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Final Fantasy VII back to reviews
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A good game that didn't age very well.
Final Fantasy VII has several minor problems and one major problem. That major problem is that it suffers from one of the worst cases of Seinfeld Is Unfunny in the whole medium of video games. Many elements of the game were mind-blowing when it first hit in 1997. The opening cinematic might not look like much today, but when it first hit, the sheer amount of detail and realism was staggering. The world was more detailed than nearly anything else available, and seeing the battles rendered in full 3D after the static sprites of FFVI could send chills down your spine. The plot was more original and psychologically complex than nearly anything else on the market at that time.

The problem is that games in general, and the Final Fantasy series in particular, continued pushing the envelope. Graphics got more and more detailed and realistic, worlds got larger, battle systems got more complex, and even more complicated and downright mind-screwy plots were written. In comparison, FFVII looks incredibly roughshod and haphazard at points.

This isn't to say that the game doesn't have any inexcusable flaws. It certainly does. The translation is notoriously iffy, and the graphical push ends up being a hindrance sometimes when its hard to tell what parts of the screen you can walk on. The script, while ambitious, can be heavily overwrought and occasionally narm-y. The battle system didn't really make any marked improvements over FFVI, a lot of the quick-time event type minigames are more aggravating than anything else (I'm looking at you, CPR).

But on the flipside, it has some solid merits to it beyond its ambition. The soundtrack (despite the fact that the sound files aren't of the highest quality) is still one of the best video game soundtracks ever, and the cast is one of the most memorable video game ensembles out there. Glitches aside, the gameplay is mostly solid, and it doesn't suffer from needless complexity or simplicity.

Long story short, FFVII might not look like much compared to the numerous games it inspired, but it's still well worth playing even though many of the elements look old and outdated. Despite the appearance, there's plenty of substance there.
I found the battles to be quite a bit faster paced than FFVI, so I would consider that to be a good improvement.
comment #18167 doctrainAUM 11th Feb 13
Dude, everything ages. You can't just blithely throw out a criticism like, "eh, localzation's not so hot, bad graphics", because that was the rule in '97. This is like complaining about black & white film stock.

And while I'm sure there are weirdos who complain about old movies being boring, I think you were trying to sound more more... no, wait, that's exactly what you sounded like. Good god, man.

comment #19656 johnnyfog 4th Jun 13
I think the reviewer wasn't trying to be negative, though they did come out as a captain obvious, they just basically re-described the Seinfeld Is Unfunny trope using only one example.
comment #19660 marcellX 4th Jun 13
@Johnnyfrog: That's not what I meant, like, at all. I played the game back when it first came out, and even then I could tell that while the graphics were incredibly ambitious, they still hindered the gameplay at points, and that translation issues like "That guy are sick" or misspelling one of the game's Wham Lines shouldn't have made it into the final product. Just because that was "the rule in '97" doesn't make them any less problematic. Even reviewing the game fresh out of the box in 1997 those would still be valid criticisms. It has nothing to do with the technical limitations of the medium; definitely not "complaining about black and white film stock." Tons of games came out in 97 and not all of them had graphical issues like FFVII.
comment #20251 JapaneseTeeth 18th Jul 13
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