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Final Fantasy II – Re-Review

I know guys, I know. I’ve already reviewed Final Fantasy II, which I’ve already stated was a mediocre game. Though that was one of my first reviews written, so it was half-assed. Honestly more could be said about the game. So this is going to do justice to my original review.

Let’s go.

Released in 1988, Square decided that based on the popularity of Final Fantasy, they were going to make a sequel. This time, the development team decided to craft a story first, and then work on the gameplay.  This actually wasn’t a bad idea, and was kind of groundbreaking for the time. They also decided to be ambitious on the leveling up mechanics, while also groundbreaking, it didn’t work so well. More on that later.

Story:

You play as four young characters: Firion, Maria, Guy and Leon, their town was attacked by the soldiers from the evil Palamecia Empire. You barely escape with your necks attached, and you wake up in the town of Altair, home of the resistance fighters. Led by Princess Hilda of Flynn, she wants to restore the former glory of her kingdom, and also stop the evil Emperor of Palamecia. You want to join the resistance, but Hilda says you’re too young and inexperienced. So you go off to find your friend Leon, who went missing in the attack. You then meet Prince Scott of Kashuan, who informs that a rogue soldier from Flynn betrayed them and has joined the Empire, he then dies. You go back to Hilda and give her the news, she decides to have a change of heart, and you are now resistance members. Thus your quest begins!

While the plot has more going on than the original game, and other RPG’s at the time, it’s still a bit archaic. The game mostly consists of reporting back to Hilda several times, and her sending you on a giant scavenger hunt. Go here and find this item, cool, now go here and do this. Oh okay, now to this place and, yeah you get it by now. I get that you’re supposed to be helping out the resistance fighters, but holy hell is this tedious and mostly pointless.

Gameplay:

This is where the game royally fucks up. Gone are the traditional leveling up mechanics of turn based RPG’s, and now there’s a progression system. It makes sense on paper, and a lot of modern games still use it, to a significantly better degree. To increase your attack, you hit things more, to increase magic, you use more magic. So on and so forth.

The problem here, is that the execution of this mechanic just doesn’t work in an old school RPG. It also makes it tedious as all hell. The game wants you to grind like other RPG’s at the time, so you have to sit there and grind EVERYTHING.

Going through all the random encounters in the overworld, your attack will be the first thing to go up. This initially seems fine, as you can start one-shotting all of the enemies on the field, that is, until you get to a dungeon. Well these enemies are much stronger and take several more hits. Well since you’ve been one-shotting enemies until now, your defense is shit, as is the amount of HP you have. Well now you’re royally fucked.

Well how do you level up your defense and HP without going to an inn after every battle? Easy, by beating the shit out of yourselves. One of the most infamous mechanics in this game, is that the fastest way to level up your HP and defense, is by attacking your own party members. The developers put this mechanic in to wake up sleeping party members, but players soon realized that this is the fastest way to level up those stats. So now instead of actually fighting the enemies in the overworld, you spend your time beating the shit out of yourselves, and healing.

Now is a good time to talk about magic in this game, and it sucks. Just like your levels, you level up your spells. Well this game decided that it wanted to be even more tedious, by having each spell have its own separate levels. All your spells start at level 1, and if you want them to not be shit, you have to grind them to at least level 5. Even then, the spells do shit damage. Your regular attacks will do hundreds of damage, but spells, even at level 5 do about 30-50 at most. I just got tired of leveling up my spells because of how much time you spend grinding each spell.

To level up a spell, you have to cast it a bunch. How much you ask? 100 times. So when you get a spell like Ultima and Flare near the end of the game, you have to cast both about 500 times each, and they still only do about 100 damage at most. Luckily like your HP and defense, this is easily exploitable. Due to a glitch in the game, all you have to do is select a spell, then a target, then cancel it. This counts as casting the spell, so if you want to waste time, you can do this about 100 times in a single battle, and your spell will level up. Hurray!

