Final Fantasy VII defined my childhood. It’s a classic role playing game for the original Playstation that is often regarded as one of the best, if not the best, video game of all time. While 16 years separates it from today’s games, it still remains a classic, blocky graphics or not.
It’s hard to summarize a piece of work of any sort into basic parts, but in the world of video games, three things reign supreme: story, game play, and originality.
Part of me wishes I could forget Final Fantasy VII so I could play it over and witness the story brand new all over again. A bigger part of me though, is perfectly happy with the time I’ve spent wrapped in this game’s story.
We’re throw into the footsteps of Cloud Strife and friends as they pursue Sephiroth, who is often regarded as one of the most wicked villains of all time, and attempt to stop him in his twisted conquests.
It’s little things like “Sephiroth’s fire scene”, Cloud’s speech on the airship or music that’ll make you tear up years after a play through, that have etched their way into my memory and taught me lessons of bravery and friendship, and the value of a having a strong heart. This game goes above and beyond in its story line; it doesn’t just keep the player playing, it’s the reason the player’s playing.
RPG’s aren’t typically known for their game play. Usually it’s driven by statistics and random encounters that are played out on a turn-by-turn basis.
Final Fantasy VII does a great thing in that it doesn’t stray far from the RPG style, but throws in enough to make it interesting and fun, something most people would drop an RPG for lack of. Instead of a rigid turn-by-turn style, characters are given Active Time Battle gauges that dictate when their next turn will occur.
To overcome the diverse range of enemies and boss fights, it’s vital that the player balances their characters through careful use of equipment and materia, which, by in-game definition, are orbs of material that grant characters special abilities. With hundreds of materia and hundreds of equipment set-ups, the potential for battle-customization is endless, and with endless challenges, it makes for a dynamic battle system.
Final Fantasy VII is absolutely unique. You can breed chocobos to bring you to uncharted islands (they literally don’t appear on the map), you can explore old towns for further character development, you can fight impossibly difficult optional bosses, or you can just play the game through. It’s a magical experience no matter how you cut it.