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Video Game Review: Final Fantasy VII: An Oldie But Goodie

by Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

LSR Gamer Review Graphic-FF VII

There are many games that make it on my list of greats, but the one that is dear to my heart is Final Fantasy VII. Sure, it may look dated now (it released in the US in 1997), but it’s still a great game. I revisited this classic after learning about the remake that’s coming out soon (I hope). With updated graphics and gameplay, my inner fan girl of this franchise had me squealing with delight.

What makes a game stand the test of time?
  • Unique storyline
  • Gameplay
  • Likeable characters
  • Graphics
  • Music
  • Nostalgia value
Storyline

Final Fantasy VII is a world in crisis. The evil corporation Shinra has monopolized energy resources and has forced the citizens of Midgar into a sort of poverty and depravity. Enter the resistance (dare I say terrorists-in Shinra’s POV anyway), bent on destroying Shinra and protecting the environment. Cloud, the protagonist, (sort of ass-holey), pointy haired, big sword toting, guy that he is, joins this resistance as a mercenary for hire. The leader of this group, Barrett, often butts heads with Cloud, but in the most funny of ways. However, despite the evilness of Shinra, the main baddie, Sephiroth, is whom the heroes of our story must stop.

The cohesiveness of the storyline and the fact that most of the characters have a stake in fighting (Well, except Yuffie, she just wants to steal your stuff) and saving the world from certain destruction.

 

I must mention that there are at least two scenes in this game that made me cry.

Final Fantasy VII screenshot 3 Cosmo Canyon

Final Fantasy VII screenshot 4 Aeris Cloud

 

Will not go into too much detail as they are spoilers, but man the feels. Still.

 

Gameplay

This is a simple RPG complete with turn based fighting and menus. Battles are in ATB (active time battle), which basically means the three characters that you can bring to the battle each get their own command and once they’re executed, the enemy counters.

Also, there’s the map, dungeons and towns/villages that you can explore. One of the best things about Final Fantasy VII are the mini games and side quests. Chocobo racing & breeding is time consuming, but oh so fun.

chocobo

 

Likeable Characters

Cloud’s standoffish stance is constant throughout the game, but after he meets Aeris, and his sort of meltdown soon thereafter, shines a light on the many depths of his character.

Tifa, Aeris, Barrett, Red, Cait Sith, Yuffie, Vincent, Cid, The Turks, are all pretty memorable, but nothing takes the cake other than Sephiroth, the villain. (All except The Turks and Sephiroth are playable characters.)

I may or may not have had a crush on this psycho LOL.

Graphics

One must keep in mind that when this game came out in 97, it was a pretty big deal. I played it on PC and it was one of the best out there. Also, it was the first Final Fantasy with upgraded graphics and cut scenes. It may look dated and honestly it doesn’t have the cleanest lines, but it truly is a diamond in the rough.

Final Fantasy VII screenshot 1 Cosmo Canyon

Final Fantasy VII screenshot 2 Tifa and Cloud

Music

Final Fantasy as a whole has great music. Back then, Nobuo Uematsu was still composing the music for the series and he was amazing. Music makes any game memorable, it helps move the story along, and it gets stuck in your head when your grinding for levels.

Here’s Cid’s theme, one of my favorites.

 

Fun fact: There is almost always a Cid in a Final Fantasy game. 🙂

Nostalgia Value

Since this was released during my formative early teen years, I might have a little bias towards this game. Not sure how someone who’s used to amazing graphics and action will take to this game, but seriously the storyline alone is what makes this game great. There are no live voices; it wouldn’t be until Final Fantasy X where that would take place.

When I heard about the remake I was a little hesitant, but after seeing what they did with it, what they’re adding to it, made me so happy and excited. I replayed the classic just to refresh my memory, although I did not really need to.

Here’s a trailer comparison between the 97 release and the remake.

 

Final Fantasy trailer 1997

Final Fantasy VII remake (release date: ???)

Do tell header

Have you played this? Please let’s gush over it. If not, what games do you like to play?

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Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight
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I’ve never played any Final Fantasy game! I’ve never played any real rpgs actually, just West of Loathing which is technically an rpg but also very jokey. Honestly I avoid a lot of games simply because I cannot with the real-time fighting, so the fact that the original FF7 was turn-based is cool. These games do look cool though, I’m always kinda bummed that I’m missing out some cool stories and characters! But that giant sword in the trailer

Greg
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I have never played a Final Fantasy game (I know!!!) but I do want to- one of these days. I feel like I’m missing a huge classic!

Mary Kirkland
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I’ve never played any games.

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