Call it nostalgia, call it overstating, call it a failure to recognize flaws due to fan bias. Call it whatever the hell you want. Final Fantasy VII is still freakin' amazing.

Thing is, all that great technology (which I absolutely do appreciate) hasn't only changed the way we see our video games; it has changed the way we play them, too. You just don't see games like this anymore; they're not made the same way. And you can tell Squaresoft put a ridiculous amount of time and effort into mastering the formula game makers (and specifically RPG creators) used back in the day.

It's not just turn-based that we don't have anymore; we don't have this fantastically paced, endlessly interesting and imaginative, character and story-driven RPG that isn't trying to give you more choices or freedom, that isn't trying to involve other players, and that isn't introducing elements of other genres. It's doing what Square always did best: it's telling a story, keeping you involved, and spinning it all out in a breathtaking, engaging world full of life, mystery and adventure.

People can say they don't like the first five or six hours, when you're "stuck" in Midgar and don't yet have access to the world map. But after playing through it again, I'm reminded of just how much storyline and character development is involved in that introductory section. And furthermore, look at what you do: you explore slums and a market, dress up as a girl to get into a playboy's mansion, invade Shinra HQ, and escape on a motorcycle that even involves a mini-game.

There's never a dull moment. The pacing just blows my mind. Look at the outside- from Midgar to Kalm (a huge part of the story) to the Chocobo farm to Junon to Costa del Sol to Corel the Golden Saucer to Cosmo Canyon to Nibelheim…no two places are even remotely similar, no two places have you doing the same thing, and every single design, story, and gameplay element just seems to work . Factor in the strategic aspects of the Materia and your growing party, and this is a true-blue addictive masterpiece.

I just don't know why they don't make games like this anymore. I'm not saying we don't have great RPGs; I'm just wondering why this particular format and style had to die. Too slow for the twitchers? Not flashy enough? Those answers don't make much sense; Skyrim may not be turn-based but it's hardly CoD; patience and diligence is a definite virtue, and that game shipped 10 million copies. Besides, can you imagine what some of the cut-scenes in FFVII would look like with modern graphics? Or the Summons?

I guess I just don't understand why this had to die. I may be a fan but I quickly notice games that don't age well, that just aren't the gems they were way back when. I notice them all the time. But FFVII withstands every test of time I can think of, save one: the control. In any 3D world, the analog is just always better to have. Not having the option and having to determine exactly what is up, down, left and right in parts of FFVII (like in Junon) can be just a little frustrating.

But beyond that…damn. 'cries'

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Warrior Poet
Warrior Poet
8 years ago

A game that was great once will always be great regardless of the new technology. A game with great art will always be pretty. I agree with you. FFVII has awesome pacing and it is a lot of fun! It did have some problems like the ridiculous writing, but I keep listening to the music. It's really good music.

I don't think it's fair to say that these games have died, since they're as great as ever and more accessible and affordable than ever…But they certainly aren't growing like they used to. I would like to see more games like them for sure.

Oyashiro
Oyashiro
8 years ago

Out of all the games I have played in the 23 years of being alive. I have yet to play a game that was a great as FFVII. And no, It was not my first FF, and I beat VI before playing VII.

People often use the "Nostalgia" excuse as if they are saying there is no way a game made in the 90's could best the ones made today. I say BS to that!

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
8 years ago

Without a doubt, the finest game ever produced. Only game that successfully brought a tear to my eye at one moment. (You fans know which one)

Best of all, no online, no updates, no forced Facebook, the graphics were amazing for it's time, the FMV's are still amazing to this day, it was just you, the player, and the game!

Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid rate amongst my favourite games of all time, next to Heavy Rain, Mass Effect 2 and Skyrim (on PC)

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
8 years ago

Speaking of online and Facebook, just letting you know, DON'T GET ORIGIN!!!

I purchased Back to Karkand expansion FOUR TIMES in an attempt to get it working. No update, no activation, no downloads, nothing!!! Even after buying it FOUR TIMES it still said I needed to buy it to play online with friends.

