Festive Final Fantasy VII

#1 Edited by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

I did a thing. For this wonderful Christmas video game.

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's not about the spirit of Christmas in the traditional sense. It is, however, very much linked to that jolly holly day in my mind; due to the fanciful fact that I got this fantastic role playing game, on this very day, 15 years ago (I'd heard that it was created in a strange and wonderful land called...Japan).

Bearing in mind that this was the first Final Fantasy game that we got over here in the United Kingdom, and also the first one that was ever created on this newfangled Sony PlayStation thing. Well, let's just say there's a whole bunch of other reasons as to why this game has always stuck with me, even after 15 years have ticked by. And that's something I hope to explore in this series of daily videos, taking a stroll down this cold and frosty memory lane, warmed by the sights and sounds of...

Is anyone else on these fine forums in the same boat as me? Was it your first Final Fantasy? Your last? Did you like, love or hate it? I distinctly remember the following trailer getting me so very fucking hype for this game (as well as the weeks of rereading the multi page previews in PlayStation Power). For all the love/hate that FF7 catches (from both the Sephiroth-swooning fans, or those who are nihilist about Nomura), I'm still very much of the mind that this game holds up in so many ways that it was worth revisiting.

#FFF7

#2 Posted by dungbootle (2454 posts) -

I enjoyed it. You do great commentary work, I've checked out some of your other vids too.

#3 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I love it, need to play it again myself.

#4 Posted by Karkarov (2939 posts) -

@Fattony12000 said:

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's not about the spirit of Christmas in the traditional sense. It is, however, very much linked to that jolly holly day in my mind; due to the fanciful fact that I got this fantastic role playing game, on this very day, 15 years ago (I'd heard that it was created in a strange and wonderful land called...Japan).

You are reminding me how old I am and I do not like it no sir. Not that I am a day over 25.

That said, nice video. I like the inclusion of the advertisement vid since people today seem to think ragging on this game is the cool thing to do? FF7 did more for the RPG genre on consoles than any other individual game is likely to ever match. I can still remember talking to people who I knew that wouldn't touch an RPG if their life depended on it and after this game came out they suddenly thought playing them wasn't so bad. I also remember how few RPG's ever got released in the states until FF7 too.

#5 Posted by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@dungbootle said:

I enjoyed it. You do great commentary work, I've checked out some of your other vids too.

Oh wow, that's really nice of you to say duder! You're about the second ever person to do so, and it warms the very cockles of my darkly twisted heart to see even a smidgen of niceness being offered freely. Don't worry, when the time comes, and the signal is given, I will remember my allies.

@McGhee said:

I love it, need to play it again myself.

Get to it! There ain't to time like Christmas present! It could be 2012's 1997 game of the year!

@Karkarov said:

You are reminding me how old I am and I do not like it no sir. Not that I am a day over 25.

That said, nice video. I like the inclusion of the advertisement vid since people today seem to think ragging on this game is the cool thing to do? FF7 did more for the RPG genre on consoles than any other individual game is likely to ever match. I can still remember talking to people who I knew that wouldn't touch an RPG if their life depended on it and after this game came out they suddenly thought playing them wasn't so bad. I also remember how few RPG's ever got released in the states until FF7 too.

The endless march of time, forever dragging us to our doom. Such is the way of all things. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Thanks for your kind words, and the reply in kind to my post. Even if we strip away all the talk as to what actually happens in the game, and how good or bad it is. There is no doubt in my mind that FF7 was a high point in terms of being a global video game phenomenon, it brought so much attention to itself in the eyes and ears and thumbs of millions of people around the globe that I don't think any other Final Fantasy will ever top it.

The fact that FF7 was a game that broke so many firsts for its genre, how and when it was released, what it was able to do with non-Nintendo hardware; was very important and poignant to me, all those years ago. Which is why it remains so to this very day. What was special once, remains so, in the palace of my mind.

Don't get me wrong my fellow duders, there is plenty of bad/silly/stupid/odd shit in Final Fantasy VII, but I can still appreciated it as a complete package of damn tasty RPG goodness.

<>

#6 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4603 posts) -

Shit, your voice makes me want to keep watching but I've played that game way too many times.

What a dilemma.

