Final Fantasy VII is considered by many to be a classic, and though some of the previous installments had varying degrees of success, VII has the honor of being theFinal Fantasy game that made Final Fantasy popular in America. It came out all the way back in 1997 and was the first in the franchise to utilize polygon graphics and to be developed for the PlayStation. Furthermore, it was also the first game of the series to be ported to Windows. At the time of its release, it had some of the best graphics ever seen in a video game.
Though they suck by today’s standards.
This was also the first Final Fantasy game to take place in a more modernized setting. On the whole, it was the first Final Fantasy to do a lot of new things. This game was pretty groundbreaking, and has thus far been one of the most successful games ever. Certainly, VII has a lot going for it. Not only was it different in terms of technology, it also features a lot of well-written characters and a good story. That’s not to say that there aren’t any problems in the game. There are problems all over the place.
The biggest issue I noticed right away is how this game was edited. Everything involved with it is a graphic designer’s nightmare. And I don’t just mean the game. Everything from the box to the strategy guide has problems. The translations are terrible, and they mar what could otherwise have been a great story. It’s not a good sign when even the game box has noticeable, easily fixable mistakes. I cannot actually take a picture of my game box for you guys, because the text would be too small to read, so I recreated the image instead.
Well, I will agree that that is a very creative way to spell “masterpiece” and I’ve never seen it done that way before.
Many stories struggle with showing over telling. While I can think of a few notable exceptions, I’ve noticed that it’s not very easy to make the supposed heroes of a story actually heroic when they’re terrorists. There’s nothing that grinds my gears more when characters are presented to me as self-righteous heroes before doing some pretty unheroic things. Final Fantasy VII struggles with this a bit.
Our playable party consists of people belonging to the terrorist organization AVALANCHE—which is apparently not an acronym, so I don’t know why it’s written like that—and their goal is to save the Planet from the evil corporation Shinra. As mentioned in a previous post, Shinra is an electric company, and it gathers power from something called Mako, which comes from the Lifestream. The Lifestream is essentially the Planet’s blood, so by sucking it out of the ground, Shinra is subjecting the Planet to a slow and painful death.
Once again, I feel the need to repeat that, yes, the world is actually called the Planet.
So I’ve already given an overall review on the plot of this game, but for any of you who either didn’t read that or didn’t play the game, here’s what the plot boils down to in its simplest form: some asshole’s mother tells said asshole to summon a meteor to murder the Planet, so he does it without question. Of course, that doesn’t really do the plot justice, because as I said last time, Final Fantasy VII can become really complex, especially when we take into account the setting and character backstories.
Furthermore, VII did something completely unexpected and shocking: It killed off a main character.
This is not something that often happened in games at this point in time. The death of Aerith has to be one of the most memorable moments in video game-dom. Unfortunately, though FFVII did succeed in giving Aerith’s death meaning, her passing is still surrounded by plot holes.