I've emailed EA support about it, given them my details, credit card info, even a screen capture of my bank statement showing the four purchases of the same item!!! An online service SHOULD NOT do that!! What happened to purchase trackers?!?! Immediate updates?!?

Origin is the worst online service I've experienced. I'm gonna stick with Steam or consoles. All the effort put into playing the PC version of a game is not worth it, just for slightly prettier graphics. I'll stick with my consoles.

Anyone else run into similar problems with Origin?

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
8 years ago

Dancemachine55,
Yes, Origin is a total mess.

As I just stated in a previous thread, BF3 has just has a tri-folded insert that tells you to go to Origin to get the D/L manual.
But the site map was totally useless & it took me about an hour to hunt around in there & find it myself. And only after I D/L'ed it, I found out it was for the PC, even though it stated it was the PS3 version.

So I said eff it & Googled the info I wanted.

johnld
johnld
8 years ago

theres two games that got to me to the point of tears final fantasy 7 and valkyria chronicles.

Rogueagent01
Rogueagent01
8 years ago

Same here John! FFVII was the first to get me to shed a tear and scream at the TV, however Valkyria Chronicles was the second. At a certain chapter with a certain character I was thinking this game is great, and then I jumped it up to EPIC when that certain thing happened. I showed that part to my friend and tried my hardest not to cry in front of him, and he just sat there and said nothing. I wasn't even able to talk as it would have given away the fact that I wanted to cry.

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
8 years ago

You're damn right it's still amazing!
The nostalgia is down right overwhelming but when you look back on 97 this game was so far ahead of it's time. It just blew our minds and help prove what games are really capable of. As soon as I finish off FFIX on my PSP I think I will DL FFVII to play on the road.

My ring tone for my phone is the victory song from FFVII. Just like Loz's from Advent Children. So when ever someone calls me I momentarily get sucked back to my aunts house when I was 10 or something and watching my cousin run around on the World map.

SO MANY GOOD MEMORIES. It just never gets old.

chilker
chilker
8 years ago

My ring tone is that fanfare too, from the soundtrack! And my text message sound is the sound you hear when you load a game in FF7.
Man, that game is so fantastic. I'm playing it through again right now. I just saved Corel and Fort Condor on disc 2. I love Final Fantasy VII so much. I continue to be amazed by it as I'm playing it on my PSP whenever I travel or have some down time. The story keeps you engaged. There's no REASON to have all the random side quests so prevalent in modern RPGs. Why would I want to do pointless things on the side when I have a planet to save!? Though it's not really urgent, the game makes you feel every action is urgent and that the world is going to end if you don't do something RIGHT NOW. Of course, I really could just go and raise and breed chocobos for 20 hours and nothing bad would happen but, like you said, Ben, the pacing is brilliant and… I love this game. I can say without a doubt that Final Fantasy VII is what pulled me into gaming.

johnld
johnld
8 years ago

i got the final fantasy fanfare ringtone in preparation for final fantasy 13, which it turned out wasnt in the damn game at all. my text message sound is snakes codec.

Riku994
Riku994
8 years ago

PS1 games that need a full blown HD remake:

FF7-9, Legend of Dragoon, Chrono Trigger (never played, it would give me a damn good excuse to), Resident Evil 1-3, Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.. There's surely a ton more, but these ones are at the top of my list.

cLoudou
cLoudou
8 years ago

I have no faith in Square Enix to allow them to make a full blown remake. They are just gonna eff it up in the end trying to appeal to the Western Twitch gamers .


Last edited by cLoudou on 12/16/2011 10:55:57 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

I think that's the great thing about our favorite games. The games that manage to step outside of the collective of gaming and are attached to us in a special way. Many of my favorite games still feel great to me. Whether it's classic FFVI, Street Fighter II, or NES Ninja Gaiden. The magic I felt for them yesterday is still felt today. It's like I wear a different set of eyes when playing them. I think we all have those games that feel perfect to us. I think a reason for that is because it's those special games that seemingly felt perfectly entertaining that represent a source of what drives our passion behind gaming to begin with, where that feeling is sought again from the newer games. That next big game that can make us feel just as entertained.

