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Thread: Final Fantasy VII: Overrated?

  1. #1
    Reaper of souls Egami's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy VII: Overrated?

    Well, is it?

    First off, I've noticed that some people consider VII to be overrated because it has sold a lot of units, it is talked about a lot, has X number of spin-offs or some other similar reason. That doesn't make VII overrated; it just makes it popular, two different things.

    That said, Final Fantasy VII is my favorite game and I don’t think that it is overrated; I think it is a monumental groundbreaking game worthy of all the praise it has received. It singlehandedly brought the RPG genre into the mainstream, giving rise to a herd of clones after it's release and was a crucial factor in the failure of the Nintento 64 and the triumph of the Playstation.

    I'll try and elaborate a bit on some general aspects of the game. As a whole, VII takes a new approach to the world of an RPG. It got rid of the castles, kingdoms, kings, knights and princes which had become the trademark if not the clichť of the genre and the series. It brought instead a modern world that more directly parallels our own. This allowed gamers to better relate with the world and characters of the game and derive something from it that is applicable to their lives. The game also has plenty of social commentary to encourage that, something that previous games lacked for the most part.

    Character development also rose to a new level with this game as the characters got more deep and able to convey a wider set of emotions than in previous games. It is not just because of the better graphics, it is their behavior, the way they move, react, speak and change during the game. Each character has a strongly marked personality and is several layers deep.

    The story itself is far more engrossing and complex than any of the previous FFs and travels into a new territory, previously untouched, in exploring the psychological aspects of the characters and coupled with the modern world in which it takes place, it touches on issues that are directly relevant to our world, unlike previous games which seemed content to remain on their own bubble.

    The game also moved away from the typical two dimensional villains that had been part of the series. Now it was not just some crazy evil man who wanted to destroy the world for no reason other than pure enjoyment. Now we get a villain with more sophisticated motives and also a set of antagonists whose motives and machinations are explored to great detail (the whole Shinra staff). The game also blurs the line at times between good and evil, trying to make you see the acts of the antagonists as good, such as when Shinra is trying to stop the Weapons and Meteor, a good development that we would see again in X and XII.

    The materia system was quite innovative in my opinion and to this day remains my favorite system. It is like the job system...but on steroids. It gave grater freedom to customize your characters than previous games. Something I like about the materia system is how strongly tied to the story and the rest of the game it is. It is not some isolated thing that is relevant only in battles; it is rooted in the story and directly derived from it.

    There are also many small but great things that were new which I think are often overlooked but is what contributes in making this game great. I mean, I never did something in an RPG like riding a bike to escape some place while soldiers chase me and I have to take them down with a sword, or chasing a submarine while firing torpedoes at it, or climbing a cold mountain while keeping an eye on my body temperature, or something like the strategy battle at Forth Condor or breeding Chocobos. I could name more of these small things but all in all, the game packages so much variety into it and so well, it is like if you do a bit of everything in it. All this is also distributed across the story very nicely and the game enjoys an incredible pacing, never allowing a dull moment to creep in.

    The new graphics were also a major breakthrough for the series in particular and RPGs in general. Granted, games with better graphics have been released and compared to them the graphics of VII feel dated, but I think the graphics, dated as they may be, still hold up quite well today and the FMVs even more so. Games with better sound quality have also been released; which is not to say that their soundtracks are better than VII’s, just that they have a fuller sound.

    But neither graphics nor sound alone are what make this game a masterpiece, it is in something that can be achieved apart from these things where VII truly excels and where it’s true charm lies: story, characters, pacing, game play, etc.

    That’s where the magic is and after all these years this is what remains and will remain of VII (unless there is a remake, in which case the graphics and sound would rise to new heights). These things are more than enough for it to soar head and shoulders above all others. New games may have better graphics and sound, but in my mind, they have yet to top VII in the other more important things.

    Well, this turned out longer than I expected...discuss.

  2. #2
    The darkness writhes. execrable gumwrapper's Avatar
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    Exotic weapon proficiency ftw Prak's Avatar
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    /facepalm


    Why am I expected to make an appearance every time one of these ignorant fankids makes a thread praising that decidedly mediocre game?

  4. #4
    The darkness writhes. execrable gumwrapper's Avatar
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    BOO YAAAAAAAAAH

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    Reaper of souls Egami's Avatar
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    It should go without saying, of course, that no game is perfect. As good as I think FF VII is it still has its share of issues. In particular the game is too easy and lacks challenge. This has been a problem in the series ever since VI was released. However, in VII this lack of challenge ends up hampering the potential of the materia system. Due to how easy the enemies are, you are never forced to come up with a strategy or materia combination in order to defeat them (the Weapons being an exception), and in most cases you end up being overpowered. I think the game lacks balance in this regard. Making the enemies harder or making the effects that equipped materia have on the characters more pronounced would have made things better.

