Final Fantasy 7
I gotta admit it, I was a FF7 nut. I would spend hours reading about FF7 and looking at the jaw dropping screen shots. When the commercial came out, it was (and still is) the best video game commercial Ive seen.( Vigilante 8 and Wild 9s commercial were pretty funny, though!) The awesome opera music and the awe-inspiring cinemas made me flip!!! I would turn the volume up as loud as I could and think : Final Fantasy 7 is awesome Final Fantasy 7 is awesome Final Fantasy 7 is awesome! But when I got the finally got the game, did it reach my expectations??
Well, it certainly did in the graphics department. Pre-rendered backgrounds more detailed than anything I had ever seen, awesome battle graphics with awe-inspiring summons, and of course, the beautiful beautiful cinemas. True, the polygonal characters looked kinda bad and out of place against the beautiful backgrounds, but this is a minor complaint. Cinemas like the one where it shows Cloud on his motorcycle or Sephiroth walking into the flames of Neibelheim more than make up for any small graphical problems FF7 had.
However,this was NOT the epic FF soundtrack I expected. The music was disappointing and sounded little more (except One Winged Angel) than a slightly enhanced SNES. I mean, cmon, FF6 had a better soundtrack than this!! The only tracks that I really liked were the Shinra Factory music, Sephiroth(s) music, Niblehiems music, Vincents music, and Cosmo Canyons music. FF7s soundtrack wasnt terrible, but I was extremely disappointed with it. Tracks like Aeriss theme ( God how I hated Aeriss theme!!!) and that stupid battle music with a guitar playing made me frown in disgust. Guitar music is OK on RPGs if it is correctly done e.g. Wild ARMS. The sound effects were pretty good, but not good enough to make up for the soundtrack..........
The story is a new high water mark in RPGs. It deals with everything from love, to memory suppression, and even prostitution. Frequent with cuss words and slang, it is also the most realistic yet. You are Cloud, a soldier of fortune, a mercenary. Cloud joins up with the anti-Shinra group called Avalanche. Shinra is the most powerful company in the world, providing people with a clean, waste free energy source called "Mako". They get the Mako by drawing energy out of the Planet, ignorant of the chance that the Planet may one day run out of energy....Cloud is an Ex-Member of Soldier, basically Shinras Army. Why he quit is not yet known, as is the rest of his past. This is one of the key factors for the progression of the story in the game, Clouds past is unknown to you and Cloud himself.. Only vague and cryptic flashbacks clue you in until you make it out of Midgar (the first city), then more will become clear. I cant really tell you how awesome the story is, without giving you examples, and that would spoil the plot. All I can say is this:
What began as a rebellion against Shinra......Becomes much, much more.......And what erupts goes beyond imagination. -Taken from the back cover, sorta
The battle system is the best one Ive seen, but also the worst Ive seen. The best thing about it is the Materia system. It is very well thought out! Example: The magic materia brings up your mp and your magic attack, but brings down your hp and strength. This makes perfect sense, and the fact that also the weapon and armor you have equipped is directly related to the amount and growth of rate of your materia, is why its the best. The worst thing about it is also the materia system. If arranged correctly, any character can be like any other character, e.g. Vincent can be like Yuffie, Tifa can be like Barret, etc. , if you got the materia skillz, that is. You can only equip 3 things, your weapon, your armor, and your accessory. In FF6, you could equip a weapon, helmet, shield, armor, and 2 relics!!! The only thing separating characters in FF7 is how they look, their weapons, and their Limit Breaks. Limit Breaks, are again, very similar to something Lufia 2 had first. A character will take a certain amount of damage for their Limit Meter to fill up, then they can produce a special attack or spell like thingy. The stronger the Limit break, the longer it takes to fill up. I guess FF7s battle system is OK, I really had trouble deciding this.
FF7 broke a lot barriers for RPGs in the states. The dark atmosphere and storyline are cool, as well as the materia system. What also made it stand apart were the numerous mini-games and the detail that went into them. Chocobo racing, submarine diving, and snow boarding, among others, were really cool. Some of my friends who dont like RPGs said "Final Fantasys are stupid.", but then they saw a pic of Cloud snowboarding, and all of a sudden they said "Whoa! Thats awesome!! Hes snowboarding!! I didnt know Final Fantasys had that!" :-)
FF7s intro is short, but its long enough to give you an impression of how epic the game is. A long part of it just shows the stars, but all of a sudden it shows Aeris walking down an alley selling flowers, the only sound being made are her footsteps.....Then, as the camera pans out, it shows her surroundings....People walking around, a movie theater, and an automobile, all while the music builds up. As it pans even more out, you see she is in a large city...But wait!!!! Its only a PART of a city, you stare in awe as the camera pans out even more, showing that is actually a monumental city with the part Aeris was in being only a small section........Awesome!
FF7 is quite long, spanning 3 discs. After you beat the game, there are the mini-games to master, and the WEAPONS to beat, although I didnt like the idea of them. You dont have to put any thought into defeating them, or rather, you cant put any thought. Its more of a test to see how much you can level up. Everybody Ive talked to says that "The weapons were easy!!" Sure they were, after leveling up to 99 and mastering KotR, Phoenix, and all that other materia you need, it would be easy, wouldnt it??
In the end, FF7 isnt my favorite RPG. But does that mean I dont like it? Heck no!! I love it!! Its a great game, it just disappointed me in some areas, areas that are ten times more well done in other RPGs. If it wasnt for Final Fantasy 7, RPGs would still be the "dorky" types of games to play. While this labeling still exists, its not nearly as common today. If you mention FF7 to the common gamer, they know what game your talking about. Used to be, whenever I mentioned Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy 6, people didnt know what I was talking about! Now, thats changed. Let us hope that with the release of FF8 and many other quality Role Playing Games, RPGs will become a main-stream genre, just as popular as fighting and action games.
Ice Man Ash's Reviews
Final Fantasy 7 Reviews
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