Final Fantasty VII - Taking Fandom Too Far

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Amnestic:

AceDiamond:

digging through tombs to unearth vampires that join your party

A basement is not a tomb!

There were other coffins and it was in a separate room which you had to get a key to access as I recall, while the basement itself was not a tomb, the room which contained the vampire could be defined as such! ;D I know your comment was mostly in jest, but I thought I'd respond anyway.

Well the reason I don't think it implicitly counts as a tomb is because of the critical piece of info in one of the books in the mansion that mentions "a man locked in the basement" and the room where he's in can only be unlocked via a "basement key". Said key is not needed for anything else (and in fact you don't even need to get it to progress in the main quest since Vincent was an optional party member)

I was also going to say he isn't a Vampire but aside from not drinking blood and being able to walk in daylight, he does possess a lot of vampire-esque abilities (including the ability to transform into other animals/objects/monsters, something that hasn't been used a lot outside of Bram Stoker's Dracula)

You are right though that my interjection was partially in jest, but also serious at the same time...esp. cause there was no digging involved ;)

harhol:

NewClassic:
Someone point out to me, since I clearly missed it, where I say "Fanboys are the scourge of existence"? Go ahead, I'll wait. All I say is the game is too hyped for what it is.

My issue is not with your particular viewpoint but with the recent torrent of backlash against FFVII. Perhaps that explains my own personal (over)reaction to the review. Over the past two or three years it's gone from being a highly revered, arguably untouchable gaming landmark to being the go-to whipping boy for RPGs, Japan, fans and even games in general. Simply expressing an appreciation for FFVII is about the most unfashionable thing you can do right now. Picking on FFVII is so de rigueur that I can't help but greet another critique with a weary sigh. Sorry.

Another thing that annoys me is that it's held to different, far harsher standards. Rather than being judged for what it did at the time (like every other game), it's instead judged according to modern standards. The result is that it's frequently criticized for upholding clichés and trends that it popularized! The "emo" protagonist archetype is the obvious example.

edit: and the title of the thread, whether intentional or not, is flame bait.

The problem is the highly revered part. Too many people took it way too seriously. They were treating it akin to the way religious extremists revere their holy texts. I remember when it was still new somebody leapt to their death because a certain brunette in red died.

Fanaticism is never justified and I think that any recent harshness to FFVII now is a result of people realizing, "Man, we were really deep into that. Whew... man I hope that never happens again." Also, the only thing FFVII really brought to the table was exposure to the West, which in itself it to be commended but isn't anything glorious.

ATB was already in prior FF games, a few characters in FFVI had limit break-esque moves, Materia already existed in the form of Magicite/Espers, Multiple interchangeable party members had already been done, and even a 3D RPG called Wild Arms had already been released a year prior.

The only thing that comes to mind now that I could comment about being revolutionary is the sense of cinematic drama the game brought, with its stunning (at the time) visuals, engrossing music, and convoluted but epic storyline. Few games have so much internal introspection, a fact that you might consider both good and bad. I wanted to play a videogame, not read "The Stranger". In my mind it didn't straddle the fine line between pretentious and insightful, but rather jumped between the two sides at regular intervals.

---

Additionally the "I could do better" remarks are a benefit to hindsight, back then you didn't have the tools to do what you can now. They didn't have Zbrush... hell I doubt they even had mesh smooth back then.

The biggest thing that cheesed me off about the meld of 2d background and 3d characters was the fixed camera, which made it so that sometimes Cloud's enormous head blocked things you wanted to look at and otherwise meant remote control of yellow hairspikes in the distance. I have the highest regard for the story in general, but the clone/not clone/ story of Zack seamed quite loopy. I also found the Weapons to be a rather silly way of inserting timesink value for "true fan" random encounter level-grinders and few else. Sure, you had few choices to make, but the story being told was worthwhile and very playable.

Dele:
Well if asked to choose between old Active Time Battle or the new diablo-like un-FF battle system, the old one wins 100-0. Also materia system was something that later Final Fantasies couldn't overcome (unless you really wanted to see Yuna hit for 99999).

Actually, if you want to talk nitty gritty, the current generation Final Fantasty XII closely resembles a hybrid of another Playstation Squaresoft title, called Vagrant Story, and the MMO Final Fantasy XI. The system is so similar I would even vouch that some of the same team members had a hand in both creations, although I couldn't tell you for sure.

AceDiamond:

Amnestic:

AceDiamond:

digging through tombs to unearth vampires that join your party

A basement is not a tomb!

