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Final Fantasy VII













SquareSoft’s Final Fantasy VII was released on the PlayStation with much hype and fanfare, including television commercials and huge bus stop ads in metropolitan areas. For many months, it seemed Final Fantasy VII was the only game available for the PlayStation. For those who played it, this was practically the case. The game’s epic storyline and impressive production values made for a game that kept one immersed for anywhere from 30 hours, “rushing” through, to more than twice that, exploring every available option.

The PC translation of Final Fantasy VII is fundamentally the same game as the PlayStation version, which makes for both its greatest strengths and its most frustrating weaknesses. There was obviously a great deal of attention spent improving the graphics, but other equally important areas – the sound, the interface – have been neglected.

Final Fantasy VII tells the story of a young mercenary named Cloud. At the outset of the game, Cloud has hired himself out to Avalanche, a revolutionary group set on sabotaging a huge corporation’s plans to harvest all of the energy from the planet. Cloud is an ex-employee of Shinra Inc., the corporation in question. While the Avalanche members’ intentions are noble, Cloud’s are, it seems, strictly financial. Throughout the first segment of the game, Cloud works with Avalanche in the elevated city of Midgar and the slums that exist below it. Because of the events that transpire there, he must venture with them beyond Midgar, across the whole of the planet, where the story becomes much more complex.

This complexity is the heart of the game, and describing too much of the story would give it away. What makes Final Fantasy VII so involving, though, is not just the story it tells – the characters themselves are intriguing. Each of the main characters has interesting motivations and history. Much of the game is devoted to painting these portraits, with Cloud’s being one of the focal points of the game. So as not to spoil anything, a simple understatement will have to suffice: Cloud is easily the most interesting and complex character ever presented in a game.

The game utilizes many different styles, depending on the event and the location. When wandering around cities, you play from an Alone in the Dark-style perspective, where different angles are used in different areas. When in the world map, you see everything from a birds-eye overhead view. In both cases, your party (made up of three of the available characters) is represented by a single character, usually Cloud. Combat is a hybrid of real-time and turn-based. It takes place in real time, but it takes a certain amount of time for your characters to perform moves. It’s sort of a best-of-both-worlds scenario, where you must act quickly, but it’s not a purely response-time-based situation.



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Posted December 12th, 2009 by admin.
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