The Silent Protagonist – Final Fantasy VII

Hello everybody and welcome back to the Silent Protagonist, the series where I gush about JRPGs and go on and on for a bit about why they’re awesome. Mostly because they just are.

Anyway, last time I told you that I was going to chat about Final Fantasy VII, quite possibly my least favourite Final Fantasy… as unpopular an opinion that may be.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a good game – the story is sound, the characters are pretty awesome, the whole thing was good. I just don’t have much love for the game. And honestly I’m not sure why – there’s only one solid reason for my dislike of it… even then, it’s more of an annoyance than a dislike. Spoilers if you haven’t played it – although killing Aeris was a huge plot point, did they have to kill my third favourite character? FYI, my favourite is Tifa and my second is Yuffie. Martial arts and ninjutsu for the win! Also, Aeris gets poked with a giant katana and snuffs it.

Sephiroth just dropped in to say hello…

If I was playing the game for the first time I might go on a rage about how my favourite characters are dying in everything (stupid Game of Thrones), but I first played this game in 2003, almost two years after I started playing video games properly.

So what annoyed me about this game? I was chatting about this to Kirsten last week; I don’t do particularly well when characters don’t have a defined class. If you wanted Barret to be your primary healer; you had the ability to do that. To me – that sucks. I get that you can give types of materia to individual characters to unofficially give them a class, and that’s what I ended up doing. Yuffie was a summoner, Tifa was my healer and Cloud was my combat mage. With yellow materia shared between them as needed. Personally, I really don’t like it. It’s the reason I didn’t get on with Final Fantasy XII either – the Zodiac edition would’ve been a better game for me to play.

That’s the only thing that I can think of that I really didn’t enjoy about the game, well that and when Yuffie rearranges everybody’s materia. I could’ve easily rage quit at that.

Do not get me wrong, I have played it a number of times – just not as much as the other titles, (I finished my most recent run through of Final Fantasy VIII just last week) should a remake become available, you’ll see me in the queue waiting to buy it… or booking a day off to play it in my jammies with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, whilst some poor soul delivers it to me from the depths of Amazon’s warehouse.

She’s all kinds of awesome.

Despite what I’ve said about it, I’ve already said that it’s a good game; I think that a three person team provides a more challenging game than a four person. That extra person makes all the difference! Unless you’re playing Final Fantasy IV, then you’ve got a five person team… and to quote Monty Python: “Five is right out.”

As silly as it may seem, the thing that I enjoyed the most about it was the attention to the detail of the weapons. Not just the weapons themselves; but each of the weapons had their own animation. Whether it was a green starry thing, or a few puffs of smoke, each weapon had its own personality. Not just down to the animation, but each weapon held a different amount of materia, let it grow at a varying rate, it had its own feel; a feel that wouldn’t be seen again until Final Fantasy IX, where each weapon taught abilities to their wielder.

When Yuffie rearranges everybody’s materia. I could’ve easily rage quit at that.

In short, Final Fantasy VII is a good game; I just don’t think it’s the best. I did enjoy it, however, I wasn’t able to connect with it in a way that most people are able to. The most annoying thing about writing this blog is that I actually have no valid argument to justify my reasoning.

Anyway, in other news, Namco Bandai have announced in recent weeks that they are working on a new Tales game for the Playstation 3 – Tales of Zestiria. While not much is known about the game, we do know that it is about dragons, and that the main characters are a young warrior called Slay and a warrior princess called Xena… ok that’s really bad joke, she’s actually called Alicia.

Next time on the Silent Protagonist, I’ll be taking a look at Final Fantasy IV. Although I’ve not played it in a few years… guess I’d better get playing! I love my job!

To be continued…



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