My review of FFVII

The Turk

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I recently joined this forum and introduced myself in my OP in the new Bodhum forum where I explained how I got into the FF series. I also mentioned FFVII was my fave out of those I'd played but I'd also incredibly gone about fourteen years without playing an FF game and fifteen years since I'd last played FFVII and that it was hearing news of the remake that re-awaked my interest in the game and the franchise as a whole.

Anyway, as a result I decided to play the original for the first time in fifteen years and it honestly felt I'd never stopped playing it. It was a great feeling. So having recently completed it again for the first time in all those years here's my review:
For me it's just simply still the best and most influential game I've ever played. I'd never played a game remotely like it before. Sure, it's not perfect and the graphics have dated but there's still so much that's good about it.

Right from the beginning the game grabs you with the sight of a mysterious woman holding a basket of flowers followed by a zoom out for a view of one of the most unique looking fictional cities I've ever seen to this day. Then the game begins as it drops you into the middle of a bombing mission. I'm hooked already!I

There's no one reason why this game means so much to me. It's the story which was compelling and had genuinely brilliant twists and turns. It's the unique band of characters who band together for different reasons to take on Shinra and Sephiroth. It's the compelling villains: The Shinra Corporation , The Turks and of course Sephiroth. I loved how for a while he was just a mysterious figure who we didn't know for sure whether he was a good guy or a bad guy or even what he looked like until that flashback when we get to Kalm.

Getting back for a moment to the playable characters. If you actually see an image of all nine playable characters I think that goes some way to explaining why it's so many people's fave FF. Like I said earlier they really are a unique bunch of characters. You have three of them in their early twenties: a blonde spikey haired guy with a ridiculously big sword, a girl who's a kick-ass martial artist and a girl who's a graceful magic specialist, sometimes a damsel in distress but can also take care of herself.
You then have an angry big black guy in his thirties with a gun for an arm and swears a lot, and an angry white guy in his thirties who smokes and swears a lot.
There's a teenage ninja girl who's a thief and gets travel sick.
A guy in his late twenties who would've been in his fifties if he hadn't been put into a cryogenic sleep in a coffin in a mansion basement by a mad scientist.
Finally a couple of characters who aren't even human: a red furred, four legged beast who can talk and a fortune telling robot cat who rides a big stuffed moogle.........and can talk.
I mean seriously, what sort of mind came up with a crew like that who the world depends on to save them from oblivion?! Absolute genius and I love it!

Obviously the gameplay is another huge reason we all love it too. The battle system, the materia system, the side quests, the set-pieces like the motorbike chase, the mini games. There's so much depth to the gameplay it's incredible.

Finally the music. Not every tune in the game is that memorable and the battle theme really grates after a while but those that are........ OH MY how memorable they are! Tifa's theme, Aeris/Aerith's theme, the FF7 theme itself but there were many others.

That pretty much sums up my feelings on the game. I'll make other comments on the game on other people's threads soon. Sure, there are areas in the game I would've changed but to sum up it's still an amazing game fully deserving of a remake.
 

Dionysos

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Well said!

I think one of the strongest parts of FFVII is its imaginative and diverse cast. Few Final Fantasy games can truly come to close to that. FFIX and FFVI perhaps being the main contenders there, but FFVII did a better job than FFVI at incorporating all of the characters into the story. Even the optional characters Yuffie and Vincent were more than mere afterthoughts and still retain their own storylines (in fact they were the opposite of afterthoughts as they were originally going to be compulsory but Square was running out of time).

You’re right about Sephiroth too. He’s incredibly mysterious in the early stages of the game, and I really liked that. It builds up the suspense and makes it all the more impactful when you do finally get that backstory during the famous Nibelheim flashback scene.

Before FFVII my only experience with video games had been games like Crash Bandicoot. Fantastic platformers which I loved a lot, but Final Fantasy VII seriously blew my mind with what was possible in a video game. Reading your review, it seems like a lot of people felt the same way.

Fast-forward to today, many of us will get to experience it anew in the Remake. To many it will be like a homecoming.
 

The Turk

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Well said!

I think one of the strongest parts of FFVII is its imaginative and diverse cast. Few Final Fantasy games can truly come to close to that. FFIX and FFVI perhaps being the main contenders there, but FFVII did a better job than FFVI at incorporating all of the characters into the story. Even the optional characters Yuffie and Vincent were more than mere afterthoughts and still retain their own storylines (in fact they were the opposite of afterthoughts as they were originally going to be compulsory but Square was running out of time).