#7 Edited by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@GunslingerPanda said:

Shit, your voice makes me want to keep watching but I've played that game way too many times.

What a dilemma.

That's about the second time in over two decades that I've ever been told that my voice is anything other than truly and utterly vile in every single possible way, so thanks for that self esteem boost! As to your specific issue, what say you to a 1080p livestream playthrough of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, instead?

To flip the script and come around right back atcha, is FF7 your most played Final Fantasy of all?

#8 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4603 posts) -

@Fattony12000 said:

@GunslingerPanda said:

Shit, your voice makes me want to keep watching but I've played that game way too many times.

What a dilemma.

That's about the second time in over two decades that I've ever been told that my voice is anything other than truly and utterly vile in every single possible way, so thanks for that self esteem boost! As to your specific issue, what say you to a 1080p livestream playthrough of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, instead?

To flip the script and come around right back atcha, is FF7 your most played Final Fantasy of all?

1080p Wind Waker, you say? Mighty tempting.

Probably. I think I've finished it maybe 3 times and played like half of it a couple of times. X comes close though, played a shit ton of that too. I had at least one 200+ hour save.

#9 Edited by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@GunslingerPanda said:

@Fattony12000 said:

@GunslingerPanda said:

Shit, your voice makes me want to keep watching but I've played that game way too many times.

What a dilemma.

That's about the second time in over two decades that I've ever been told that my voice is anything other than truly and utterly vile in every single possible way, so thanks for that self esteem boost! As to your specific issue, what say you to a 1080p livestream playthrough of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, instead?

To flip the script and come around right back atcha, is FF7 your most played Final Fantasy of all?

1080p Wind Waker, you say? Mighty tempting.

Probably. I think I've finished it maybe 3 times and played like half of it a couple of times. X comes close though, played a shit ton of that too. I had at least one 200+ hour save.

Ahh, the joys of the Dolphin emulator and a hefty upload pipe!

I would certainly say that you are in the club, when it comes to people who have played a good amount of Final Fantasy VII, that's for sure!

#10 Posted by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

So, no one has anything else to add? Not to worry, one cool duder replying is actually more than I could have hoped for in today's economic climate. However, I will leave this post in it's cold airless tomb with just this final thought...

I put Final Fantasy VII and Neverwinter Nights in my list of top video games of 2012, instead of Mass Effect 3.

I'M EDGY AS SHIT.

Fatbomb Blog December Edition

Fatbomb: December Edition

#11 Posted by NegativeCero (2972 posts) -

I was actually playing this game pretty recently because I never actually finished it. I stopped at Wutai if I remember. But yeah, I do find it interesting to hear your memories of the game, and you seem to know a bit of history too.

#12 Posted by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@NegativeCero: Thanks for reading and being able to bear with me enough to watch at least a bit of it! May I ask as to why you felt like stopping your playthrough at Wutai? Bored? Too hard? Too easy? Other games get in the way? Are you a fan of other FF games in general?

#13 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

I played it again a couple of years back on the PSP, was really great on that system. Kind of want to get a Vita just so I can go through 8 and 9.

#14 Posted by NegativeCero (2972 posts) -

@Fattony12000 said:

@NegativeCero: Thanks for reading and being able to bear with me enough to watch at least a bit of it! May I ask as to why you felt like stopping your playthrough at Wutai? Bored? Too hard? Too easy? Other games get in the way? Are you a fan of other FF games in general?

I'd say other games got in the way. I was enjoying it, and it's been long enough for me to forget things that make seeing the story worth it. And, yes, I am a fan of FF games. Although my first was X, so I don't have the nostalgia for this one like others, including you, have. It's part of the reason I found your memories of playing it the first time interesting.

#15 Edited by HerbieBug (4189 posts) -

I'll never understand why Square refuses to do a remake of this game. It's one of the few titles from early polygon era that I think would really benefit from an overhaul to give it a consistent art style between pre-rendered cinematics, combat screen, and player controlled walking view/in-engine cutscenes.

#16 Edited by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

I played it again a couple of years back on the PSP, was really great on that system. Kind of want to get a Vita just so I can go through 8 and 9.