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
8 years ago

Aw shucks you're making me want to play FFVII again. Maybe this time I can revive Aeris…even though I tried so hard using all those wonky internet guides and they all failed me!

You know what's fun to do? You name RedXIII "Nanaki" so that when you find out his real name in Cosmo Canyon they're like "Wait…Nanaki is Nanaki?!" like it's some sort of revelation. I was entertained by that 😉

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

I name Red XIII Nanaki every time I play. 😉

And I remember you could get Aeris back with a Gameshark back in those days, but it could cause problems with the game.

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

He was foreshadowing things to come…

Number XIII was red…. like a warning of things to come…. Scarred and decorated with a headdress to appeal to the masses. He appears to be experienced and old, but he's actually very young and immature in comparison to his species longevity.

His very character, despite being awesome, has some stark contrasts to the title FFXIII!

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
8 years ago

haha yah my friend used the gameshark to revive her but then permanently damaged his game. There was a black square blocking his path where you are climbing the rubish in Midgar at the near the beginning of the game.

It's nice to see her again, but knowing it's not part of the actual story is simply torture 🙁

burnedknight
burnedknight
8 years ago

That's why it's one of my favorites it's a great game that still is just as good today as it was back then

Thanks Ben now from all this talk of FFVII i'm gonna have to play it again


Last edited by burnedknight on 12/16/2011 11:41:01 PM

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
8 years ago

I honestly don't see it as anything more than the same reason Pong went the way of the dinosaurs. Just a simple evolution of the hobby we call gaming.

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

So you were never big on FFVII? I just assumed since you just compared it to…. pong.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

I don't think being compared to Pong is any insult? That game is one of the major milestones in the history of gaming!

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
8 years ago

FFVII was a classic, and my reference to Pong was simply to say that great games of the past feature outdated gameplay even though they retain superb pacing and storytelling.

Plus there are plenty of games right now that do all three.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

But there's nothing outdated about FFVII's gameplay. It's just different because we killed it off.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
8 years ago

Turn based gameplay may not be outdated to you and a select group of gamers, but as a whole it is. The action RPG like Skyrim is the way to go nowadays.

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

Why is it outdated?

daus26
daus26
8 years ago

Well, that's the tough part really. We don't really know the exact reason on why it's outdated but it's pretty clear most developers have pretty much gone real time on their battle systems now. The only pure turn-based modern rpg I can think of that's still popular today worldwide is Pokemon. Can you imagine the reaction of people if Pokemon became real-time? Honestly, I wouldn't be sure which case (FF or Pokemon) is gonna suffer more backlash from its old fans that really likes the old turn-based style if that were to happen.

I think it's simply a natural evolution to gameplay, and this is just one, ultra-rare case where it can be regarded as unnecessary to many of its hardcore fans, for it to be completely abandoned. Usually, a natural evolution is something we have no problem leaving in the past. This is something different, obviously.

The only way to know for sure is to ask the developers themselves.


Last edited by daus26 on 12/17/2011 3:16:34 PM

Warrior Poet
Warrior Poet
8 years ago

There is no evolution in video games. Everything is by design – human design – and everything is either to make art or make money. Usually both. Turn-based can't be outdated any more than real-time can – in fact, games like Pong, Space Invaders, Defender, and Joust were all real-time games. It's silly to say an entire class of games are outdated because the computers can do more. The computers have always been able to do more…there were real-time games before there were silicon chips, man.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
8 years ago

Again, I am not saying the demise of turn based gameplay is a good thing. All I am stating is that outside of PSXE (others as well, I am sure) the support for FFVII systems is not what it used to be.