So now your spells are leveled up, but now that they’re leveled up, they take more MP, so now your MP levels are shit. Well with luck doing the exploit, your MP will increase, so after leveling up multiple spells, just cross your fingers that you now have enough MP to cast heal enough times.

One thing you should keep in mind, is that you can never escape a battle. To escape a battle, you luck and evade stats need to level up. Though don’t expect this to level up at all, as this is all based on luck, and it randomly appears. So even by the end of the game, your evade and luck will be obnoxiously low, so you will have to fight every single battle.

This wouldn’t be too bad, if this game didn’t have a ridiculous random encounter rate. I’m not sure if this was fixed in later versions of the game, but in the NES and PS1 version, you can get an encounter with only about 2-10 steps. This is exacerbated when many dungeons have multiple doors that lead you to an empty room. Thanks for wasting my time. It doesn’t help when you enter these empty rooms, you’re teleported to the middle, and you’re guaranteed a battle before you get to the door to leave. I’d recommend using a map to not waste your time.

Then there’s the final fight with the Emperor. Your attacks and defense are high enough to one-shot every enemy in the final dungeon, but once you face the Emperor, you only do 50-100 damage, because his defense is incredibly high. If you have the blood sword, it drains 1/16th of his health, and does a lot better than your other weapons. Just hope you didn’t get rid of it based on your limited inventory space, and it being weaker than the other weapons you’ve obtained. Luckily your defenses are really high, so he also does pretty piss poor damage to you. For me it was just an endurance run, that lasted an entire hour, and after all of my MP was finally drained, he died. Holy fuck was that a schlog.

One feature of the game that’s added, is that you have a rotating fourth member in your party. This isn’t exactly unusual in Final Fantasy games, but I really wished that most of your extra party members weren’t useless. Outside of Minwu, they’re all weak. So now you’re stuck leveling up those characters that are rotated in and out of your party. How much does this game want you to grind?

Music and visuals:

Not much needs to be restated, as nothing has really changed since the old review.

Verdict:

This game is more of a chore than an actual game. Unless you really really really love grinding. Trying to play this game legitimately is not recommended in the slightest. It’s not good game design where you’re pretty much required to abuse exploits in the game. Playing this legitimately would have all your characters incredibly lopsided. I have no idea who thought it was a good idea to have you cast spells multiple times in a legitimate fashion to have it level up to a normal level? Are the spells that significantly weak to compensate for how many times it has to be casted to level up? Why Square why?

This game really only exists for curiosity’s sake, so only play it if you want to see where many of the Final Fantasy tropes got started.

Parasite Eve – Review

Released in 1998, Parasite Eve is a detached sequel to the novel of the same name and is considered by many to be Square’s answer to the Resident Evil series. It does divert from Resident Evil in terms of gameplay mechanics, largely with its  battle system and RPG mechanics as well as random encounters.

Story:

You play as Aya Brea, an officer of the NYPD who is attending an opera. During the play the entire theater starts to spontaneously combust, and you find out an actress by the name of Melissa Pearce is the culprit. Melissa mentions to Aya that her mitochondria is going to awaken and Melissa transforms into a beast. Melissa declares that she is now called a creature named Eve and then escapes to cause trouble around New York City, and Aya declares it her mission to stop her.

Gameplay:

Navigation is very similar to how the Final Fantasy series on the Playstation are, with a three dimensional character interacting with a two dimensional environment made with pre-rendered graphics. Certain parts of the areas you traverse through have “hot spots” where there’s a chance enemies can randomly appear. This engages you into battle mode where you can either clear the area by defeating all of the monsters, or by fleeing.

With the battle system, Square brings back the Active Time Battle System where you have to wait for the action bar to fill to perform an action. Where this game differs from Final Fantasy is that you can run around to dodge enemy attacks while you wait for the ATB bar to fill. The actions limited to the ATB are attacking and using items. Later on in the game, you will gain Parasite Energy, which is this game’s version of magic. Parasite Energy has typical types of spells you see in RPG’s such as healing your health or status ailments, or powerful attacks. When you press the X button when your ATB bar fills, the game pauses and brings up a sphere, this is your attack range. This sadly doesn’t appear in later Parasite Eve games, but does make a return in Vagrant Story, another Squaresoft RPG.

