Many Final Fantasy VII Opinions

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Today, I am going to bollock on and on about Final Fantasy VII.

If you didn’t already know, Final Fantasy VII is a Japanese RPG released on the original PlayStation back in 1997 in Japansfadadsfadagajkagkaj look, if you want facts and numbers and information and all that shit, then you’re in the wrong place. I’m here for opinions, baby.

We all know what the deal is with FFVII now, if you don’t, then skim the Wikipedia page for it and come back. It’s a game that tops many people’s Best RPG lists, and is widely regarded as one of the best games off all time. [citation needed]

Is it though? Is it really? Well, I have some of those aforementioned opinions coming up right now.

There are several issues with Final Fantasy VII. The first that comes to mind is that it has aged considerably. It was a technical marvel when it was released; coming on THREE CDs and featuring hours of video, story, beautiful environments, and music, it was a thing to behold back in 1997. But technology has advanced over the years and it all looks rather dated now. The rest of the game can no longer hide behind the wow factor.

The story is a jumbled mess. I have played through the game several times and it only just about makes sense now. This isn’t helped by the fact that the Japanese to English translation is completely shagged up the backside.

This translation are fucked.

The sparse save point system is a pain in the arse, there’s no journal so it’s easy to lose track of what you’re supposed to be doing, the turn based Active Time Battle system is predictable and offers no challenge once you work out the One True Strategy for each encounter, and it takes about 10 hours to get out of the first city.

So, all in all, Final Fantasy VII is objectively not great. It was an exciting event in its time but, ultimately, it’s objectively a bad game.

The thing is though, it’s my favourite game of all time.

If it was possible, I would marry FFVII and father its children. Yes, those children would be horrific, mutant CDs made of meat that only lived for an agonising few seconds, but my point remains. I love FFVII so much I could shit.

It’s not even that I love the game in spite of its flaws, I think I love it because it’s exactly how it is. If anything was changed, I think that would take away something special from it. The game is so, so much more than the sum of its parts.

The story is a little impenetrable, but I think it’s wonderful, and the characters are perfect. To me, the story is about dealing with loss and grief. The planet is dying and each character has lost something personal to them such as family, relationships, identity, innocence, or dreams. Eventually, the player loses something too. [SPOILER LINK]

The translation, while utterly fucking borked, is charming in its weirdness and adds a layer of whimsy to an otherwise dark story. It makes the whole thing quite human. And the music! The soundtrack to FFVII is God damn perfect and draws the entire experience together in the same way that John Williams’ music defines Star Wars. Nobou Uematsu deserves a medal or something for his work here.

As far as the predictable turn based combat goes. I like it. I just do. I have no other explanation.

I bought FFVII on a whim back in 1997, I knew nothing about it, but I took it home and excitedly stuffed it in my PlayStation. I played about 20 minutes of it and hated it. I considered returning it but decided to give it another shot the next day. The following day, I played it again and started to get into the story and the characters a little bit more. 10 hours in, I was escaping Midgar assuming I was coming up to the end. (Remember, I’d never even seen a game THIS long at this point.) That was when the overworld opened up and revealed the full size of the game. It blew my socks off so hard that they reached escape velocity. I believe they are now orbiting Jupiter.

I currently own the physical PAL release from 1997, the same PAL release on the PSN, the PS4 port, a dodgy download of the US NTSC version, and I shall be buying it on a cartridge for the Switch later this year. I love it and I shall continue to purchase it in all its forms like the disgusting fanboy I am, including the Remake which should hopefully be released sometime before the heat death of the universe.

This game are bloody wonderful.

Glen

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