Lets take a look at Skyrim. It's an amazing experience with real time combat that is a financial success. It also sets the bar for what RPG's in 2011 and beyond should be. You know as well as I do that SE has noticed it, and I would be willing to bet that a FF in a setting similar to Skyrim would be one to remember.

It has to happen and it will happen. I for one am excited over the possibility, and why not?

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

Even my CoD-nut friends think on FFVII fondly.

Teddie9
Teddie9
8 years ago

that's nice, all my cod nut friends have never played an ff :(……

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
8 years ago

I think it's one of the best JRPG and perhaps, one of the best game ever.
FFVII was way way ahead of it's time back then.

Strange, how can a company gone from making revolutionary games to making good games.

vicysully
vicysully
8 years ago

Couldn't have said it better myself! *cries with Ben*

Jed
Jed
8 years ago

FFVII was the first Final Fantasy I ever heard of (I know, blasphemy). But a demo was on the sampler disc that came with my original playstation. I played it once and wasn't too impressed, but after trying it a few times, I loved it. It was cool because you could use all kinds of magic and summons right off the train at the beginning.

After playing through the demo several times, I knew I had to own the game. I can't imagine how much time I put into it, but I really loved it. It was my first taste of an RPG, let alone a JRPG. I saved up allowance money and whatnot until I had the fifty dollars to buy it, and it was the most I will ever get for 50 smackers.

To me, it is truly a masterpiece and THE greatest game of all time. I will never forget how I felt playing through that game. I really wish a quality HD remake with no changes to the gameplay would happen, but lately it seems that I am more likely to win the lottery than that happening. At least I can always play it on my PS3 or PSP whenever I lose track of what gaming should be.

GOD BLESS FFVII!

ryu
ryu
8 years ago

for real this story comes up at least once a semester or something

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

In about ten thousand articles, I've never once done one dedicated to FFVII.

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
8 years ago

Sorry for this guys, but theres no hope in the hell that any game is better than MGS (as a series).

Anyone disagree? 😛

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
8 years ago

It's close. For me it's a tie. As FFVII will always have a special place in my heart I could also give a seminar on why the Metal Gear series is the best of all time. They are both revolutionary in there own respects.

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

I disagree

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Sorry, too many issues with basic control and a little bit of convoluted storyline for MGS to compete with FF in its heyday.

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
8 years ago

Well, let me clarify that I think MGS4 was the best of the series, so I'll use that to explain my points.

I think now that I've iterated that I'm talking specificly about MGS4, you probably want to take your comment back about control I imagine? …yah, thought so xD

In regards to the "convoluted story", I don't quite see what your getting at – sure, it CAN be overly-complex, especially when some cutscenes last over an hour, but it isnt like the information is thrown at your for no reason; it all comes together at some point or another. And that's comming from someone who hadn't played a MGS prior to playing MGS4 (I'll admit I was lost at certain times, and not just the times when refrences were used). But in general, the story is (almost) perfectly narrated, and while perhaps contrived & cheesy at times (Meryl & Johnny at the end on the ship…*shivers*), I wouldn't go as far as to say it was convoluted.

I, personally, can't compare MGS and FF – I've only played the former (My first comment was purposfully naive, hence the ':P'. Just saying, some people on the internet sturggle to see these kinda things).

evilmunkie
evilmunkie
8 years ago

Damn, it feels like I got the game staring at me from the shelf now. It really is a great experience for anyone that invests some time with it. I mustve beaten it 3 times with each play through being 100+ hours because I wanted to try 100% it even though Emerald always was my brick wall. I thought VIII was also a great Final Fantasy even though I liked just about everything about VII more. After IX though I've always wanted to play another new Final Fantasy that had a black mage in the party. The only thing I never really got the hang of was the card games, more so on 9 than 8. Thinking about all of this again makes me want to see a 7 remake. I know there was alot of negative things being said when we read the news that SE would redo it with changes. Ben, you should make a list of what we that have played these games would consider as acceptable changes and send it to SE.