You’re right about Sephiroth too. He’s incredibly mysterious in the early stages of the game, and I really liked that. It builds up the suspense and makes it all the more impactful when you do finally get that backstory during the famous Nibelheim flashback scene.

Before FFVII my only experience with video games had been games like Crash Bandicoot. Fantastic platformers which I loved a lot, but Final Fantasy VII seriously blew my mind with what was possible in a video game. Reading your review, it seems like a lot of people felt the same way.

Fast-forward to today, many of us will get to experience it anew in the Remake. To many it will be like a homecoming.

Thanks for the reply!

You have a point about FFIX's cast. I only got through the first disk the last time round but from what I saw of it seems to have a diverse cast too. I'll be replaying it as soon as I've finished FFVIII.
As for FFVI I know even less about that game so can't comment on their cast but from what I've read online it seems to be the most highly regarded of the first six FFs. I'm planning on getting a PS Vita so I can download and play all six of them. I look forward to seeing FFVI's cast most of all.

I'm glad to see you and many others on this forum and elsewhere felt the same impact of FFVII. Incredibly it took me a long time to realise just how popular that game was. Not sure why. Maybe it was because it took a long time after the game's release to get any sequels, prequels or spinoffs. For about a decade Square just seemed to concentrate on moving on to new stories in new worlds before they released the compilation of FFVII. I get why they did that as that'd been the way they almost always did it up til FFX.

In fact nowadays I'm fully on board with Square constantly creating new worlds and new characters as I realise it's one way to refresh the franchise and stop it from going stale, however much we may love any individual FF world and the characters in them.

Nonetheless it was probably the reason I underestimated FFVII's popularity even though I loved it. I guess I just assumed most FF fans were just focussing on each new FF game rather than raving about how great FFVII was. I know better now 😄 and it's great to see in this forum and elsewhere that FFVII still has a huge number of fans even after all these years though I can also see pretty much every other FF game has its' legion of fans too (as this forum shows) and that's also good to see!
 
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Dionysos

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I suspect that you shall not regret FFVI! It is an amazing game. Definitely my favourite of the ‘classics’. That's not to suggest that the others are weak though. I love FFIV and FFV a great deal too, but FFVI has a fair portion of that special quality which FFVII has. At least for me and many others it does.

The Final Fantasy fandom is incredibly diverse. You have some fans who have been playing since the original 2D games (these fans are rarer), some who first discovered Final Fantasy during the PSX days with FFVII (although others skipped and started with FFVIII which was well-marketed because of the hype FFVII had received), some who began with the PS2 era (mostly FFX), the PS3 era (FFXIII), and now FFXV on the PS4. There are a lot of 'generations' of fans now with some considerable overlap. Many have played and loved games which were created before their first FF game, but some just stay with the games they are comfortable with. All are part of the fandom. Our experiences can differ greatly.

FFVII has always had a particularly large fandom because it is incredibly well made, but also it is one of those rare landmark games which raised the bar. The sub-fandom for FFVII was also fed with a lot more material due to the Compilation (and now the Remake) so that has only caused this sub-fandom to grow larger and larger.
 

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I just finished replaying FFVII a few weeks ago in prep for the Remake :lew: One of the things that I feel like that makes this game so special is that, even having played this game several times before, I continue to catch/learn something new that I didn't quite get the last play through! I couldn't believe how much I had glossed over in the past. Though I'm sure it largely has to do with that I'm playing this game a little bit older wiser, I also think that there was just so much story and lore in this game, you almost have to play it another+ time!

I agree, the cast is very diverse and all have a reason for fighting. More interesting is the antagonist(s), especially Sephiroth and Jenova. I think motive is what makes a good bad guy, and I feel like Sephiroth & Jenova both have such an interesting plot that really makes this game in particular special. I think FFVI does a really good job too, but I think FFVII does just a little better of a job in my opinion. I can't speak for FFIX though :lew: I'm a bit bias.


Also, I'm curious, would we really think FFVII's graphics were that terribly bad if it weren't for the poorly done character models? :hmm:

I'm glad to see you and many others on this forum and elsewhere felt the same impact of FFVII. Incredibly it took me a long time to realise just how popular that game was. Not sure why. Maybe it was because it took a long time after the game's release to get any sequels, prequels or spinoffs.

