Review by IronMan0723

"If you had one thing to ask for.. wouldn't it be the KOR materia?"

Some say this game really revolutionized and brought back the RPG games to the modern world. It has been said time and time again that Final Fantasy VII was one of a kind, and made a huge impact as the first Final Fantasy game to hit the Playstation. So, does FFVII live up to the hype? Let’s check it out.

Storyline- 8/10

As a huge part of an RPG, the storyline needs to be deep, involved and interesting to receive a high rating. While this game really did have a pretty unique storyline, at times it became confusing, and frustrating. The story begins, and you are taking control of the spikey-haired Cloud Strife. Cloud is usually known as the guy who wields the huge sword. The player learns that Cloud was once a member of the elite group SOLDIER, controlled by an evil and “up-to-no-good” company called Shinra. Cloud is terminated from the group, and he becomes a mercenary, and meets another group called AVALANCHE, that basically opposed SOLDIER and Shinra, Inc. The beginning of the game is set in the huge industrial city of Midgar, which becomes very annoying. During the beginning of the game I became very bored because I was tired of the polluted city, and just wanted to get on the World Map. Cloud meets up with a few allies, including the huge and burly Barrett, the huge chested and fighter Tifa, and the sweet flower girl named Aeris. Other characters come along the way, but I won’t get into them. So Shinra is a force to reckon with, and on top of that, Cloud and the team find out that an even bigger force that may or may not be in ties with Shinra, Sephiroth, (thought to be dead), may be back. So a huge struggle over power is brought along, and the story progresses, going up and down in twists and turns. Without revealing too much, the story evolves into a deeper plot, and the player is sometimes wondering what is going on. Also, the characters that the player gets throughout the game are very interesting and fun, but they do not gain as much character development as they deserve. Not much is known about most of the characters, and this leaves the player without much connection. The story got an 8 from me, because while some of it was lacking, it was a pretty good storyline.

Sound/Music- 7/10

Another huge part of gaming in my opinion, is the sound effects and the music that is featured throughout the game. While the music was decent, there wasn’t as much music that I really enjoyed. Sure, there were a few songs here and there that were catchy, but not enough to really capture the moment in this game. I like it when games have several different awesome songs to it, and then some good songs, some pretty good songs.. and not minding less than decent songs. The battle theme became repetitive and dull after a while. However, the game featured three different world map themes, one for each disk If I remember correctly. I don’t remember specific names of the songs off the top of my head, but one song that I have heard come up many times, called One Winged Angel, that everyone seems to love. I honestly cannot tell you how it sounds, because I never memorized the names to the ballads on the soundtrack. The sound effects were your basic sound effects for a game. Everything was on par for this, including the clanging of swords, and the slicing and dicing of monsters. Each spell had a pretty good sound effect, and the summons' sound effects sounded good. I see this category as average, but I guess I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and give it a 7.

Characters- 8/10

The characters of the game will be vaguely explained here, so do not read this paragraph if you don’t want to know about what characters you will encounter and find in the game. Also, some are optional, so if you don’t want to know about them, skip it. Anyways, you start off with Cloud, and (sorry, I don’t remember the exact order, just bear with me) you soon meet Aeris Gainsborough, Tifa Lockheart, and Barrett Wallace. Cloud meets Aeris, as Aeris is selling flowers in midgar. Aeris is the very sweet type, and kind to whom she meets. Tifa and Barrett, and in the group AVALANCHE, and Tifa is a childhood friend of Cloud’s. The next character the team encounters, is a tiger-looking animal character, by the name of Red XIII. He’s not a tiger, but you do find out more about him later in the game. And, might I add, he is my favorite character. The name that appears in just about every final fantasy game, Cid Highwind, is up next. He is an arrogant pilot, who basically smokes, drinks and curses. Enough said. Next is the mysterious Cait Sith, who is really kinda hard to explain.. But really, it’s like a cat, on top of a stuffed Moogle. Weird, I know. Anyways, on to the hidden characters. The Wutai native, and material thief, Yuffie Kisaragi, is an annoying brat who just is a thorn in your side if you choose to get her. And lastly, a very creepy being that I don’t even know where to start with, named Vincent Valentine. I don’t really like Vincent, because he wields a gun, but I won’t hold that against him. I didn’t really want to dwell too much into the characters, but I thought the characters were done well.. I just don’t think they were developed properly.. Meaning, no real background info on them. So, you get an 8.