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    Opeth rules. You should check them out. poptart fantastico's Avatar
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    I re-tried playing it a few weeks ago. I put it back in the box, then crushed it.

    This is Opeth - the best progressive death metal band EVER.

  7. #7
    Reaper of souls Egami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RenaissanceInBlood View Post
    I put it back in the box, then crushed it.
    Too bad, you would have gotten some good money for it on E-bay.

  8. #8
    sees through the bs! All Seeing Eye's Avatar
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    Egami, the discussion if rather Final Fantasy VII is overrated or not has been done to death on this and almost every other Final Fantasy and Gaming forum. So don't expect a deep 100 post debate on it.

    Personally, Final Fantasy VII is a good game, but overrated. It's overrated because most people who played it didn't ever know what RPG was until after they played Final Fantasy VII. Now these people are claiming the game is the best RPG ever made, and the best game ever made. Any season gamer knows that is not true. That's just one of the reasons a lot of people call it overrated. Just like with Halo, most people didn't know what FPS was until after they played it. Because FPS dominated the PC. Now, they're claiming Halo is the greatest FPS ever made.
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  9. #9
    Exotic weapon proficiency ftw Prak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Seeing Eye View Post
    It's overrated because most people who played it didn't ever know what RPG was until after they played Final Fantasy VII.
    Correction: They still don't know because Final Fantasy VII is not an actual RPG. It's an adventure game with RPG-inspired combat. I've said it before and I'll say it again; fuck the japs for spreading that bullshit definition of the genre. I know they only did it out of ignorance, but fuck them anyway.

  10. #10
    The darkness writhes. execrable gumwrapper's Avatar
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    You must really love your RPGs, Prak. =/

    Hasn't the genre been known as JRPG for a while now, to seperate from the "true" ones?

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    Grand Shriner ThroneofOminous's Avatar
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    Most people only do that because they play differently, rather then to note that one is not actually a RPG.

  12. #12
    Shriner
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    I feel VII is the best because for me it's the first installment in the franchise that Sqaure bothered to release in my country. Apparently my feeble English mind just couldn't accept an RPG from the NES/SNES era. I also think VII was a technological marvel for the PS1, demostrating the virtues of CD based games over cartridge.

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    Hands off my bread! Psycho_Cyan's Avatar
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    Because origami characters are way-the-hell better than even the best sprite-based characters.
    Thanks to Garamond for the sig/ava!

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    Maybe we don't exist... Harkus's Avatar
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    I don't think it's overrated, I think that it's just popular and for a good reason. It's a fun game to play and has a good story. It's not my favourite of the series but I can see the appeal it has.
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    Reaper of souls Egami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho_Cyan View Post
    Because origami characters are way-the-hell better than even the best sprite-based characters.
    The models in VII are most definitely better than the sprites in previous FFs:

    vs


    With the new models, the motion of the characters is vastly improved, allowing for a wider range of expressions and emotions to be conveyed. Now characters are not limited to five or six static poses, which are the same for every character, in order to give different reactions (as was the case in previous FFs) but are given a nearly unlimited freedom of movement allowing for a greater distinction between the characters.

    Granted, they are not the best models ever, but that they are an improvement over what had been done previously in the series is quite evident.

  16. #16
    The darkness writhes. execrable gumwrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harkus View Post
    I don't think it's overrated, I think that it's just popular and for a good reason. It's a fun game to play and has a good story. It's not my favourite of the series but I can see the appeal it has.
    Yet you think VI is overrated.

    WOW

  17. #17
    Shriner
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    FFVII is overrated. End of story. Good bye. Bad game. Deffinatly not my most favorite, ever. Bad graphics, characters, story, everything.

  18. #18
    Maybe we don't exist... Harkus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskillbassist View Post
    Yet you think VI is overrated.

    WOW
    Hey puppy bitch, stop replying to every single one of my posts with off-topic bullshit.

  19. #19
    Reaper of souls Egami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinasweetheart View Post
    FFVII is overrated. End of story. Good bye. Bad game. Deffinatly not my most favorite, ever. Bad graphics, characters, story, everything.
    Posts like these are hard to take seriously, specially from someone who has said "[Hidden link. Register to see links.]" and "[Hidden link. Register to see links.]".

    The beginning is so slow that no less than a minute into the game, you are already fighting soldiers and rushing towards a reactor to blow it up and are quickly set up story-wise about what is going on and what you are doing. Compare and contrast with other FFs and you'll see. The ending is so fast that it lasts around 15 minutes (sans the credits), a time it takes to give a great conclusion to the story.

    Given what you said in the last linked post, your complain sounds more like: I got confused about the game/story therefore VII is "an awful and unfinished game". You may want to check the logic of that.

  20. #20
    The darkness writhes. execrable gumwrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harkus View Post
    Hey puppy bitch, stop replying to every single one of my posts with off-topic bullshit.
    rofl, Don't get butthurt for getting called out.