Growing up, if I hadn't involved myself in forums much like FFF here, I don't think I would have realized how popular this game was either, at least I wouldn't have until I got much older. Gaming just wasn't as widely talked about back then in my hometown at the time, but online there were so many people! I think Dionysos hit the nail on the head as far as the FF Fandom is concerned - with having various people playing during different times & eras. When I was younger I couldn't quite understand why anyone would be in the FF Fandom having not played FFVII, (Like those having been introduced in the PS2/FFX era) but now that I'm older I think instead I just appreciate how awesome as a whole the entire series is, and how there is probably a FF for everyone :D It just so happens that for a lot of us it happens to be FFVII... (Or FFIX :blush:)


I'll be interested on your take of the other games :D I'm about to move onto VIII next after I complete the FF7R - It'll be interesting to revisit VIII as well, so maybe we'll have completed them around the same time, who knows! But I'm glad you have rekindled your love for FFVII. :)
 

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If you haven't played FFX yet I definitely recommend it, it's my second favourite after VII. Also do yourself a favour and avoid the compilation like a plague.
 

Prince Oberyn Martel

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Also, I'm curious, would we really think FFVII's graphics were that terribly bad if it weren't for the poorly done character models? :hmm:
Even today I still stand by these so called 'terrible' character models. Back in 1997 Final Fantasy VII looked far more impressive than any other RPG at the time, including the character models which IMO fitted the style of the pre-rendered backgrounds. Almost every other RPG on the PlayStation was still using 2D sprites against a pseudo-3D environment. Not just RPG's but alot of polygon models from other genre's looked about the same back then. I don't remember anyone complain about FFVII's polygon models and how they looked... at least not until VIII and IX were about with their more detailed models. With those 2 games however the style of the art of the pre-rendered backgrounds also made a shift suiting those models more. I admit the models of VII do look a little funny but it's that which gives the game part of it's charm. I've even avoided using mods to 'remaster' the models to more realistic look purely because I dont think those enhanced models fit well with the backgrounds.
 

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Even today I still stand by these so called 'terrible' character models. Back in 1997 Final Fantasy VII looked far more impressive than any other RPG at the time, including the character models which IMO fitted the style of the pre-rendered backgrounds. Almost every other RPG on the PlayStation was still using 2D sprites against a pseudo-3D environment. Not just RPG's but alot of polygon models from other genre's looked about the same back then. I don't remember anyone complain about FFVII's polygon models and how they looked... at least not until VIII and IX were about with their more detailed models. With those 2 games however the style of the art of the pre-rendered backgrounds also made a shift suiting those models more. I admit the models of VII do look a little funny but it's that which gives the game part of it's charm. I've even avoided using mods to 'remaster' the models to more realistic look purely because I dont think those enhanced models fit well with the backgrounds.

I can't deny that I agree with most of what you said! In my personal opinion I think they fell short mostly with how they decided to do the hands on all the character models, save for Barret whom they decided to give a thumb (though I find it distracting!) Honestly it's my only gripe, as I think the polygon aspect of their character models are a bit charming to the game as well. Though I'm not sure what other way they could have gone about it, so I suppose it's not much of an argument. In terms of graphics as a whole for FF7 alone I think it's still the weakest aspect, as everything else was honestly really good looking.

I think it's possible FF7 just gets flak for it now because, like you said, when compared to VIII & IX (and so on) it falls short, and thus is notoriously known for it's 'poor graphics' - Which again I don't think is really as bad as people make it seem. Though I've found it hard to persuade someone from the PS2 era & onward to go back and play some of these older games, which is a bit sad. But people love to hate popular things I guess.

I've even avoided using mods to 'remaster' the models to more realistic look purely because I dont think those enhanced models fit well with the backgrounds.

I was just looking for an excuse to post this picture again :lew:

1586383681359.jpeg
 

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I love the Lego style graphics. It certainly does possess its own unique charm. I really want some of the figures made of these renders which iSmiff has been collecting!

They definitely do belong with the backgrounds more than any 'realistic' mod graphics. They always look out of place and significantly less charming.

The main downside of the Lego person graphics is that it sometimes made scenes appear humorous when they weren't intended to be. It could be rather distracting. :argor:
 

Prince Oberyn Martel

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The main downside of the Lego person graphics is that it sometimes made scenes appear humorous when they weren't intended to be. It could be rather distracting. :argor:
The scene that shows Barret getting shot in the arm and Dyne falling to his (apparent) doom comes straight to mind.
 

