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One of the Greatest Games Ever Made

  • Mar 6, 2009
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In 1997, a company called Squaresoft released what made the RPG a phenomenon and a game that has often been considered one of the greatest games ever made: Final Fantasy VII.  For many, this was the Final Fantasy which introduced them to the series.  It doesn't disappoint in being an overall fantastic game, and one that perhaps deserves all the credit which it receives.

Final Fantasy VII puts you in the role of Cloud Strife.  He's a former member of an elite group called SOLDIER.  Now he has teamed up with a rebel group called AVALANCHE who is hell bent on saving the planet from the evil Shinra Corporation that is slowly draining the life from the planet.  At first he's teamed up with Barret and Tifa to achieve this, but as the story progresses he'll meet several different characters and realize that there are dangers far worse than Shinra.  Final Fantasy VII not only shows us one of the greatest stories ever conceived in video game history, but also one of the greatest villains.  It has long been debated over which Final Fantasy is the best in the series (this reviewers personal favorite is Final Fantasy VI), but Final Fantasy VII is often the one which is cited. 

Story aside, the game presents itself very well.  For 1997, the graphics are stellar.  The story is told not just through text boxes, but also through some fantastic cinemas that make the gaming experience that much better.  The prerendered backgrounds are among one of the games fantastic visual treats.  The environments actually have quite a bit of detail to them, and a lot of life.  The world of Final Fantasy VII comes alive through much of what you see.  Very few games released in 1997 could achieve this kind of visual appeal.  The character models themselves do not appear to look as fantastic as the rest of the game.  Each character is made of polygons, misses a mouth and can actually be somewhat funny to look at, but it hardly (if it really could) detract from the rest of the game.   The story is also very well written.

Gameplay wise, Final Fantasy VII is very simple to play.  You'll go around exploring towns, but an RPG isn't an RPG without a few battles.  Final Fantasy VII utilizes the Active Time Battle system, which was first introduced in Final Fantasy IV.  Within the battle system each character has a gauge which runs beside their name, when full you can select commands.  Most of the time you'll be attacking, but there is hardly anything here that could be considered hard to grasp.  It's not really a difficult game overall, but you might find yourself struggling in some battles.

To compensate for things, Final Fantasy VII also utilizes a unique magic and ability system known as "Materia."  Equipping specific Materia into the vacant slots of Armor and Weapons can enhance your characters.  There are roughly five types.  Green matera is used to grant a character the power to cast magic.  Blue materia is support matera and can be linked with other Materia to provide additional support, such as allowing you to hit all enemies (or all allies) at once or giving you elemental resistances among other things.  Red Materia is for summoning, Yellow Materia provides you with extra commands and Purple Materia lets you enhance some of a characters independent stats.

There's little reason to use one character over another in Final Fantasy VII because Materia can be exchanged between everyone.  However, to compensate for this, each character has what's known as a Limit Break.    When you take enough damage in battle, your character's limit gauge will fill and you can then perform a very powerful attack.  Each character has a unique set. 

Another aspect to the gameplay besides Materia and Limit Breaks are the games mini-games.  Final Fantasy VII doesn't really have a lot of different side quests you can do off the beaten path, but has quite a few mini-games you can play.  That isn't to say there are no sidequests or other lucrative secrets.  Final Fantasy VII is filled with them.  From hidden characters to a couple of hidden dungeons to explore and two ultra powerful optional bosses.  The overall package will probably take you 30 hours to complete, but the optional content can keep you busy for more than fifty. 

Perhaps one of the best part about Final Fantasy VII is the game's music score.  A lot of it is dark and moody and really fills the situations.  The sound effects might not live up to the Playstation standard (they're reused form the Super Nintendo games) but the overall music score really brings the game to life.

Final Fantasy VII is a game that every gamer should try at least once.  It has a beautiful story filled with incredible themes, plot twists and an overall fantastic story to tell.  It has solidified itself in the video game industry as being an overall fantastic experience.  And rightfully so.  It's an RPG that any RPGer should try at least once.

