>EOiNA: FF7: golden shiny wires of hope

>I’ve logged roughly 10 hours in Final Fantasy VII; I finished Shinra HQ, made it out of Midgard and am now in the Inn at Kalm, about halfway through Cloud’s story of his experiences with Sephiroth.

With the release calendar suddenly starting to get interesting (especially with SF4 and GTA4 DLC hitting tomorrow) I wonder how much time I’m going to be able to invest in FF7… but even if I stopped now, I feel like I totally understand why this game is considered a classic. The story is remarkably sophisticated and, well, adult, far more than I expected, especially out of a JRPG released in 1997. I am especially impressed with how much personality there is in each crudely-rendered polygonal character; it’s impossible to make out anything beyond the most basic human forms, and yet they’re all expressive and animated with an unmistakable clarity. I have absolutely no idea where the story is going, but I feel pretty invested with these characters already (even though I’m pretty sure there’s no way anybody could get away with making a character like Barret anymore).

Here’s the thing: I’m pretty neurotic about hanging on to borrowed goods. This game belongs to a colleague at my office and I can’t just hold on to it indefinitely, and my understanding is that FF7 could easily take 100 hours to get through; with all the new games coming out, it’s pretty likely that I could be idle in this borrowed copy of FF7 for some time, and that would just drive me crazy. But buying my own copy of 7 looks to be a pretty expensive proposition; the cheapest it’s going for on Amazon is around $60-70, whereas I could get a new, unopened copy of FF8 or FF9 for under $20. If any FF veterans happen to be reading this: how are 8 and 9? (My PS3 will not play PS2 games, so FFX is out for the time being.)



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4 replies

  1. >I loved FF7 so much. Objectively, it’s not much different from other RPGs, but something about the mood it evokes is sublime. The locations, the music, the mythos, the ethos, the atmos. That one boss you can kill in five seconds if you know your lore. I’d pay that much for it at a push, although if you’ve borrowed it from someone, chances are they’re secretly excited to hear what you think of it, and more than willing to let you hang on to it if you feed them regular exhilarated updates.I didn’t complete it, I moved out too early, but it’s pretty insane. Word to the wise, free of spoilers; don’t just level Cloud. Level Tifa too; you’ll be glad you did.As for FF8, my friend completed every inch of it and thought it was the best game ever. I had a rare pressing error that rendered the second disc unplayable, and we never got it replaced, but I can say that it’s a very well realised and gorgeous JRPG that’s equally worth investing in – just make sure you don’t get that weird pressing.The only other FF game I’ve played since then was FFXII, which also consumed every living minute of my time, but more because I was really into minmaxing it and needed something to sink time into while I found a job after moving. My brother owned it, and I never finished it after he moved away, although I had plenty of time to. Just had to reach lvl 99, you know?I say try not to worry about hanging on to it; just don’t stop playing, or you might get lost. Afterwards, you’ve got the Advent Children movie to look forward to; you have to like the game to love the movie. If you want to pick up FF8 for completion at your own pace, you could do a lot worse.Then, if you still like bizarre plots and minmaxing, go for XII, which as I say, I thought was great, but I have a feeling it’s more my personal affection for the self-created genre than the quality of the mechanics. Wonderful micromanagent scripting, mind you.Hope that helps!

  2. >Thanks for the comment, JM. Now that my 360’s dead, I’ll probably end up playing quite a bit more of it than I’d originally planned, so I’ll probably hold off on getting 8 or 9 for the time being.

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