Final Fantasy 7 (Original)

9.5
9.5 score
[Editors rating (9.5) + Users rating (8.0)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (9.5)/10


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Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
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Final Fantasy 7 (Original) Review Facts

Are you interested in finding a great RPG game? Something that is a throwback to the 90s? Well, let us tell you about one of the best games that the original PlayStation era ever had according to most RPGers! We are of course talking about the RPG revolutionizing Final Fantasy 7. This game has been heralded as one of the most innovative of its time, and that is absolutely true. This game has spawned several sequels and even a movie. If the industry knew back in 1997 that this one game would change the way video games were made, they and we as gamers may have wanted to let everyone know to check it out. Read on, and learn of this game in its complete glory.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great Replayability
  • Amazing Soundtrack
  • Memorable Cast
  • Awesome Story
  • Many hours of gameplay
Cons
  • Weak Gameplay Graphics
Visuals

Visuals

Having mentioned in the cons that there are weak gameplay graphics, allow us to more fully explain. The landscapes of the actual gameplay portion of Final Fantasy 7 are very well done. Vehicles, buildings, even the various animals that appear throughout the game look great. People, on the other hand, are a lot less attractive in comparison. The graphics for combat are very well done, making players want to be in combat if only to constantly revel in the true appearance of the wonderful cast of characters. Cutscenes are divided between the beautiful graphics of combat and gameplay graphics. Some cutscenes have the poor character graphics from normal gameplay, which makes one wonder if Square-Enix had to rush to make the deadline for release or if the storage capacity from the days of Playstation was too little to handle making each and every cutscene equal to their better counterparts. No matter what the case may be, it matters little, as this game's overall visuals will leave a lasting impression on anyone who takes the time to play it from beginning to end.
Audio

Audio

This soundtrack is something akin to heaven on Earth. The music of many locations are catchy and never seem to get old or annoying. Boss battles are especially fun, due to the fact of the amazing music that was composed for this game. Every location and every character has their own unique theme. While the music is definitely held back by the technology of the era that it was made in, it is a serious cut above what other games were doing at the time and raised the bar for any game or franchise that wanted to compete with it. Personally speaking, we find the soundtrack so appealing that we often find ourselves humming certain songs without even realizing that we are doing it. Any game that can bring about such a reaction is one to remember, that's for sure. Even now, the soundtrack and the game's sound effects can still stand toe-to-toe with anything out there. That is not an easy thing to say, really, when a person considers the fact that music on games from the 80s and 90s are more digitized and lack vocals (mostly!).
Gameplay

Gameplay

We are going to break this down into several parts because there are several aspects of gameplay. First off, we will be covering normal gameplay. Moving about the world or locations of Final Fantasy 7 is easy, all a person uses is their joystick and one button to interact with objects and people. It is so simple and easy that a person almost begins to underestimate the true depth of this game. Don't be fooled, devoted reader, this game is deep and complicated, but in a truly pleasurable way.
Next, we will cover the battle aspect of the game. This part is definitely more complicated than moving about the world, with options that include (but are not limited to) Fight, Magic and Items. A player must build a strategy for each individual character and each team of characters you can assemble. Two buttons and the joystick are needed for this part of the game. One button is used to confirm a choice and another button to cancel any choices that were mistakes. What magic and abilities a character can use are selected through the menu of the game and are limited by the number of slots each character's equipment allows them. So, the player needs to think as they pick which materia, magical stones that are made from the essence of the world, they put onto each character according to those slots.
Some materia don't even carry an ability or type of magic, instead of carrying modifiers for other materia. A solid example for this is the All Materia, which allows an ability or spell to target all the enemies or heroes on the field. Of course, this too is limited by what type of slots a character has. Equipping an All Materia or one like it in a single slot will do a character no good, but when a piece of equipment that has two slots that are connected by a thin strand, these are where one would equip these materia. In explanation of this key game feature, if one slot has Cure in it and you add an All to the, instead of curing one member of the party, you now cure the whole party.
The last part of the gameplay that we will talk on is the menu. This is an important feature to talk about, as the menu is where you adjust your equipment, materia, view your stats, access items, change your party formation and even save the game. This is where the true depth of the game shines as a player needs to really stop and think about what they're doing. Filling a party with a bunch of fighter-type characters may seem ideal as they deal a lot of damage and have higher health, but these characters also tend to lack in the magic department, leaving you with less when it comes to offensive and defensive spells. This can leave a player stuck endlessly on certain battles, or at least until you run out of curative items. Always be aware of your locations and make sure you have a party that fits together and are well equipped. So, as pointed out, while the controls to this game are rather simple, the truth is, this game has a depth that one would overlook at first glance, believing that they can rush headlong into any situation without preparing and readying themselves.
Narrative

