And then there was Final Fantasy VII…and it was for PLAYSTATION! I’ve made mention that I grew up playing Final Fantasy and when VII was released I was supper stocked…and yet I felt betrayed. It wasn’t being released for a Nintendo gaming system, it was being released for Sony’s Playstation.
When this game released, I didn’t own a Playstation, and I was no longer living with my parents…which meant I needed to fork up my own money to get it. For better or worse, I bought a Sony Playstation a total of two times. The first time was on my Best Buy credit card, in addition to the Playstation, I grabbed Final Fantasy VII,and the first Tomb Raider game.
Like many of the Final Fantasy games prior, game play is pretty much standard. You play a party of characters, you move around maps picking up “random encounters” to level up, until you are high enough to engage in story based fights and bosses. You earn money and experience in fights, you use that money to buy weapons, armor, materia, and Items to keep you alive out in the world. You advance through the story moving from one part of the world to the next, and advance through the story line. Eventually you reach a point where you can beat the game or just continue flying around the world picking up random encounters to max out your level. If you are good enough, you pick up some of the rarest and hardest to earn materia to learn the hardest of skills to face up against the main boss.
One thing that Square Eniq, Squaresoft, Square was always good at designing games with really good story lines. Final Fantasy VII was no exception, and in my opinion set the bar really high for other games coming out around the same time. It also set the bar for all future Final Fantasy games to try and beat. It is an odd thing to feel emotions for a video game character(s), but who didn’t scream “NO!” when Sepheroth (The main villain of the game) runs Aeris (Cloud’s love interest) through with his wicked long odachi.
Aside from the awesome character line up, this game had a very interesting method of having the characters learn skills and that was through “Materia.” Magical orbs that could be bound to weapons and armor that after sufficient experience was earned allowed the players to use powerful spells and abilities.
I played this game pretty religiously, every day after work…avoiding all contact with friends, family, girlfriend…but what really pissed me off most was the fact that I managed to get through disc one of three…and my apartment gets broken into. They steal my Playstation, with memory card still in the unit…but leave my games. I called the cops and they freakin’ fingerprinted my games. Fingerprint graphite is very fine…it ruined my copy of Final Fantasy VII. So not only was I out a Playstation…I was unable to continue my adventure. There were no words to describe the anger.
I managed to scrape up enough cash a few months later to buy a second hand Playstation from a pawn shop, and buy (again) Final Fantasy VII. The graphics for this game were really kind of blocky, advanced for the time, but by today’s standards rather poor. Game based movie sequences had great animation sequences, but due to the limitations of the hardware of the time, much of the game looked like you were playing with Lego people. That said, it is still by far one of my favorite Playstation Games, and definitely one of my top ten all time favorite games played.
There is a huge following for this game, people love to dress up as their favorite characters. This game has been remade a few different times, keeping the story line, just improving the graphics. In 2005, Japanese computer-animated science fantasy film director Tetsuya Nomura, created a brilliant animated film called Advent Children, which continues the story of Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockheart, Barett, and the remaining living characters from Final Fantasy VII in their fight against Shinra and the megalomaniac Sepheroth. This movie is absolutely amazing and a must see for anyone who is a fan to the game, and or the franchise.