Thursday, October 19, 2000

Final Fantasy VII | 10

RPG fans know that the Final Fantasy series is the best and most successful rpg series of all time, and Final Fantasy VII is arguably the best of the Final Fantasy's. I can't explain it, but when you play FF7, you become part of its world. You just can't stop playing! (Homework? What Homework?)...

First, the gameplay. FF7 takes you to peaceful and exotic towns and cities, mysterious caves and forests, a corporate tower, an eastern palace and pagoda, urban slums, an ancient temple, a rustic farm, even a motorcycle chase and an addicting casino. The game provides countless hours of new challenges (rare materia, chocobo breeding) and pointless fun (snowboarding, gambling) in addition to the main quest. The amount of detail is gorgeous too, especially in the towns. The detailed buildings and room interiors are some of the best video game backgrounds I've seen. They retain the overhead view of old FF's, unlike most of FF8, but they are so life-like. Of course, the characters are memorable, and the plot is intruiguing. There are so many great moments in the game, and the awesome movie sequences which show off heavy-duty computer animation are icing on the cake.

Second, the music. I have always loved the music of the Final Fantasy series (Nubuo Uematsu is a genius). The FF7 sountrack has plenty of incredible songs and a lot of mood-creating or atmospheric tunes. This is different than the FF6 soundtrack which had awesome catchy song after awesome catchy song. However, the FF7 soundtrack contains Uematsu's best work. The Overworld Theme (aka the Main Theme), One-Winged Angel, Interrupted by Fireworks, and Aeris' Theme (and Flowers Blooming in the Church too) are masterpieces. If you ever get to hear the orchestral version of the FFVII Main Theme, you'll see why it is probably my favorite FF song. And some unlikely favorites of mine are the Cosmo Canyon theme, Anxious Heart, the music in Bugenhagan's observatory, and especially the Chocobo Farm music. Nubuo Uematsu is a great composer, and I can see why he is now composing a movie score (a Japanese Anime). Music buffs will undoubtedly appreciate this game.

The only weak points of FF7 are the fact that the game, plot, and music don't get their best until 4 to 10 hours into the game, so some impatient players may miss out on the parts that make the game so good. Also, the plot gets vague and confusing at times, but hey, at least it makes you think.

Basically, this is my favorite rpg. I'll admit it's not for everyone, but any rpg fan who actually hasn't played FF7 will definitely enjoy it.

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