Another aspect of the game is weapon and armor customization. Like most RPG’s throughout the game you’ll find various armor and weapons, but in this game, you can collect tools that can take attributes from previous weapons to power up your equipment, either by adding special effects, or by increasing their effectiveness.

Visuals:

Graphically it’s fairly similar to Final Fantasy VIII, except not as good seeing as it came before. Though for the time this game came out, it’s pretty good for its time. They’re definitely not as blobby as Final Fantasy VII or Wild Arms, and they definitely start looking more and more like actual people. The monster designs are all pretty good, they definitely look the part of typical survivor horror monsters, and some of them definitely look like deranged versions of typical animals. Square definitely knew what they were doing in this department.

The pre-rendered backgrounds are all pretty good. The American arm of the development team did a great job getting the images of New York City in, and you feel like you’re actually there.

Music:

The soundtrack is pretty good, it does have a melancholy horror movie feel to it, probably to add to the horror aspect of the survival horror genre. There’s a lot of bass heavy instruments and ambient elements in the music.

Verdict:

Parasite Eve is a pretty solid game. It’s a nice change of pace from typical Squaresoft RPG’s and combines enough elements of both RPG’s and survival horror to cross fans of both genres. The game can be a challenge at times, but the majority of the game adds enough difficulty to make it fun. Also luckily the game is pretty short for Square standards, taking roughly 8ish hours to beat the main game, it’s definitely not super long to scare off those interested in it compared to other RPG’s with their daunting 30+ hours of gameplay.

Music: 8/10

Visuals: 10/10

Story: 8/10

Content: 8/10

Conclusion: 9/10

Final Fantasy IX – Review

Released in 2000, Final Fantasy was created as a reflection on the Final Fantasy series, and creator Hironobu Sakaguchi claims is also his favorite in the series. After creating two games set in a more futuristic setting, this game was set back in the medieval high fantasy setting from the older games in the franchise. Also the game jettisons the concept of using any character you want and allowing them to learn every spell, and bringing back characters who have fixed classes and characters having a limited number of moves.

Story:

You play as Zidane Tribal, a thief who is a member of bandits from Lindblum called Tantalus who also double as a theater troupe. The game begins with an big event happening in the kingdom of Alexandria where Tantalus is going to perform a play.You then play through a perspective of multiple characters leading up to the actual performance. Later it is revealed that the play is a ruse to kidnap the princes of Alexandria, Princess Garnet. You find out Princess Garnet is willing to be kidnapped, as she is wanting to escape the country to figure out Queen Brahne’s erratic behavior and wishes to go to Lindblum. You then attempt to escape Alexandria and you are attacked by the Alexandrian forces, and the airship you are on crashes into a forest. When you finally reach Lindblum you discover that Brahne is trying to cause a war and the characters become intertwined in world affairs.

Gameplay:

Gameplay for the most part has been unchanged from the previous games. Like mentioned above, the characters are in fixed classes, meaning they can only learn certain abilities, even when you have two characters in the same class. You do learn abilities differently in this game than previous titles. You don’t learn abilities just from leveling up, to learn abilities from your equipment. Each equipment item lets you learn a number of abilities, and when you battle with those items equipped, you gain ability points. Initially you can only use those abilities when you have those items equipped, but when you max out the ability points on an ability, it is now permanent on your character.

Those are the action abilities, meaning they’re pretty much moves in battle like magic and summoning. You can also learn support abilities. Support abilities basically let you learn things like immunity to certain ailments and doing extra damage to certain monster classes. These abilities take up a number of  stones, so you have a limited number of supports to equip, but the higher the level you get, the more you can equip.

