I Finally Decided to Play Final Fantasy 7 (Original) on Game Pass! My early thoughts.
I won’t lie. Growing up an N64 fan, it felt like it was a debate, a war even. Which was better? Ocarina of Time vs Final Fantasy 7. I knew where my loyalty lied. I still think being indoctrinated into Zelda instead of Final Fantasy is a big reason why I am more into action adventure games over RPGs.
In my adult life, the FF7 remake was hyped up to no end. As a PS3 owner I thought maybe we would get a version of the remake, but it just snuck onto the PS4’s library. While I plan to get around to the remake, now that I own a PS4 as well, I decided to start with the original on the Xbox Gamepass. Here are some of my thoughts.
For the record, spoilers will be minor. I have put almost 7 hours into the game and finally made it to the world map on my way to the town of Kalm.
For starters, the graphics do not look horrible for a PS1 game. Admittedly, I am not a techno wizard. Maybe this is due to the fact I am playing it on the Xbox One on my nice TV. Either way, graphics are not a turn off here.
Combat is still not great, but I have yet to find a turn based battle system I enjoy outside of Pokemon. The timing system is less than great and having to maneuver those arrows has led to many accidental wrong attacks and spells. Such as using a phoenix down on a living player, curing the wrong member, or not being able to target a back row character.
So, far that is really my only complaint. The game is well written and different from most RPGS and Final Fantasy games I have seen. It is over the top weird, vulgar and very funny. I would be surprised if they did not have to clean up and adjust a lot of the humor for the hyper sensitive modern day crowd. I like how anybody can learn any spell. This almost reduced roles and classes found in former entries, but makes it where you can build each character to be anything you want. I like to put my head in the mindset of the late 90’s when I play. As a result, the cutscenes blow me away. They are so visually striking. They remind me of Resident Evil 2 cutscenes from when I was younger and of course there is nostalgia tied to that.
The game has opened up now with the world map. I wouldn’t say the game has been strictly linear like FF13, but it has been close. Still, I have liked the balance of a very focused approach to story telling while also being able to explore towns and talk to NPCs. I don’t think it is perfect, but it still feels good.
So far Sephiroth has really only shown up by name, but his reputation is starting to proceed him. Having never played Final Fantasy 7 prior to this week, I would say just from what I know about him, he stands up there with video games’ greatest evil forces and I am excited to see more of him.
Which brings me to the story. The story is compelling without giving too much away. If Sephiroth is an ancient and he is still alive, I wonder how many more ancients are still alive as well? I cannot wait to explore more of the world, the lore and the characters.
So far, I give the game an 8 out of 10. I plan to keep playing further and we will totally revisit as I go.