Final Fantasy VII (Updated) User Review
Well, the greatness of FFVII comes from three things: storytelling, setting, and gameplay. These might be considered typical of the genre as many RPGs excel in each of these departments, but there's a certain note FFVII hits that's unlike any other I’ve played, and it starts with the pulse-pounding opening sequence involving a “Mako” factory.
The story revolves around an evil corporation known as the "Shinra Company,” whose desire to capture every last bit of the planets "Mako energy" threatens the lives of everyone, including the planet itself. You play as Cloud, an ex-Shinra soldier and new recruit of the terrorist group, “AVALANCHE,” whose goal is to stop Shinra by any means necessary.
The dynamic of the story is interesting in the way it plays out and also in the unexpected paths it takes. You may think you know where something leads only to be happily (or sadly) surprised. Each of the main characters; Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Sephiroth, etc, all have unique personalities with some that even change over the course of the game.
The setting is a mix between fantasy (you cast spells, have a talking cat in your party, and fight all manner of monsters) and industrial science fiction (the city of Midgar looks like something out of “Blade Runner”). It’s a weird sounding combination, but it works extremely well. The attention to detail in the backgrounds and environments is sometimes mind-boggling.
Like previous entries, FFVII uses a turn-based combat system meaning you take turns choosing attacks, and also introduces the "Materia" system, which gives you the ability to choose which characters use which spells and abilities. This is helpful when you must use certain party members at specific times. Later on you’re also able to traverse a large overworld, ride chocobos, drive buggies, and pilot airships and submarines.
Final Fantasy VII was developed and published by Squaresoft, also known for such great RPGs as Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana on the SNES, and has succeeded in creating something very special. The visual and artistic design of the world blends so seamlessly with the terrific gameplay and story of Cloud that I found myself completely enthralled from beginning to end. Here is a game 14 years after its original release that is still able to capture my heart as if it had released yesterday.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.