Visuals:

Similar to many other Playstation RPG’s (especially from Square), the game uses 3D polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. Seeing as they mastered the technology by Final Fantasy VIII, there are no issues when it comes to navigating.

The game does have a very steampunk medieval fantasy theme and also very cartoonish style for the game in general. This gives the game a very unique look to it, and caters to the “fantasy” part in Final Fantasy. They throw in a lot of anthropomorphic animals as characters giving it even more of a fairy tale feel.

Music:

The game features a very strong soundtrack, and goes back to the style of music from the older SNES titles. It’s a lot more upbeat compared to the previous PS1 titles.

Verdict:

Final Fantasy IX is a fantastic game, and the more “traditional” out of the Playstation Final Fantasy trilogy. It’s interesting picking up references to previous titles. The strong gameplay, story, and even the artstyle all fall together giving you a fantastic journey.

Music: 8/10

Visuals: 10/10

Story: 8/10

Content: 8/10

Conclusion: 9/10

Final Fantasy VIII – Review

Released in 1999, Final Fantasy VIII was the highly anticipated successor to the very successful Final Fantasy VII. It’s the first game in the series to have a more realistic look to it, and was seen as a departure in the franchise with its jettisoning of traditional mechanics towards a more experimental nature. A trend Square would use in later Final Fantasy installments.

Story:
You play as Squall Leonhart, a SeeD in training who is getting ready to attend a field exam to graduate as a full fledged SeeD member. He later passes his final exam and becomes a full fledged SeeD member much to the dismay of his rival Seifer Almasy, due to his disobedience during the final exam. At the coronation ceremony he meets Rinoa Heartilly, who he soon finds out that she is the client for his first mission as a SeeD. Rinoa is a member of a resistance faction in the town of Timber who is occupied by the aggressive nation Galbadia. After a series of missions, you discover that the culprit of the aggression is the evil sorcerress Edea and your new mission is to defeat her. Through this mission, you uncover the truth behind the world affairs, the secrets of SeeD, and who this mysterious Laguna Loire is.

Gameplay:
In core facets, the overall gameplay of FF8 is unchanged from previous Final Fantasy games. The series signature Active Time Battle system is present, as is traditional experience points and leveling up. Though this is where the similarities end, as the game introduces the Junction System which has mixed reception with fans.

The core of the Junction System are the Guardian Forces (called GF’s), which are the game’s version of summons. After equipping them, you will gain ability points to level up the abilities of the GF’s. In the initial stages of the game, you will spam summon them, as they do much more damage than conventional attacking. Once you gain further abilities, you gain the ability to junction magic to certain stats to increase their levels. Magic is gained either through drawing them from enemies, or from certain spots visible on the ground, and you have an inventory for each individual spell. Your stats increase for every 10 you have of that spell, so for max levels for your stats, you must have 100 of each spell.

With this, the game more or less has you ignore your normal level and forces you to focus more on collecting magic and gaining ability points for your GF’s. It is also advised to get as many GF’s as possible, because if you want all of your stats to increase, you need to equip multiple GF’s. Critics view this system as broken, as you’re able to have incredibly high stats (such as having 9999 HP), despite being at low levels, early on in the game, allowing you to pretty much steamroll everything. Other critics of the system claim that the in-game tutorial confuses new players with its complexity, and causes them to not know how to effectively junction. While correct junctioning is unnecessary to advance through much of the game, it does end up as quite punishing once you get to the late portions of the game when some battles become incredibly difficult without a properly junctioned party.

Visuals:
Just like Final Fantasy VII, and many other RPG’s at the time, the game uses 3D characters on 2D pre-rendered backgrounds. Luckily Square mastered the nature of this style, so they were able to effectively use this to their advantage, and make the world much more immersive than the previous game. The paths your character could walk on are incredibly obvious, as are doorways or points that lead to new areas. While FF7 somewhat explored other camera angles, it was still largely top-down like its sprite based predecessors. FF8 on the other hand further expanded on this, giving the game a much more three dimensional environment.