Narrative

At the start of the game, you are in Midgar, a giant city that is broken into sectors. You play as Cloud Strife, a mercenary who is currently working for an eco-terrorist organization called AVALANCHE. The goal is to put a stop to the Shinra Organization, who is slowly killing the planet by siphoning off the planet's life energy for profit.
Mako, the life energy, powers almost everything from lights to vehicles. Cloud accompanies AVALANCHE in an attack on a Mako reactor, a location where the life energy of the planet is pulled out and converted to produce energy. After succeeding in their mission, the group returns to their hideout in the basement of the Seventh Heaven bar and Cloud is paid for the job.
Over the next several hours a lot happens to Cloud as he maneuvers throughout Midgar, but soon enough, Cloud and his small band need to flee Midgar and begin finding allies throughout the rest of the world. It is during this part of the game that the player is told that there is an even greater threat to the world a man named Sephiroth.
The story is deep and well-told, making a player want to sit and play through the game as fast as they can, which is a mistake when one considers the fact that there are many hidden stories throughout the game. Origins and side-quests unlock more pieces to the story and are always looming around the corner. Any player who rushes through it could and, probably will miss out terribly. Even with just the main story, one gets to watch as Cloud finds himself caught in a love triangle between his childhood friend Tifa Lockhart and Aeris Gainsborough, a girl he met selling flowers in Midgar. Side quests include a deeper look at other characters and how they came to be where Cloud meets each of them and why they would want to join him in the fight against a merciless company like Shinra and again, against a psychotic killing machine like Sephiroth. The story is as deep and twisted as one can expect with many surprises just waiting to be found. Just remember to be patient and explore each place as fully as one can. Some events need a player to have a certain character in the party for them to trigger, so even after you search thoroughly, make sure to change up your composition and recheck things, you never know what you might be missing out on!
Theme

Theme

While Final Fantasy 7 is a Role-Playing Game, there is more to it than just taking on a role and walking through a story. The strategy was mentioned earlier and is definitely a strong aspect of the game, but there is also puzzle aspects of the game and even a semi-minigame where a player can raise Chocobos (Giant birds that characters can use to run around the world and dodge the random battles that the world map offers up). There is even a slot machine aspect in more than one part of the game. One aspect of this is in a casino that the party visits, while another is found in the ultimate attack of Tifa. Each character has their own ultimate attack, which is called Limit Breaks, but Tifa's is the only one with a minigame attached to it.
Multiplayer

Multiplayer

Final Fantasy 7 has no multiplayer aspects to it, whatsoever. Back in 1997, the idea of a role-playing game having multiplayer was unheard of.
Online Play

Online Play

Much the same as any multiplayer function, the original Final Fantasy 7 has no online play functions. Of course, looking at the time period it came from, the original game was on the PlayStation game console, which had no ability to get online. However, if you are looking to play it you might actually find copies online through sites such as Steam for play. There is also the option of finding a proper emulator, and it was released again via the original company and might be available for download on the newer consoles such as the PS4. It is not an online platform, however, it is still single player only no matter how you might choose to play it,
Replayability

Replayability

With so many things to find throughout the game, missing things in your first playthrough are almost guaranteed. Square-Enix did an amazing job at hiding weapons, story, and even multiple bosses throughout the vast world they had created. There are even locations that have next to nothing to do with the main story that a person can explore, as well as being able to return to places afterward if only to see if anything has changed. Unless a player has a complete walkthrough of the game, locating all the little bits and even beating the secret bosses is an impossibility. Also, with such a beautifully told story, one almost has to go back and play the game again just to fully enjoy and comprehend the enormity of this game. There is a reason that Final Fantasy 7 is heralded as one of the greatest games of all time and the fact that many people, even now, still play this game and love it as much as when it first came out shows that this game has a reason for this title.
Price

Price

Mattering on how one looks to buy this game, matters on what you pay. Getting the digital code version of this game is cheap. A person is looking to spend less than twenty dollars. But if you look to buy the original PlayStation game from 1997, then you're looking at an expensive buy, costing over ten times as much. Either way, a person can sit down and enjoy the game no matter what, whether you are playing on a PS4 or on the original PlayStation console. Either way, this game is worth the time.
Key Features

Key Features

-Hidden items, locations, summons and more
-A vast world to explore
-An amazing story as only Square-Enix could provide
-Introduction of the Limit Break system
-First 3D Final Fantasy game
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

After all, that's been discussed throughout this article, there is little that can be said except that this game will offer a rollercoaster ride with some of the genre's most recognizable characters. For a game to have survived the last twenty plus years and still be as loved as it was after release is an amazing feat unto itself. Add in the fact that there is a sequel as well as a prequel and a movie that takes place after the events of the original game, and you can only begin to understand just how perfect of a job Square-Enix did in creating this masterpiece. In case you are wondering, Playstation 2 released Final Fantasy 7: Dirge of Cerberus which focuses on the character Vincent Valentine. Later on, the PSP released Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core which is the story of Zack, who a player will learn about through the original game. Finally, the movie; Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children, which was also extremely well put together and the visuals for such were breathtaking, to say the least. Before anyone stops and says, 'But why would I want something that old?', there is a great reason to get and play this game. Square-Enix is rereleasing the game, with enhanced graphics, gameplay and more content. Rumor has it that this version of the game is going to be too large to release in its entirety and therefore will be released in parts, if only to allow them more time to work on their endgame, the most updated and perfect version of the game as the original creator wanted it to be back in 1997. Be sure to return to look for the review of this new version soon after its release, which is slated for December of this year. One can only hope it is as good as the original and takes nothing away from the legacy it has created.