Review by squire636

"The best RPG ever"

Graphics: 9.5
Music: 10
Controls: 8.5
Story: 10
Characters: 10
Replay Value: 9.5
Length: 10
Battle System: 9.5
Ending: 9
Overall: 10

This is by far one of my favorite games ever. In the category of RPGs, it is my favorite. Everything about it is great. The graphics are great for its time. It was made in 1997, and for then, it was incredible. I remember the first time I played this game and in the middle of the first FMV, I just said, Wow, this is incredible! Although newer games have better graphics, that should not effect how good the game is.

Next, the music for this game is also incredible. From the battle/boss music, to the world map music, it is great. It varies a lot, from slow and sad to fast and crazy. The music helps set the mood and can make you feel sad, excited, mad, or anxious. Once you get the Highwind, the music on it is great. Also during the bike chase the music is good. If there is a soundtrack for this game [and there probably is], I want it. I just havent had time to look for it. I highly recommend getting it.

The controls are good also. The only thing I have to criticize about it is how they made the O button the confirm button. In 99% of games, X is confirm and O is cancel, but this game switched them around. It is a minor change, but for the first hour or so, you will probably be messing that up a lot. After a while you get used to it, and its not a problem at all. The rest of the controls are good. Also, if you really dont like how the controls are set, you could always change it in the Menu. Just go to config and you will have the option to change them.

The story of this game is also great. Some parts are fast moving and you dont know whats going on, but everything is explained at some point in the game. It is sad, funny, and exciting all at the same time. Since the characters are built so well [see next section] you begin to care for them and feel how they do. If something bad happens, you will feel sad also. Believe me.

These characters are so different; its amazing how they ended up together. Cloud, a man that used to be part of SOLDIER, but joins a group that fights it. He is very confusing and has some strange problems. Tifa, a girl who grew up with Cloud and fights along side him against SOLDIER. Barret, a man with a gun grafted onto his arm. He is friends with Tifa and also fights alongside them. Sometimes, Barret gets into fights with Cloud, but they remain friends. Aeris, the last surviving Cetra, a race who has incredible powers. She is a mysterious girl who just wants to know about her race. She sells flowers in the slums and barely gets by. Red XIII, a test subject. He is a dog with a flaming tail [cool!] that is from a race that is almost extinct. His mother died fighting to protect his hometown, while his cowardly father ran away. Cait Sith is a cat that travels around on top of a big, stuffed animal body. He is a fortuneteller that decides he must join Cloud and his friends in order to figure out what Clouds fortune means. Cid is the pilot of an airplane, an airship, and a rocket. ShinRa paid for them all to be built, and they want to take them from him. He was supposed to be the first man in space, but the launch was cancelled and his dreams were crushed. Yuffie, a ninja girl from the town of Wutai. She steals materia [used for magic] at any change she can get. Vincent, a vampire that lives in a coffin. He used to be a member of the Turks [a group that is part of ShinRa] and he wants revenge on a man named Hojo. He joins Cloud in hope to find this man.

Replay Value
This game is very replay-able. I have played through it about 5 times, but many other people have played it above 10! It is a great game with many challenges that you would want to complete. There are two super hard bosses in this game, Ruby WEAPON and Emerald WEAPON. They are both extremely difficult to beat, and will take a lot of training. This is one of the reasons why it is very replay-able. Also, there are different areas that you will want to complete. One of these is the Ancient Forest, where you will have to complete puzzles in order to move to the next screen and receive very valuable weapons, materia, and items. Also there are side quests. One of these is chocobo breeding. You will have to use certain chocobos and ways of breeding them to get different types of chocobos. You can get a yellow one, which just goes on land. A blue or green chocobo, one goes over mountains and one goes over rivers [I cant remember which is which right now, sorry]. You can get a black chocobo that can go over rivers AND mountains. And finally, your desired chocobo, and golden one that can go everywhere. Even in the ocean. This is used for quick transportation and getting hidden items. Also, there are many mini games that will take up some of your time. In fact, there is a whole area in the game that is just for mini games. It is called the Gold Saucer, and you can do a lot of stuff there. You can go to the Chocobo Square and race your chocobos. By doing this you can get rare items. Also, you can go to the Battle Square and fight enemies. Although you wont gain levels or get stronger here, you will also earn rare and very useful items. Next there is the Speed Square. Here you go on a roller coaster, and while on it you use your laser to shoot stuff. If you get enough points you can get rare items. Most dont do anything, but a few do. Anyways, it is really fun to do! There are other places in the Gold Saucer, but I think I have explained enough of them to give you the impression that it is a fun place to go to.

This is a long game, which is good. It is never boring, and the plot is always moving. It could take you 60 hours to beat it, and a lot longer if you do all of the things I have mentioned above. It could also be beaten in 40 hours if you dont do any side quests or leveling up, and just play strait through it. The last of the three discs can either be the longest or the shortest, depending on how you play it. It is the shortest if you do only what you are supposed to do, but the longest if you do all of the side quests and mini games that become available at this point in the game.

Battle System
I rather like the way the battles work in this game, but some people dont. Basically you have your regular attack, along with materia [which makes the battles interesting]. Materia are this little colored things that look like marbles. They are used to cast various magics. There are many different types of materia. The green ones are magic, which includes attack, haste/slow, protection, recovery, and status effect magics. The next is the red, or summon materia. When used, it summons an extremely powerful creature that does one or more attacks for a single turn. The next materia is the yellow or command. It isnt the most important materia but it is still very useful. It lets you use commands such as mime, steal, sense, manipulate, and even learn magic that the enemies use on you! Next, you have the support or blue materia. This is extremely useful. It lets you use magic on all the opponents in one turn, lets you attack and use magic in the same turn, cast magic four times, or absorb health while using an attack materia. The fifth type of materia is the independent or pink/purple materia. Some of them let you counter attack the enemy, make one person cover another person and take the damage instead, or give you more gil [money] after random encounters. Some other RPGs have job systems, but I prefer the materia better. You can specialize and be any job you want, or you can combine them to make an extremely powerful character.

In addition to regular attacks and materia, there are is also the Limit Break techniques. Each character has 7 different special attacks called Limit Breaks. After getting damaged a lot, the character is able to use it. It is an extremely powerful attack that either damages enemies, heals you, or inflicts status effects. All of the characters limit breaks are different.

The only problem with the ending is the fact that there is only 1 of them. No matter how well you play the game, you will still get the same ending. The good part is that the ending is great. It is controversial as to what actually happened to Cloud in the final battle, but that makes it even better. The ending is great, and you see what happens to Red XIII and if his race becomes completely extinct...

This game is extremely easy. But it is fun none the less. If you play through it normally, you should barley ever die. The up side to this is all of the challenges that you can do. You can play through with your initial equipment, use no materia, or try to beat it with a very low level. Some people try to complete it as fast as possible [I believe the record is something crazy like 14 hours]. Also, you can try to defeat the extremely powerful Ruby WEAPON and Emerald WEAPON. It is very fun, and is good for people that are new to Role Playing Games.

Overall, this is one of my top 5 favorite games of all time, and my number 1 favorite RPG. I highly recommend getting this game. I can guarantee you will enjoy it as much as I have.


Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 08/25/04

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