Final Fantasy 7 is, in my opinion, one of the best games of the series. Final Fantasy
, the first one, started it all off, it was an amazing feat in its time, but it's a little old and ragged now. Final Fantasy 3
could be argued to be the best, for it had a fantastic storyline, interesting characters, and a theme song
for every damn person in your group (which I loved so much, so very much).
But Final Fantasy 7 had so much to offer, that I wanted to put my thoughts down here.
Final Fantasy 7 was the first FF game with really cool looking computer generated cut scenes. Its storyline ran circles around just about everything that had ever been out up to that point, and don't tell me the Ultima series was better because it had more scope, because the stories in that game were often so vague as to be silly. FF got you involved, you were actually a part of the world and it's story, Ultima starts you off as already 'a person from another realm' which always gave me a feeling of detachment from what was going on. On the contrary, the FF games give you characters who know each other, who're helping each other out, and who have their own world at stake, as opposed to saving your good friend, LB, and a crapload of people you don't know and have nothing to do with.
This game had all manner of interesting things in it, the materia system was a lot of fun to just sit around and play with. The different limit breaks and the sheer volume of mini-games gave a person a lot of time to just sit around and goof off. In fact, I remember a certain evening where, with nothing better to do, a few friends and I sat around with the snowboarding minigame and tried to best each other's scores for hours (and I won, if I recall correctly). You had subplot type things that you could hit or miss (a la, the lab at Nibelheim, where you can go back and see another part of your origin, or the weird steam car videos in the Shin-Ra building). You had the chocobo races, you had the special weaponry, the quest to find all the posters for the restaurant who's name I can't remember... and all of these things kicked Triple Triad's ass. You hear that? I said ASS!
The storyline was unpredictable and unprecedented, or maybe it was just me. Who'd have predicted that our protagonist was just a cheap genetic rip-off of the antagonist that... didn't 'take' quite right, and then proceeded to selectively remember his past, and have episodes because of a combination of his own lack of self worth and his bond to his nemesis? Well, I didn't, but it was fantastic to play when I had the chance.
People often say that Kefka was one of the best villains to grace a series, now, don't get me wrong, Kefka was a bad bad guy, but Seph was just downright... evil, he's so bad that he surpasses the common usage of the word. Mainly, I guess, it's the way that they were presented. Kefka kills lots and lots of people that aren't your characters, i.e. He kills off Doma and a lot of townspeople later on. The point is that he doesn't wrong any of the main characters (well, I didn't play Cyan, if you did, then maybe Kefka would've been much higher on your agenda than he was on mine. I think Kefka fell right behind, get more X-Potions on my 'to do' list, whereas Chase Sephiroth like your life depends on it was a top priority.), Sephiroth, on the other hand, kills Aeris (hell, he almost kills her using Cloud), some people said that they cried when he did it. I didn't cry, but I was seriously pissed off. Aeris was the only naturally good magic user that the game presented you with, I mean, Vincent was a second, but he wasn't a close second. So Sephiroth, by virtue of the fact that he takes down a main character's love interest, and a personal favorite character, gives the player more personal adversity than Kefka does. In addition, Seph is powerful in the beggining, he becomes moreso by his own determination, through his own volition. Kefka starts out incredibly weak and annoying, and becomes powerful through deceit to a person in authority. Sephiroth didn't have to resort to trickery, and a villain who's vile and bold faced about it is better to me than someone who hides on a floating island, zapping people from afar.
So... Final Fantasy 7, I played it. I liked it. It certainly beat the everloving crap out of 8, didn't it?