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'[GAME] Final Fantasy VII (PSOne Classics)'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Final Fantasy VII'.
Tue 23/02/10 at 20:11:
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
Final Fantasy VII Review

Final Fantasy. Two words that have become synonymous with the RPG genre over the many iterations into the franchise Squaresoft (and later Square-Enix) have created. Arguments over the greatest game of the series burn on amongst many forums across the internet and no-one has come to an actual conclusion (probably because it’s an entirely subjective argument based on opinions and the facts never come into play, but I digress). I have absolutely no intention of entering those arguments.

What I do intend on doing is a review on a specific one. Final Fantasy VII, of course. Final Fantasy VII has recently become available for purchase on the PSN store in America and across Europe, so I decided to pick it up. The game follows Cloud (or any other silly name you decide to give the main character, but Cloud is the default, of course) immediately after he joins AVALANCHE, a group based in the Midgar region, who’s mission is to rid Midgar of the evil Shinra Corporation. Shinra provide energy (sourced from the Mako energy contained within the planet) and protection to the inhabitants of Midgar, whilst in the meantime performing many different experiments to gain access to a better land. As the story progresses, it is up to Cloud to stand up to his past to protect the planet from the destruction which awaits it.

The story-telling in this game is absolutely remarkable. It is extremely rare for me to feel “involved” in the story of any game, but Final Fantasy VII dragged me in and actually got me almost emotionally attached to the characters of the game. This is extremely to the game’s credit and it is not one a game I have played before or since has managed to do. The oft spoiled ending to the first disc is surrounded by outrage and disappointment, but through the complaints and discussions this brings up, the game has very much done it’s job.

Graphically, the game is not exactly ugly. For a game that was released two generations ago, the backgrounds to the main levels are absolutely superb, although the character models are a bit blocky in places, the game looks absolutely fine, and even better than some PS2 games. Obviously it’s not going to compete with the games of the high-definition era, but when you go back to play games like this, the graphics are the least important aspect.

The gameplay in essence is extremely simple. Either a scripted or random encounter occurs during the course of the game. A timer appears for each character in your party (and an invisible one for your opponents), and they can either attack, use items, or defend when the timer runs up. This timer determines the order in which each character does their actions. The fight ends when either side (hopefully the enemies, you’re better than them, right?) runs out of hitpoints. Simples.

Well, there’s a little more to it than that. There is the ability to make formations, pushing someone back to be hurt less by direct attacks (but lowering their attack in the process). Running away is a choice in most fights (unless they’re scripted, or if you are surrounded in battle) but it is quite unusual to be able to run unscathed. Some enemies (or medicines) can inflict certain ability modifying conditions that could end up being quite useful in certain fights. Materia can be added to certain equipped weapons and armour to allow the wearer access to magic and other abilities. But wait…there’s more! But I shan’t bore you with the details.

Alongside the main gameplay and battle mechanics, Final Fantasy VII also has mini-games interspersed to break the game up ever so slightly. They do this well, although some will not be everybody’s taste. From motorcycle battling to snowboarding to real time strategy-like games, there are a few different types to keep it a bit interesting. For the majority of them, you can play them as many times as you want, so if you find a particular game enjoyable, it’s like another game inside the game for a bonus.

The music that encompasses the game is extremely professional and mood setting in many of the locations. However, if one criticism has to be made, it is that some of the areas can have a long time spend in them, and the music can be fairly repetitive and get annoying after a while. Other than that, the sounds of battle are fairly plain, but do the job just fine, very much being overshadowed by the vastly superior music that surrounds the battle.

The Playstation3 features are fairly consistent with what is expected from PSOne classics. Save games go into a PS1 memory card that has to be pre-made beforehand (so make sure you do that before you fire up the game), and pressing the home button allows you to have a flick through the game’s manual on screen, or to change the disc (which is a bit irritating, it’d be better if it did this automatically, but I guess that’s due to limitations.)

Now, I have a bit of an admission to make to finish this review off. I already have FFVII, in disc form, for the PS1. I bought it just before the release of Final Fantasy X for PS2, I thought it was brilliant then, and nothing has changed as I play through the game again. I cannot recommend this enough for anyone who has not had the pleasure of playing through this game.

