Final Fantasy VII is a memorable game, no doubt about it. The characters have everything a JRPG needs, namely spiky hair, swords that defy the laws of physics, and Gun-Arms.
The game recieved a huge amount of acclaim upon its release, and to this day there exists a solid fanboy base, ready to pounce upon anyone that dare share a negative thought about this game. The game is good, no doubt about it, but it has it's fair share of flaws. I'm reviewing to see if it is attractive to today's gamer.
The gameplay of Final Fantasy VII is a mixed affair. Exploring the world can be a hassle, due to the lack of visual hints telling you where to go. How is the player supposed to know that to advance, they have to talk to the young boy 3 times, immediately after talking to the old man? The new graphics style makes traversing some areas of the game a frustrating obstacle course. The vehicles work well, with the Submarine and Highwind Airship extremely useful for pre-End Boss leveling.
The Combat is solid, and although the battle animations leave a lot to be desired, the large variety of spells and techniques keeps the combat fast-paced and exciting. The Materia system works wonders in livening up the gameplay, adding a real sense of depth to the combat. As with most PS1-onwards Final Fantasy games, the game features powerful monsters that are summoned through Summon Materia, to assist in combat. The Combat, while somewhat dated, would still be considered interesting and effective by todays gamers.
The graphics of this game are quite different compared the 2D sprites of Final Fantasy VI and its predecessors. The 3D Character Models looked okay in the day, although to today's gamer the sharp polygons are an eyesore. If graphics seriously affect how you look at a game, I would advise sticking to the soft and colourful graphics of FFVI or IV.
The static backgrounds are beautiful, with Square obviously having been very meticulous in every little detail. The FMV's are very attractive, and although not movie quality, are a nice break from combat.
Plot and Characters!
The plot of FFVII is widely considered the highlight of the game. The game weaves a complicated tale of Revenge and Revolution. But the plot is far too complex in my opinion. The game is a smorgasbord of revelations, plot twists and surprise deaths. The plot is interesting and detailed, but moves at a morbid pace. The story just does not advance at a consistent speed, making me lose interest easily.
The characters of Final Fantasy VII are well known to all video game fans. From Cloud's spiky hair, to Sephiroth's killer combo of long hair/huge sword, to fangirl heartthrob Vincent Valentine, they all have their place in pop culture. Scenes such as the death of Aerith and Sephiroths emergence out of the fire in Nibelheim are instantly recognizable. But to be honest,Cloud is a wafer-thin shell of a protagonist, with almost no time invested into his backstory, and I have no idea what Red XIII adds to the story.
The tunes in the Final Fantasy series have always been amazing, composed by musical genius Nobuo Uematsu. This game is no exception, with the most memorable track you'll encounter over the course of the game being "One Winged Angel". It's a shame that this is the one of the only tracks people will remember and hum on the bus, as some of the other songs are works of art on their own.
The only bad thing about the music is that the battle music is the same 90% of the time, excluding boss battles. Having a change of tune in each zone or even each disc would be a nice addition to the game. But the music is great, and I always find myself humming the music that plays when you win a battle.
So their you have it, a modern-day breakdown of Final Fantasy VII! The game is great, although doesn't hold up quite as well after 14 years. Hope you enjoyed, tune in next time for my review of Pokemon Red/Blue!