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Final Fantasy VII
Review, by Robert Colman, 30th January 2000

Over 100 hours of invigorating, addictive gameplay are crammed into the 3 CDs of Final Fantasy VII. Hundreds of hidden secrets are scattered across the game, and without several strategy guides I don't think anyone could ever uncover them all. To say the storyline is gripping is an understatement, especially when you consider that most of the plot is not discovered unless you revisit towns, caves and tunnels. The graphics, however are nothing special, except in the dozens of video sequences. But who cares about graphics when you are tranced into the identity of Cloud Strife and are traveling the world following the seemingly invincible Sephiroth?

The game opens with you, Cloud Strike, joining a terrorist group called AVALANCHE destroy a Mako Reactor (power plant that feeds of mako, the life source of the planet) in the major city on the planet, Midgar. You travel around Midgar and meet people that will become your allies in the fight towards killing your old war buddy, Sephiroth and saving the planet. I could go on and on and on about the plot, the complexity and overwhelmingness of it is so great that Final Fantasy VII is more of a novel than a videogame, and no doubt people will play it over and over again so they can relive some of the moments of the game. The music is very fitting for the game, every time I hear some MIDI file on a website it cast me back to early 1998 when I used to spend hours engulfed in the game. I still can't get that Cosmo Canyon music out of my head!

The battle scenes may seem confusing to those who have never played a Final Fantasy game, but once you have got used to the controls, the battle scenes can be as enthralling as those of the Tekken and Mortal Kombat series. The entire PC demo for Final Fantasy VII was just a battle scene in the Gold Saucer (theme park) battle square.

There are literally hundreds of secrets in the game, and even after over a hundred hours of gameplay I never found them all, or found out if any of them were real. You can spend days breeding chocobos, or playing the games in the Gold Saucer. And then there are those Shinra Soldier models, I never got them all but I spent hours trying to win them in that roller coaster game. Then there are the 'Ultimate Weapons' for each character. I can't see how anyone would ever get all of those without a strategy guide. And the vast range of materia in the game, made even more diverse by the 'Enemy Skill' materia. I could write a whole book just on the secrets of Final Fantasy VII, and on the rumors of the White Chocobo, Onyx Weapon (big monster living under the marsh near Midgar?) and bringing Aeris back to life.

In conclusion, if you hate RPGs, this will probably make you like them, if you love RPGs, this will destroy your social life for a period of about 3 months. The game is only 1 player, as most RPGs are, and the graphics are fairly sketchy, but the rest of the game is so excellent, so intense, so overwhelming, that you've just got to go out and buy it.

Final Score: 98%

This review was supplied with full permission by K-Gaming..

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