Me too! It really was a marvel playing something so expansive on something so small, especially in 2007. Don't get a Vita, at least not for money, rip your PlayStation discs and play them back right on the good ole PSP.

@NegativeCero said:

@Fattony12000 said:

@NegativeCero: Thanks for reading and being able to bear with me enough to watch at least a bit of it! May I ask as to why you felt like stopping your playthrough at Wutai? Bored? Too hard? Too easy? Other games get in the way? Are you a fan of other FF games in general?

I'd say other games got in the way. I was enjoying it, and it's been long enough for me to forget things that make seeing the story worth it. And, yes, I am a fan of FF games. Although my first was X, so I don't have the nostalgia for this one like others, including you, have. It's part of the reason I found your memories of playing it the first time interesting.

Ahh, that's cool to know. Well, I hope you get to, at some point, experience the rest of the sights and sounds of this fine video game.

@HerbieBug said:

I'll never understand why Square refuses to do a remake of this game. It's one of the few titles from early polygon era that I think would really benefit from an overhaul to give it a consistent art style between pre-rendered cinematics, combat screen, and player controlled walking view/in-engine cutscenes.

It would probably cost them the most out of any previous remake or hd upgrade that they'd ever done. Due to both the size and scale, as well as the technology used in the creation of the game in the first place. It would probably sell big, of course, but somewhere along the line the suits have run the numbers (probably several times over the years) and worked out that it ain't worth it.

Which is a damn shame.

The re-release they did recently was a shambolic pile of bloodied assholes. Still sticking with the MIDI sounds, huh? AND NOW YOU'VE PRE-RECORDED ALL THE SOUNDS SO YOU CAN'T MUCK ABOUT WITH THEM LIKE IN THE ORIGINAL RELEASE? Thanks.

#17 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@Fattony12000: I couldn't change discs when I ripped my PSX games, had to buy FF7 on the PS Store

#18 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@NegativeCero said:

@Fattony12000 said:

@NegativeCero: Thanks for reading and being able to bear with me enough to watch at least a bit of it! May I ask as to why you felt like stopping your playthrough at Wutai? Bored? Too hard? Too easy? Other games get in the way? Are you a fan of other FF games in general?

I'd say other games got in the way. I was enjoying it, and it's been long enough for me to forget things that make seeing the story worth it. And, yes, I am a fan of FF games. Although my first was X, so I don't have the nostalgia for this one like others, including you, have. It's part of the reason I found your memories of playing it the first time interesting.

FF7 and 9 are just great RPG's nostalgia has nothing to do with it, I lent my PSP with FF7 to a friend that pretty much only played Call of Duty, I didn't see him online for 3 weeks!

#19 Edited by Dunchad (471 posts) -

Despite loving FFVII, I could never go back to it now, just like with most of the PSX titles. Those old polygonal models look really horrible. While on the other hand, I just played through FFVI on my Vita and had a ton of fun and thought it looked great even now.

FFX is something I might go back to at some point, though it doesn't look great anymore either - only played through it once and that was ages ago, but the music is still the most memorable. To Zanarkand and Isn't It Wonderful both give me goosebumps when I listen to them. Also the music in the puzzle temples was great. Ahh...I really do need to play through it again.

I skipped 8 and 9 though and have often wondered if I should give them a try, but people never seem to mention them. 6, 7 and 10 seems to be the fan favourites.

EDIT: Oh, and as for your videos. They seem quite well done and you do have pleasant enough voice.

#20 Posted by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@Fattony12000: I couldn't change discs when I ripped my PSX games, had to buy FF7 on the PS Store

Well that's weird, I was certainly able to!

@Dunchad said:

I skipped 8 and 9 though and have often wondered if I should give them a try, but people never seem to mention them. 6, 7 and 10 seems to be the fan favourites.

EDIT: Oh, and as for your videos. They seem quite well done and you do have pleasant enough voice.

You've not been listening to the right people, both 8 and 9 are dope as shit! They are, however, very different in style and atmosphere when compared to 6, 7 or 10. Whether or not that's a good thing or a bad thing is down to you! You can choice! But let me tell you, there were some damn good times had on my PSP with 7, 8 and 9 loaded up in there, that's a whole lot of game in a little package.