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September 17, 2010
nothing more to say, except that this is one of the best RPG's ever played. 'nuff said. groovy review.
More Final Fantasy VII reviews
review by . July 31, 2011
Okay, before I get to my opinion about what Final Fantasy VII is to me, let me start with a few quick facts about the game, no matter what you or I personally think of the game: Final Fantasy VII is the biggest hit ever produced by RPG masters Squaresoft (now called Square-Enix), it is the promoted object of the biggest advertising blitz ever seen for a video game, it is three discs long, it is the deciding factor which led many people to buy a Sony Playstation over a Nintendo 64 when both consoles …
review by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
What happened in the three hours of the game?   Your name is Cloud and your a mercenary. You were hired by the group known as AVALANCHE. You don't care who gets hurt, as long as no one gets in your way you can do your job. After destroying one of the many energy reactors in the large city, you head to a bar where you discuss your next plan of action. However, after your next mission you get separated from your group and meet a beautiful flower girl. This is where the game starts to …
Quick Tip by . February 22, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Coming off of FF VI, this was certainly a jump in presentation, and I was as caught up as anybody else who first played it as a kid. In retrospect, it deserves to be remembered for being such a magnificent milestone, but it's certainly not my favorite FF or even favorite PSX era JRPG.
Quick Tip by . February 22, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Coming off of FF VI, this was certainly a jump in presentation, and I was as caught up as anybody else with it at the time. In retrospect, it deserves to be remembered for being such a magnificent milestone, but it's certainly not my favorite FF or even favorite PSX era JRPG.
Quick Tip by . May 27, 2010
While this might have been the tipping point in modern RPG, it was certainly not the best ever made.
review by . February 17, 2009
Square Soft brings the Final Fantasy series to the Playstation with a gem that will (and did) change the industry. Even today, nearly twelve years later, many consider Final Fantasy VII to not only be the best game Square Soft has released, but the greatest RPG of all time. For those not familiar with the series, there were six prior releases to this one and all were considered gems in their own right. So what sets FF VII above all others in the genre?     Story:     Cloud …
review by . August 20, 2008
Well I've always felt that FF6 was the best FF of all times overall.  But storyline, this one's probably the best.  Its got your classic badboy character (Cloud) with the big sword and the cool bad guy (Sephiroth).  I just love the kool chars with the big sword chopping at stuff, makes the character much more kool/likeable like how they do it in a lot japanese animes.  The gameplay was alright except for the fact that you only get a weapon and a bracer for your armor.  Its …
review by . December 11, 2001
This Final Fantasy lives uo to its name. The story is great, the graphic are great, Everything is great. This is a true Final Fantasy RPG.
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this video game


Final Fantasy VII is a console role-playing game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series. It was released in 1997 for Sony's PlayStation and in 1998 for Microsoft's Windows-based personal computers. The game is the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics, featuring fully rendered characters on pre-rendered backgrounds.

Set in a dystopian world, Final Fantasy VII's story centers on the powerful megacorporation Shinra, which is draining the life of the planet to use as an energy source. Players follow a young mercenary called Cloud Strife, who joins with several others to stop Shinra. As the story evolves, the main antagonist, Sephiroth, develops a plan to summon a meteor with the intention of injuring the planet to a point where it would gather massive amounts of its life force in one spot, allowing Sephiroth to collect all the life force and gain control of all living beings.

Development of Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 and was originally intended as another 2D project for the SNES with a New York setting. However, the development team decided to use 3D computer graphics instead and moved onto the Nintendo 64. After deciding to implement the features of the tech demo "Final Fantasy SGI" the game would not be able to fit into Nintendo 64's cartridges, prompting Square to move onto Sony's PlayStation system, which used CD-ROMs.

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Video Games, Gaming, Rpg, Final Fantasy, Role Playing Games, Final Fantasy 7, Ffvii, Ff7


ESRB: teen
Number of Players: 1
Publisher: Square
Developer: SquareSoft
Console: play station 1
Genre: RPG
Release Date: 1997
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