Reviews Comments: A great game? Yes. The Greatest RPG Ever? Ehh...
A great game? Yes. The Greatest RPG Ever? Ehh...
I recently downloaded this game from the PSN Store, so due to Popcultural Osmosis, I knew about some of the plot twists ahead of time. That said, the game was still pretty enjoyable. A quick breakdown: Story: 8/10 It starts off as a sort of "Freedom Fighter" plot, which while not particularly original, is pretty good, as far as plots go. Near the end of disc one, it shifts to a more "Save the World from an Omnicidal Maniac" story, which it hangs on to until the end. Along the way, each character in your party has their own backstory fleshed out a bit, either when you first recruit them, or a short time later. Nothing we really haven't heard before, one's the Last Of His Kind, one's your childhood friend, one had his hopes and dreams dashed, so on and so forth. The most interesting one is probably that of the main character, Cloud. Graphics: 7/10 It's one of the first 3D RPGs ever, and it shows. While cutscenes and battles look really nice, especially for its time, in towns and on the overworld map are somewhat iffy. There were points that I thought the game would probably have looked better with sprite-based graphics, but for the most part, the 3D is good. Gameplay: 8/10 This is what really matters. First up, the while the battle system is called "innovative" in the instruction manual, it's really just "turn-based, except if you take too long, the enemy gets another turn." I found the Materia system pretty nice, as well as the LimitBreaks. The only real problem is the difficulty. It may just be that I was overleveled, but with the exception of one boss early on, there was no point that I thought that I was going to die. Even while fighting the original "One Winged Angel," nothing he threw at me hurt badly enough to kill any of my characters. In fact, all his strongest attack did was fill up my Limit Break gauge enough to kill him that next turn. Sound/Music: 7/10 Menu sounds are your standard beeps and doinks, boss music was nice. And of course, the final boss's music was great. Overall: 7.5/10 Definitely above average, and for the 10$ download price, definitely worth it. Took about 45 hours to beat, and I didn't do too much extra stuff like chocobo breeding or fighting the two Bonus Bosses. Would buy.
I think a lot of the plot and characterization elements were more original-seeming when it first came out than it is now. Personally, I consider FFVII to be a sort of Shakespeare of RP Gs. This probably seems like overly effusive praise, unless you know that I consider Shakespeare to be a good, but profoundly overrated writer. FFVII introduced to video games many of the same innovations that Shakespeare introduced to playwriting (which bled into other forms of writing,) but those same innovations have, in my estimation, been built upon and done better in other works, and many of the things that stood out so much when first introduced are now so ubiquitous that it's hard to understand how profound they once seemed. The fame and effusive praise garnered by FFVII is more a matter of how it stood ahead of the competition of its day than how it compares to modern games.
comment #496 Desertopa 27th Jun 09
That's probably the case. If I came off as negative in that section of the review, let me clarify that right now— There's nothing wrong with the story or the characterization. While it may have seemed somewhat unoriginal (or, considering it's been 12 years since the game came out, a bit dated,) it's still extremely well-done for what it is (which is why it got an 8.) Quite possibly, some of the feeling of unoriginality comes from a mix of Older Than I Think, Popcultural Osmosis, and TV Tropes.
comment #500 Wulf 27th Jun 09
First 3D rpg was System Shock, dude.
comment #535 alcatrazz 3rd Jul 09
I'm appalled at 7/10 for the Soundtrack. The entire thing is Crowning Music Of Awesome.
comment #536 occono 3rd Jul 09
@Alcatrazz- System Shock is a First Person Shooter, with RPG Elements, not an RPG. That said, I'm still likely wrong, as there seems to be a lot of debate on what was the first, so I'm editing that line to say either "Squaresoft's..." or "... on the playstation," either of which should be true. @Occono- It's very good, but I didn't find anything particularly memorable, other than "One Winged Angel."
comment #545 Wulf 4th Jul 09
Ah, the old 4PointScale strikes back. I myself played through the first disk for the first time, last year. I liked the steam punk theme, eco-warrior plot and the developed characters, but because I did not experience the game on it's initial release, I hadn't developed that sense of reverence which the age old fans have. The game is fun enough, but I don't think it is anything for anyone to shout about in this day and age.
comment #548 maninahat 5th Jul 09
First 3DRPG is not System Shock. Ultima Underworld beats it by two years and is more definitely a RPG.
comment #667 arromdee 25th Jul 09
I can understand the 7/10 for the soundtrack. The music itself is almost entirely well done, but the sound quality of the music in the game isn't the greatest, especially compared to later games in the series. The music itself is great, but the fact that it all sounds like MIDI's doesn't do it any favors. And I must be nitpicky and point out that he said "one of the first 3D [[RPG RP Gs]]", not "the first". And it was definitely one of the first major [[RPG RP Gs]] to be in 3D; when you bring up the idea, this game is what everyone thinks of. That said, I essentially agree with this review, although I'd throw in the fact that some of the "minigames" are freaking annoying. Like the CPR one. That was a pain.
comment #1657 JapaneseTeeth 13th Jan 10
I felt that the minigames were actually a very clever idea. They gave you a feeling of being in control of what was happening in certain crucial situations, which built up an expectation that I felt was subverted to great effect on two occasions where you are primed to expect to have control, but do not. It was an interesting method to create emotional leverage that I don't think I've ever seen repeated elsewhere.
comment #1709 Desertopa 21st Jan 10
Like the whole black materia thing. You think the minigames were frustrating? That's nothing compared to being able to movie Cloud's spirit around but can't do a bloody thing to stop him from handing the black materia to Sephiroth. (Now, maybe people who absorbed a bit more of the plot through Popculture Osmosis were expecting it. I wasn't. I also wasn't expecting Cloud to almost kill Aerith, and everything I tried to stop him just brought him a little closer to dropping the Buster sword on her.)
comment #2627 Brigid 24th May 10
and that was the point, the point of helplessness you felt was the same thing Cloud's spirit was feeling. That's what I think is the big thing about Aerith's death, it was a shock at the time because she was the female lead, the love interest, etc. etc. but more than that, it was how much they made you care about her. "and everything I tried to stop him just brought him a little closer to dropping the Buster sword on her" exactly, you "tried" to find a way to stop it, you didn't just let things ran it's course like in other games, I haven't seen another game that actually affects your emotions other than God of War 3
comment #8493 marcellX 8th Jul 11 (edited by: marcellX)
I'm one who REALLY loves Final Fantasy VII (I wouldn't say "greatest RPG of all time", but I'd say it's damn close), but I also really appreciate a fair review like this one. I hate bashing of the game, but gushing gets equally annoying, even to one like me who adores it. Kudos for keeping a good balance in your review. ^_^
comment #10474 ManwiththePlan 3rd Oct 11
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