There were other coffins and it was in a separate room which you had to get a key to access as I recall, while the basement itself was not a tomb, the room which contained the vampire could be defined as such! ;D I know your comment was mostly in jest, but I thought I'd respond anyway.

Well the reason I don't think it implicitly counts as a tomb is because of the critical piece of info in one of the books in the mansion that mentions "a man locked in the basement" and the room where he's in can only be unlocked via a "basement key". Said key is not needed for anything else (and in fact you don't even need to get it to progress in the main quest since Vincent was an optional party member)

I was also going to say he isn't a Vampire but aside from not drinking blood and being able to walk in daylight, he does possess a lot of vampire-esque abilities (including the ability to transform into other animals/objects/monsters, something that hasn't been used a lot outside of Bram Stoker's Dracula)

You are right though that my interjection was partially in jest, but also serious at the same time...esp. cause there was no digging involved ;)

True. I really should proof these things through someone else before posting them... I make so many simple mistakes. Appreciate the factual corrections, I'll keep those in mind.

Panayjon:
The problem is the highly revered part. Too many people took it way too seriously. They were treating it akin to the way religious extremists revere their holy texts. I remember when it was still new somebody leapt to their death because a certain brunette in red died.

Fanaticism is never justified and I think that any recent harshness to FF VII now is a result of people realizing, "Man, we were really deep into that. Whew... man I hope that never happens again." Also, the only thing FF VII really brought to the table was exposure to the West, which in itself it to be commended but isn't anything glorious.

ATB was already in prior FF games, a few characters in FFVI had limit break-esque moves, Materia already existed in the form of Magicite/Espers, Multiple interchangeable party members had already been done, and even a 3D RPG called Wild Arms had already been released a year prior.

The only thing that comes to mind now that I could comment about being revolutionary is the sense of cinematic drama the game brought, with its stunning (at the time) visuals, engrossing music, and convoluted but epic storyline. Few games have so much internal introspection, a fact that you might consider both good and bad. I wanted to play a videogame, not read "The Stranger". In my mind it didn't straddle the fine line between pretentious and insightful, but rather jumped between the two sides at regular intervals.

As far as the factual errors, technically, the Materia system was completely new. Each spell and effect could be customized completely, instead of being lodged in with which Esper you pegged onto your character (FF VI) or which job you chose to become (FF I, III, and V). As well as that, Materia allowed you to combine effects, such as Double Attack, Quad Attack, and Multi-Magic. Although that's splitting hairs, it is a detail to be noted, which is why I say the Materia system was unique. It is still different enough to call it unique, even from the Draw System, used in FF VIII.

You're right about "Limit Breaks" in VI, for which I apologize. Although, this game was the first to actively display their requirements, and allow for interchangeable skills to be allotted to them, if I am not mistaken. Although, knowing me, I probably am...

As far as ATB system, I'm well aware it's not new. I even stated as much in the review. Oddly enough, though, I mislabeled it. The ATB system first appeared in '91, in the title FF IV. It was followed by V in '92, then VI in '94, and later Chrono Trigger in '95.[1][2][3][4]

GyroCaptain:
I have the highest regard for the story in general, but the clone/not clone/ story of Zack seemed quite loopy.

That's pretty much what I'm saying. Except I'm also thinking the entire narrative could've used some cleaning.

NewClassic, thou holdest FFVII about as sacred as I do. Slaughter that motherf**kin cow! Kill it good! Even for the day the story was odd and jolty and there was no reason to have the silly SD characters outside of battle. It is important gaming history, but unlike the 16 bit FF games or even FFIX, it clearly lacks charm.

chronobreak:
What happened over the last few years where it's not cool to be a fan of games anymore? It's like a scarlet letter, saying you love a game that's heralded by most people to be a great game, and people write you off as a fanboy. What gives? If I say how much I love Bioshock, it's the only FPS I like, I'm a fanboy and therefore my opinion is moot? I think the whole thing may be a product of the console wars, exclusive titles, and whatnot. What do you think?

Also, I did like the review. Being an FF7 "fanboy" myself, I always like to hear people's unique tastes on FF7's unique experience.

I think that you're only a fanboy if you're willing to defend a games obvious flaws. If you started defending, oh, say, the unbearable agony of grinding in MMOs, you could be considered a fanboy if you don't stop when faced with credible, obvious evidence.

I found FFVII's story, not confusing, but twisted to a point of almost hilarity. At times I felt like the writers just wanted to get a few more hours of wages. Nothing in the game was terribly original at the time; most of it had been done before.
Although the CG movies are rather nice, the actual world graphics were disconcerting. The disparate level of graphical quality in the game actually made my eyes a bit tired from time to time.
I'd have go agree with you, my reviewing friend; an important note in the evolution of games, but little more.