Just like FF6, FF8 uses the same character graphics for both the field and in battle. Gone were the days of playing the majority of the game with deformed sprites, and only seeing your character full sized in battle and choice cut scenes. This is also the first game in the series to use more realistic looking characters, a trend that would continue on in later titles. They would also explore this with other aspects of the game, such as vehicles and monsters. This is a title that showcases the capabilities of the original Playstation.

Music:
FF8 has a very strong soundtrack and has more variety than its melancholy predecessor. It’s also the first game in the franchise to have vocals for a track in the song Eyes on Me.

Verdict:
Final Fantasy VIII is a great game, and one of the best RPG’s the PS1 has to offer. The story is a hit or miss with others as is the gameplay. This is a game where you either get it or you don’t, and if you don’t, you’re not going to have a good time. If you’re in the camp that does get it, you’re in for a ride.

Music: 9/10.

Visuals (Or Graphics): 9/10.

Story: 9/10.

Content: 9/10.

Conclusion: 9/10

Final Fantasy VI Mobile – First Impressions

There recently was a sale on FFVI on the iOS market, so as a big fan of the game, I figured why the fuck not? While I’m not a fan of playing mobile games on my phone or iPad, I enjoyed the game to try out the remaster, and honestly how can you fuck up one of the greatest RPG’s of all time?

Like most mobile RPG ports, it’s a tad bit awkward to control in the game, but because it’s a top-down 2D game, it’s not too bad, it just takes a bit of getting used to. My main gripe with the controls is when you try to interact with anything with a exclamation point, say a character or opening a chest, the virtual d-pad will appear, so I have to fiddle around to get around the D-pad and activate the event. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s quite irritating.

Navigating around the menus are pretty simple, though that’s also a thing that you have to try to actually fuck up, but you’d be surprised. They did get rid of the option to have your character walk or run, and you have to equip a relic to allow to run, just like the SNES version. It was a nice feature in the PS1 and GBA ports, so it makes you wonder of all things, why this was a feature that was removed. Also the boots make you run ridiculously fast, it was like in the PS1 game when you were running along with the relic. I wish there was an in-between speed.

Battling is a hit or miss so far. The interface is mostly fine for the battles, the sub menu for selecting an enemy takes a bit getting used to, but it’s largely fine. For some odd reason, they got rid of the familiar ATB bar from the series, but it’s not entirely gone. Instead of the bar, they have your characters’ menu pop up when it’s their turn. It’s sort of like Chrono Trigger, but without the ATB bar. One great feature is the auto-battle, which is great when you’re grinding. Battles go by so much quicker, and you can multitask and do other things while you’re grinding your ass off, especially for the end game.

Now for the biggest gripe about the remaster, the graphics. Let’s start with the positives first. The towns and dungeons look fine, and I will go and say that I think they look a lot nicer than the original. This is what I think a higher resolution remaster of an SNES game should look like. They did the same with the monsters, the normal enemies and bosses look very good, and take advantage of the large resolution and add a lot of extra detail to them.

Where the graphics fall short is with the character sprites and in the overworld. Character sprites look very amateurish, and like many have claimed, look like they were made with the program RPG Maker. If this was a fan remake made with RPG Maker, I’d be impressed, but seeing as this is from the actual company, it’s kind of disappointing, and even a tad bit sad. They look mismatched from the rest of the backgrounds, making the whole experience really awkward. I thought I was in the “it’s different so it sucks” camp when I saw screenshots and my opinion would change when I play the game, but even after playing the game, it’s just not working out.

The overworld is a bit odd looking too. While I was never a fan of mode-7 overworlds in SNES games, I was initially glad to see it gone, but they had to mess it up by making these odd polygonal towns and castles that look really out of place in the sprite based nature of the rest of the game. Even more out of place than the cartoony sprites. To quote the AVGN “What were they thinking?”