Thanks for saying that I have a pleasant enough voice, I'm sure yours is nice too.

x

#21 Posted by Rokkaku (221 posts) -

FF VII is undoubtedly a bona fide classic of a game, and having gone back to it fairly recently, the atmosphere and mood are still unmatched to this day. The soundtrack has stayed with me all these years. It's sad that this game was pushing things forward for games in a way that we still haven't really gone beyond, despite all the tech that's available on modern platforms. I suppose it shows that a great aesthetic, thoughtful plotting and a clear vision don't age, even if those models really do.

#22 Posted by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@rokkaku: Thanks for reading and/or watching! I agree with your very well put points, the game does indeed know what it wants to portray, despite some issues with just how damn big a task it was to create in the first place, coupled with the...dilutions that come with stuff like some spotty translation. All the innovations and firsts that came with this game (for the Final Fantasy series, CD-based games in general, the PlayStation, the list goes on) firmly stamp the mark of important video game across those three gorgeous matte white discs.

#23 Posted by Pr1mus (3771 posts) -

I remember replying to this topic on the beta site. I have plenty to say about this brilliant game and will come back later but for now this will have to do.

#24 Posted by Rokkaku (221 posts) -

@fattony12000: I agree, when video games have become the de jure, rather than de facto, popular entertainment medium of choice (it will happen, it's just a matter of time!) and the industry begins to take itself and its history a little more seriously, FFVII will be the first on the list for discussion. It's a little sad that the Giant Bomb crew seem to have soured on the game, perhaps letting their current distaste for the series colour hazy memories, because aside from some moments of tongue-in-cheek self-indulgence, it had a reticence to its story-telling, character development and plotting which is the antithesis of 99% of the Western games coming out now, let alone the Japanese anime they seem to be equating FF with these days.

Something else I'll bring up is that because, like you said, this was the first FF game we got here in the UK, FFVII was an introduction, a portal, into Japanese gaming and the country's unique culture as a whole. It turned out that the maturity and thoughtfulness I so prised in FFVII was in fact indicative of a lot of the content of Japanese artistic production, and it was the start of an ongoing interest that I keep up to this day (I just finished watching the Ghost in the Shell movie, which has a similar vibe). I'm sure this is an experience that quite a few of us of a certain age have had, and for that along with everything else I am extremely grateful to Cloud and co.

Oh, and I just wrote this listening to the Cosmo Canyon theme, so good!

#25 Posted by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@pr1mus: All those moments will be lost in time, like words in beta. Time to die. I hope we get to see you and your wise words once again! /victoryfanfare

@rokkaku: Thank you even more for your further points, you say a lot of good stuff right up in there. ALMOST LIKE YOU SHOULD WRITE SOME STUFF ABOUT VIDEO GAMES TOO?

And goddamn it if Ghost in the Shell isn't just sick as fuck as well.

#26 Edited by TheHT (10781 posts) -

I remember seeing that commercial touting all the animators that worked on it and being blown away at the time. My young mind couldn't handle the idea that I could totally play that. One day a new kid came to school and at some point we were talking about video games and he said he had Final Fantasy 7, and I thought I had to have it.

So I started proposing games I could trade for it, going through all the N64 games I had and trying to make them sound as cool as I could, gauging his interest. He was a pretty tough sell, but eventually I found one that would make him crack. Honestly I don't really remember which game I traded for it. I want to say Mario Kart 64 but I distinctly remember trading that for Smash Bros., which drew the ire of my sisters when I told them years later.

In any case, the exchange was set. We went to his house after and it was a weird looking one on the other side of a wooded area I could see from my building window. He told me to wait outside so I did, and he went inside. It took an unsual amount of time I thought for him to just pick up a game, and I started to worry he might flake on me. What felt like 20 minutes later, he emerged from the backyard and was very cautious in his approach. I figured he must have strict parents.

We did the swap, and finally that copy of FF7 was in my hands, glistening in the sunlight. Then I played it and having never technically played an RPG game got WRECKED by the Scorpion Tank boss at the beginning. And oh god the stress of random battles had me clinging to the sides of environments hoping I could avoid them. I kept at it and it was great! The freky moment the Shin-Ra president is run through, the Crazy Motorcycle escape, and my eyes widening when it first gave me control in the world map. Downloading FAQs to make sure I didn't miss out on Yuffie or Vincent. That motherfucking swamp worm tremor thing that you're supposed to avoid with a chocobo and me coming back and one-shotting it.

