Final Fantasy VII

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North American box art.

Final Fantasy VII is and fantasy role-playing game developed and published by Square and released on the PlayStation in 1997. It is the seventh game in the Final Fantasy series.

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 later watched him a couple other times at different points through the game, including the final battle which he won in a single round because his characters were so over-powered due to grinding. This, no doubt, colored my opinion of the game when I tried to play it myself years later after buying it in a Humble Bundle. I played about the equivalent of the first disc before becoming too bored to continue.

Status

I own this game for Windows but have not beaten it.

Review

  • Overall: 3/10
  • Best Version: Windows

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • 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 nice idea.
  • Having the character's eyes fade last when performing a summon is a nice touch.

Bad

  • 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 frequently enough to be annoying.
  • The character design is bad. Everyone is dressed in utterly ridiculous costumes often with ridiculous hairstyles. Their shape is also awful, with legs accounting for about 2/3 of their body. Outside of close-ups they look 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 any attachment. Rather than a dragon or a skeleton, you fight a spiky ball with tentacles called a "Beachplug" or an onion with a gray skirt called a "dorky face."
  • Though a fan of Nobuo Uematsu's previous work in the series, 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, none of the male characters. Tifa is especially bad, fighting in a halter top and a miniskirt held up by suspenders.
  • 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 frequently. The Sprint Shoes from FF6 would have been preferred.
  • During combat, the camera sometimes focuses away from the action or moves in close behind a large monster obscuring the battle field. More effort should have been spent on preventing this.
  • With the tiny arrow, and the wriggling monsters, it's often difficult to tell which enemy you're targeting during combat. I occasionally found 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.
  • Despite being ripped and having a gun for an arm, Barret is actually a weak character.
  • It's petty, but the game has terrible box art.

Ugly

  • 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 are far more deadly than bullets and lasers. It's obnoxiously 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.

Media

Box Art

The box art for FF7 is particularly bad.

Documentation

Fan Art

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Final Fantasy VII
Japanese ファイナルファンタジー Fainaru Fantaji VII Final Fantasy VII

Links