When I think of the defining moments of my childhood, one of the biggest memories is the day that I first played Final Fantasy VII. I had just got a Playstation for my birthday and FFVII was one of the games that came bundled along with the console. From within the first fifteen minutes of game play I'd befriended a man with a gun for an arm, conjured lightning from the sky and blown up a Mako Reactor(whatever one of those was). Needless to say, like the majority of the other ten million people who bought the game worldwide, I was hooked.
For weeks I played methodically through the story, enjoying the drama and humour that had been so expertly weaved into the narrative. The FMV sequences blew my mind; never had I seen graphics such as these in a game, the battles were the perfect difficulty, employing just enough strategy to keep the game fun without being too difficult, heck, even the mini-games were enjoyable.
At the time it was the perfect game, and even by today's standards I feel few games truly live up to FF7. Eventually though, the game was beaten (multiple times), new games had come to take over my life and before I knew it, I was playing Final Fantasy X on my Playstation 2 whilst poor FFVII collected dust in a corner.
I have played the 1998 PC port a couple of times since, but it was so rife with bugs and errors that most people just didn't bother. But this can be said no more! Square Enixhas officially re-released the PC version of Final Fantasy VII! I have played it over the past couple of days and have experienced nostalgia overload as a result.
The game in essence remains unchanged. The storyline is completely the same, nothing added, nothing removed. Graphics for the most part also remain unchanged except in the battle screen where they've been given a bit of a facelift. Don't be expecting the graphics to blow your mind by today's standards, Square have stated the minimum specifications for the re-release as a 2 GhZ Processor, HD it is not.
They've got rid of all the nasty bugs that plagued the original port of the game and added joystick support (hurrah!), I've been playing through it with my Playstation 3 controller for that truly authentic experience. Cloud saves are now standard, no need to carry a pen drive with your save games on it to your friend's house. Achievements for any points whores such as myself, and a brand new addition called the Character Booster. At any point in the game, you can press a button to max out your hit points, magic points, or Gil. This will let you easily bypass difficult sections of the game, for better or worse. Essentially it is a cheat mode. I'm not really sure why they felt the need to add this feature, but whatever tickles your pickle Square Enix!
I read somewhere that one of the lead designers of Final Fantasy VII had said that the reason they didn't make a full remake of the game was because the series wasn't up to the level it once was, and a remake of this game in particular would ruin the company at this stage; a statement with which I wholeheartedly agree. I'm sure FF7 will get a full-blown makeover at some point in the future, but for now I am content enough to wander my way down memory lane once more, hand in hand with Cloud, Yuffie and Cid.
- "Final Fantasy VII" Digital PC Edition is Now Available
- Square Enix Launches Final Fantasy VII for PC
- Final Fantasy VII getting PC re-release