Final Fantasy VII (1997) Review

Final Fantasy 7 is a JRPG from Square Soft (Square Enix) it was the first game in the series to get a release in PAL regions and before being released on the PS1 it began development for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, later into its developmental cycle it was pushed towards Nintendo 64 however due to the advantages of CD-Rom technology this game was dropped from a Nintendo 64 release making it the first in the series to not get a release on a Nintendo video game system

The game was remade for the PS4 in 2019 however in this review I am purely talking about the original and will review the remake on its own when I get around to playing it.

It is no secret that the plot to this game is insanely complicated so I’m going to try and sum it up the best that I can.

The main party member in the game is Cloud Strife an ex soldier who works with a group of eco terrorists to help save the planet from an evil god like super human named Sephiroth who wants to steal the earths essences.

In the game Cloud meets many characters but the most important and in my opinion best character in the game is a flower girl named Aeris, depending on how you interact with her will determine how Cloud and Aeris’s Relationship grows in the game and her character is so likeable that it makes her final scene even more heart breaking.

I wont into anymore plot details due to spoilers but if you want to watch an excellent video about this game, its influence and the plot then I suggest Clement Remembers Final Fantasy VII, I had no input with the video but it was a great understanding of how special the game really is so please use the links below to watch the video and of course give the creator some love by subscribing to his YouTube Channel.

Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ClementJ642

Clement Remembers Final Fantasy VII https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_Dq4ysZafU

The main gameplay is nothing new for a JRPG it follows the simple premise of using a world map to run into random battles, visit towns and different areas and drive various vehicles, what this game does do differently is the use of Materia.

Materia are different types of energy that can be collected in the game and assigned into weapon and armour slots, this allows characters to perform different actions including magic casting, commands, summons and other upgrades. I mostly found use in magic and summons but the enemy skill Materia also came in handy. One Important thing to note with magic Materia is the all Materia this when matched with a magic Materia can spread its effects across all enemies or allys instead of just one, this is extremely useful for healing your entire party at once and is one of the most useful Materias in the game.

Its not only battling you can do in the game but with a little exploration you can discover many fun minigames, by far the best is Chocobo racing which is diffciult at first but once you get used to it, it is so much fun, another memorable side game was snowboarding down a mountain which I didn’t enjoy purely because I was terrible at it, apart from this there is an arcade in the game which allows you to play many different types of fun games, it really is a blast and as is an area I often revisit when I want to have a break from the main plot.

In the game Cloud can gather up to eight additional party members which includes two secret characters Vincent and Yuffie who are not necessary for the plot however I recommend grabbing them as they are very good and I actually used them both when taking on the games Final Boss.

The game is so large it’s actually on three disks and took me about 60 hours to finish, because of this as you can imagine the graphics are not amazing but I will say that because of how many different areas are in the game it makes up for it in its variety, there are CGI cut scenes in the game and these are gorgeous and only happen in major plot moments.

The music for the game was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and it is one of the greatest video game soundtracks I have ever had the pleasure of listening too, the music is very atmospheric but a lot of fun in its light hearted moments, the game chooses to not use music at all in certain scenes in order put the focus on very important plot details and that is something that not many games do, its rare that a game will just stop music and the moments Final Fantasy VII chooses to do this are perfect. The best track in the entire game in my opinion is One Winged Angel, it is the only track to my knowledge that uses vocals and this only happens during the true final battle of the game, it gets the player pumped for a very intense fight and it makes sure that you know that this is the moment when you need to truly put everything you learned in the game to the test, the music in this game is absolutely breathtaking and I will never forget it.

I cannot fault Final Fantasy VII because it may be the best JRPG I have ever played, I have not been this invested in a video game in a long time and I cant find much I dislike about the game, it had an amazing yet complicated plot, great characters that are all very likeable in their own ways, had clear objectives and little level grinding was necessary, it allows players to make their own choices which will eventually affect small plot points but will not ruin the main plot and it remains entertaining throughout and not once does it become boring or feel like a chore. If I had to nit pick I would argue that some labelling on the over world map would make navigation a little easier but apart from that this Final Fantasy VII is well worthy of a Final Score of 10/10

Thank you for reading my review of Final Fantasy VII for the PS1

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