@Ace829: Yep, I agree.. I'm not compleatly writing off 9. It just didn't personally cut the mustard with me. Although it was really the last in the franchise to offer true traditional transport (airships) and non linear style gameplay.
@Synthballs: Lol, in comparison to some of the more recent titles, for a gamer who was targeted to purchase those type's of games and enjoyed them, Do you think that the games have/are improving is the point I was bringing across. For whatever reason you HATE it have they taken on board anything with respects to game design in their current titles that made the classic Squaresoft games so popular?
Final fantasy 7, what is there to say apart from 'sheer landmark title', apart from FF8 the second to last real great title that Squaresoft created! There is no substitute for great storytelling, engrosing gameplay, simple but effective character development and the sense that the product was designed with love, attention to detail and aimed at a target market that appreciate good games rather than Graphics/Linear casual gamer approach to design/dumbed down versions of the FF universe we have been recieving... which gradually seem to get more limited and worse.
This product was created by mainly the team that was behind crono trigger, they had an amazing budget for a game of that time and without the massive shareholder or EA like overlord pressurising profit margins they were able to create a labour of love. Even the music score is an example of this with over 180 mins of music which when listened too emphisizes perfectly the final fantasy 7 universe.
The graphics, although not great compared to todays standards, frankly I would prefere to see a game released with the engine to support this type of game (open world exploration, travel system airship, random encounters ARE OK!) rather then an over art focused, linear, RPG's that seem to get released today, these engines seem to decrease the gameplay value/opportunities ingame.
Although not as complex as some classic RPG franchises, the game seemed perfectly balanced in terms of character progression, materia system, difficulty. It just felt to me, a joy to play. The fmv video although compared to Advent Children look a bit clunky still provided many thrills and I enjoyed finding fmv scenes ingame that I never found till about my third playthrough (Shinra headquaters - car show on monitor)
The replayability was excellent, I would play it again now If I hand't finished the game through about 10 times. There is always different ways to approach situations. You were never locked into a certain build type (The materia system allowed for experimental approaches/ appart from missions such as cosmo canyon and having Red in your party)
What I can't understand is why have all the lessons about what works, why people still use this game as a comparison tool against the latest SquareEnix releases and why they don't listen??? Maybe I am from a time of gaming that has been cast aside? A regect from a time that appreciated complexity (Not that final fantasy has complexity when comparisons to RPG like Daggerfall for example), gameplay, game mechanics etc etc etc. Ok I helped support the industry during that period and purchased many games PC/PS1 etc.. etc. So why is the casual target market destroying games that have been traditionally consistant with some of the points I have made above?
Final fantasy 13... I'd rather replay FF6. 7, 8, chrono trigger, chrono crosss or any classic PC RPG, although I am manly only comparing classic Squaresoft games with recent SquareEnix. Oh and by the way Leona Lewis singing really emphisizes the point were pointless development money is going. I mean just download any classic Final fantasy music playlist and ask yourself... Why?