Review by plasmabeam
"The first Final Fantasy on Playstation is one of the best"
Final Fantasy VII is easily one of the most popular RPGs ever made. After Square left Nintendo, they focused on making a game for Sony's Playstation. Final Fantasy VII was released in late 1997, and soon became a must-have game for every PS1 owner. Although I didn't get to play it, until a few years later, I must say that it was good game. After hearing my friend claim that FF7 was the greatest game ever made, I decided to borrow it from him. I soon began to see why it was such a loved game, and although I don't think it's the best game ever, I think it's a good one.
Graphics - 7/10
As soon as you start the game, you'll see the main character and a few others coming off a train. You'll quickly notice how ugly the town/cave/world map character models are. The characters don't appear to have hands, and instead of hands they have what appear to be hooves. That is quite ugly. The characters don't have mouths or noses either. The character models overall just look awful.
The world map also looks mediocre. The landscapes look like garbage, and the oceans and rivers look pathetic. The towns, that you enter, look nice. Sometimes, however, it's hard to see treasures or doors in the houses or other parts of the towns. Thankfully, Square put a feature in that allows little red and green arrows to point out the doors.
The battle graphics are quite nice. All the characters look at least ten times better in battle. They all look nicely detailed, and they are colorful. The magic attacks look cool with plenty of nice special effects. The summons also look sweet. Each of the monsters has about 15 seconds of time, in which it performs its attack.
There are also a few cinema scenes in this game. At certain points of the game, you'll see FMVs that are very nice and quite realistic. Although there's only a few of them, they're a very nice part of the game.
Sound and Music - 10/10
Final Fantasy VII has some great music. My favorite would have to be the battle music. It has an excellent beat to it and it's extremely catchy. It's really a fitting thing to hear during the game's many battles, and it doesn't get repetitive. There's also different battle music, when you face bosses. That music is also well done and catchy. This game has some of the best battle music around, and I absolutely loved it.
There is also plenty of other music in the game. You'll hear it in towns, the world map, and in many other places. The music in the towns is very fitting for each different town. Midgar has a quiet, dark kind of music, that fits the area perfectly. Other areas have music that may be upbeat or quiet or something else. The world map music is pretty good. It has a dragging tune that kind of fits the area well, because you have a long journey ahead of you. It changes later in the game, to a darker theme.
The sounds in this game are well done. You hear swords slash, guns fire, and much, much more. The sounds in battle are outstanding, and you can easily tell what's happening, even when you're not looking at the television screen. The sound effects are well-timed, so when a sword connects with an enemy, you'll hear the slashing sound. There are also some sounds outside of battle. You'll hear doors slam, treasure chests open, objects move, and other sounds. You'll also hear little chimes, when you pick up items off the ground.
Story - 9/10
The story in FF7 is very cool and compelling. At some points in the game, you won't be able to put down the controller. The story starts with a few people coming off a train. One of them is an ex-SOLDIER (SOLDIERs are mercenaries), another is a leader of a terrorist group, and three of his companions are along for this. You'll soon learn that you have to blow up a Mako reactor by making it self-destruct, and then you must leave, before the reactor explodes with you in it. Mako is a bad kind of substance, that the members of AVALANCE (the terrorist group) want to put an end to. You'll head back to a bar in a city called Midgar. The first few hours of the game take place in Midgar, and after you leave Midgar, you're free to explore the world.
In Midgar, much of the story is explained and plenty of characters are revealed. You will learn about Cloud's past with a mysterious man, named Sephiroth. Once you're out of Midgar, you will explore many new areas, learn about thing like Materia and Sephiroth, and even see flashbacks of Cloud's past. In time you will learn that there are bigger problems than the Mako reactors. The fate of the planet is in the hands of you group of heroes, and you must stop at nothing to save the world. Now, I'll talk about the characters.
Cloud is the main hero of the game. He is an ex-SOLDIER, and he joins the terrorist group known as AVALANCE. Cloud is a quiet and confusing character. He's hard to understand, but he often tells you about his past and his relations with Sephiroth.
Aeris (also known as Aerith) is a mysterious flower girl, who seems to have a destiny of some kind. He story is deep, and she is a very important character to the story. Tifa is Cloud's childhood friend. She has an upbeat personality, and she also has deep feeling for Cloud. She owns a bar in Midgar, and she is a member of AVALANCE. There are also sme more playable characters.
Sephiroth was once a member of SOLDIER, but now it seems that he is causing trouble. Cloud really wants to meet up with him and stop him, but is it really Sephiroth? His story is very cool, and it is mainly expressed through Cloud's flashbacks.
Gameplay - 10/10
Final Fantasy VII has a superb battle system. You have a maximum of three different people fighting from your group at once. The Active Time Battle system (ATB) is here. The basic commands, such as Attack, Magic, and Item return in FF7. You can defend and escape, as well. You can also summon monsters to do major damage to all of your enemies. A new command is the Limit Break. Think of Limit Breaks as critical desperation attacks. To use a Limit Break, your character must take damage until the pink bar (next to the ATB gauge) fills completely. Once that is filled, you can choose to use your Limit Break or save it for later. You should use them as much as possible, so you can learn new, more powerful Limits.
The enemies in FF7 are mostly basic. They will attack you, and you must kill them. A few of them have unique ways of hurting them, and you must find their weakness. The bosses in FF7 are fairly easy, also. A few of them are difficult, and you'll have to level up occasionally. Some of the optional bosses are very difficult and should satisfy you, if you think the game is too easy.
There is a new Magic and Ability learning system. It's called the Materia system, and it's simple and easy to understand. You buy Materia in shops, and you assign it to your weapons. Some weapons can hold more Materia than others, so you should check out all of your weapons. You then set the Materia to the weapons. After you do that, you can use the Materia's magic in battle. The Materia can also level up like your characters. When the Materia levels up, it's effects improve, and you can use new abilities.
Replay Value - 8/10
Final Fantasy VII has plenty of things to do. There's tons of side quests and things to do. You can get to different places in no time, when you travel in the airship, so it's a wise idea to travel that way. There are a lot of different Materia to pick up. There's an ultimate weapon for each character, two optional bosses that are extremely difficult, and you can even raise Chocobos. You can do a lot, even after you beat the game.
There's an area called the Gold Saucer. It's basically a giant arcade with tons of things to play and prizes to win. You must earn the Gold Saucer's money, called "GP." You can use GP to play games or take part in other activities. There's a huge variety of things to do in the Gold Saucer. There are mini-games and even a battle arena. ou can win tons of things, and you can even win powerful weapons and abilities. You can spend a lot of time in the Gold Saucer.
Overall - 10/10
Final Fantasy VII is a game that every PS1 owner should at least try. It's an excellent game, and now it's only $20. Although it may be a bit hard to find now, it's worth searching for. It's one of the most loved RPGs ever, and it's definitely worth a try.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/13/04, Updated 02/27/06
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