Gameplay- 8/10

The gameplay had it’s strong points. It feautured a new system called the Materia system, in which characters collected little stone like things, called Materia. There was material for spells, i.e. Fire, Ice and Cure, and there were other Materia for other techiniques; like Steal, double hit, and HP UP. There were Materia used for Summoning creatures, and all the like. Basically, most everything was done with materia. So, how do you equip materia? Well, each character has a weapon and equipment, right? The material is equipped along with the equipment and weapons. Each weapon and armor has a different number of slots, and it would depend on what you had, as to how much Materia you could hold. Are we straight? I hope. My main beef with the Materia system, is that while it was fun and interesting, it didn’t distinguish any character from another character. You could have anyone as a Mage, a fighter, or a Thief. It didn’t matter, you could even combine. And while this was handy at times, it didn’t make one person very different from the next. Now, another system that was introduced in the Final Fantasy series, was the Limit Break system. Each character has their own special Limit breaks, which are basically attacks that you can use once your limit meter fills up. Your limit meter fills up gradually, as an enemy attacks you. As it reaches the end, your character can perform a special Limit attack, which gives you a strong attack to aid you in your boss fights, or even just regular battles. Each character with the exception of one, is capable of having four levels of limit breaks; two for each level, discluding the fourth level, in which you are able to learn one final limit attack. These attacks prove to be strong, and somewhat useful in your fight against the bad guys. This was one thing I really enjoyed about the game, and really boosted the gameplay. Control isn’t all that bad either, the walking on the world map is fairly easy, and I enjoyed riding along in the airship that you receive. The game features many different side quests and games, including the option to breed chocobos. When you breed chocobos, they may look different, and different chocobos can move on different terrain. Also, chocobos are a big part in getting all of your materia, but I won't go into that. So, gameplay gets an 8. Woohoo!

Graphics- 7/10

While 3D graphics was new for RPGs at the time, and this game seemed to be above par, I wasn’t so impressed with these. As you use your characters, you can see that their arms are all disproportionate, and sometimes their arms don’t even connect with the body. But, I was nice with the score for graphics, because I don’t believe it is the biggest part to an RPG. Plus, I was satisfied with the spell graphics, and I was very happy with the graphics for the Summons. The only drawback was that the summons took so long, and by the end of the game, you didn’t want to keep seeing the sometimes 5-7 minute long graphics for each summon. And skipping through them was not an option, either. The enemies were done exceptionally well, and the world map was decent. Another thing that I was impressed with, was the CG. The CG wasn’t the best of it’s kind, but I was very happy with the way it looked. That is one of the reasons it gets a 7.

Play/Replayability- 6/10

This is where the game bombed for me. Because while at times I enjoyed it, at other times it was a pain. Some dungeons were just a bore, and even though they aren’t supposed to be some chuck-e-cheese type fun land, I still took this category down a little bit. But the main reason this only gets a 6, is the replayability. I don’t think that any time soon, I will be playing this game again. While it was a good game, and I may play it again someday, I don’t see it happening any time soon. It was one of a kind, and a huge hit, but it wasn’t as big a hit with me.

Overall- 7/10

Final Fantasy VII was a good game, but I have definitely played better. Of course, everything you see on here is opinion. It’s all preference. While this game was a good game, I think it is strongly overhyped. In my mind, it doesn’t beat out classics like Final Fantasy VI. Sure, it had a deep storyline, and it was very unique, but sometimes it was confusing. And some of the plot twists just left me dumbfounded. But nonetheless, it was exceptionally good. And, it goes up there as one of my favorite games, but there are a few others that come before it. So, if you want to go out and get it, I recommend it. Just don’t expect it to be the greatest game in the world.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/06/03

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