Squaresoft - Tested on the PlayStation by Kyle Swiston in 2000, reworked in 2019.
Well here it is. Final Fantasy 7. This is without a doubt one of the most popular rpg ever released. While it was great, it gets credit with a lot of ideas simply because it was the first rpg many people have ever played. In fact, it isn't even one of the best chapters in the Final Fantasy series. Before you FF7 fanatics go into a rant I'll start explaining myself....
Many say that this was the first true adult theme in an rpg. While this is DEFINITELY NOT TRUE, the story is very mature and complex. Each character has there own ambitions, fears, and doubts. Not one of the cast members could be left out. Even Sephiroth, bad ass extraordinaire, came off tragic after learning is past. Don't get me wrong, he's completely nuts, he just has good reason to be. Overall, the story is very interesting. Definitely interesting to hold your attention for the 65+ hours.
Besides character development, this is a game that excels at dishing up the most unexpected events you could think of. Plot twists galore, sometimes it even plays like a suspense movie. Don't get me wrong, there are dull moments (as in any rpg), but I guarantee that you won't remember a single one by the time you finish..
If I was reviewing this 3 years ago, I would have said that this game deserves a definite 10 in the department. However, 3 years HAVE passed and the current batch have rpgs have sharper graphics and higher quality CG. Still, this title does stand the test of time and does not look in any way dated. It's plain to see that Square labored many long years on this gem.
The soundtrack for this game is stellar. Definitely on of the top ten psx soundtracks ever, if not one of the top five. Each character and town has a unique sound to it creating a perfect gaming environment. This is the kind of music that you'll be whistling for years to come. The sound effects are top notch as well. Whether it is a gunshot or the clashing of swords, each sound is very precise and distinct.
Like all the FF titles, part seven is no slouch on gameplay. The materia system is one of the greatest magic systems ever. Simple to use yet very complex. The control is also right on, whether it be walking around or flying the highwind, everything goes smooth and jitter free. The camera is even dead on.
Um..... Made rpgs main stream????? Kidding aside, FF7 is innovative in that it helped pioneer polygon characters in rpgs. Wild arms started it and Final Fantasy perfected it. The limit break feature is also innovative. When you're getting the crap kicked out of you, it helps to have some heavy hitting attacks.
There are a plethora of mini games available throughout the course of your adventure, From raising Chocobos, to visiting the gold saucer, there is always something to take your mind off the sometimes depressing story. There also tons of side quests for the completists out there. As for replay, I don't see all that much reason to replay the game.... Although I'm sure others will disagree with me.
Back when Kyle wrote this review, the impact of Final Fantasy VII on the world of RPGs could still be felt in the RPG community. Up until 1997, people were used to enjoy a niche genre where games were complex, but simple in a visual way. Aside of that, this was the only genre that focused heavily on story and presented 50, 60 hour game experiences to gamers for a single playthrough. And then came FF7, with new graphics and great CGI scenes that made even players of other genres to endure the classic gameplay mechanics of this game.
A lot of time passed and FF7 was released on many platforms in its original forms, the Nintendo Switch being the latest where this game has been released. But so many people have fond memories of this game, often being the first RPG that they played at all - just as this review stated.
So a remake is on the horizon that again includes every aspect of a modern AAA game on a Final Fantasy series game. The Final Fantasy VII remake on PlayStation4 and other upcoming consoles will be action oriented, completely in in game graphics and released in several episodes. The seventh installment of Final Fantasy is the glorious past for many players. Will it also be the future?