Review by Pastulio_

"So THIS is what the hype is about!"


Probably the most famous RPG(Role Playing Game) of all time is SquareSofts classic game Final Fantasy VII. The epic adventure of Cloud vs Sephiroth has found its way into the homes of millions of people. Some of them loved it, calling it the greatest game ever made, some liked it, thinking it was good, but not the best, and some people hate Final Fantasy VII with a burning passion. I played Final Fantasy VII, and I thought it was a great game, not the best, but a
great one.

Graphics For their time 9/10, now 7/10

Back when Final Fantasy VII was first released, one of the big things people talked about were its graphics, oh how everyone loved them back in 1997, unfortunately, by todays standards the graphics are downright horrible. I know this is an old game, but come on! Final Fantasy VIII was only released about 2 years later, and it has fantastic graphics! In Final Fantasy VII, the main
character, Cloud Strife, looks like a Lego Popeye person!

Final Fantasy VII's character models outside of battle truly are not very great, the characters are blocky beyond belief. In battle, things change. Characters actually have mouths now! In battle models are much more detailed than out of battle ones. Their are some good and colorful spells and attacks. Besides the horrid character models, everything else is pretty good. The back rounds for FFVII are pretty good, they are colorful, but blocky like the characters. Not a
lot of detail can be found in the world map. In cities and other areas their is more detail. Final

Fantasy VII also has a lot of FMV sequences. Some of these are just okay, but some of the later ones truly amaze me! One of them on the second disk(their are three) made my jaw drop! The amount of color and detail put into some of them are truly amazing. Certain FMV's will make
you think "whoa!"

Sound 9/10

A great bunch of songs. Final Fantasy VII has some truly great sounds, from the world map theme, to the battle theme. Some melodies will really stick to you(such as Aeris'/Aerith's theme). A very good song in FFVII is One Winged Angel(you probably have heard this before). The one thing that I don't like is that the same battle music plays every time, except for bosses.
Other than that small detail, no complaints :)

Story 9/10

Three words: Good and Confusing. In Final Fantasy VII, you play as Cloud Strife, former SOLDIER first class. SOLDIER is a sort of military for Shinra Inc. Shinra is using power plants called Mako Reactors to suck up all the Mako from the Planet. Mako is the source of life for the Planet, so if all the Mako is gone, the Planet dies. Here to stop Shinra is AVALANCHE, a small group a rebels who are, well, rebelling. Cloud is a member of AVALANCHE, and is about to start an unforgettable journey. Cloud's adventure starts with him in a Mako Reactor inm the city of Midgar, but by the time you finish the game, you will have traveled across oceans, over mountains, and vast deserts. It will start as a group of rebels attacking Shinra, and will end with a group of heroes saving the Planet.

Gameplay 9/10

Final Fantasy VII is an ATB RPG, and if you have no clue what I am talking about, allow me to explain.

RPG stands for Role Playing Game, what exactly a RPG is, is debatable. Most of the time though, an RPG puts you in the role of some sort of hero, who travels around saving people. An RPG typically has a level system, where as you defeat monsters, you gain EXP(Experience), and when you have enough EXP you level up, which increases your stats, such as you Hit Points and how much damage you can do. ATB stands for Active Time Battle. ATB is a type of battle system in RPG's, where you encounter monsters randomly while traveling. In a battle, your characters and your opponent have a "bar" next to their name that will start filling up, when it's full, that character can do an action. Some of these actions include attacking, using magic, summoning a creature, and using items. Does it sound boring? Well it's actually fun.

In order to use spells and summons, your characters need to equip Materia. Materia are colored spheres that give your characters various abilities. Materia goes in slots on your characters armor and weapons. Materia comes in multiple colors. Red: Summons, Green: Magic, Blue: Support, Yellow: Command. Magic and Summon Materia allow you to do, just that, summon monsters and use magic. Support Materia is used when linked with other Materia in a linked Materia slot. If I have a cure Materia in one linked slot, and an ll Materia in the other, when I use cure, it will heal everyone. Command Materia allows characters to do certain actions, such as stealing from an enemy or sensing their HP.

Speaking of Summons, I think it's fair for me to mention one of the worst parts about FFVII, the Summon Sequences. When you Summon a monster in FFVII, you watch a very well done animation sequence of the monster attacking. Nothing wrong with that right? Not quite. The sequences are very long(The longest is about one minute), and you CAN'T skip them. This can be pretty annoying, after watching a certain animation for the tenth time, you will really want to be able to skip these.

While you can survive with a very basic Materia setup, you can do some pretty crazy things with the right combinations. If you link a Sneak Attack( The materia linked with it is the first action no matter what) Materia, and a Knights of the Round( Best summon in the game) Materia, and link several Sneak Attacks with Mime( Mimes the last action), you can beat pretty much every boss in the game.

Another neat thing about Final Fantasy VII are the Limit Breaks. FFVII was not the first one to have these, but they are still worth mentioning. Next to your characters ATB bar, they have their Limit Bar. As they get attacked, the Limit Bar will fill up, when it is full, your character can unleash a deadly Limit Break. Some Limit Breaks are stronger attacks, healing spells, and some can stop enemies from getting their turns.

Now for one of the worst parts of FFVII, the mini games. The mini games are just horrible. Snowboarding has almost no tricks you can do, the Arm Wrestling one is just madly pushing a button as fast as you can. And their is one after a boss fight, where you wait for a bar to reach the top of two points, then you press O. You do that over and over for a really long time. Their is however one fun mini games. The motorcycle one. Here, your comrades are in a car, and these dudes on motorcycles are attacking them on the highway. Cloud, also on a motorcycle, must protect them. This one could mini games can't make up for all the bad ones though.

Secrets and Sidequests 9/10

Their are a great number of sidequests to do. Obtaining all ultimate weapons and Level 4 Limit Breaks will take a while. Mastering Materia by gaining AP from battles takes time to. One characters sidequest in a Chinese-like town can get you some nice Materia.

The ultimate challenge for FFVII however, are defeating the two deadly WEAPONS. These ultimate bosses will require leveling, patience, and some good Materia combos. You will feels like a god after taking down these two Christmas colored monsters.

Replay and Length 8/10

Final Fantasy VII is not a short game by at all (Unless your comparing it to beating Morrowind 100%), my first time through took me over 40 hours, WITH a guide. If you want to beat FFVII 100%, expect around 50 hours of game time. Though if you want a challenge, try beating it in under 10 hours. It's possible :)

Final Fantasy VII really is a very fun game. You will want to play through this three disk journey more than one time. The unforgettable cast of characters, the epic boss fights and the good story will keep you coming back for more. If you are the kind of person who loves to do video game challenges, this is the game for you. Their are plenty of challenges you can do for FFVII, and if you manage to beat the LLNIIENACMO challenge, great job, you truly are a pro.

Overall 9/10

This game is far from perfect, but it is without a doubt, an great game. If you can find it cheap, be sure to pick it up. This epic 3 disk adventure will not disappoint. If you are an RPG fan, this is one game you can't miss.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/26/06

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