9.6/10
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Tue 23/02/10 at 20:11:
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
Final Fantasy VII Review

Final Fantasy. Two words that have become synonymous with the RPG genre over the many iterations into the franchise Squaresoft (and later Square-Enix) have created. Arguments over the greatest game of the series burn on amongst many forums across the internet and no-one has come to an actual conclusion (probably because it’s an entirely subjective argument based on opinions and the facts never come into play, but I digress). I have absolutely no intention of entering those arguments.

What I do intend on doing is a review on a specific one. Final Fantasy VII, of course. Final Fantasy VII has recently become available for purchase on the PSN store in America and across Europe, so I decided to pick it up. The game follows Cloud (or any other silly name you decide to give the main character, but Cloud is the default, of course) immediately after he joins AVALANCHE, a group based in the Midgar region, who’s mission is to rid Midgar of the evil Shinra Corporation. Shinra provide energy (sourced from the Mako energy contained within the planet) and protection to the inhabitants of Midgar, whilst in the meantime performing many different experiments to gain access to a better land. As the story progresses, it is up to Cloud to stand up to his past to protect the planet from the destruction which awaits it.

The story-telling in this game is absolutely remarkable. It is extremely rare for me to feel “involved” in the story of any game, but Final Fantasy VII dragged me in and actually got me almost emotionally attached to the characters of the game. This is extremely to the game’s credit and it is not one a game I have played before or since has managed to do. The oft spoiled ending to the first disc is surrounded by outrage and disappointment, but through the complaints and discussions this brings up, the game has very much done it’s job.

Graphically, the game is not exactly ugly. For a game that was released two generations ago, the backgrounds to the main levels are absolutely superb, although the character models are a bit blocky in places, the game looks absolutely fine, and even better than some PS2 games. Obviously it’s not going to compete with the games of the high-definition era, but when you go back to play games like this, the graphics are the least important aspect.

The gameplay in essence is extremely simple. Either a scripted or random encounter occurs during the course of the game. A timer appears for each character in your party (and an invisible one for your opponents), and they can either attack, use items, or defend when the timer runs up. This timer determines the order in which each character does their actions. The fight ends when either side (hopefully the enemies, you’re better than them, right?) runs out of hitpoints. Simples.

Well, there’s a little more to it than that. There is the ability to make formations, pushing someone back to be hurt less by direct attacks (but lowering their attack in the process). Running away is a choice in most fights (unless they’re scripted, or if you are surrounded in battle) but it is quite unusual to be able to run unscathed. Some enemies (or medicines) can inflict certain ability modifying conditions that could end up being quite useful in certain fights. Materia can be added to certain equipped weapons and armour to allow the wearer access to magic and other abilities. But wait…there’s more! But I shan’t bore you with the details.

Alongside the main gameplay and battle mechanics, Final Fantasy VII also has mini-games interspersed to break the game up ever so slightly. They do this well, although some will not be everybody’s taste. From motorcycle battling to snowboarding to real time strategy-like games, there are a few different types to keep it a bit interesting. For the majority of them, you can play them as many times as you want, so if you find a particular game enjoyable, it’s like another game inside the game for a bonus.

The music that encompasses the game is extremely professional and mood setting in many of the locations. However, if one criticism has to be made, it is that some of the areas can have a long time spend in them, and the music can be fairly repetitive and get annoying after a while. Other than that, the sounds of battle are fairly plain, but do the job just fine, very much being overshadowed by the vastly superior music that surrounds the battle.

The Playstation3 features are fairly consistent with what is expected from PSOne classics. Save games go into a PS1 memory card that has to be pre-made beforehand (so make sure you do that before you fire up the game), and pressing the home button allows you to have a flick through the game’s manual on screen, or to change the disc (which is a bit irritating, it’d be better if it did this automatically, but I guess that’s due to limitations.)

Now, I have a bit of an admission to make to finish this review off. I already have FFVII, in disc form, for the PS1. I bought it just before the release of Final Fantasy X for PS2, I thought it was brilliant then, and nothing has changed as I play through the game again. I cannot recommend this enough for anyone who has not had the pleasure of playing through this game.

9.6/10

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