Review by Dranis

"First Final Fantasy for Playstation but it doesn't even come close to its hype"

Final Fantasy VII is the first Final Fantasy for Playstation. This game had a lot of hype going for it before it came out due to the success of Squaresoft on the SNES. But Square messed up big time on their first Final Fantasy for Playstation and this game doesn't come close to its hype.

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics in the background are beautifully done. The CG graphics look very nice as well. But than that the graphics for the characters were really bad. They used super-deformed characters for the look of the characters mainly throughout the game, which is a flaw in the graphics. But the summons and spells look great though as well as the background. The main beauty in the graphics comes from the summons, background graphics, and the FMV scenes.

Music/Sound: 7/10
The music in this game was pretty good but not many of them were memorable. Almost all the characters had their own theme and those were probably some of the few really good pieces in the game. The themes for the towns and areas did fit them well though but some of the music for the areas and towns were pretty bad. The sound effects weren’t done well and could have used some work. Sound effects used during the summons and spells were really good though.

Play Control: 10/10
The usual easy to control RPG format. The controls during the mini games are also very easy to learn and shouldn’t be any trouble.

Story: 4/10
This is where the really big flaws in the game come from. The story isn’t entirely interesting and the character development isn’t good either. Most of the characters only have one scene about them and that’s it for their line. A few those characters have good scenes but that’s the only part they actually get mainly in the story line and they don’t develop anymore past that. They mainly focus on the select few characters in the game. Although the game focuses mainly on a select few characters once in a while there is a pretty good scene involving that character but they could have worked on the other characters more. The character development was pretty bad. The plot itself follows one goal throughout the game and whenever there is something else to do the plot just loses itself until the end of that part. The main story line itself isn’t that interesting. However it does have a few suspenseful parts in it and a few parts that are actually good. There are side quests to it but the most of the stories that come with them aren’t good. Most of the side quests don’t even have any plot to add to the game. The story that this game provides just isn’t very interesting and the plot loses itself way too much. It also could’ve provided more character development for the other characters aside from the main ones. Also there is one goal set near the beginning of the game and that’s the goal for the rest of the game. That was a real big flaw in the story. Squaresoft attempted to make a good story but the plot just isn’t well made and the story is just horrible compared to the previous Final Fantasies for the SNES.

Gameplay: 7/10
Gameplay was pretty good but it wasn’t close to great. The characters have many diverse stats but the spells and the summons in the game make it so that the characters that can’t use magic well aren’t that useful. Every character has their own set of limit break that can only be used once the characters receive enough damage from the enemy. In my opinion that was a pretty good system. Every character can also use any magic, summon, or skill as long as they can equip the right materia for their weapons, which eliminates a lot of diversity in the characters. The setting up for battle also takes a while. It takes a while just to plug in all the different materias deciding which one to power up, use in battle, or combine with another materia. It’s a very time consuming procedure and making combinations with the limited slots available on the weapons and armor require some thought and although it prompts the player to think it also uses up a lot of game time. However it was a good idea to combine materias for different effects and the growth of materia in order to gain new abilities and spells. But the fact that anyone could use any skill, magic, or summon instead of being limited to certain skills or magic just wasn’t a good idea. The summons may look great but they take a lot of time to finish and although it is interesting to see them like 2 or 3 times it gets very annoying and time consuming after a while. Some of the mini games in the game a pretty fun but some are just ridiculous. But then again who wants to play horrible mini games anyway when they are just mini games? The challenge in the game isn’t high at all. The bosses are very easy to beat and the only real challenge comes from the two American monsters and another area may provide some challenge upon first entering (not going to spoil it here). The challenge in everything else is very low. The airship, which is the main vehicle of the Final Fantasy series, is also very slow and is real annoying to fly now and even if it does look good it still takes a long time to fly around. Overall the gameplay was pretty good but it could have been done a lot better.

Replay Value: 4/10
Don’t really think I would like to play from beginning to end in this game again. Players can try to get all the secrets in the game but it just isn’t the same without a good addition to the plot to add more feel into the game. Some of the mini-games are also fun so players may want to replay those. However some players may want to defeat the two American monsters to give themselves a challenge so that can add some challenge to the game. The story isn’t really worth seeing again after seeing it once.

Overall: 6/10
This game really falls down drastically due to its storyline. It is the first Final Fantasy for Playstation and had Square’s name on it but this game doesn’t even come close to its hype. The gameplay was pretty good and but it really takes out a lot of diversity within the characters. The main downer is the weak and loose plot of the game and that really hurt this game even if they had a few good parts in it. If only the story was better this game would have been much better. The story in this game doesn't live up to a Final Fantasy game.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 12/13/00, Updated 12/13/00

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