"Final Fantasy 7 is the Ultimate Console RPG ever created. The storytelling is superb, and on the cutscenes are very good for it's time. Final Fantasy 7 had alot to live up to, sense Final Fantasy 4 and 6 were such great games, and well in my Final Fantasy 7 was equal too, if not better than both of them. At first I played through the PC version and beat it there, however my friends owned the Playstation so I gave a look through it, so I could fairly review that version too. "
Final Fantasy 7 is the Ultimate Console RPG ever created. The storytelling is superb, and on the cutscenes are very good for it's time. Final Fantasy 7 had alot to live up to, sense Final Fantasy 4 and 6 were such great games, and well in my Final Fantasy 7 was equal too, if not better than both of them. At first I played through the PC version and beat it there, however my friends owned the Playstation so I gave a look through it, so I could fairly review that version too.
STORY (17/15): I decided to split Final Fantasy VII's story into two groups: Story and Characterization. The story in Final Fantasy VII starts with a battle to blow up a Mako reactor in an effort by a group called AVALANCH, and a young mecenary. From there you will learn of the Promised land, and multiples peoples desire to gain hold of it. There is the corrupt Shinra, and the diabolical Sephiroth, and yes even these two series link in a few places. It is nice to see a story develop so well, and Final Fantasy VII does that.
CHARACTERIZATION (17/15): I have been in some debates about the characterization of Final Fantasy VII, and in my mind no game has done better. I will go character by character and to show the strengths of each one:
CLOUD: A mercenary hired by an old friend to fight in Avalanch. He is the leader of the band, and has a mysterious past which will unfold later. Cloud is the most complex character in the story, and even some stunning revelations will occur, such as his past in SOLDIER. Cloud is not as he seems, and will get you in some trouble, but will be a hero nonetheless. He truly only cares for one thing, however he may hide that from himself until later on in the story.
TIFA: As someone once stated, girl with boobs. Yet, Tifa is so much more. Tifa is the childhood friend of Cloud, and will fight through all odds ot be with him. She will be the one person that Cloud can depend on, and she will always be there when he needs her.
BARRET: Leader of Avalanch. He is a ruthless person who wants to see destruction of all Mako energy. He also hides his past, and is blamed for problems in his homeland. He seems gruff, but he is truly fond of Cloud and is a dependable ally to have along.
RED XII: AKA Nanaki. He was an experiment by the Shinra scientest Hojo, and taken into Midgar. He believes his father was a deserter, and he trusts in his grandfather more than anyone. He is a intelligant tiger, however he is also childish at times.
AERIS: The flowergirl. She is the key throughout the story, and gets herself into the love triangle with Cloud/Tifa. Everyone wants a piece of her for good reasons, and she will be part of the biggest plot twist in Final Fantasy history.
CAIT SITH: A black cat on a white blob. In the beggining I hated this guy, however he grows into a character the game needed. He is an important ally, however you should not trust him too much.
CID HIGHWOOD: Another Cid in a Final Fantasy game. He is the pilot of the Broncho, and greatest desire is to go into outerspace. However his friend screwed everything up, and that kept him from his dream. He seems gruff at times, however if there is a need for a leader he will be the one to step in.
YUFFIE: She is the hardest character to find, and many might not even realize she exists. However if you get her she develops more than most subcharacters in RPG's. She is another person you should be careful trusting, however she will be at your side if need be with her anxious and happy demeanor.
VINCENT VALENTINE: The most popular of Final Fantasy characters. He is mysterious and has a very cool demeaner. He is an ex-turk put to sleep by Hojo. He is the most unexplained character, however if you visit a certain area, you will see his motives unfold, although it really does not change him too much. Vincent in my mind was the only weakly developed character.
And as every great game has, they will also develop the badguys. I will not go into detail with many of them, but I'll get the main ones out of the way.
SEPHIROTH: The ultimate badguy in the history of videogames. He travels around wielding the huge sword, and desires to reach the holyland. He is extremely powerful and once was a member of Shinra. There is much more too him, however I do not see it fit to ruin it for people who have not played FF7 yet.
SHINRA'S TOP EMPLOYEES: At the top of Shinra lies a few major characters such as Rufus who will stand in your way multiple times throughout the story. There is also his fat partner Heidegger, and his lady Scarlet. Finally there is Reeves, who should be watched for as he may seem minor, he is a critical person in the story.
THE TURKS: Ah, my favorite people in the game. Elena, Rude, Reno, and the other guy (can't remember his name). The turks are fighters for Shinra. These guys are my favorite badguys, and I felt bad fighting them. However get used to it, cause you fight Reno and Rude at least 5 times throughout the game, and they may be easy, but they are definitely humorous and great characters.
HOJO: I can't go into detail on Hojo, however he is crucial to all that is going on in FF7. He is the top Shinra Scientist, and captive of RedXII. However he is so much more, and the expert of everything going around him.
