Final Fantasy VII is the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series. Developed by Square (now known as Square Enix), the game was released on the Playstation system back in the 97’s, and later on, being published by Eidos Interactive for the PC on ’98. It was also released on the Playstation Store this year (2009).
Final Fantasy VII was the first game in the series to use 3D computer graphics and tells us the story of Cloud Strife, a mercenary and former SOLDIER, who joins a rebel group to fight against the Shin-RA Corporation, to stop their wrong methods to drain the energy from the planet and transform it into Mako Energy which is used as the main source for everything.
Cloud and all his teammates, as they travel around the world known as Gaia they discover more and more secrets and end up fighting and searching for the main antagonist, Sephiroth.
There are a lot of plot twists and you’ll be thrown countless times to a pit of deep-feeling momentum. You’ll learn to love the story, to love the characters and to love the gameplay.
The game follows somehow, the footsteps of Final Fantasy VI presenting a well developed world, ruled by machinery and high-technology approximating Gaia to a near-future sci-fi.
As you travel around the world, you’ll discover new places, you’ll unlock new side-quests, discover new items and even meeting new characters. You’ll first meet an industrial metropolis, Midgar serving as headquarters to the president Shinra as he uses all of his power in world government. As you leave Midgar behind, you’ll start your journey on the world map and you can visit small towns like Kalm, a Chocobo ranch, Fort Condor which holds another Mako Reactor and another major city Junon.
As the player starts his adventure on the game he might wanna pay attention to the gameplay, first of all, back to the game when he was still published by Square Soft, you need to know that the “Confirm” button is the circle () button.
As the game starts, you’ll be in the place of Cloud and your first mission is to infiltrate Reactor 5 and blow it up to smithereens. The controls are quite simple, use the D-Pad to move the character around and press () to run . The () will let you access the menu from where you can check your items list, your weapons, your materias, and game settings. The () has no designated function but it is used for actions in certain sequences and mini-games.
The battle system is also really simple and you’ll get use to it in no time. The Active Time Battle (ATB) system consists in timed bar which as they fill some battle actions will be presented and more can be unlocked if you unlock and equip more materias to your weapons. You can attack normally or you can even call powerful beasts, dealing lots of damage to your opponent. You can even attack your partners, which sometimes is quite useful if they’re under certain aliment status such as “Pyramid” effect in Reno’s first encounter. Apart from attacking using items, other options are available if you equip these crystallized Mako spheres, which call upon the wisdom of the Lifestream, the flow of life in Gaia, in order to manipulate nature itself. You can use it to cast spells, summon powerful creatures or even increase your character stats.
One thing that attracted me the most was the Gold Saucer. It is an amusement park in the middle of a wasteland which can only be accessed by a rail car by Mt. Corel. As soon as you get to the top, you can enter the station and enter some areas which would either let you play mini games, contests, sleep at the Inn, or even take a ride at a gondola, which later on, depending on your progress along the way, Cloud will ride with in a date with one of the characters. You can also visit the Chocobo Square and bet on these chicken-like mounts, similar to horse races. You may also bring your own chocobo later in the game and enter the races yourself. You can also raise and make it stronger, faster and build its stamina and depending on their stats they can also have different colors with specific characteristics. Yellow chocobo can only walk on the ground while gold can walk through everywhere, be it ground or mountains and open sea.
The soundtrack was made by the one and only Nobuo Uematsu, and Final Fantasy its his 22nd project he worked on and despite of its length, the soundtrack took less than a year to complete. Innovative as it was the first game ever to include a track with digitized vocals on “One Winged Angel”, described as Uematsu’s “most recognizable contribution” to the music of the Final Fantasy series. The soundtrack gives you an intensive feeling of compassion. An hard feeling down your spine delivering a counter blow of power as the song gets more gloomy or hyped, depending the situation you’ll be facing.
Final Fantasy VII’s soundtrack also contributed to a lot of remixes and other soundtracks of the compilation, which includes Dirge of Cerberus, Crisis Core and Advent Children, and among all of them the most popular songs are “Those Who Fight“, “Aerith’s Theme” “J-E-N-O-V-A” and the previously mentioned “One-Winged Angel“.
Final Fantasy VII promises to bring you hours of enjoyment and entertainment. If you like emotional stories, action, science-fictions, magic and amazing characters with huge swords and with a lot of hair-style while they ride a huge chicken then this is the ideal game for you, or maybe not, at any rate, considered one of the best games ever made, Final Fantasy VII is a must-to-play if you’re a fan of Role Played Games.