Review by Soro_Gin

"Theres a Reason There's the Word "Fantasy" in Final Fantasy!"

Final Fantasy VII is the first Final Fantasy game to be released on the Playstation. In this game you play a character known as Cloud Strife, an Ex-Soldier originally working for a company known as Shinra. Apparently, the company is using machines known as Mako Reactors that slowly drain the life force from the planet. There is a rebel group trying to stop Shinra before the worst occurs, and Cloud, now currently a mercenary, has been hired by the group to aid them in their attempt to stop Shinra.

Game play: 10/10
I couldn't wish for anything else from an RPG. This game delivers its game play to the highest of quality. Like most RPG's, there is a level system where you earn experience points for each monster defeated that allows you to “level up” and become stronger. The controls are easy to understand and not to complicate. You can also move almost everywhere you want to, from jumping on rocks, to climbing some ropes, the possibilities are endless. There are also hundreds of weapons and accessories you can obtain in your journey. A couple is easy to obtain, while others will prove more difficult. There is a huge abundance of beasts moving about the area as you're walking around. The battles are something special. It's passed on a time gauge that gradually fills up. Once it's filled, you can take the characters turn to attack. There are tons of things to do in this game, including some occasional mini-games that are just as fun as the main story. This game also has a unique element involved. There are things called materia that allow you to cast magic spells. The materia, much like the weapons, are able to be bought, or be obtained on the field. Each materia is unique and allows the wearer of it to cast the spells in which it holds. There are slots in your armor in which the materia can be placed. Once placed, the character can then cast the spell. But the fun doesn't stop there. There are certain types of materia that allows it to be used in conjunction with other types, either to improve its original effect, or to change the spell it has all together. You can also “level up” the materia so that you can either use a more powerful version of the first available spell, or allow you to use it more then the original number of times. There are also materia that allow you to summon certain beasts to aid you in battle. These often can only be used a certain number of times, but has a devastating effect on the enemies. But the fun doesn't stop there. There are also unique limit breaks that each character can pull off. They're somewhat “super moves” that the character use if they get hit enough to fill up a bar. These range from group attacks, to simple attacks, to muti-hit combo's, to powerful explosions of power. Aside from attacks and enemies, there are a couple of secret characters that you can only get if you pull off a certain event. They can prove challenging to get, but once obtained, it will become clear that your hard work was worth it. The game play is the most brilliant I have ever seen, and it shall probably remain the best for it's wonderful abundance of enemies, weapons, and materia.

Story: 10/10
The story is amazing for this game, and even more amazing then normal RPG's. The actual game play follows the story exactly, and delivers it nicely. The story is complex so that the toughest critics will enjoy it, but in a way so simple that anyone will understand. There are elements in this story that will surprise, amaze, and stun the player as no other game is able to do. The story goes from a simple mission to stop the company Shinra, to something a lot more sinister as elements in the story unfold to reveal a lot more complicated and surprising plot. Absolutely nothing in the story will settle for second place, the story is fantastic.

There is a thing that you should note, is that the speech in this game are words given in word balloons. There are no voice-overs whatsoever, so if are a person that enjoys games for that quality, or if you don't like reading, this game will be an issue. You should also note that this game was translated from Japanese, and the result ends in some bad translations and some jokes that don't make sense in English. Do you ever watch Japanese movies with English dubbing? This game could be comparable to those movies, as this game was also translated. Because of this quality, there will be problems where what the character says won't make sense at all.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics in this game can still be considered good, even in the century that we are in now. The backgrounds are detailed. From the houses, the stores, the trains, the roads, and even trees, everything looks like it was built perfectly. The houses' doors really open, the trees really sway with the breeze, the backgrounds look alive, nothing in the scenes look anything less then amazing. There are also cut-scenes that are entirely in 3-D. The cut-scenes look great, and again, the backgrounds in them look fantastic. When you're battling the monsters, it's like you're actually there. The monsters and characters look so completely realistic and believable, even though this game was made way back when. Fire element monsters have a look that makes you feel like if you get too close, you're going to get burnt, the graphics are absolutely, no joke, the best I've seen in a videogame. However there is a flaw to the graphics that lowered the score. When they're not fighting or in a cut-scene the characters look completely blocky. You can't see their fingers, and their clothes look as if they're painted onto their bodies. The hair is stiff and isn't going to move no matter how powerful the wind. They look like wooden dolls put in a world in which they do not belong. But even so, this one negative is hardly a match for the positives this game possesses.

Characters: 10/10
Each character in this game has a role in the story, and all of them are well developed throughout the course of game play. The main character, Cloud, is a unique character that has a dark past about what he has, and has not, done. There are also secret characters that can be unlocked once a series of events is accomplished. Every character is unique in their own way, even the non-playable ones. Some characters, such as Sephiroth, the villain of this story, has a significant part in the plot. Even others, such as the Professor Hojo, a mad scientist, delivers his own side plot and ideas that makes the game all the more interesting. Even some bosses have something to offer to the great plot of this game. They often have their own side plot that once fully understood, allows you to understand more about the main plot and the characters in the game. It's this quality that makes every character in this game great.

Sound: 10/10
The music is done by Nobuo Uematsu, and he did a great job with it. There are EXACTLY 85 songs that are all flawless! And to make good things better, every single song matches with every single scene like pieces on a perfectly made jigsaw puzzle. There are scary songs in dark depths, happy songs in cartoony scenes, and songs that'll make you crack up with laughter. There are also specific songs that play when a specific event happens, like the song that plays after you win a battle. The sound effects are no different. From the sword slashes to the monster's roar, Square Enix will just not stop to make this game a great one in terms of sound. The doors even make a “clunk” sound as it opens; the sound effects are just everywhere. Even the wind whistles along with all the perfectly made sound effects.

Re-playability: 10/10
This is a great game that everyone will just want to play over and over again. If not for the game play, then for the great graphics, or just to hear a song they want to hear again. But nobody said you'd get done with this game anytime soon. It's long enough to keep you playing for a long time, and fun enough to keep you playing even longer. There are hundreds of weapons and monsters that you can fight, so just simply getting past that should keep even a great gamer a long time. There are some scenes and mini-games that are worth having to get through half way through the game just to see or play again. Any gamer would want to play Final Fantasy VII again and again, if they ever let it end in the first place.

This game gives you way more then you pay for, even if it's higher then retail. This game is a definite best buy in the video gaming world. The graphics should be all the reason to buy this game. From the wondrous backgrounds, to the beautifully rendered characters, every gamer would give all their games in return for this one. But just in case the graphics don't please you, the music should. The high quality music that plays during this game is excellent. From the most fear inducing to the most uplifting melodies, this game has it all. The 85 songs in this game will keep you going for more and more! The story is also brilliantly complex yet easily understood, and is deeper then any other story I've seen from an RPG. But you might think, oh a couple of songs, and maybe a couple of good graphics here and there, why should I buy this? Your answer: the game play and everything in this game is flawless. There are great bosses, hundreds of weapons, and thousands of enemies that's just begging to be defeated. Square Enix out did themselves, as well as every other gaming company out there. But if you don't take my word for it, you can rent this game, but here's a warning, the game is so long, you will never be able to get through it in one rental. This near flawless game is well worth the twenty dollars it costs. Nothing has, and maybe never will, beat this game in terms of game play, story, graphics, music, or characters.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/19/06

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