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Final Fantasy VII, the game that everyone keeps telling me is the most amazing game to ever have been created and will ever be created, even its own remake will never hold a candle to it... I find it a mediocre game.
The graphics were pretty low on the Okay standard, even for 1997. I saw 3D Polygon graphics from 1995 that were better. And nowadays, it's actually painful for me to play the game with these graphics. About 30 minutes, tops, and I need to stop, cause my eyes begin to burn. I don't know if it's because of the large color difference between the nice, toned-down backgrounds and the brightly colored sprites or anything else. But I will ask: if they could make nicely proportioned characters in-battle, why not use them for out of battle? At least try to smooth Aerith's dress.
The battle system... well, it's basically the same one I've played in IV, V and VI. The materia is akin to the Espers in VI, 'cept you have immediate access to the spell/technique and don't need to unlock it. Though you do need an All Materia, if you want to multiply spells.
The story is okay... but the translation (particularly the German one I initially played in, before switching to English, the translation was that bad) is horrible. The (in)famous lines are not funny and minor alterations to the translation could have made things much more comprehensible.
The characters are unlikeable and I cannot care about them. I only like Aerith and Yuffie, but I do not care. Aerith's death? I laugh. Because the scene looks derpy and stupid, not tragic. Also, it was so obviously, you could smell it wind-down, coming from miles away. Cloud was okay at first, then became obnoxious and settled into being a boring hero character in the final third. Tifa is a pointless addition. The rest are not worth mentioning.
Finally, nothing VII did was new. To RPGs or Final Fantasy. Character death? II started it, IV, V and VI continued it and I cared more about those deaths, than Aerith's. The insane villain was better done with Kefka, in my eyes.
Perhaps it was a good game at the time, but I think people have overhyped and exaggerated the good parts. It doesn't hold up to today, in any department, it never did anything new and I had to force myself to finish the game. It was a chore for me to finish it.
I personally disagree with almost everything you said.
The graphics: They don't bother me that much. I agree that it would've been cooler if they had the battle models throughout the game, but, as it was one of, if not the first games to be created of that size and Squaresoft's first 3D Final Fantasy game, I can forgive them for simply experimenting.
The Battle System is very fun, (though I personally prefer turn based battles) though I can't make comparisons to FFIV, V, and VI due to having limited experience with IV and only seeing Let's Plays of V and VI.
I personally liked the story, and the translation, for me, is a case of So Bad It's Good. For example, I always crack up laughing at Aerith's line of "This guy are sick". The story kept me engaged, even going through with the knowledge I had that Aerith dies (more on that later) and Sephiroth is the big bad. I felt like I had a reason to fight Shinra, especially after they dropped the plate on Sector 7. It was a shocking moment that made me think "What the hell is wrong with these people!? I've gotta kick their ass!"
The character's: I completely disagree with you there. Yuffie does not interest me in the slightest, and pretty much makes me wonder why she's even there to begin with. Aerith's characterization here as more of a tomboy then the incorruptible pureness that I'd become used to with later incarnations is very interesting and one of my favorite characters in the game. The first time I played, Cloud having an identity crisis near the middle of game hit me hard. I had grown accustomed to the cocky coolness: The leader of the party breaking down and questioning everything, including if he's even Cloud or a Sephiroth clone was upsetting to watch, and to see Cloud come through and finally kick Sephiroth's ass was a sight to behold. Tifa: I feel meh about her. I don't hate her, she just doesn't interest me. Now Barrett: He's my favorite Final Fantasy protagonist out of the games I've played (which would be 1, 2, 3, and 7). He's no nonsense, he's gruff, and he's extremely dedicated to whatever the goal is, whether it be destroying Shinra, tracking down Sephiroth, or saving the planet. He grows to care about everyone in the party, and you can tell how much he cares about the Planet and Marlene.
Now Aerith's death shocked me. I knew it was going to happen: I just didn't know it would happen so soon. To see Cloud holding her lifeless body and speaking about sadness made a tear or two pop out. It's even worse when you fight J.E.N.O.V.A. immediately afterwards and Aerith's Theme is STILL playing in the background. It's a heartbreaking moment for sure.
Sure, Final Fantasy VII didn't do much different for RP Gs then IV, V, and VI, but it doesn't make the game bad because of it. Look at Pokemon: it barely changes anything, but most of the series is still great. I agree, though, that Kefka is a much more entertaining villain than Sephiroth.
Overall, the game, of course, has become overhyped. It's most definitely NOT the greatest RPG ever, or even the greatest Final Fantasy game ever. But the game is still good, in my eyes. And I never played the game when it was first released. I first played the game in January of last year. I finally finished during the summer, because I had other games I liked to play. I'm began my second Playthrough a few days ago, and I still love it.