I never managed to beat Ruby or Emerald, nor did I delve into chocobo breeding which always sort of creeped me out. I was old enough to know I'd be making chocobos screw and then taking their babies and making them screw all so I could get the coveted black chocobo, and that was pretty damn weird in my book. I think I got all the way to Safer Sephiroth, but all my friends (and the internet too) were going on and on about this "Knights of the Round" bullshit that I needed a black chocobo to get. I remember getting destroyed by Safer Sephiroth and attributing it to not having Knights of the Round (I'm sure I was also underlevelled) so I just stopped playing and watched the ending elsewhere.

After that it was FF8 at a friends house which I borrowed and got up to a fight with the two goons of Seifer before I had to give it back. Then I also borrowed FF9 and don't quite remember where I got up to in that. I remember seeing a cutscene where Vivi's black mage bros were cut down in an airship battle or something though. After that I went to a friends out and watched him play that water sport in FF10 when the PS2 came out, and was blown away with it technically, but didn't care for the style at all.

I think it was FFDissidia after that, which was (and still is) so much goddamn fun, and introduced me to Cecil and Garland which got me really, really curious about FF4. At that point the internet was in full swing, and I remember seeing loads of folks in GameTrailers threads being all beligerent about FF6 being the best and FF7 being poopoo. I looked up this Kefka character they were all boasting about and he seemed like a good villain, but none of it or the story piqued my interest. His whole monument to non-existence schbiel was pretty cool though I admit.

After that was a FF13. Combat was fun but a lot of other stuff was repulsive and I stopped at some sneaking part with Lightning and the kid. Would've liked to go on to see more of Sasz, Vanille, australian lady, and Brigadeer General Cid Raines, but everyone else could go fuck themselves, especially Lightning. Ugh she was so annoying. Still, I think I'll finish it when I get my new PS3 with a working bluray drive.

Also at some point I saw the Spirits Within in the theatre and it was pretty bad. I really liked the look of their armor in the beginning, the big ghost invasion at the end, and the very end with that bird flying and the nice music. But holy motherfuckballs from Neptune, when Advent Children was teased I flipped my shit. The movie came out and I must've watched it 10 times that week. The story was weak, but the fanfare and action was more enough for me. Crisis Core was also quite good. Zack was probably my favourite part of FF7, so getting a game totally focused on his story was fun to play through, besides all that Gackt nonsense. Angeal was a cool though. I have a Game Boy Final Fantasy too. FFAdventure I believe. It's nothing special.

I'm hoping that FF4 collection will come out on the PS3, but at this point that strikes me as highly unlikely so I think I'll have to dust off my PSP to play it. Right now that's hands down the most appealing Final Fantasy thing to me out of all of 'em, followed by Versus 13. I've got to play it. Not sure if I'll delve into the After Years though.

And that's it. FF7 was indeed my first and I suspect FF4 will end up being my favourite.

#27 Posted by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@theht:

From the depths of the past...

No comment left behind!

I thank you for your well considered and well written reply to my silly little post! I know more than nine months have passed since you wrote yo thang, and I have no idea why I didn't reply back then. I'm stupid. I got to a-thinkin' about FF7 again as it's that time of year once more, so I did some rummaging around and found your poor little post. All alone. All forgotten. I'm sorry.

I love your mini guide to the experiences you've had with the Final Fantasy series over the years, interesting how you've stuck with it and gone back to the older ones after disliking many of the more modern ones (or major parts of them, at least).

nor did I delve into chocobo breeding which always sort of creeped me out. I was old enough to know I'd be making chocobos screw and then taking their babies and making them screw all so I could get the coveted black chocobo, and that was pretty damn weird in my book.

Hey, look, they WANT to bone down on each other and keep racing at the Golden Saucer over and over and over again until they outlive their usefulness and are tossed aside like horrible garbage.

Sit your ass down in that chair and drink your goddamn TEA!

