Why pick an almost twenty year old game as opposed to something like Xenoblade Chronicles? Because Final Fantasy VII is a game that made quite the impact on the gaming industry, love it or hate it. This memorable RPG by Squaresoft (now known as Square-Enix) made back in 1997 was the first in the series to have fully rendered characters and 3D computer graphics. Each entry since VII would usually introduce new mechanics that make the games stand out.
This version of the game is a port of the PC version to the PlayStation 4 console. Final Fantasy VII is a gaming classic and is now more accessible to modern gaming fans than ever as well.
Reasons to Play
- Memorable story/characters
- The Materia system
- Roughly 60 hours of gameplay + non-story related tasks
- Superb soundtrack
- Upscaled Graphics and In-Game Modifications to speed up the pace of the game
The story perhaps needs no introduction but for the sake of content and those who don’t know, here’s what you have in store for you. Final Fantasy VII tells the story of a character known as Cloud Strife (who introduces himself as a former member of SOLDIER), who is a mercenary who ends up joining a rebel organization known as AVALANCHE, for the sake of saving the planet from destruction from a shady world-controlling cooperation known as the Shinra. Shinra essentially controls all that happens within the city of Midgar (where you start the game) and literally seeks to suck the life of the planet to power the company. Cloud runs into many interesting characters along the way, goes through a long journey to try and tackle Shinra, and for the sake of no spoilers at all, there’s actually more to it than we’re willing to explain here. There’s a certain main villain you may know, even if you have not played the game known as Sephiroth. Sephiroth is the main antogonist of the game and upon running into him, Cloud and company have even bigger problems on their hands. How this all plays out and the various locations you visit in the game make for one of the most treasure experiences to be had in a game. This is worth experiencing if for no other reason than to enjoy a great turn-based RPG and educate yourself on one of gaming’s finest offerings.
Materia System/Limit Breaks
When you talk about a Final Fantasy title, you have to talk about the core mechanic that separate it from the rest of the games. Final Fantasy VII puts a spin on spells you may be familiar with from past titles and turns it into a dedicated skill system. Materia are magical orbs in which grant the power of magic. These orbs can be equipped to characters weapon/armor slots and will grant bonus stats (also minus some stats) for each one you equip and allow you to do new commands in battle. Materia is split into five categories. Green is standard magic (Attack Spells, Healing, Buff/Debuff spells). Red is for summons (Ifrit, Shiva, etc) which are monsters summoned by the player to attack and do massive damage. Yellow is for new battle commands outside of standard Attack, Defend or Item. Purple Materia is support materia that usually offers stat boosts. Finally there is Blue materia which when combined with other materia can have different effects, such as a single target spell now hitting multiple targets. This put on a spin on your normal spellcasting and makes it so every character to an extent can be a “mage” character of sorts.
Limit Breaks are another great feature in which as anyone in your party (max three in a party) takes damage, their limit bar rises. When enough damage is taken, the character can then use their Limit Break (which varies for each character) to massive damage to a single target or multiple targets and in some cases, multiple hits as well. The limit breaks have four different levels of strength, with the exception of one bonus character in the game who only has two.
On a personal level, cheats or anything close are not something usually brought up in conversation. However, this game does offer ways to be able to play the game both quicker and more efficiently. Mostly put in for the one who have played before, you have a few different options. You have a Speed Modifier which allows you to play the game at three times its normal speed. This comes in handy when grinding out repetitive random encounters you will run into throughout the game. Don’t like random encounters? No problem! There is a modifier for that too. Turn them off to get past a certain area and then turn them back on again when you feel like it. Abusing this too much will make you under-leveled and under-prepared though, so use with caution. The one other modifier is flat-out cheating. It will instantly heal your party to full HP/MP and fill your Limit Breaks to max on all characters. I recommend this one only for people who have played before for the sake of saving time.
There was quite a bit to say here and this only scratches the surface. If you have a taste for a good story and great role-playing games, Final Fantasy VII is an outstanding recommendation. It is up there with games like Ocarina of Time in the sense that it is almost always on a “top video game of all time” type list. The game was quite advanced for its time and would pave the way for the future of Final Fantasy, some other Squaresoft RPG titles, and many other RPGs to follow. With a full-blown remake of Final Fantasy VII on the way, there is no better time to either experience the game for the first time, or revisit it before the modern version becomes a reality. Final Fantasy VII is the easiest recommendation made since the inception of these posts. Play it now. You won’t regret it.
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