Final Fantasy VII Retrospective
Final Fantasy 7 is the best known Final Fantasy game by RPG masterminds Square Enix. The game was originally released in 1997 on the Playstation console and again in 1998 for the Windows PC. What makes this game such a milestone for the series is the fact that it was the first Final Fantasy to be made in 3D. The game uses pre-rendered backgrounds (which a lot of Playstation games utilised Including the Resident Evil series) and 3D models.
The game itself offered something entirely new to the Final Fantasy franchise in terms of its’ story. Whereas the older games in the series focused on Castles, Kingdoms, war, magic & monsters, Final Fantasy 7 features a complex, compelling and ever changing plot that features eco-terrorism, corrupt governments, crazy scientists, engineered bio-soldiers and maniacal antagonists. This game has it all, and it spans over 4 CDs jam packed with action and adventure.
Every RPG ever made has always tried to outdo the battle systems of previous games. Final Fantasy 7 does utilise a turn based battle system that is similar to older Final Fantasy games. But the amount of extra abilities, rules, skill-sets and customisation added in to the battle system make it stand out above the rest, Even by todays’ standards.
Instead of learning magic which has always been an integral part of the Final Fantasy series, magic is now learnt through the use of Materia (elemental orbs that grant the user the power to cast or use magic).
Materia is a much more dynamic way of thinking than the old magic systems found in previous games, as you can swap Materia out at will and level it up as you see fit. Equipment also plays a huge part in the use of Materia as you can equip Materia to your weapons and armour to give you increased stats or resistance. Materia can also be joined to create different spells or to give you increased stats.
The Final Fantasy series has always been known for its’ unique and intriguing characters but this is where Final Fantasy 7 really shines. The game features 7 amazing and unforgettable characters and an extra 2 obscure characters if you can explore the game enough to find them. Each character not only has their own personality and story participation, but they all have their own unique attacks, and none of them ever seem to be a rehash of something else.
Music & visuals
The music in this game is second to none and seemingly way before its’ time. The Playstation version of the game used Digital music and even voice samples whilst the PC version utilised midi. This makes the Playstation version the definitive version to get. The visuals in this game aren’t the best and they haven’t aged well, but using this game on a PSP and soon the PSP VITA is good fun.
Square Enix isn’t quite done with this release yet and as well as spin-off titles like Final Fantasy VII – Crisis Core for PSP and CG film productions like Final Fantasy – VII Advent Children Square Enix is set to re-release the game for PC which offers achievements, slightly upscaled graphics, and the same music from the Playstation release. I’d say that anyone with either a PS3, PSP, or VITA would be better off sticking to the PSN release.
I remember back in the day I heard a lot about Final Fantasy 7, but I never saw anything from it. Everyone in the playground was talking about it, and all the Playstation magazines were raving about it, but I never saw a copy in any store and I never knew anyone who actually had it. It was more like “I have a friend who has a friend who has a friend who has it” For many years the game eluded me, and I’d almost forgotten about it when me and my friend started to talk about “Games we wish we’d gotten the chance to play” Long story short we tracked down a copy of the Windows version; which strangely worked perfectly for him, but was awfully buggy for me. After a while I brought an old copy of the Playstation version and the rest is history. To celebrate the 1.80 VITA FW release I’m going to play through the game again on my PSP.
Final Fantasy VII is such a massive expanse of amazing story telling and stellar RPG gaming that a lot of todays RPG players have never had the joy of experiencing. You owe it to yourself to play this game. It will forever stand out as the pinnacle of the RPG genre.
Cheers for reading,,
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