- Cid Highwind

#28 Posted by TheHT (10781 posts) -

@fattony12000: Hah! Thanks for tolerating 9-month ago me's apparent refusal to proof-read. Yeesh.

I haven't gotten around to FF4 yet, but I gotta say, in hindsight FF13 wasn't that bad. "Repulsive" is way too strong a word for it. Funnily enough, 9-month ago me being so indignant toward it has me wanting to give it another shot from the beginning, without any expectations or left-over sentiment.

...but chocobo breeding is still creepy. :P

#29 Edited by wchigo (538 posts) -

@theht: Sir, you will sit down, you will make the Chocobos mate, and you will like it!

@fattony12000: Good vid, mate. I also find your voice to be alright; I think you're just too harsh on yourself, as we usually are. I remember that back in that generation, I first owned an N64 and played the crap out of the few games that I owned, namely Star Fox 64, Goldeneye and Ocarina of Time.

(Edit note: Dammit, GB ate up like half my post. Let's see what I remember of it.)

I owned the original FF on the NES, so VII was probably my third game in the series after that and VI (III on the SNES). I first owned it on PC and played the crap out of it; including getting all my dudes to 99, getting the Gold Chocobo for KOTR and getting a whole bunch of Master Materia. I never really got around to beating Ruby and Emerald until much later when I got the game for PSX.

VII is probably my second most replayed FF game, after IX but ahead of X. One of the reasons I eventually stopped subsequent playthroughs was that I would sometimes get busy or get a new game and try to play through that and by the time I returned to FF VII like a week or two later, I completely forgot where I was in the story and couldn't get back on track, which likely meant I had to start all over again... :/

#30 Posted by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@wchigo:

Blargh! Giant Bomb done gone and eated up my post as well! I thought I had replied to you weeks ago!

Derp.

Wow, the PC version of FF7 is where you hopped on board!? Heh, I have such fond memories of playing through that game again at my good buddy's house the following year, after getting my PSX version for Christmas 1997. That goddamn midi music though, barf-o-rama!

@theht:

Chocobos just wanna bone down, brah.

#31 Posted by GERALTITUDE (2855 posts) -

Dear @fattony12000,

Final Fantasy VII was my first RPG, and the second game I ever played on PlayStation.

After playing it I was obsessed with RPGs for years, playing every old FF, every classic people talked about, buying SNES games, Genesis games, whatever I could. Once that was exhausted I started eating up WRPGs.

I was 10 when FFVII came out.

I remember my mom used to take me to the local Rogers Video once a week to rent games when she would rent movies. Until I had a PlayStation I would walk past the aisles and FFVII always just looked so cool. At this point in my life I read no videogame magazines, and our internet was just so hilariously slow I can't even communicate how unusable it was. So really I knew nothing about it. But that big ass sword. That flying ship. It just looked cool.

So when I finally got a PS, we rented it.

Well, huge mistake.

"Mom, can we extend the rent for another day?"

"Just one more day mom!"

"MOM PLEASE ONE MORE DAY"

"NO PLEASE GOD NO DON'T TAKE IT BACK"

So we extended and extended and extended and then - tragedy.

I had just beaten that asshole cave boss and was about to meet Cid Highwind when that poor rented FFVII took a last breath, and died. There was a gash in the CD that could never be overcome. My quest had come to a close...

:(

Months later, my still-sad life was changed when, lo and behold, Final Fantasy VII was the gift I received on my birthday.

This was the moment in life I realized that my parents actually knew something about me that I didn't tell them; it was probably the first time I felt like they just noticed I loved something, even though when I look back it seems blindingly obvious. To this day my mother still knows Final Fantasy and asks me about it and it's all because that time way back when.

That was the birthday week that nostalgia trips are made from. Me and my best friend, having way more sleep overs than our parents usually let us (even though we lived just down the street from one another), just playing FFVII. We started a fresh file since he had never played it and I was so amped to show him. Needless to say he fell in love and I fell in love with it all over again. And it's funny, you know neither of us were readers at all but there being so much text in Final Fantasy we both suddenly found ourselves into books. Crazy huh? dem video games.

