Review by Gaminex
"Overrated? Yes. Bad? No f**king way. The game that defined generic..."
Allow me to take this first paragraph to make corrections on other people's parts. Forgive those who leave this game with poor reviews commenting on what they believe to be a bad story, gameplay, or simply a game that is completely generic. These people are fools, haters, would-be critiques, and derelict writers who fail to grasp the basic skill of pronunciation and grammar. Forgive them, they are also one-sided, holding view to only the "negatives" of their enemy. Lastly, forgive them for they are simply an impotent piece to our gaming community. Now then.
Graphics 7/10: This was the first game in the series to scale the enemies, characters, and environment to proper measurements. This holds true and is noticeable on many occasions, particularly in battle. In battle graphics are undoubtedly superior to the on-field graphics. Characters expressions are clear, movements are well-processed, and many sprites help add to the visual display that accompanies the combat. That's the magic of all FF games. The on-field graphics are far less superior, using few polygons and relying on 2D backgrounds. On an interesting note, the field graphics represent a more classic FF feel, relying on cutesy models which display gesture emotions. The game is still pleasant to look at on battle, which is good considering this is takes up a majority of the game. The CG cutscenes scattered throughout also provide decent visuals to this day, particularly the humongous amount of detail crammed into the final cutscenes.
Sound 9/10: Still great. Although a majority of this soundtrack sounds more synthesized than full on music, it is still good to listen to. The music is cleverly used to integrate emotion and feel into the problem at hand. I doubt you will ever have a moment where you weren't seamlessly put into action, unless of course you are ignorant to the music or the game in general. The boss theme stands out as the first RPG game to integrate rock guitar in a piece, and the remade victory fanfare(via this iteration) will never get old, no matter how many times you hear it.
Gameplay 10/10: All mechanics work perfectly and the controls,what little there are, are solid. You'll never hassle with it unless you suck picking options from menus. As for the mechanics, the combat is great. Why? First off is the materia system, which completely dictates how you play. It's stemmed off from FFVI's esper system except you can use magic at anytime. Every magic, command, and summon is handled through this system. Thing is, you have limited slots on where you put the materia. In addition, materia vastly alters your stats, and even effects how you level up. Though the results are not noticeable at first, your end-game is almost entirely dependent on how you played your early and mid-game. The materia itself also has the capability of mixing with others for combos plus leveling up, and your weapons+armor dictate how they level up. The materia leveling process slow due to the low amount of experience, though you may find ways to improve their EXP-RATE. Overall, the system works and is very balanced and guarantees you don't have high level skills early in the game. FFVII did this while it was fresh, and the system is still innovating to this day, much like Chrono Trigger's team battle mechanic. The ATB (Active Battle System) is still on full display here from FFIV, and is just as fun as ever. The secret bosses are also a blast to fight and truly put your skills to the test. The customizable configuration means your feel for the game can be finely honed to your play-style. If you find this system boring, RPG's may not be your style.
Story 9/10: Ah, plot holes, if you weren't here I would have given a 10. The plot holes that exist were sealed by future iterations, so I won't dwell to much on this, since they don't mar the experience because they are hard to notice. Anyway, there is much character development on all ends, from pros to antagonists. All playable characters have detailed back stories you can delve into (though some need to be found and elaborated upon through special events). The story keeps FF's tradition of corrupt diplomacy in execution, and the story in this game passes off as much darker than previous installments (Excluding the WoC section of FFVI). Each character is likable. In fact, the cast is so diverse you'd be hard-knocked not to find at least one character you didn't like. You care about how the relationships develope, and it's rare where you find a moment where you don't eagerly await the next plot point. Every character gets proper development throughout the course of the game, particularly Cloud. Though he starts off as an extremely cocky yet cool badass at the beginning, through some complicated and fresh plot-twist (Still cool today), Cloud ends up being a very awesome hero, one you definitely would want by your side through rough times. Cloud defined the clishe hero. He made spiky hair, big sword and amnesia the overused cliche it is today. Plus his amnesia is fresh due to the fact that HE doesn't even know he has it and the player is lead to believe lies until a plot devise used in the 2nd disk starts. As hero goes, so does villain. Sephiroth was pretty damn classy for hi time, and still is considering the broad fanbase. His attitude goes in deep contrast to Cloud's, and he is fearful in the fact that you feel he can kill you at anytime. Yet you live only to serve under his will under instances where you both expect and don't expect it. As you may know by now, he causes Cloud to hand him the ultimate tool of destruction, break the mind of select party members, and even indirectly cause the death of a beloved comrade. Sephiroth is unique in that you only actually meet him twice in the entire game (not including flashbacks). The other times he completely messes with your head, making you just where and what he is. Few people know that he is completely immobile throughout the entire game, controlling an advanced alien parasite to do his bidding through manifestation. That said, I won't spoil anything else, but there are a large share of surprises to be had before his true blood is finally spilled.
Overall 9: That explained, I truly believe you should understand the allure behind the game. Don't knock it, don't fight it. I leave under the assumption you've gained something from reading this. From it's clever and unexpected story to the powerful battle system, there's never a moment where you don't have something to do. Hope you enjoy this and please, never give into, or become one of, the haters.
About the title:I am shocked whenever I see people knocking games that have no business being disgraced. A game is something to be appreciated, yet young people still fail to grasp the basic concept of being able to do so.Wherein lies the respect? Granted, I am 16, but even I am capable of appreciating titles that I feel aren't great. I love the entire FF series, as I have played each one. That's why I know how to tell when someone fails to deserve the honor of being called a fan. Stay a fan kids, lest you be the last word in my latter paragraph.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/21/09
Game Release: Final Fantasy VII (US, 09/07/97)
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