Review by LeoLion0818
"Perplexing storyline, engrossing storyline, what more could you ask for?"
Final Fantasy VII is considered the greatest FF game of all time by many people; and why shouldn't it be? FF7 is an amazing game but it's not the best in the series, this game is overrated but that doesn't mean that it's bad... it just means that it's not as good as people say that it is. Anyway, FF7 is one of the most complex video games to date; the story is confusing, the characters are interesting, the gameplay is amazing, and even the ending is bleak. Sure the graphics need work, but bad graphics don't make a bad game (usually it's the other way around). FF7's soundtrack is simply amazing and the plot makes you wonder if you're in a dream or if you were in a dream at some point in the game.
You'll be guessing and you'll never be right. FF7 is one plot twist after another, because we're in a futuristic society more could be done. We're now introduced to human experimentation, fully customiable characters, modern day weapons, an evil corporation trying to take over the world, and modern day cities. All of this combines into one heck of a plot that's confusing, disturbing, creepy, weird, destructive, and unthinkable. FF7 could very well be a glimpse into the future, a future which spells catastrophe for the planet. None of the main characters plan on saving the world from the start either, they're just living their lives and each one of them gets swept up in the flow of saving the planet; what starts as a tiny rebel faction stationed in city slums evolves into a team of heroes who are out to save the planet from annhilation. The best thing about the story is that even the ending doesn't tell you exactly what happened, leaving you to wonder for yourself; did everything turn out okay? What about this or that, what happened to those? It's a story that makes you think about what's going on, in order to fully comprehend it you need to play through it multiple times.
Well, the characters in this game are good, but they have their flaws. None of them are really all that deep; they seem to just be... there, most of the time. There's very little and very sudden character transformation and it makes you wonder, "Wait, when did he/she start thinking like that?" There are some characters who are even borderline annoying (Cough*Yuffie*Cough). Character development is minimal and character depth is almost non-exitent; they all have one thing on their mind (for each character it's something different), and that never changes the whole entire time.
Battle System: 10/10
FF7 has fully customizable characters allowing you full control over your actions in battle. You can create a whole party of theives, a whole party of fighters, a whole party of magicians, a whole party of whatever floats your boat. Unfortunately you can only have three characters participate in battle at a time, but you really don't need any more than that. A lot of the strategy lies before the battles even begin; because you can fully customize your characters you want to be sure that you give them the proper abilities before heading off into that long and arduous dungeon. If you're heading up to the snowy moutain peaks then bring a lot of Fire materia, if you're heading into a factory then bring a lot of Lightning materia, you need to equip your group properly so that you can dominate the field. However, you can't overdo it either; overdoing it causes your character's stats to drop leaving them powerless in some ways.
If it's too easy then you can try the game at lower levels, or without changing equipment, or even without using materia at all. If the game is too hard then try fighting more to level up your group; remember, any RPG is just as difficult as you want it to be. Unfortunately, the average player will find FF7 too easy. Many of the earlier bosses have easily manipulated weaknesses making them fall easily. Even so, it's still a decent enough challenge to warrant a good game.
Level Complexity: 2/10
I don't even think that Square tried to make these dungeons difficult; every single level is almost a straight path all of the way through. Sure there may be a turn or two or maybe a difficult to spot treasure along the path but there's no complexity. It's nearly impossible to ever get lost on this game because there's rarely a side path to take. Even the towns are nothing more than a single screen on the outside which is ridiculously small. None of the dungeons will take a half an hour to get through, they're just too easy to navigate.
Nobuo Uematsu did a wonderful job with FF7's music. Every song captures the mood perfectly and reflects what the characters are truly feeling (since they won't express it verbally). Every song is perfectly composed and most incorporate real instruments over that synthesized stuff that older games are known for. If you listen you'll hear guitars, bass, drums, brass instruments, wind instruments, and many others; but the synthesizer did no go untouched during the production of FF7, it was just used as a tool to help the real instruments along. This video game has a soundtrack worthy of purchase; and for the first time in the FF series every town and dungeon now has their own unique track (a couple may overlap) but every song incorporates the mood of that particular town or dungeon at that particular point in time. Some songs are played a little excessively and may get old, but most of them will only be heard a few times in the game leaving you wanting more.
It's obvious that they tried to make the sound work, they just didn't succeed well upon doing so. Things do sound realistic but they all sound so similar that you feel as if you're stuck in the twilight zone or something. Every train makes the same whistle noise, every attack that slashes makes the same slashing sound, and everything becomes so redundant due to a lack of variety. The realism in the sounds would've been perfect if everything didn't sound exactly like one another.
Why is Cloud just as tall, if not taller, than a lot of the buildings on the world map? I will admit that FF7 has some amazing background pictures when you're walking through the field maps. In battle your characters actually hold their weapons and they run up to the enemy to attack them (except for characters with guns) which is much better than it's predecessors. Outside of battle your characters look like basic polygons randomly stuck together to make a basic human shape. Every character lacks facial features except for eyes and sometimes a mouth. On the world map everything is too small for reality; and the scale is way off. Sometimes as Cloud is strolling down the field a mountain will suddenly pop up in front of him (from a distance), or he'll approach a mountain only to find a small chunk of it missing. Even for 1997 these aren't great graphics with the exception of in-battle sequences and movie sequences.
It's very hard to have bad controls on an RPG, although they should've used X as the confirm button and O as the cancel button; but this can easily be changed by visiting the config menu anyway.
FF7 is very engrossing; the story will suck you in and keep its grasp on you until you finish it. FF7 flows very smoothly from one event to another, but since there's only one goal in mind the entire time it's hard to deviate. Eventually you reach that crossroad where you'll have to decide between moving on with the story or going to participate in those tempting side quests that the world seems to be hinting at.
Fun Factor: 10/10
What can I say? FF7 is an awesome game, it's just a little overrated is all. If you love perplexing storylines and disturbing plot twists then FF7 is just the game for you. Even if you don't like that stuff you may enjoy the strategic battle system or the fun side quests. FF7 is enjoyable on all levels, despite a few minor flaws and glitches this is a game that you can't truly hate.
Overall Score: 9/10
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/17/08
Game Release: Final Fantasy VII (US, 09/03/97)
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