The Backorder: Final Fantasy VII

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Back on WinBreak.com, I started a series of articles called The Backorder. The Backorder would feature either reviews or just a little announcement of sorts that I would be playing a game that I should’ve played long, long ago. It’s time for a new installment of the backorder.



It’s also time for a guilty admission: I never played Final Fantasy VII. It’s not that I never beat it, never finished, never loved it, never hated it… I literally never played it. I have fond memories of watching friends play through it. I watched them traverse some beautifully created hand drawn landscapes, and watched them cast spells with CGI effects that rivalled Hollywood cinema. But I never once took a controller in my hand and led Cloud and co. on their journy.

It’s true, and I’m not too ashamed to admit it. I’m not a big RPG fan. I always hated combining items, or being over-encumbered, or not knowing when to use which armor against what attack… the games had too many little details to pay attention to. I’m a gamer-jock: I just wanna go in and blow stuff up. So I never played many RPG’s, and most that I did, I never finished. But I’ve looked back at several and decided this might be the year I finish a lot of games that I started ages ago (or never started at all), particularly those in the RPG genre. I’m thinking this year will involve Final Fantasy VII, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. But I have to start with the game that gets every person I know to say “you know what the best time of all time might’ve been?”

My quest isn’t just to play the game, it’s really an attempt to find out what made non gamers, girl gamers, boy gamers, hard-core gamers, JRPG gamers — so many different people — all say how much they love this game. I started playing it again, and I’m only 30 minutes in. I have to tell you, the graphics don’t hold up well. It’s blockier than I remember it being, I can see why people are begging for an HD Remake. But the combat is tight, the soundtrack is still incredible, and the action is still palpable. I’m looking forward to getting to know my characters and playing through the story that spawned an entirely new generation of RPG fans and really gave rise to a new era of JRPG gameplay elements. I’m hoping to see what everybody else saw. The kind of thing that makes people want to pay over $200 for the “black label” edition of the game.

If you have any particular memories you wish to share, or tips for me while I’m playing Final Fantasy VII, feel free to share them below!

2 thoughts on “The Backorder: Final Fantasy VII

  1. Good for you to finally play it. The graphics definitely don’t hold up (the PC version maybe does a little moreso), but everything else is lovely.

    One of the great differences between JRPGs and Western RPGs is that you don’t really have to worry about encumbrance, usually… you can have a bajillion of everything and it’s fine. 🙂 There’s also not a lot of “what armor vs. what attack”; it tends to be more “does this armor have more armor points than that armor? Okay I will use it.” There’s a little bit of juggling spells or items versus effects (blind, mute, etc.), but I don’t think it’s so obtuse as to be frustrating.

    I hope you enjoy it! If you haven’t played Chrono Trigger, that should absolutely be on your list, too. Your other choices are fantastic. Link to the Past is easily my favorite Zelda game. 🙂

    • Thanks, I’m looking forward to catching up this summer.  Secret of Mana was one of my childhood favorites, but I don’t think I ever finished that, either.  Chrono Trigger was similar.  My girlfriend loves that one.  She had Chronocross for the PS1, too, but I don’t know what she did with it – but she can play it on the PS3 if she finds it again!  I picked up Mario RPG and Zelda 3 on the Virtual Console, so this should be a good year!

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