Review by gulliver49
I have played a variety of action/adventure games in my live, but I'am not a very experienced role-playing game player(4 role-playing games played in my whole life). Despite my lack of experience, I'am the type of person who knows excellence when I see it. The only games I have played, have had an average rating of 9.0 to 10.0; from all the major gaming reviewers. For example, Final fantasy 7, Final fantasy 10, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario brothers, And Super Mario 64. Yet, in my opinion, only Final Fantasy 7 is deserving of a 9.0 to 10.0 score. It has reached perfection in: game-play, graphics, story, evil villain, character development, memorable areas, fun side-quests, humor, music, value, and plot twits that still captivate me to this day. I could go on listing other aspects of Final Fantasy 7, but the few I have listed are the more important.
First, let me start by talking about Final Fantasy 7's game-play. When I first started Final Fantasy 7, the ATB(active time bar) really upset me. For those who do not know what the ATB is I will explain. The ATB is where a character has a bar on the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Where the bar fills up a character can attack. Why I hated the ATB at first was that enemies could continuously attack me(about 2 times), before I could attack. I would preferably have Final fantasy 7 use a turn based system. this system is where characters and enemies take turns attacking each other. Also, this system gives you an unlimited amount of time to think about your move, before you make it. With the ATB, I felt rushed as I had to make a move fast before an enemy attacked me. From what I said above, the ATB seems very bad. However, I'am giving Final Fantasy 7 a 10. Why? You ask. Well, because later in the game handling the ATB becomes easier, and actually fun!
Final Fantasy 7 also introduces the materia system to handle magic. Materia is who characters in Final fantasy 7 use magic. When you equip materia on to you weapon/armor, they vary your stats. Some materia may increase strength, while decreasing you magic power. Consequently, players are not advised to equip a lot of materia. In addition, as you use materia more, they gain levels and become more powerful. Many people a dislike the materia system, but I find it to work perfectly fine.
Another thing that upset me was the variety of tasks you have to do that involve using eye hand coordination. I play role-playing games because I thought there was no need to be good at punch buttons very fast in some sort of order. You may ask "You like action/adventure game; why don't you like this aspect of Final fantasy 7 ?" Yes, that is true, but why I don't like this aspect of Final Fantasy 7, is because is sudden change from RPG to action. This twist is very sudden, which I find is very uncomfortable. Because I'am good at action game, I got though those part. But I still did not enjoy them.
Well that about wraps up what is needed to be said about Final Fantasy 7's game-play. Lets move on to the graphics. Before I talk about the graphics of Final Fantasy 7; I would like to say that I played Final Fantasy 10 before Final Fantasy 7. For those who have not played Final fantasy 10, I would like to say that is has amazing graphics. Graphics that far excel Final Fantasy 7's graphics. When I moved to Final Fantasy 7, I noticed the lesser quality of graphics. Yet the graphics in Final Fantasy 7 is are pretty good for being such an old game. And, more importantly, The graphics do not lower the game-play in any way.
One of the more memorable aspects of Final Fantasy 7 is the story--as most good books I have read-- Final fantasy 7 starts with a not so interesting plot, and then developed into something grand. Telling about the story would spoil too much for those who have not played to game. So I will not write anymore about the story. It is something that played have to experience on their own.
Now on to the evil villain. You would think I would incorporate this into the story paragraph of this review. But the main villain is much to great, that it needs it's own paragraph. what makes the villain in Final Fantasy 7 so great, is that every aspect of the way he acts, adds to his personality. This greatest aspect is the music that plays whenever he is brought into the spotlight. This song is just plain creepy and evil. But that is what makes the villain seem some much better. I would never think music had any thing to do with a character. But In Final Fantasy 7, it does!
Ah, yes, Character development. One of the most important things in Role-playing games; of which Final Fantasy 7 does a great job. As you play though the game, you will come across more and more characters. Each with a part in the game you have to play though, that tells a lot about the character. Each character come with a sort of mini story--as I call it--that some how ties into the main plot. And again I won't spoil anything; you just have to play the game to understand what I'am talking about.
Hmm, Memorable areas. Yes, even the different places you visit on Final Fantasy 7 add to the memorability aspect of the game. I played this game a long time ago, yet I still remember every area. Every area has a certain diversity that captivates me. And Every area is not just thrown in there so that you can level up, or added to act as a transitional place between to major areas. Every area in Final Fantasy 7 is a major area that ties in to the bigger plot.
Final Fantasy 7, like other Role-playing games I have played, has side quests. Unlike other side quests in other games, the side-quests in Final Fantasy 7 are actually fun. Not to mention the great rewards you get from completing the side quests.
A game with jokes? Yes, Final fantasy 7 has funny jokes as well as other mood oriented plot. Every good story I know has some comic relief. Why not a video game. Square adding funny events in Final Fantasy 7's plot is just what anyone would want. I'am very tempted to tell whoever is reading this review about those certain events in the game. But that would just be mean. Like the story and villain, the jokes in Final Fantasy 7 are something that need to be experienced first-hand.
Now on to Final Fantasy 7's greatest accomplishment, the music. The soundtrack is really memorable. Something you want to buy and listen to over and over. I personally listen to Hip Hop and classical music. You know Final Fantasy 7's soundtrack has to be good, if a person like me listens to it. Besides how nice the soundtrack is, the reason why I said it is Final fantasy 7's greatest accomplishment is because the music adds to the atmosphere of the game. As I said before, the music that plays when the villain is brought into the spotlight adds to the creepy and scary atmosphere; the music adds to almost every other mood in the game. Happy, sad, excitement, scary, hopefulness, you name it. There is a song that compliments that emotion. That's why, whenever I listen to the Final fantasy 7 soundtrack, I remember a moment in the game that gave me the same emotion that I feel when I listen to that song. The music and the atmosphere compliment each other, producing more vivid images and emotions. I can't really decide weather I listen to the Final Fantasy 7 soundtrack because of the game, the music, or some sort of combination of the two. I even bought the Piano collections and frequently play a few songs on my piano.
Now, on the plot twists. The game shifts between emotions, constantly. Mainly thought plot twists. These may seem unappealing at first, but are really not bad. All the plot Twists in Final Fantasy 7 add to the whole great experience and they add to the main plot.
Finally on to the value. I promise you that in my experience with Final Fantasy 7, I got my money's worth. A decent amount of hours put into it(40-60 hours), and a great experience. I listed quiet a few flaws in Final fantasy 7, but when I finished it; I realized the good far outweighed the bad. If square fixed those flaws, I would have built a shrine and would have worshiped Final Fantasy 7, by now(Not really, but you get what I mean.) I know a lot of people who say they do not like Final Fantasy 7, and I know a lot of people who do like Final Fantasy 7. I do think that this is the best game ever, but it is not for everyone.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/08/05
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