Final Fantasy VII
I first saw this game after my friend Eric bought it for his PlayStation. I watched him play the first half hour or so and was pretty disappointed by the way it looked. I watched him a couple other times at different points through the game, including the final battle which he won in a single round. This, no doubt, colored my opinion of the game when I tried to play it myself years later.
I own this game for Windows and played through most of the first disc before becoming bored with it.
- Overall: 3/10
- Best Version: Windows
- The pre-rendered background graphics are very nice, and help alleviate the problems commonly seen with tiled backgrounds.
- The full-motion video merges seamlessly between the static game play.
- The materia magic system is original and fun. I like the idea of being able to customize the character's abilities.
- The panning camera during combat is very nice, better than a static camera.
- Limit breaks were a cool idea.
- Having the character's eyes fade last when performing a summon is a nice touch.
- The designers did a poor job of handling perspective changes when the player moves in the 3D environment. As you walk to the end of a hall, the perspective will shift and alter the direction of the D-pad, this will often cause you to walk in the wrong direction, and sometimes even back the way you came. This happens enough to be annoying.
- The character art is pretty bad. Everyone's legs account for about 2/3 of their body, and most of them are dressed in utterly ridiculous costumes. Tifa is probably the worst, fighting in a halter top and a miniskirt held up by suspenders. Outside of close-ups they look even more ridiculous like they're meant to be action figures with giant fists, scrawny arms, and enormous shoulders. It makes it very difficult to take the game seriously.
- The majority of the monsters are so avant-garde I have no idea what they are, which takes away from the emotional attachment.
- Though a fan of Nobuo Uematsu's work, I'm not very impressed by the game's music. I find most of the themes to be rather repetitive and bland.
- Only the female characters are sexualized, Tifa especially.
- I don't like having to hold down a button to run. I would prefer to hold down a button to walk, which I do far less.
- During combat, the camera sometimes focuses away from the action or moves in close behind a large monster so you can't see anything. More effort should have been spent on preventing this.
- With the tiny arrow, it's often difficult to tell who you're targeting during combat. I occasionally find myself attacking monsters I didn't intend to.
- I don't like how limit breaks are automatically put to the top of the combat stack. It makes it harder to plan ahead.
- It's petty, but the game has terrible box art.
- I'm unable to suspend my disbelief enough to appreciate the game world. It's always difficult to successfully merge fantasy and sci-fi. I think Final Fantasy VI pulled it off because technology was something new to the world brought about by exploiting espers, but in 7, the entire world is filled with futuristic technology, it's even available to the general public. There are machine guns, lasers, giant robots, cybernetic implants and yet, for some unexplained reason, a few people still wield swords that do even more damage than bullets. It's really, really stupid.
- So many of the special combat abilities take way too long for very little effect. Combat feels more like watching a movie than playing a game.
- I have little appreciation for most of the characters. Their back-stories are dull and uninspired, and I don't care if they die.
The box art for FF7 is particularly bad.