It wasn't too hard, wasn't seriously easy, and there were a number of ways you could go about doing things. You've got the walk or run tradition in the game, and (Yes, I'm really picky) that means a lot to me. I like watching a character be able to saunter throughout cities instead of just having to run around, while everyone else walks casually. Also, the battle mechanics were awesome. You've got the command list, and the ability to change things up. Not only can you change the way a character works, but you can change and alter the statistics as often as you like, provided you've got the correct tools for hunting down the items required to do so.
The weapons, items, armors, accessories, and key items are all plentiful as well. By the end of the game, you're going to be looking at quite a few things in your inventory. Some will prove to be useless to you, but why not keep them in the stock just so that you can have a perfect game and completion list under your belt? I was one of the ones that strived to get everything out of this game. It ranged from every weapon and piece of armor and key item, to mastering the materia up to the next level and completing the arsenal so that I could customize my characters to no end.
I know that it seemed a bit cliche, but how they did this game was seriously nice. Not only did you have a unique character with a background and story that twisted the mind and raised questions, but you had elements and plot twists that kept the player on the edge of their seat. I never knew what was going to happen next, and that means a lot to me when I'm watching a story unfold.
In the beginning, things didn't really seem to move that fast for me. However, I liked hovering in the unknown. This mysterious character that you're controlling is powerful. The other soldiers are nothing compared to him, and they are brought down easily by his gigantic blade. He moves and talks with a confidence that is nearly undetected, and as things progress, you see him change for the better. Inevitably, though, he did manage to sink into states of negative outlook. I, for one, believe that this is natural. As the protagonist, he was faced with challenges. The way he went about dealing with them was a very unique addition to the story, and I appreciate the fact that the creators did not just decide to go with the "I can do anything!" work.
This character, to put it simply, keeps it real with himself. He doesn't beat around the bush and tell everyone that everything is going to be okay. He doesn't jump into a fight and expect to win every time. With the game moving with something so profound being presented, I could really come to enjoy the curtain openers that would further expand my adventures as this ex-SOLDIER.
I gave this a 9 because of the "square hands", if you want to get technical. Still, everyone must remember that this game was coming out when they were still first experimenting with a game of this caliber and kind. I think they did a good job, save the way Cloud's hair sticks up throughout every situation he's in. The environments and battle scenes were pleasing to the eye, and everything ran smoothly for me when it came to the FMVs. Not bad. Not bad at all.
When I first watched the game open, I didn't know whether it was going to get better or worse. I had first seen it in Virginia when I was visiting an uncle of mine, and he was hooked on this game. All I remember were the battles, in which the swordsman had that huge blade in his hands. I thought that it had been a graphical mishap, and that someone just wasn't up to correcting their mistake when it came to designing the battle scenes. Man, was I wrong.
Even the summons are well done. Watching the various summons appear in all their glory worked well, from the way they were birthed from the ground to the way that they came from the clouds to aid their summoners in battle. The magic casting also used animations and graphics that I thought were well done, especially when striking the opponents and rendering various points of damage. I had no favorite in particular, but I wanted to explore them all and level the magic up to the max just to see what great ending animation they had conjured up for that particular class.
The music is nice. There are many catchy tunes, and you never really get tired of hearing the battle theme while you're fighting off whatever may come your way. I personally love the battle theme, and I even downloaded it on my computer. A perfect mixture of confidence and the sense of urgency accompany the tracks that are played while fighting the boss, and it fueled my want to defeat them. This particular aspect of the Final Fantasy 7 game proved to be worth spending my money on, too.
Usually, you don't get a good compilation of tracks. I've had video games where I've simply muted it, playing the game on silent just so that I didn't have to get a headache from repetitive sounds. With this game, I actually turned it up even from when I turned the game on and watched the opening credits. Not too flashy, but not bad enough to be considered elevator music.
Replay Value: 10/10
This game has many ways to go about finishing it. The enemies are tough and require different strategies, and there are so many ways to customize your character that the replay value is very high. I have played this game many times over, and even though the storyline may be the same (Except for altering character relationships), the way that you can fight and level up are all left totally up to you. Magic combinations, summon combinations, command list combinations; I love them all, and am very convinced that this game has no limit to what it's capable of when one wants a unique experience.
Overall, I give this game a 10 out of 10. I had no problems with it, and I'm still playing it to this day. Not to mention the fact that many still talk about it, and name it's characters among the legends that made Final Fantasy what it is today. Most would think that this game doesn't really have any special elements to it. If you look closely and compare it with a lot of adventure games that had come out before this had hit the shelves, I believe that we could come to appreciate it more. It opened up a new category in role playing games. The characters had more feeling and more depth. You didn't know what one character was going to do next. They seemed to switch up, and rightfully so for this game.
Will I ever trade this game in to contribute to the purchase of another role playing game? Never. This is the best Final Fantasy game that I've played to this day, and it's going to stay on my list of favorite games.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/30/07
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