FF6 mobile isn’t terrible by any means, it just takes a lot of getting used to. It’s not unplayable, and while the odd sprites and overworld aren’t necessarily visually appealing, it doesn’t ruin the overall gameplay which is what really matters. As a long-time Square Enix fan, it’s just a bit sad to see a lack of quality in the remaster.

Final Fantasy VII – Review

One of the biggest names in JRPG’s, or arguably the biggest name in JRPG’s. Final Fantasy VII was the first game in the series since the original Final Fantasy to keep the original number when released in the US, as previous entries were skipped over and had their numbers altered to prevent confusion. This is also the first main title Final Fantasy to be released on a non-Nintendo console, something Square has kept to for the future games.

Final Fantasy VII is one of the best selling games in the franchise, on the Playstation, and one of the best selling games of all time. The game was cited as the killer app for the Playstation, and was definitely a factor in outselling the Nintendo 64.

Story:

You play as Cloud Strife, is a mercenary for hire for a terrorist group AVALANCHE led by Barrett Wallace, and Cloud’s childhood friend Tifa Lockhart is also a member. AVALANCHE is against the Shinra Electric Power Company and their Mako reactors, which they believe is draining the lifeblood of the planet. Shina is a megacorporation who has a monopoly on several facets of multiple markets, and even has control over governments as they also have military power.

Even though Shina is one of the main antagonists of the story, the overarching villain is a supposedly dead soldier from Cloud’s past, who is hell-bent on becoming a god by draining the lifestream of the planet.

Gameplay:

The basis of the game isn’t that much fundamentally different from traditional RPG’s, and even from previous games. Though somewhat similar to Final Fantasy VI’s esper system, FF7 introduces the materia system. Materia give you special and magic spells, and you can buy them at stores, though the best ones are found in the game. You can only equip a certain amount of materia to your characters, though buying certain equipment can either increase or decrease the amount of materia you can equip. Most of the time, the better the equipment, the more materia you can equip. Equipped materia can also level up giving you either stronger versions of those spells, or giving you more spells. Though unlike the esper system in FF6, the abilities you learn in FF7 are tied to materia, so if you unequip a restore materia, you cannot use heal magic.

The materia system makes the whole class/job system from the previous games to be pretty much non-existant, and only existing in remnants as the individual characters. and their special abilities. Speaking of special abilities, this game introduced the limit break. You have a limit bar, and after receiving a certain amount of damage, or a certain type of damage, the bar fills up. When the bar fills up, you can use your limit break, which is a super powered ability. Many of them are attacks, though there are a few that are support related like healing your party. These also level up, so your limits will become even more destructive.

Visuals:

This is the first “3D” Final Fantasy. 3D is used in quotes as it’s almost entirely 3D sprites on 2D pre-rendered backgrounds. The only time it would feel truly 3D is on the world map. Similar to the majority of FF games at the time, the majority of the game is played through deformed sprites, and when you enter a battle, the characters become full sized.

There were pros and cons to the pre-rendered backgrounds, though one of the main cons was that it was in the infancy of the style, so there were times where it was difficult to know where you had to go, and what was and wasn’t a path you could walk on. They would also throw in some goofy winding walkways which were kind of awkward to traverse with the D-Pad, or the path you were on was zoomed really far out, making it difficult to see. Luckily it seemed like Square knew that this would be a problem, so pressing the select button would show where doors were, but this didn’t bandage a handful of the problems with navigation.

Music:

For the most part, the music is pretty good. It does have a very depressing feel throughout the game, as it is a fairly depressing game.

Verdict:

Final Fantasy VII is a pretty good game, and one that you probably should pick up if you’re looking for a good RPG on the PS1. While some aspects of the game haven’t aged well, if you can stomach that, then it’s a fun experience. Though a big suggestion is to view the game in time goggles, as many aspects of the game have now become cliche’s and have been copied over and over, so what may seem overdone now was fairly new or uncommon.

Music: 8/10.

Visuals (Or Graphics): 7/10.

Story: 8/10.

Content: 9/10.