I like this game but I completely agree nostalgia nothing more.

To quote Yahtzee "Nostalgia is like stuffing your cheeks full of cocaine infused marbles making you say stupid things."

Good, but not that good. it certainly had flaws, but turned many people on to RPG's in the first place, and had some interesting aspects. The rent it verdict was pretty spot-on though

Yes, the graphics sucked...it was also the first 3d Final Fantasy. Gameplay sucked too. It had some good points, by and large, but over all the grinding and repetitiveness to just increase a bunch of numbers was...well actually, its on par with almost every MMO these days. Certainly the gameplay could be faulted for many, many things.

Now on the flip side, and the reason why I still count this as my favorite RPG is the setting. First, I loved the story...story is something that is always subjective, of course, but I just dug the whole evil cooperation exploiting a power source that is actually the lifeblood of the planet. I don't think that counts as a spoiler since at this point, in game time line, that's like saying that King Kong dies in the end, or that soylent green is people. Second, I dug the art style. The backgrounds in particular, I just loved looking at. Yeah, the monsters are goofy, in FF fashion, but everything else had a certain class about it. Lastly, and most importantly, is the characters. In every other RPG (Or any game, really) I have ever played, I have enjoyed characters. They have been well written, funny, powerful, a whole bunch of things. But they are always just a vehicle for the story, to be enjoyed with a certain detachment. But not Final Fantasy. I have no shame in admitting that I was absolutely infatuated with Aeris. Something about her character was just so appealing to me, that I kept a saved game around the time you get to play as Aeris, just to be able to see things from her perspective. I wanted to see what the date sequence was like with other characters, but I just couldn't bring myself to be mean to Aeris. Her death definitely got me a little teary eyed, and I felt palpable catharsis when I realized that she was an amazingly done Christ-figure. Throughout the game, I actually was emotionally invested in her character, perhaps moreso then any other character in any media. From the flashback of her consoling her adopted mother about the death of her husband, to the dream sequence in the woods. Just seeing the patch of flowers and hearing Aeris Theme playing has more emotional gravitas then anything in any other video game I can think of. And im not particularly sappy about game characters either, its really just Aeris. The other characters too, are very identifiable, distinctive, and stylish, to make draw you into there story. Even people who have never played the game probably know more then they care to about Cloud, Tifa, and Sephiroth at least. So yeah, you can fault FFVII for a lot of things, most of which are attributable to the extreme age. But if you are looking for well done characters with simple, powerful emotional appeal, you have got to love FFVII. I know that when i'm done posting this, I'm searching for my discs.

NewClassic:

As far as the factual errors, technically, the Materia system was completely new. Each spell and effect could be customized completely, instead of being lodged in with which Esper you pegged onto your character (FF VI) or which job you chose to become (FF I, III, and V). As well as that, Materia allowed you to combine effects, such as Double Attack, Quad Attack, and Multi-Magic. Although that's splitting hairs, it is a detail to be noted, which is why I say the Materia system was unique. It is still different enough to call it unique, even from the Draw System, used in FF VIII.

Actually, Final Fantasy III's "spells as equippable items" system was the father of Materia, they equipped to the character, the job just determined how many MP you got to cast them. Spells in FFIII were equipped individually though, rather than equipping an item that had multiple levels of the same spell on a single slot, as it still used the quasi-D&D spellcasting system of the first game. (Which, ironically, got backported into D&D itself in the form of Sorcerers). It also didn't have the elemental modifiers.

avykins:
Im going to agree with -Seraph- the story is not that confusing. Sure I can see how it may confuse young kids who cant remmeber what happened a hour ago but there was never any doubt as to the characters history.

I don't think it's that the story's confusing, but that various bits of it simply don't fit well together. The whole "Shinra bad" green aesop was kind of occasionally prominent, but kind of wibbles backwards and forwards depending on whether the designers are distracted by Sephiroth not wearing a shirt today, Sephiroth himself appears to want to destroy the world because of his raging Oedipus complex, and the game's big emotional twist falls apart in retrospect because Aeris was just fucking stupid. "I know, I'll wander off and abandon the other eight capable fighters I know so that I can have a quick pray, never mind the fact that this will be monumentally dangerous" and she gets shanked for her troubles. A darwin award to the entire Cetra species, frankly.

However if you are referring to Zack and how every little detail of his past was not explained, why would we want that ?

Evidently people did, because they made a whole damn game about it.

Bravo Sir Vault Legend, loved the review and agree that fandom took this game and stamped on it's metaphorical balls.

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