  21. #21
    Maybe we don't exist... Harkus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskillbassist View Post
    rofl, Don't get butthurt for getting called out.
    Getting called out is fine. Having someone reply to every one of your posts with pointless comments is annoying.

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    The Puppeteer TM's Avatar
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    *Random off topic flame post that tries to look cool by insulting Harkus.


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    A weapon of righteousness Ngrplz's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter how many times I hear fanboys (and fangirls) rave on about this game, my opinion still remains the same.

    Yes, Final Fantasy VII is overrated. It was okay for it's time and made Square a shitload of money.

    Now move on to next gen before I kneecap you kthx.

    ~Forever known as Purrr~

  24. #24
    Hands off my bread! Psycho_Cyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egami View Post
    With the new models, the motion of the characters is vastly improved, allowing for a wider range of expressions and emotions to be conveyed. Now characters are not limited to five or six static poses, which are the same for every character, in order to give different reactions (as was the case in previous FFs) but are given a nearly unlimited freedom of movement allowing for a greater distinction between the characters.
    FFVII's origami characters had about the same amount of animations as the old sprites did. That's why Cloud did his "hair-flip" animation about ten bajillion times over the course of the game. They also looked like shit and didn't fit with the pre-rendered backgrounds at all. For having "nearly unlimited freedom of movement," how come they couldn't properly navigate stairs?

  25. #25
    Reaper of souls Egami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ngrplz View Post
    It was okay for it's time and made Square a shitload of money.

    Now move on to next gen before I kneecap you kthx.
    What is your point here? That a next gen game is better just because? That we should forget about all the FFs that came prior to XII or consider XII to be the best simply because it is next gen?

    Speaking about money, it is worth noting that VII is among the 20 top selling video games of all time with 9.8 million copies sold to date. It is second only to Grand Turismo as the best selling video game on both Playstation and Playstation 2. It also sold more than any Xbox, Gamecube, Nintendo 64/Super Nintendo (sans Mario which comes with the console) or Sega Genesis game.

    It goes without saying that it is the best selling FF title as well. But the point here is not just that, but rather, that prior to VII, both VI and IV had sold around 3 million each (counting the Playstation re-releases) and after that, VIII to X sold between 5-6 million each. While their sales where not as high as VII, they were nearly twice as much as the sales of all the FFs that came before it. VIIís role in dramatically expanding the FF fanbase and in bringing the series in particular and RPGs in general into the mainstream couldnít be more evident.

    While it is true that simply selling more units does not automatically makes VII a better game, still these are facts that should be taken into consideration. What did VII do that turned a decade old series with 6 titles under its belt spanning two consoles and with a relative niche fanbase into a mainstream powerhouse? What did VII do that made it such a determining factor in the triumph of Sony over the Nintendo 64 and the Saturn? What did it do that to this day it is the source of additional games and a movie?

    Obviously it did something right. Brushing off the success of VII as the product of mindless people buying a mediocre game they had no clue about is about as false and naÔve as brushing off the success of Titanic as the product of teen girls who simply wanted to see DiCarpio in the film. Both VII and Titanic were highly successful for a reason and that is that they did something right, they appealed to a wider audience, had more that people could relate to and liked, were innovative, groundbreaking, etc. In other words, they were both high quality products.


    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho_Cyan View Post
    FFVII's origami characters had about the same amount of animations as the old sprites did. That's why Cloud did his "hair-flip" animation about ten bajillion times over the course of the game.
    For an example, go and look at the battle pose and victory dance for each character on both games. That a character does the same move a lot of times during the course of the game is not pertinent to the point I made.


    They also looked like shit and didn't fit with the pre-rendered backgrounds at all. For having "nearly unlimited freedom of movement," how come they couldn't properly navigate stairs?
    What model are you talking about? The one you see while walking around or the in battle models? Just like IV and V before it, VII had a smaller and less detailed model for walking around towns and fields and a larger more detailed model for the battles. Yet, even the model used for traveling, less detailed as it is, is better proportioned and has a more fluid movement than the sprites in previous games. I really canít see how you can say that they looked like shit and at the same time praise the large headed/static pose sprites of previous FFs.

    Anyway, in what sense do you think they didnít fit with the pre-rendered backgrounds? The color palette used for the characters as well as their brightness and contrast fits quite well with the different backgrounds of the game. They also go around and behind objects and walls and below roofs, something that makes them feel part of the backgrounds as well.

    A far as stairs go, did you see how they climb upside stairs and how they go around air tunnels? I think they do so quite properly and their movement is rather realistic and unlike what anything the sprites of previous FFs did. Is the point that they do not show a different movement when they are climbing the stairs like the ones in the Shinra building than when they are running on a flat surface? Granted, but that is hardly an issue and a relatively small drop in the bucket. As I said, I agree that the models in VII are not the best ever and that better have been made (yeah, perhaps even before it in Resident Evil), but that still doesnít changes the fact that they are better than the sprites of previous FFs.

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