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Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation) artwork

Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation) review


"Starting with a beautiful opening cinema, FF7 quickly jumps into the action with nice polygons and beautiful, pre-rendered backgrounds. In-game spells and attacks look great, especially the cinematically perfected summon spells."



Final Fantasy has always been the leading name in RPG's, and it has so much going for it. Up 'till FF7, the FF games were mostly medieval style, and were all 16-bit. This first FF on the PSX proves to be the best one yet. It's really a game like no other, with beautiful FMV cinemas (some of the first I ever saw for PSX), a massive world to explore, excellent sound, and tons of other unique elements.

FF7 goes beyond the beyond (no pun intended) with graphics, sound, and gameplay. The visual experience is probably the first you will notice out of these three. Starting with a beautiful opening cinema, FF7 quickly jumps into the action with nice polygons and beautiful, pre-rendered backgrounds. In-game spells and attacks look great, especially the cinematically perfected summon spells. In '97, these graphics were by far the best graphics for and PSX game. But, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the way you look at it), it isn't '97 anymore, and PSX's graphics have improved vastly.

Things that today's gamers may diapprove of in FF7's graphics are the low-polgyon count and unrealistic looking characters. Although the graphics are fairly dated, even by today's standards, they're nothing to sneeze at. The cinemas in the game still amaze me, especially because there's over an hour of them.

Now for the gameplay... this game brought RPG gaming to new heights with the materia system, a system where stones called materias can be collected, and equiped to add a special ability to your weapon, or add a new kind of magic... Materias have many different effects, and they're seperated into several categories. I won't go through all the types of materia and their uses because that would take forever.

Each weapon and armor your characters equip has a certain number of materia slots. Usually, the more powerful the weapon, the fewer the materia slots. There are linked materia slots, which most weapons and armor have at least one of. By linking different materia together, you can create cool combonations, such as automatic regeneration, or counter attacking with magic. The number of materia combos you can create seems endless.

Another one of FF7's new gameplay elements is the limit break system. Each character has their own special limit breaks, which they learn by performing the limit breaks you already have. When one of your characters gets attacked, their limit break meter goes up. The higher the damage, the more it goes up. When the limit break meter reaches its max, the character can perform a limit break--a powerful special attack that usually has a cool animation.

This game's combat engine is very cool. Instead of the typical turn-based battle featured in the some of the previous RPG's, this game has a time-based battle system. Instead of just taking turns with the enemy, and your party members, each person fighting gets to make an action when their time meter fills up. Things such as the character's armor and weapons, and materia they're carrying all determines how fast their time meter moves. The only thing I dislike about this system is that you don't have enough time to think about your attacks, or getting a certain item from your inventory, and the enemy may end up attacking before you do, leading to frustration, and ruining all your plans. But other than that, it works well.

The best part of this game is the storyline. You play Cloud Stike, leader of Avalanche, which is a terrorist group trying to save the planet. You and your fellow Avalanche members just do your jobs, but soon enough, the game turns into an apocolyptic story of a meteor heading towards the world you live on. Of course there's much more too it than that, and what I gave you was a very brief explanation. The story in this game turns out to be a winner, though.

Last, but most definitely not least, there's the sound. This game is packed with simply wonderful music. This has got to have the most moving soundtrack ever, (especially Aeris' song.) The battle music, the boss music, the various town music, and basically all the music in the game is excellent, and mood-setting. Some of it can be annoying at times, but usually not. I particularly like Sephiroth's music (the main villain in the game), and the final dungeon music.

FF7 was easily the best game of FF7. But it doesn't stop there... many gamers believe this to be the best RPG on the Playstation, while even a few others believe it to be the best RPG of all time. I believe it to match up with all the other winning RPG's on the Playstation (FF8, Xenogears, Vagrant Story), but it isn't THE best, because there is no single BEST game. I do know a few people who have found this game to be...not good (God knows why). But, the majority of gamers find it to be one of the deepest, most involving console games to date.

Rating: 10.0/10

ender's avatar
Staff review by James Gordon (Date unavailable)

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