Review by mashpotatoking
"I'm not a fanboy, but this is the greatest game ever created!"
Final Fantasy Seven. The turning point in a perfect series. Many people have debated over, and over again about how great this game really is. There have been imitators and sequels, and many others that have tried to equal the success of this game. None have yet succeeded. Why? you may find yourself asking, well I have your answer. The reason why no other RPG, or any other game for that matter, has had so much of a following is because this game is brilliance in every way. The graphics fit the game perfectly, the battle system works wonders in, what was a simple series. This installment of the Final Fantasy series is perfect and my review will tell you why.
"Look at the characters hands! They look like blocks!" Oh my goodness!, I couldn't tell you how many times I've heard that. First, if you want to look and compare a game's graphics, lets look at the other games of that time. This was the first fully 3-D RPG. The first one to let you set your own camera angle instead of looking from above,(which, quite frankly, was getting kind of boring and annoying). If you look at the character models, yes, they do have block hands, but they're block hands,in THREE DIMENSIONS! Final Fantasy Seven has some of the best looking effects that I have ever seen. Every spell, every summon, every special move looks amazing. When you cast some fire on a helpless monster, you really feel like you're using magic. It doesn't feel fake.
Each and every person that you meet in the game look very unique. Every person looks different which give a realistic feel to the game. Everything is extremely detailed down to the clothes they wear and the gestures that they do. Each person has a different personality and you can tell by the way they look and the way they move.
Another really cool thing that they added to the series was cinematics. These were some of the most stunning, and unbelievable things to ever hit the Playstation. When you're in the middle of a very deep part in the story, it might show you a cinematic where you can just sit back and watch, instead of clicking through a lot of dialogue. It goes much like a movie and will leave you in disbelief.
All of the environments look beautiful, and the towns look cool and interactive. Each town looks different and exciting. One might be a quiet, calm town with few people, and cottages. Another town might be a busy, non-stop roller coater ride. Speaking of roller coasters, there is even an amusement park! This gives the game a fresh feel whenever you enter a new town. Overall, the graphics are incredible and will make you want to keep going, just so that you can see what the next town looks like!
When the game first starts and you hear the classic Final Fantasy theme, you know that you are in for the experience of a lifetime. Something new that Squaresoft had for this game was a even wider selection of music then they ever had before. With the Playstation's disk format ,they could have as much music as they wanted. They took advantage of that and gave classic after classic, after classic. Many of the song on the soundtrack are very moving and spiritual. The battle theme is fun, and exciting. The Boss theme is even better.
Many of the main characters have their own theme music, which is a nice thing that they added to the franchise. When you hear Aries's theme for the first time, a tear might come to your eye. But the second you hear Sepheroth's theme for the first time you might get pumped up, ready to fight some evil. The soundtrack gives the game extraordinary character and depth.
If you are looking for an awful story, full of non-stop action and no real meaning at all, then you might want to turn this game down. If you are looking for a game that has a well, thought out, and deep story with non- stop action that will leave you speechless, then this is definitely the game for you! You start out as Cloud Strife, who has just joined a terrorist group called AVALANCHE. Full of smart, strong people, this group is set out to stop a company called the Shinra. The shinra eventually try to catch the group and Cloud, before they are destroyed as a company. Along the way Cloud meets Aries, a special person that the Shinra are also after. Together, with many other heroes that sign up along the way, they try to take down the largest, and most powerful company that the world has ever known.
But in the mist of all that, a super villain has awakened. Out to destroy everything good, a super powerful being called Sepheroth is seeking the promised land. Anyone who gets in his way, including the shinra or anyone else, will taste his wrath. Now, the gang has two things to worry about: The Shinra, who is trying to hunt them down and kill them, and this weird person named Sepheroth who, if he finds the Promised land, will destroy all humanity.
Squaresoft tried something new with this state of the art gaming system. They created a whole new battle system and way of fighting. Enter the Materia system. Around the world you find these shiny, different colored marble like objects. These are called Materia. Each piece of materia has a special power and will teach you that particular power. Each type of materia can be classified in a certain category. Magic(green materia), Summons(Red materia), Independent(purple materia), Support(blue materia), and Command(yellow materia). There are hundreds of materia in all, and this gives you a new way to play the game every time you go through it again.
The battles are turn-based, and many people will hate the game for that. But there's one thing, the fact that it's turn based is what makes the game so unique and awesome. There is strategy that you must use and that is where the materia comes into play. Different enemies are weak against different elements or materia. You have to use the materia to your advantage so that you can win. This is fun and not too time consuming so it won't get boring.
You gain levels like each and every Final Fantasy game. After you win a battle, you get a certain amount of experience, and once you reach a certain amount of experience, then you grow a level. The new thing in Final Fantasy 7, is the Materia leveling. Every time you win a battle, you don't only get experience, you get AP, which, when you get enough, levels up your materia. This gets you new, and more powerful spells. So leveling up is actually fun and not so tedious. This will be a relief to anyone who has ever played Final Fantasy 4.
There are a mind numbing amount of mini games here. They show up as part of the actual game from time to time, but once you get to a certain Amusement park, you can play them as much as you want. There are tons of them including: A snowboarding game(where you go down an extremely big slope, and try an collect balloons along the way), a submarine game(where you shoot down enemy battle ships), a basketball game, and a very cool motorcycle game(where you ride a motorbike and strike down the other people on motorbikes). All of these mini games give Final Fantasy 7 a fresh coat when the regular battles start to get a tiny bit boring(which they usually won't).
There are a ton of things to do in this game. With the collection of all the materia, the mini games, the actual story, this will take about 50 hours to complete. It spans 3 disks, so that they could pack all of the content into the game. You will be spending a lot of time on the game, so you'll get your money's worth. Some people may think that this is too long, but I guess that you just have to enjoy long games.
Replay value in this game is high, mostly because of all the characters you can play as, two secret characters, four secret bosses, and a bunch of secret weapons and special moves. You will want to keep playing this game over, and over, and over again.
Game time: 9/10
Here we are at the crucial question. Should I really try to hunt this game down and buy it? The answer is if you love RPGs and you like an intriguing story, then yes. This is a phenomenal game, with a bunch of content, great graphics, amazing soundtrack and extras. You will love playing this game and you would be a fool to pass it up. Go ahead and buy yourself a piece of gaming history.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 08/23/05
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