In truth this is the strongest cast of characters I have ever seen in a videogame, and I will remember them all for what they have done to make this game great.
GRAPHICS (13/15): I could not believe the first cutscenes I saw in Final Fantasy 7. They were spectacular, and breathtaking. But that is just the beggining. At the end of disc 1 you will believe that you are actually there. The regular game graphics are sweet, and well the summons are perfect too, although I would have preferred if they didn't take so long. However on the Playstation they are good, but not as good as the ones on the PC. However I do like the cutscenes and the scenes.
SOUND (10/10): Perfect soundtrack. At one point I found myself going to another website, just so I could listen to the music in Final Fantasy VII. I had never done this for any other game, so I knew at that moment that this games sound is a winner.
GAMEPLAY (30/30): You start off in the city of Shinra, which is huge and has 8 different sectors. This is all in 3D, which makes things look that much more realistic. From there you will see how battling takes place, the same as FF4 and FF6, and why change what is already perfect. The system of gauge fighting is in my mind the perfect RPG system, for the quicker you can think, the better off you are. Like FF6, there is a seperate magic system gained by orbs. In FF7 this is the materia, which is what you put in slots in your weapons to be able to use various magic maneuvers. And the weapons are all amazing. Each character has a different type of weapon only they can use. These weapons can be upgraded by buying the next in the series. They are all awesome looking, and affective. From there you have the random battles, the way Final Fantasy should be. At times the random battles will piss you off, for it is keeping you from getting where you want, however one problem does not make the whole system defective. Next is the subquests for there is as many in Final Fantasy 7, as there was in Final Fantasy 5 and 6. There is an ultimate weapon for each character, and in some places you have to go out of your way to get them. There are two optional characters to pickup, however I highly reccomend getting them both and doing there subquests or you really won't get to know them that well. Each character has their own limit break, after they take a certain amount of damage they get the chance to fry their opponent with an amazing looking move only they can perform. This is including Clouds Omnislash which is the ultimate move in Final Fantasy history. Also the Summons come to play, although they take an annoying amount of time, they are ultimate creatures who come from the ground, sea, or air to attack your opponents. They usually pack a powerful punch (especially Knights of the Round and Neo Bahumut Zero) and are sweet looking nonetheless. The map of this game is large, and you will have to visit every area in this game at least twice, for each packs multiple parts of the story. You cannot say that any of this is a weakness, for combined Final Fantasy 7 is addicting and fun. I loved every minute of this game, for the system was efficient and the battles although frequent were fairly quick (discluding summons) and entertaining, as you pounded your opponents with various materia.
REPLAYABILITY (7/10): The hit all RPG's take, the replayability is farely poor. Once I finally beat it, I let someone else borrow. Sure, I had alterior motives, but still a game this good you would think I would hold on to it forever. However I will not likely be playing this game anytime soon, for there are too many other Final Fantasy's to take a crack at. The game is fairly long however with around 30 hours of gameplay, and you will have to be fairly high in levels to beat the game. However on the Playstation it is easy to pick up and start playing again, and it is still a great game.
DIFFICULTY (5/5): If you keep your levels up, you will not have to worry about being killed off in this game. Some of the bosses make you think, and sometimes you will have to fight them more than once. However you should not easily be stuck, and even Sephiroth is beatable. It is a tough game, however you will not easily be caught in one place, and should be able to easily move on.
OVERALL (99/100): How much I wanted to give this game the perfect 100, for it is better than Final Fantasy 4 and 6 in my mind. However I did realize that although this gave me a huge desire to start Final Fantasy 8 and 9, I did not have any desire to play through it again. However one day I most certainly will, for this game is so close to being perfect. Here is how it ranks in my mind all time:
STORY: The best ever created in any game
CHARACTERIZATION: Another one which is the beste ever
GRAPHICS: At this point of time, I find the graphics better than my gamecube games. Not as great as the PC but still good.
SOUND: The 2nd greatest soundtrack ever, to only Ocarina of Time.
GAMEPLAY: Best ever, for the system in identical to past Final Fantasy's the lands are larger, and the 3D enviroment, that more entertaining.
REPLAYABILITY: Not really on the chart. Although long, not much to count for here.
So Final Fantasy VII places among the best in 5 different categories, and it deserves to. This game was highly anticipated, and met with large success as it landed in America. It took me years later to actually get my hands on it, but once I finally did I never left it alone. Final Fantasy 7 is nearly perfect, and is in my mind the ultimate game of all time, and this will not likely change anytime soon. If you have not played this treasure yet, go out and buy it for the PC, and if that doesn't work it is even worth going out and buying an oldplaystation to put it in. This game can be found very cheap, however in my mind it is worth at least $100, and not a single dollar of that would be regretted. Sure, I know I rambled alot in this view, but I wanted to get my point across that Final Fantasy 7 is the ultimate game, and it will make you fall in love with videogames again.
Community review by ratking (July 11, 2002)
A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.
If you enjoyed this Final Fantasy VII review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!