Guess it's time to open Pandora's box. May whatever deity you believe in if any have mercy on my soul. Final Fantasy 7 on the PS1 will either get praised as the best RPG of all time, or an overrated piece of garbage. The way I see it is that I love the game, and despite how much it has aged, I still think it's a decent game. With that said, I seriously do not see the best game of all time in this one.
I'll say right now that if there's one thing I will give 7, it's that no other Final Fantasy game makes me laugh this hard. Not because I find the game having the most hilarious writing ever, but because of just how horrible the localization was. This game is full of typos an mistranslations that it's just so bad, it's amazing. Though the game has humor sure, I can't help but smile when I see Jenova's only line be a typo. Reminds me of the good days in the 90s.
I'll say that I enjoy the characters for the most part. Hell, I'll go and say this Cid is my favorite Cid in ANY Final Fantasy game period, and if you've played the game, you know why. The character I'm most disappointed in personality wise would be Red. He starts off as a wise animal who is seen like a mentor to the group, and then he learns about his father's fate and vows to be a great hero like his deceased father. At this point, I feel that he loses all personality.
Tifa personally comes off more of an elder sister/mother figure more than anything else, and there's not much to say there. Sadly, the 2 characters I don't like the most would have to be Cloud and Sephiroth. Cloud starts off as a giant douchebag, but then he loses damn near all personality unless shit gets real in which yeah, he becomes angsty. With that said, I don't mind that because the reasons make sense and I don't blame him. Then near the end of the game, he becomes someone dedicated to save the world, and I enjoy him here. So I don't hate the character, I just wish there was more meat to him. That is until a certain sequel, but lets save that for another post...I'm not looking forward to that.
Now lets go to Sephiroth. Where to begin? First off, I enjoy his change in personality from a cold and stern soldier to a madman during the flashback at Kalm. In fact, whenever I see that flashback and his theme plays, I just get shivers going down my spine. I'll also admit that the scene of him in the fire after destroying Cloud's home is a great scene. Sadly, this is all a flashback. When it comes to the actual game, you only run to him a few handful of times, and all he does is speak in riddles. I wouldn't mind this, but I hate how you spend the entire game chasing after Sephiroth just to learn it was an alien cosplaying as him the entire time, and the real Sephiroth spent all this time sleeping in a block of ice. Sure, there's the scene where he completely mind fucks Cloud before you learn about what happened to him, and like the flashback, I get legit freaked out from this. But sadly, he just doesn't talk anymore. So for a main antagonist, I don't really consider Sephiroth that good. The entire game, you were chasing a fake Sephiroth who controlled Cloud like a puppet while the real one just sat there doing nothing. So as far as I'm concerned, the real antagonist was Jenova, and Sephiroth just happens to be the final boss. After all, Jenova is the one who always manipulates Cloud to do things, she's the one that you face the most, an most importantly, she's the one to kill Aerith/Aeris
Well ok, there's also the scientist Hojo who was the one pulling everyone's strings so Jenova could do this. So I count him as the 2nd main antagonist.
Then there's the company Shinra who you spend the first few hours opposing. All I can say is bleh. Sure, they make an opposing force at the start of the game, but they do so little until the end of the game that it's disappointing for me. I can say the same for the plot about it being eh. An alien wants to obtain a black rock to smash a meteor into the planet, and then absorb the giant bandage the planet would use to become god, and 2 rival parties race after it.
Now lets go visuals. The game looks like crap and everyone knows it. Now for the controls. Once again, it's crap and everyone knows it.
Time for the game mechanics. I'll just go and say that I enjoy the Materia system for what it is, but it would be nicer to have a faster way to set everyone up with Materia. For those who don't know, Materia are magical stones that teach magic. You equip them to a person, and the person can use that spell. So for example, giving someone the Fire spell allows them to use Fire magic like Fire/Fira/Firaga when the Material levels up. This comes at a cost because the Materia usually weakens all your stats by a certain amount. So the less Materia you have on, the more limited the characters will be, but they wil be more buffed out with stats. So you have to pick wisely.
This mechanic though has one serious flaw. You use Materia to spice the characters up with different abilities, but there are points in the game where you have no access to your Materia, and thus the characters don't have any magic or special abilities. This as a result means that all you can do is mash the attack or item command, and use the occasional limit break. I love being able to spice characters up differently, but they should still have ways to distinguish themselves instead of being the same blank slate. I love FFX for this, and I'll get to that later. So in all, I love the idea, I think it's a mechanic with potential, but it's got flaws.
I'm not going to go into extra stuff here like Chocobo raising or the elite monsters. I'll make a bit of a guide on how to do these at a later date, but this is just my opinion on the game. So as I said, I love the game sure, but it's aged pretty damn bad, and I don't see where "best game of all time comes from." At the same time, while I agree it's a tad overrated, I don't see where "Most overrated piece of shit." Sure it has problems and has aged, but so has a lot of games from that era. I just wish more people would see it's not black and white where it's either "best game" or "overrated shit." We all got our own opinions and this is mine, and some of my thoughts on it. I am so looking for that remake BTW. Sure it's episodic, but oh well. It looks amazing and I'm sure I'll enjoy it.