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Final Fantasy VII
Review By: Jesse Mason
Developer:   Square
Publisher:   Sony
# of Players:   1
Genre:   RPG
ESRB:   Teen

Every decade or so a game shows up and shows the world that a game can be more than a game. It can be an interactive world to explore. Final Fantasy 7 has finally come and it has stunned the world with its ability to tell its tale of a world near apocalypse with such enormous drama and expression.

The story is what this game is based on (as all RPGs should be). It is so omnipotent and blessing that it is a wonder that it came out of a video game. It starts off with a soldier who left his army to be a mercenary and a group of freedom fighters known as Avalanche blowing up a Mako Reactor (a power plant) in a futuristic city known as Midgar. This city is so huge it is divided into 8 sectors. Midgar itself is large enough to hold its own game. The game stays in this city for around 8 or 10 hours. Even at this early point in the game, the drama is flowing and the story is out in full swing. This game manages to tackle such complex issues as the morality of genetics engineering, prostitution, and even death. When you leave the city, you find that this city, while huge, is extremely small compared to the rest of the world. You will travel throughout this world fully and explore every little pebble and crevice of it. The story is full of plot twists, so when you think you've figured everything out, you haven't. The ending leaves a little up to the player because it doesn't fix up all the holes left when you beat the last guy. For example, What happened to the Shinra? This leaves a little thinking for the player to do, and frankly I like it.

The characters are well designed. The more diverse characters such as Cait Sith and RedXIII come in quickly and are very crucial to the plot. The game manages to fix one of FF3's problems with the fact that all the characters are explored and have their own backstories. FF3 might have had too many heroes for its own good. The characters use mature languages sometimes. They all have their own stories and they will be revealed as you go along. They eventually throw out their problems and concentrate on their ultimate goal. If there is a problem with the heroes, it's the fact that Barret sounds conspicuously like Mr. T.

The graphics are drop dead gorgeous. This will put to rest the fact that the Playstation can't do better graphics than the Nintendo 64. The use of polygonal characters and rendered backdrops flow seemingly with each other. The FMV is integrated throughout the game and for the first time I can say I wish there were more of it. The music in the game is the best ever for a game. The right music was used at the right time. The fully orchestrated soundtrack sounds magnificent, and you could just sit there listening to the music as it is the finest ever.

Final Fantasy 7 is one of the video game market's finest hours. It has earned respect from many people, which is certainly well deserved. From the beginning cinema to the scene after the credits roll (which opens up a very mysterious question as to what happened after the end of the game) you know that you are playing a new high watermark for all video games to be judged by.

Overall: 9.8
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