Review by ImOldSkool
"One of the greatest RPG's ever created"
I was pretty surprised to see all the negative reviews on this game. I know there are a lot of fan boys out there that hate on certain games/genres/consoles for no apparent reason, so I'd attribute that as the likely reason in most cases. I just can't see how somebody who is being objective and likes RPG's could possibly despise this game. It's inconceivable. I believe many people couldn't grasp and/or get used to the materia concept, so they gave up on the game quickly. Many gamers, especially in the button mashing FPS era of today, don't like to think that much about things. It's much easier to just choose "fire" or "hurt" from a spell list, and I think a lot of old school RPG players were used to that comfort zone. It requires some strategy to really fine tune your party in this game. I personally was a huge fan of the materia concept. It gave you a ton of options and versatility.
I really thought this game was going to take RPG's to another level. Unfortunately however it's greatness hasn't been emulated since. I thought this was the direction the genre was going to go towards, but instead it was merely a brief glimpse of brilliance. I had been Jonesing for a good RPG ever since the 16-bit era (the golden age of RPG's), and this game delivered what I had sought after all that time. It was a dying genre and this game gave it another breath. Sadly it is now dying again. None of the FF's since have captivated me the same way. I really haven't enjoyed any RPG period since FF7.
So without further ado, lets get down to the criteria:
Gameplay/Controls - 9/10
Very fluid gameplay. You don't get a sense of tediousness and there is plenty of variety in this game to stave off boredom. The battle system is pretty nice. As I said above I'm a fan of the materia concept. The controls are tight and are consistent with Square's other RPG's (O is the action button instead of X).
Storyline - 9/10
This to me is a significant criteria for RPG's. The storyline is engrossing and the characters are dynamic and you can sympathize with some of them, or even relate to them. I was actually moved to tears at one part. Like all great RPG's this was like a good book as opposed to an Anime movie.
Fun Factor - 9/10
I had a tremendous amount of fun playing this game.
Graphics - 8/10
When taking into account the limitations of the console (original PS) you can't expect much better. Still there are times when the polygon graphics leave something to be desired. There are times when they look a bit rough. Overall though the game was pretty attractive, again considering the limitations of the console.
Sound - 8/10
Some of the music is a bit bland but there are some pretty good scores in this game as well. Certainly not some of the better music I've heard in an RPG but decent. The battle music gets mundane quickly but this applies to most RPG's so I don't want to be too harsh.
Challenge - 6/10
Not an overly challenging RPG. Not much grinding is required and the final boss (Sephiroth) is pretty darned easy. Emerald & Ruby Weapons are the only challenge you will really face, but they're merely optional.
Replay Value - 5/10
RPG's generally don't have good replay value because they're the same from one play-through to the next (in most cases). After you get done beating an RPG, because of all the work you put into it you normally don't want to do it all over again immediately. So it collects dust for awhile or gets traded in. The only reason this has some replay value is because, of course, it's a good game. And if it took you awhile to do it the first time you may want to beat it quicker the next time to witness a better ending.
Overall - 9/10
As I stated in the tagline this is one of the greatest RPG's ever made in my humble opinion. Anybody who is a fan of the genre should play this game.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/07/08
Game Release: Final Fantasy VII (US, 09/03/97)
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