Conclusion: 8/10

The Final Fantasy VII Question

Ah, Final Fantasy VII, a game I kind of want to skip over when it comes to reviews. I think the perfect word to describe the game is hype. That’s what got the game to mainstream success, and the factor that still keeps it going today. While hype itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the problem is when something has gained so much hype, that it then crumbles and creates a massive hype backlash, thus creating a dedicated hatedom. This is why the majority of the time FF7 is mentioned, it’s usually in the extremes: over-enthusiastic fanboys, and outright hatred. Usually these camps overshadow anyone else who has a less biased opinion on the game.

Well why is this mostly just for FF7, why not any of the other games in the series? One of the biggest reasons, is that FF7 had a massive marketing campaign. The Playstation was Sony’s first game console, and they were looking for that one killer app that would place them on the market, and that game was FF7. Final Fantasy was originally released on Nintendo consoles, but when they announced that the N64 was going to use cartridges instead of CD’s, Square decided to leave, because their new game was not going to fit onto a cartridge, and they chose Sony’s Playstation.

Sony knew that the Final Fantasy series was a critically acclaimed series on Nintendo consoles, so they were placing their cards all on the success of the latest entry to sell their console. So they advertised the living shit out of it. This then skyrocketed the game and also the console to superstardom.

While I mentioned in a previous blog about how this massive popularity started the first rift in the FF fandom, at the time this was a small minority in the fandom. Many fans of the series were very pleased with FF7. For a ton of the new fans, this was probably a first in anything for them. First Final Fantasy, first JRPG (or RPG), first “serious” or “mature” game, first whatever, and this blew their mind. Because of that, no other game has really left that much of an impression on them.

Further regarding “firsts”, because it was their first Final Fantasy, or first JRPG, many of the aspects of the game that people consider new and groundbreaking weren’t really new or groundbreaking. There are plenty of story aspects that were lifted from FF6 or previous  FF games (or JRPG’s in general). Also many people claim it’s the first 3D JRPG, which is incorrect, even for the Playstation. Wild Arms, while largely 2D, had 3D battle sequences, and King’s Field was a fully 3D world. While Wild Arms is known to plenty of JRPG enthusiasts, King’s Field is still relatively obscure. Since FF7 was their introduction, they weren’t aware that many of their so called “innovations” weren’t necessarily new or groundbreaking, it was just the one that got some of those tropes famous.

Final Fantasy VII’s popularity also caused a surge of RPG’s on the Playstation, many of which were either inspired by elements of it, or just downright copycatted. So several years down the line, if you really only played modern RPG’s and then went back to play FF7, many people found themselves being disappointed. Many of the tropes in FF7 have been done to death already, and nothing about this game is new to them. This and what was mentioned in the previous paragraph tend to be one of the leading causes of much of the hype backlash. Well that and annoying fanboys, but that’s kind of explanatory.

Though that doesn’t answer the question, is FF7 a bad game? While we can spend hours analyzing and possibly criticizing the originality of the story, or whatnot, in the end it’s a game and not a literary work, so we’re supposed to play it. For the most part, it’s a pretty good game, and has a lot of aspects of the game that let it transcend its formerly niche audience and live a successful life. The game is easy to pick up and play, and the mechanics itself are pretty easy to let you proceed through the game. Unlike FF8’s Junction system which to this day still confuses people, and has a more mixed reaction.

For FF7, the gameplay wasn’t challenging, and the game itself wasn’t necessarily challenging. It had a nice difficulty curve, and didn’t force you to grind for several hours. While this may be a deterrent for seasoned RPG fans who want a challenge, this was a good gateway into the world of RPG’s, and why it converted people.

All in all, Final Fantasy VII was a game that came out at the right place at the right time, and while it didn’t really originate most of its tropes, it was what made them popular. So to look at the hype and popularity surrounding this game, one must look at it through time goggles, and hopefully try and view this game in a less biased manor and hopefully enjoy this as just a simple RPG, and not a perfect super original masterpiece, and if you hate it I will kill you and everyone you know.