It took us months to beat the game. Back then everything seemed so difficult. I remember taking turns grinding to level up, trying to locate every last secret in the game by just running around every inch of that map. By the time we beat Sephiroth and heard the now infamous One Winged Angel it really was a monumental, epic, battle for the life of the planet. Then there was the weeks we put into preparing and finally defeating all the Weapons. Very few gaming feats equal the elation to be had after downing a serious bastard monster over an hour long+ battle.

When I go back to FF now, IV, VI, VIII, IX and XII tend to be my favourites. I'll play VII for a few hours now and again though. It has some lessons that are pretty tremendous. First and foremost is that you take control of Cloud mere seconds after the game starts. It's funny. Most FF games and many RPGs still tend to swing things the other way. It's intro-intro-intro, then combat and characters. FFVII says nah son, and makes you feel awesome instantly, then brings in the story. Which is pretty bonkers, by any standards. Cloud's mind anyone?? But that aside, if there's one thing, narrative-wise that sticks with me, it's the party in FFVII. Many RPGs try this, but in FFVII you actually get the feeling that every time someone joins you, it's a big deal, like fate has woven together all these random strands to create this group of people, because, duh, you need to save the world (and apparently that cat thing will help you). In other FFs and RPGs there tends to be a certain casual blaahness about people joining you, especially more modern ones. Like - hey! I'll come along, because we're friends - mortal peril? no biggie. There starts to be a lot more people in parties that knew each other before you, the player meets them. It's actually the one thing I'm not loving of Ni No Kuni actually. The reason people join you just doesn't feel important enough.

Anyways, that's what I think about FFVII.

#32 Edited by wchigo (538 posts) -

@fattony12000: Geez, I guess Giant Bomb just doesn't want the two of us to talk about FF VII, haha.

At the time I would take any way I could get my hands on Final Fantasy, but man was it a supreme pain in the ass to get running. I remember having to fiddle with the settings because with the default one, all the texture colours were weird and so all the backgrounds look like they were painted by Missing No., it was pretty terrible. Also, it was only controlled using the numpad; they even had one of those cardboard-ish things to put over it!

I even remember there was a bit of a cheat/glitch in the game for the Chocobo race, where if you held down + or some other key during the race, your Chocobo's stamina depletes much slower, so you could practically sprint for the entirety of the race. Made winning a lot easier, lol!

@geraltitude: Ah, a fellow Canuck I'd assume, based on the Rogers Video thing. I used to rent a lot of games from Blockbuster in the past and I don't think I was ever able to finish any RPGs I rented. In fact, with their 3-day rental period for new games, I don't think I was able to finish many games in general, the most notable one sticking out in my mind being RE3; I was so close to the end!

#33 Edited by billymagnum (704 posts) -

I got VII not long after release and I was so overcome by it. I had no idea what an RPG was at that point. Needless to say I was NOT good at it, like at all. Never played any game like it. Its RPGness was very overwhelming for a newbie. But I was still captivated by the world and characters. I was amazed by the FMVs, in turn, sort of confused by the quality of the sprites, amazed by the music, story, characters, the atmosphere, the art, and the goofiness. I don't even think I ever got further than somewhere on disk 2 if that until returning to it years later. that is, with a gameshark.

I play it at some point ever year.

It is my favorite game.

Today I have quite a impressive collection imho. Everything from statues to self made materia. Most recently I acquired the vinyl records.

#34 Edited by Fattony12000 (6940 posts) -

@geraltitude: Oh Christ, I can't imagine having to rent a game like Final Fantasy VII in order to play through it! Getting your own copy must have been The Sweetest Thing, though! FFVII being a crucible that helped you forge a video game playing relationship with your buddy is super awesome to hear about, I experienced something similar with a long time friend of mine before we ever got around to tackling FFVII as a duo. And I can sure relate to that feeling you got from how the new party members are doled out to the player, they do feel more grounded, realistic, solid, in how they are brought together and how they interact with each other throughout the game. Yes, yes, I know, the dialogue and overall plot can get a bit funky/ropey in places, but this was a goddamn Japanese PlayStation game from 1997.

And that's a very good point about the opener to the game, I pointed that out in my first video, right when it happens. It's still quite incredible how you go from awesome CG seamlessly into player control in just a few minutes. I will still contend that that opening is one of the best of any video game. Mass Effect 2 being another that wets my wick.

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