Couldn't you just have made your own review instead of trying to steal this guy's thunder, intentionally or unintentionally?
I personally liked the story, and the translation, for me, is a case of So Bad It's Good.
See, I never saw the point in laughing at that line. It never was funny for me; all I saw was a basic mistake that shouldn't happen, but if it does, can easily be rectified by one proofreader. (Or the person who wrote it, but after taking a short break and re-reading it)
And I'm admitting it, I played the European version of VII, which had a worse translation than the English one. Horrible and basic translation mistakes - Drain was translated as Rohr, meaning the drain one finds in a sink and not the verb to drain, as it was intended. Also, I saw English text among the German stuff and untranslated Japanese. It was incomprehensible to read.
I felt like I had a reason to fight Shinra, especially after they dropped the plate on Sector 7
Maybe you care more easily than I do about some random NPCs, but I couldn't give a crap about what Shinra did.
and pretty much makes me wonder why she's even there to begin with
I could say the same about the rest of the party. The only people in this game who seem at all important are Cloud, Sephiroth, Aerith and Zack. In that order. The rest are filler, could be cut out and nobody would care. It would make no difference to the game or its plot.
It's a heartbreaking moment for sure.
Not for me. I knew it was gonna happen and I was looking forward to the scene. You know THAT scene that had apparently shaped my generation of players... quite frankly, Kefka destroying the world in VI was a bigger shock to me than Aerith dying. Especially since... Aerith died because plot. And I felt like Cid's potential death in VI was, again, much more heartwrenching than Aerith's. And that Cid was a non-party member that I barely interacted with before he potentially croaked.
Look at Pokemon: it barely changes anything, but most of the series is still great.
Uh... sure. You say that. I think Pokémon would be better if it removed 'Evil Teams' and focused on the actual plot it always had: go get badges and become the champ, I don't need to save the world while I'm at it. That's not what I'd play Pokémon for.
And I never played the game when it was first released.
Neither did I. I didn't have a Playstation growing up, I played it when I was... I think in my late teens. At least 10 years after its initial release.
You forgot Tifa, 'cuz yes, she's an important factor in regards to the game and the plot. Without her, Cloud wouldn't have recovered his lost memories and would've gone on believing he was someone that he wasn't.
Zack is an Ascended Extra who didn't gain plot relevance until Crisis Core and Advent Children. Whereas in FF VII itself, he was only a bit character that was used to explain why Cloud had changed from what Tifa remembered. She played a bigger role (than Zack) as Cloud's childhood friend/love interest and emotional support, and was also co-leader of AVALANCHE along with Barret.
So removing her would effect a significant portion of the game, since no one else in the group knew Cloud well enough to know he wasn't himself. And had she not been there to help restore his psyche, odds are, he would have become a Sephiroth clone like Hojo intended. Meaning, Sephiroth likely would've succeeded in destroying the planet.
I didn't count her because she's important for one scene. Which could easily be rewritten in a way to not require her. Hell, she was only created because Square thought without some dumb love triangle in the party, the players wouldn't care about the characters! (Unfortunately, did the opposite. I didn't care cause I never saw a potential love triangle, period.)
Meaning, Sephiroth likely would've succeeded in destroying the planet.
Honestly, that kinda sounds better than what we got.
She's important for the entire game. How else were they gonna explain how and why Cloud changed? Even if they used a flashback, it wouldn't have told the others there was anything off about him. That took someone who knew him personally, before he changed, and she was the only one who did. But her role went beyond just helping Cloud, she was also co-leader of AVALANCHE. They were using her bar as the cover for their bass of operations.
My point was, the other characters weren't fillernote unless you count Yuffie and Vincent, who were originally a pair of optional characters that retroactively gained plot relevance in ACC and Dirge of Cerberus, because each of them had an important role.
How else were they gonna explain how and why Cloud changed?
Given how, when Cloud talks about the Niblheim events, Tifa doesn't mention a single thing about, "Wait, what? You were there? That doesn't sound like you." or anything that could make HER sound important to actually make it come across as if Cloud changed.
Not counting how bleedingly obvious the game made it that there was something supremely off with the Niblheim event.
There's a reason she didn't say anything.
According to Square Enix, she was comparing what Cloud was saying with her own recollection of those events and knew something wasn't right. But she didn't want to say anything in front of the others, until she was certain that her own memories of the Niblheim incident weren't faulty.
That may be, but it's beside the fact. Just because the audience knew, doesn't mean the characters did. And the only who knew the truth of the matter wasn't saying anything to protect a friend. But once they were alone in Cloud's subconscious, she finally set the record straight.
I'll admit, I don't think FFVII is the greatest game of all time, either. It does have its fair share of flaws. However, despite it's flaws, I did like the game.
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