Retro-Review: Final Fantasy VII (PS1)

Overview:

I didn’t have to look far to know what I wanted to do my first retro-review over. Final Fantasy VII has been in most people’s hearts since it came out, at least those who have played it. This game single-handedly changed the turn based role playing game genre. This game also took the beloved Final Fantasy series from Nintendo and shifted it over to Sony (Kind of relevant now because Final Fantasy XIII is going to be on the 360). But of course you all knew that already though.

Final Fantasy VII

Story:

Final Fantasy has a very elaborate story, that twists and turns with every step. But don’t all Final Fantasy games. Yeah, well this one’s the best. Starting of with Cloud Strife in the hands of AVALANCHE, a raid group that is blowing up Mako (energy harvested from earth’s life stream) reactors because they are bonafide rebels. Well, the story escalates from there when they attempt to blow one up and Cloud gets separated from his friends and meets Aeris and she hires Cloud to be her body guard when the Turks arrive and try to capture her. Well Cloud and Aeris make there way from location to location and eventually go through the sewers and meet back up with the AVALANCHE members who are in a fire fight and some pass away. Well Aeris gets captured. Cloud and the remaining members go to the Shinra headquarters to free her and escape Midgar as well as releasing a test subject Red XIII. During their raid of the headquarters multiple people are found dead as well as the president and Cloud suspects Sephiroth is the culprit. Well after Midgar the group looks for Sephiroth across the world. They also fight a lot of cool stuff along the way.

Gameplay:

If any game redefined character management in a RPG it’s Final Fantasy VII. The materia system works like a charm with its brilliant design. With the use of orbs as you can attach magic, abilities, and summons to your characters in different arrangements based on slots provided by your weapons and armor. The fighting is pristine and flawless. Random battles although annoying have a variety of creatures, based on location of course. There are many secrets that hide in the corners of the world and are left at your disposal to discover them. Such as how to kill the giant weapons that can be found in the world after you beat the game or creating a gold chocobo. Each character has its ups and downs but generally you can use a character however you want, such as magician, fighter, or support. The Final Fantasy VII universe never lets you down and there are many side opportunities like obtaining all the characters’ weapons or limit breaks. The gameplay never lets you down.

Graphics:

Random, I know, but here is some cosplay. Tifa Lockheart

Cosplayer poses as Tifa Lockheart

For its time Final Fantasy VII was a game of somewhat mediocre graphics but no one was complaining. The views and angles that the game showed were truly inspiring and uplifting. The character models that can be played with are a somewhat poorly detailed but I find that the bubbly shaped people with no mouths are cute although some people find them ugly. The fight cinematics have improved visuals, in which the characters actually look pretty decent. The games locations have tons of backgrounds and there is a lot of different architecture that has been put into the cities.

Final Words:

Final Fantasy VII has been benchmarked as one of the top turn based role playing games to date if not one of the best games. It has set records with legends such as Chrono Trigger and Mario RPG. There is a very small number of games that have been as polished as this one from this time era. Also, I note there are some games that are good but you don’t ever get around to finishing them, this game is one of those games that you take it to the end. The whole experience never misses a beat.

Pros

  • Awesome storyline that keeps you guessing
  • Chocobos
  • Materia system
  • A lot of variety that keeps gameplay fresh

Cons

  • Beginning in Midgar can be quite grueling
  • There hasn’t been a remake yet

Score:

Overall: 9.0/10

Story: 10/10 (Actually taught some people how to cry)
Gameplay: 9.5/10 (Stays fresh through the whole experience)
Graphics: 8.5/10 (Cute chibi models are adorable)

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