I would ok- armor actually changing a character's appearance. Summons having more than one animation or better yet more than one attack which have to be unlocked. Maybe one more limit break per character before they learn the original extreme limit breaks. Make the Gold Saucer even bigger keeping the original game room and adding a new one on the side. The arm wrestling, basket ball, 3-D fighting, and that crane games in the Gold Saucer should be given more depth so I'd want to play something else besides the bike, snowboarding and submarine games. More Gold Saucer prizes. Better visuals for the Fort Condor segments. Wouldn't mind a new island with new monsters.

Keep- Original music(atleast give a choice to use original music if new music is recorded), ATB system, amazing story, mood, everything else.

Call my comment blasphemous if you will but thats all I can come up with. That is more than amazing when you take into account that I am talking about a 1997 title.

evilmunkie
evilmunkie
8 years ago

Nolan North as the voice of Cloud, one more thing


Last edited by evilmunkie on 12/17/2011 5:04:08 AM

Douchebaguette
Douchebaguette
8 years ago

I actually preferred the still camera angle / one eyecatching backdrop and the ability to move our character anywhere within the page as opposed to the new "follow the player with your right analog to view the scenery" for J-RPGs (maybe the world map could do with a R analog stick for viewing and panning); if I developed a game nowadays, I'd give the player a choice. If possible, I'd give a choice for turn based or action based, too.

The town part you mentioned got me realising why FFVII has the upper hand over the other FFs. Because of the mixture of Dystopian, cyber-punk and post-industrial settings, this allowed the more currently familiar cultures around our own world to be implemented within the FFVII towns. Therefore each town could have a totally different theme without you scratching your head. This allowed the pacing of travel to be a ton more interesting (along with the music and the whole Sephiroth goose chase and what-not).

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
8 years ago

Completely agree about the camera angles, I don't think it is necessary to control the camera in an RPG like FF, FFX was in 3D and there were no problems at all with the camera… ever. Also I know time has gone on, but I cant help but miss pre-rendered backgrounds.

Douchebaguette
Douchebaguette
8 years ago

Same. If only there could be a developer for PSN games willing to make an epically large and detailed title yet with such beautiful graphical & audial simplicities, they'd shock the world.

Lotusflow3r
Lotusflow3r
8 years ago

I agree.

But games like this still occasionally get made. Ni No Kuni (yes, again) is EXACTLY the same formula complete with a plot on the same level. A few games on other systems attempt such formulas too, albeit with slight alterations such as Lost Odyssey, Dragon Quest lX or to an extent, The Last Story.

I don't know why some here overlook what's right in front of you….again, looking at the brightest example – Ni No Kuni, is it because it isn't "grown up" enough for you? A misjudgement as i can vouch for how dark and intelligent the story gets. Not that being a more childlike game would be bad at all, if anything it would add more charm. Plus….this game is goddamn Ghibli. Is it the non-turned based system? It ain't too far off that and is, according to others, one of the best active turned based systems they've seen. Is it the Imajjins? Just a summon on a smaller scale, really.

I miss the early FF days just as much as the next fan and become emotional thinking back and enjoy being nostalgic every once in awhile too, but i also take full attention to anything that attempts that formula again but with an up-to-date engine and celebrate it because quite frankly, Ni No Kuni looks, to me, as the biggest competitor FFVll has ever seen and the perfect example of a modern golden age game. A NEW all time classic FRANCHISE (you read that right 😉 ) has been born. So saying they're no more is simply not true.

Support them and they'll get made again. Some developers are risking an awful lot putting modern golden age games out for you in an age where you get criticised for not spending 100 million on your game or for not making it gritty and realistic enough.

However, in essence, i understand the empathy. Games like this are still rare…in ALL genres and it is a crime. One of many reasons this generation has been mixed for me.


Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 12/17/2011 7:09:26 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Ni no Kuni's real-time mechanic completely changes things for me. And yes, I'm sorry, as beautiful as it is, the presentation makes it look like its for kids.

