Review by nat31790
"It's a fun game, but the story's just go downhill."
FF7 is a first dark atmosphere Final Fantasy game which made it very popular among people, it's one of the cheese cake Square-Enix noticed and made so many seasonings out of it, the problem is, does it even worth it in the first place? Don't get me wrong, I like this game, but the story's too stupid to make anything out of it.
Background are detailed, blood looks real, sprite are blocky, ugh... Block character sprites are bad for many players, but at least they're small and cute enough. They don't keep the SD sprites in the battle scene, though.
Final Fantasy VII tells the story of Cloud Strife, a quiet and troubled swordsman who was an Ex-SOLDIER for an evil company called Shinra, he joins the rebel group called AVALANCE in the beginning of the game and meet its boss, Barret, an old childhood friend named Tifa. As the main objective is to fight against the evil Shinra to save a young innocent flower girl named Aeris, and the world from getting all energy sucked. The mess of the story starts when a guy called Sephiroth appears. The hero's objective changes to "Chase That Sephiroth Pretty Boy", even though they know that the Shinra isn't defeated yet, and the party, especially Cloud, acts like they don't know what or who to hunt down at times, as the main villain keep getting switched between Shinra and Sephiroth.
Cloud and Sephiroth's story is very detailed and complex, the only problem is that Square put too much thoughts into it without how to make them enjoyable, and these two characters are unlikeable themselves. Cloud, while his characterization is understandable, he's still too cold, no development going on with his personality and his friends untill the middle of disc 2, if you can keep up his arrogant personality, that's it. Sephiroth never develop in the main game. He only wants to be a god and kill everything he see. So much for the most important characters. His excuses are so bizaree and pathetic that other characters from other RPG's, especially optimistic ones see no reason why they should be afraid of him.
Meanwhile, those who traveled with Cloud don't get enough attention, They don't have enough dialogues to make them lovable characters. Still, each heroes have their quests and evil they have to fight with, After his/her quests, however, the character personality will stop develop, Sometime, they're complete mute in the events. The main reason for this is because there can be only 3 characters in the party including Cloud. Squaresoft simple being too lazy to script the fitting dialogues for all of them. Although there's few points of the game that are done very well in term of story-related, after those parts, they return to the boring story till the very end.
We'll go into detail for the support characters, Tifa is one of the most interesting characters of there in Final Fantasy VII's casts, and she does get involved in some very important scenes and can be recognized as another heroine beside Aeris, still, she doesn't get that much spotlight as she deserved. Barret is an angry black guy who will shoot his gun at anything when he's mad. Cid is even worse because he swears all time. The Cait Siths are nothing but toy robots who are controlled by Shinra operator, who switch to your side when he finds his chance. Red XIII is a red dog-beast that has a strong relation with his race, but absolutely with nothing else. Yuffie is a hyperactive ninja in a bright suit who has nothing in her mind but materia, and only stay around to complain about things. She does get a series of nice side quests to make her a bit interesting, though.
Other notable characters are Vincent Valentine, who's another cold guy can fill you plot holes if you manage to get him, because he's a secret character. But of course since he's a secret character, never expect him to show anything interesting or great during the main story. Another detailed character is Aeris, she's lovable character at the personality, but still can't escape from being an annoying character when she start talking about something her friends and you can not understand.
Final Fantasy VII's story has a great potential to be the greatest plots out there for an RPG game, but it's presented with unlikeable characters and pointless angsty. Support characters doesn't seem to be that important. Their quests are weak and not interesting. The characterizations are boring after the introduction chapter.
Even though Final Fantasy VII has a bad storytelling, ATB is very great. Limit Break and weapons are things that make characters different, for example, Barret and Yuffie and use long range weapons, Aeris has strong supporting limit breaks, Cloud can use powerful attacking limit, and Tifa can create combo attacks with her limit breaks. Making it fun trying to create your favorite team sometime.
Materia system is good enough, but it can make every characters the same since they can a character use every same skills that everyone else can as long as you have the Materia equipped, you can level up the Materia's level and put a combination set of Materias to make them more useful, but we have to say that we can obtain almighty summons like Shiva, Ifrit or even Bahamut too easy, there's no secret to get them. It's as if they're Pokemons in the ball that are lying around the world, waiting for the heroes to catch' em all.
There are a lot of minigames you can play during a game, many of them are interesting and fun, such as Chocobo Race, you can raise a good chocobo to race and win good rewards.
Music are good to hear, battle BGM is great, normal boss music is even greater. But some boss battle BGM don't suit the battle, even if it's a fight after an emotional scenes.
Final Conclusion - 6/10
Gameplay and graphics are nice, but the story ruins it all. There is just not enough things to make the heroes interesting, and if the heroes themselves are not interesting, the game won't., no matter how deep the story can be.
If you're playing this game, don't bother to think about the story too much. Just experience its systems and relax.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 06/01/09, Updated 07/14/11
Game Release: Final Fantasy VII (US, 05/31/98)
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