Retro Review – Final Fantasy VII
For many it’s the best game ever created, for others its, well not, and some say it’s overrated. At the end of the day it’s down to opinion and for me it the greatest of all time, by quite a distance.
Initially the setting immerses you in a city that is conflicted by power and those that oppose it. The events takes you into the struggle between Shinra and the rebels for about 8-10 hours of great gameplay, it takes you from this scenery and brings you into a totally new world where accompanied by an amazing score you realise that what you just played was about 3% of accessible environments that you will journey through as well as unearthing a deep, deep story. From here on in the story dives in further through characterization and a wave of brilliant story telling to create an overall phenomenal experience. The story for me set a benchmark from the depth of the characters to the immersion of character relationships to creating emotions, which I had never felt in any other previous game.
The gameplay is turn based like the traditional japanese rpg. You can equip materia which allows for further abilities such as magic and summoning guardian forces as well as normal attacks. During attacks, a limit gauge would build up to unleash devastating attacks and would often be a saviour.
While graphically it’s much different by today’s technical standards, but to many the way the visuals were, its part of the memory of what made it great. Pre rendered backgrounds rich in detail accompanied by 3-D block characters, chibi like.
I remember playing it for the first time at the age of around 9 or 10 and thinking what the hell is this, its unlike anything I’ve ever played (I’d have never played an RPG prior this) this was once the screen changed to the battle screen and I thought it was then suddenly changed into a platformer. Then I was even more perplexed. A few weeks later I’d thought I’d give it another go and once I got the hang of things and the way it played, it was just awesome from then. Iâ€™d never played a game with such a progression in story and gameplay from moving around freely to fighting. The more it went on, the more I got into it.
The musical score like every final fantasy is beyond beautiful and this really highlights the musical genius of Nobuo Uematsu giving a sense of emotion and pure escapism as well as enriching the story and events surrounding characters. There are too many tracks in this game that I could name out of sheer brilliance. Everytime the game was played the prelude would start before the menu and I would always wait a minute or so before proceeding.
Final Fantasy in general has always been a huge inspiration to me from story telling, from beautifully orchestrated music to the amazing character designs by Tetsuya Nomura and cover designs by Yoshitaka Amano. As this one of the first rpgs I ever played it had a huge resounding effect on me and how I look at story telling and other rpgs today, but I would never doubt for a second that for me, this is the greatest game ever created, a masterpiece I will always look back on.