I don't have a problem with it personally, but FFVII, despite what people may say today with all the super-mature gritty games out there, was designed as an RPG for hardcore fans, regardless of age. And there was a seriously dark theme as well.

I haven't played Ni no Kuni so I can't say for certain, but I have a feeling that, much like the Atelier franchise, it's just going to FEEL like something for kids (or girls). Again, it's not a negative implication as to the quality of the game. But it DOES have an impact, and it could potentially impact my enjoyment, being 33 years old.

You mention emotion. I will still get emotional at the events in FFVII. …I find it hard to believe I'll get too emotional at anything in Ni no Kuni, because it appears they shy away from anything too grown-up in the way of sensation and emotion. It just doesn't take itself seriously enough.

I'm only going by what I've seen and heard, that's all. We have to admit that visual presentation, theme, and style have a huge impact on how we perceive our adventure.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 12/17/2011 10:07:34 AM

Lotusflow3r
Lotusflow3r
8 years ago

The presentation has no effect on how deep the emotion will be from the game. That is only ones preference that i personally can't understand.

As i said, Ghibli make very childlike films and do they shy away from raw emotion? They're some of the most character driven, moving pictures of all time. What's more, they're involved with Ni No Kuni. Now, i'm not saying you have to find it emotionally impactful, we all have tastes, but that doesn't mean the game is going to be perceived in such a way elsewhere. If one doesn't find a Ghibli film moving due to it's childlike nature, that's just you, but i'd tell you that you're limiting yourself.
Atelier is not a good comparison because that is a game that's very tongue in cheek and is not on a scale as large as Ni No Kuni. Ni No Kuni is a grand scale RPG using that old FF formula and modernising it. Also, it DOES take itself seriously and as i said, it can be fairly dark just as much other Ghibli work can be too. The notion of having to be a "grown up" concept to be emotionally engaging is, to me, a flawed logic.
Me personally, i prefer any kind of presentation. Anything that makes me feel, i will remember forever.
However, with Ni No Kuni playing into a childlike mentality, it captures my imagination like no other. The game is sweeping with heart warming imagination that taps into the purity of being young and innocent and my own personal nostalgia of my childhood.

There are many cut scenes available online which depict raw character development and heart warming sentimentality. Stuff that's completely missing today in almost ALL games.
Even the character concepts can warm the heart such as Oliver's neighbour Maru – a youg girl who, in reality, is bed-ridden with a deadly illness, but in the land of Ni No Kuni, she is a very acrobatic warrior. A beautiful cutscene is available online which includes a moving moment between her, Oliver and her father.
Viewing it, i rendered feelings not felt in an RPG since an early FF.

During the golden age, there were many kinds of this classic RPG and not all were liked equally by everyone. Writing Ni No Kuni off because you fear certain mechanics does not mean it isn't still that kind of game. A Tales Of game could be hailed like an FF game back then, but i dislike the battle system in Tales and didn't really get into it, but i know full well that that game is one for the RPG history books.

There's a reason many are up in arms about this game and it's because it's what many RPG players have wanted to see happen since the generation began.
Ni No Kuni is designed for the hardcore gamer, but can also please a much larger demographic. It is the 1st modern golden age JRPG on our system. It's Level 5 taking the torch from Squaresoft and continuing on and thus hammers home my original point, these kinds of games aren't gone.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

I think you're being blinded again by something you prefer and ardently defend, but that's okay.

Setting and theme absolutely have an impact and always will.

Lotusflow3r
Lotusflow3r
8 years ago

lol errm… you sound defeated. Didn't even argue against any of my points, but instead, chose to assume and get defensive as usual, "but that's ok".

I never said Setting and theme don't have anyhting to do with engagement…. i said the opposite and that if done correctly, any theme can engage you. You're saying that if it's a certain theme…it can't…OK, mate.

To quote you…try reading before discussing. 😉