Review by lighty691
""Probably the greatest game in the world""
Final Fantasy VII - Review
by Andrew Light
"Probably the greatest game in the world"
Well where to start? So much time has passed since the original release of this game and many, many hours later we are still playing this wonderful game. In this review I intend to try and look at the game from both the points of people who love and adore the game and also from people who have never been a fan.
To provide a bit of background, this game has achieved a cult following of gamers over the years and is still highly regarded as the best and most popular game even to this very day. Yet there do still seem to be a lot of people who really hate the game. During this review I will touch on these points.
The story follows the main character Cloud who is a mercenary after being a soldier for the company Shinra Inc. Shinra are a massive company who are trying to put a monopoly on the energy needs of the world by draining the planets lifeforce. The game picks up with Cloud currently working for the resistance group Avalanche who are strongly against this.
What a lot of people don't realise initially (myself included) is that there has already been a string of games before this offering. At the time I had never heard of the Final Fantasy series until I played number 7. Numbers 1 - 6 had already been released on various platforms but it was Final Fantasy VII that really made people stand up and notice.
As mentioned above the story follows Cloud and his struggle to save the planet. The main storyline in this game is incredible. Before long you will find yourself totally engrossed in the plot and it has been known to lose several hours whilst playing this game. It's almost as if the outside world is blocked out for a short period of time and Cloud's fantasy world almost becomes the reality.
The characters in Final Fantasy VII are your typical bunch of people you would expect to find in any fantasy story. It is at this point worth noting that people have commented that the characters are plain and uninspiring. Personally I don't really think this is justified as you cannot really get a more versatile group of people if you tried. The characters themselves are all very different in most ways and all contribute something very unique to the group and the story as a whole. You have the brash and loud nature of Cid and Barret to the quiet and timid personality of Aeris, and as for the rest of them? Well let's just say they are not the type of people/creatures/things (?) that you are likely to run into on the streets any time soon!
Any Final Fantasy review on the storyline wouldn't be complete without at least mentioning THAT scene at the end of a certain disk. People who say that the game lacks any passion and doesn't invoke any feelings are completely wrong in my opinion due to this. Most people who are reading this review will probably know what I am referring to and also will probably agree for the most part. The scene in question is timed to perfection and is very emotionally charged. It perfectly sets you up to continue the story and is one scene that for me can rival a lot that we see on the big screen today. I won't go into any further detail on this as to spoil this wonderful scene for those who haven't experienced it yet would be terribly cruel. I certainly think it is one of the defining moments in the game and probably the best scene I have ever witnessed in a game. Again some people will probably strongly disagree with me on this and I do respect that other people may really not think anything of it but I don't think that with the games immense popularity that so many people can be wrong.
Final Fantasy VII again totally excels in gameplay. To me the most important element of a game is the gameplay. Forget the Graphics, the Sound the characters etc, what it really boils down to is - will I enjoy playing this game time and time again? Personally I think this always was going to be a resounding yes. I remember picking the game up off the shelf from the little rental store near my house as a kid. I had never even heard of the game and didn't really think I would enjoy it. To this day I have no idea why I decided to pick that game and it makes me smile to think that something as simple as having a quick look on the back of the box and making a quick decision to give it a go resulted in so many hours of fun.
I think this is where the decision is made for a lot of people with this game. Most people will get several hours into the game and decide they love it or hate it, which I think is unfortunate as the game has so much to offer. The game is so large that playing a few hours barely even scratches the surface of whets on offer. With some games playing a few hours usually means that you may be nearly halfway through the game. This just simply isn't the case with Final Fantasy VII. For those people who do play the game from start to finish and complete most of the side quests and still genuinely don't like the game then I say fair enough. We are not robots and all have different opinions. All I say to people is complete it once and if you don't like it then at least you have given it a try. I went in with a negative attitude thinking I wouldn't like it and was totally changed.
As for the rest of the game if the massive main story is not enough for you there are many side quests that you can complete that will keep you occupied for many hours to come. Some of these quests in my opinion can be even more entertaining than the main story and in certain instances a lot more challenging. To summarise the gameplay in this game is second to none and is what really makes this game so wonderful.
Ahh we move on to the graphics of the game. So many hours must have been spent discussing the wonderful/appalling graphics. I don't think I have ever seen so many people so split on an issue than this. Many people say the graphics are terrible poorly constructed and look poor at best. Others say they are wonderful and a real assest to the game. Personally I can see both viewpoints on this but I think one group is looking at it from totally the wrong perspective. Yes nowadays the graphics look poor, but to compare a game that was created in the mid nineties to a game that was created in 2008 is crazy. I'm not even going to waste time explaining why as to most people this is obvious. All I will say is that you cannot compare a product that was made over 10 years ago to something made yesterday. Obviously things have moved on since then. All I would say is were the graphics good or bad when the game was released? At the time (correct me if I'm wrong as I was only a kid at the time) games of this nature were widely made 2D and the Playstation allowed companies such as Squaresoft to make games of this nature 3D. Therefore I would say that the game was revolutionary as it hadn't really been seen before. Also to people that say the characters didn't look realistic and the game wasn't realistic enough - it's a fantasy game? It's not meant to be a perfect replica of our world? Overall I think the game boasts excellent graphics and very believable surroundings.
Music in games is not something that I really pay too much attention to if I'm honest. However with Final Fantasy VII due to the length of time you are likely to be playing the game it was essential that the music was spot on. I think that this was pretty much done. I do have to admit that sometimes the standard battle music became permanently lodged in my head for a while but I think that is due to the sheer amount of hours I played the game. I think with RPG games the music does play an important part as it helps to create the themes and feelings in a world that you have only just been introduced to. For example I think the music that accompanies the Chocobo Farm and the Wutai areas set the scene perfectly. Final Fantasy VII again scores very highly in this section for me.
Well as you have probably guessed from earlier sections in the review, this game has plenty to offer in the playtime department. You are looking at many hours to finish the main storyline and also an incredible amount of time to finish every subquest and subplot. If you really want to complete the game totally 100% in every possible way then I think you will be due some sort of medal and/or reward as this probably have never been done. In this I mean obviously completing everything, getting the maximum amount of items weapons etc. Basically to put a long story short it is highly unlikely that there will come a stage that there is nothing at all left to do on the game. Top points again.
So in the end I think it will really boil down to whether you are going to like the game or not. I don't think there is going to be much middle ground here. It's always going to be one of those games that you either love or hate. Personally it is a game I love and will probably enjoy playing it till the day I die. As a final note I really do think it's important to try the game all the way through at least once and hope that people give it a go before making judgement. Many thanks for reading!
Overall Final Score 11/10 (ha-ha)
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 12/02/08
Game Release: Final Fantasy VII (EU, 11/17/97)
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