The Turk

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Also, I'm curious, would we really think FFVII's graphics were that terribly bad if it weren't for the poorly done character models? :hmm:

You have a point. The character models look fine from a distance but up close they look a little comical though as you and others pointed out on this thread it does give the characters a certain charm.The graphics aren't bad as such but playing FFVIII and being wowed quite often by the scenery in that game made me realise how ordinary FFVII's graphics looked by comparison. FFVIII and FFIX (from what I remember of the latter) managed to produce more stunning graphics in their pre-rendered backgrounds and special effects during battles despite both using the same PS1 console technology as VII. VII's graphics aren't a massive flaw but they are its weakest aspect imo. Obviously it's more than made up for in other departments like gameplay and storyline.
 

The Turk

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Growing up, if I hadn't involved myself in forums much like FFF here, I don't think I would have realized how popular this game was either, at least I wouldn't have until I got much older. Gaming just wasn't as widely talked about back then in my hometown at the time, but online there were so many people! I think Dionysos hit the nail on the head as far as the FF Fandom is concerned - with having various people playing during different times & eras. When I was younger I couldn't quite understand why anyone would be in the FF Fandom having not played FFVII, (Like those having been introduced in the PS2/FFX era) but now that I'm older I think instead I just appreciate how awesome as a whole the entire series is, and how there is probably a FF for everyone :D It just so happens that for a lot of us it happens to be FFVII... (Or FFIX :blush:)


I'll be interested on your take of the other games :D I'm about to move onto VIII next after I complete the FF7R - It'll be interesting to revisit VIII as well, so maybe we'll have completed them around the same time, who knows! But I'm glad you have rekindled your love for FFVII. :)

I was the same when I was younger. I wouldn't have been able to understand how anyone could prefer any other FF game to FFVII either back then but now I appreciate different games appeal more to different people for different reasons and that makes for a more interesting and balanced debate on forums like this. It's also made me realise that the FF franchise is now bigger than any individual game, yes even FFVII 😄.

Besides FFVIII is starting to grow on me as well on my second playthrough (18 years after my first and only previous time I completed it!) after previously dismissing it so I imagine I'll enjoy playing the other FFs too. I'm actually already near the end odd that game having just reached disc 4 today so I reckon I'll have completed it way ahead of you but I'll deffo be happy to discuss my thoughts on the game with you once I've finished it. 😀
I'm the meantime enjoy the FF7R and let us know what you think of that!
 

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Sorry I'm a little late here, but seeing The Turk's post in Digest just struck such a nostalgic chord for me! Like many of us my story is almost identical to yours, with respect to how/when I got into FF7 (my first FF as well and my favorite game ever for all the reasons eloquently described above), and the fact that I went... wow, 17 years without FF, after completing FFVII, Tactics, FFVIII, and FFX (also easily my second favorite as many say). You did mention the excellent "set pieces" in FFVII... I could spend days on Blitzball in FFX...

What woke the FF beast in me, before Remake actually started to convince us it was finally real, was NES Classic! Being a 90s kid NES was my first system; we were a big Super Mario household. So I was gifted the NES Classic for a birthday and noticed Final Fantasy on it. (For those who aren't aware, NES Classic has a copy of the english translation of the original FF, glitches and all.) And it's a good game! Great even, considering the era. The fun of seeing original enemies, characters, motifs, and gameplay commands that go back that far was so special.

Now that I've got my shit together with my own media equipment in my own house, I resolved that it was time to explore as much as I could from the very beginning, to see how it all evolves, how they solve various gameplay issues, etc. I think I put down my list of goal games in my OP, but that's changed a bit thanks to advice from others here. Here's where I'm at so far:

Final Fantasy on NESc (complete)
FFII on PS1 (Origins) (complete)
FFV on PS3 PSN (complete)
FFIII on PSP (current)

Oddly enough, FFII was the most fun of those for me so far. The famous job system of FFV was interesting, but felt like time-consuming filler after a while. As some here have mentioned, I have heard that FFVI is the best "classic," really looking forward to that one.

But I can't wait to replay original FFVII and actually beat Emerald, Ruby, max out Yuffie, and other stuff I didn't bother to do my first time. Then do it all again with FFVIIR 😁

If anyone is interested in my updated 30-game goal list, I'll post it here. Looking forward to more impressions of VII-R!
 

Dionysos

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If anyone is interested in my updated 30-game goal list, I'll post it here. Looking forward to more impressions of VII-R!

Sure, go ahead and update your thread or create a new one if you like. :)

It's good to see where you are with the series at the moment, but also how The Turk's review has resonated with you. FFVII is certainly back on the menu for many people right now. Even when people aren't playing the Remake, it seems a lot of people are replaying the original. And that's awesome.
 
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