Thursday, September 17, 2009

Overrated Overview

Why Final Fantasy VII is overrated?

To begin with, let me say that I am a big fan of the Final Fantasy series, and I love VII in particular. Final Fantasy VII was the first in the series of Final Fantasy that I played, and one of the first RPGs I ever played as well, so it left a major impression on me.

However, for all my love of VII, I know that the game is heavily overrated as well. But in someways this overrated state is but justified and overblown.

What was good about Final Fantasy VII? It changed RPGs.

What was bad about Final Fantasy VII? It changed RPGs.

Final Fantasy VII is the game that brought RPGs into the mainstream of gaming. The game also created a ton of clones and copies (some good, some bad).  Also popular became the use of giant oversized swords and anime-styled characters.

First off, if we're going to talk about how overrated Final Fantasy VII, we got to talk about the characters. Let's look at the most popular character of Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth, the Great Hero of SOLDIER. He is the prime leader that lead to many of these clones that pop out in new games (and like alot of guys in Hollywood now). Tall, thing, no chest hair or beard, beautiful and with long hair. He's uber powerful, and uber evil. He's basically Vampire Hunter D without the hat. A powerful mysterious being that wears black likes to pop up in other games alot, The Legend of Dragoon (very VII clone-ish, but still good) shows this with similar characters, a mysterious man that wears black and has silver hair, even the hero, Dart, has spiky hair like Cloud, just to the side instead of up.

The character style continues with Cloud, who looks like a Super Saiyan. Spiky hair, massive sword (and even trying to make up for his flaws). Tons of RPGs since VII have carried large weapons, and had spiky hair, even Final Fantasy X's Tidus tried to combine Cloud's hair color with VIII's Suall's hair style to create an inbetween that is totally annoying (hey, I hate Tidus, but at least at the tail end of the game, he got somewhat tolerable, Squall was just an emo pain all the way through). While older RPGs had some spiky hair and big swords, VII was the one to really gain notice.

The main overrated issue of Final Fantasy VII? The story. VII's story had so many memorable moments, was such a great tale...but it borrowed from so many cliched plots and took alot of ideas right from the immediate predecessor: Final Fantasy VI. Sephiroth is just Kefka...just dark and brooding instead of insane and giggly. Aerith(Aeris) is just Terra, just without the scary Esper form. Shinra is just the Gestahlian Empire, and AVALANCHE is just the Returners. And yes, the cliche small rebellion against the evil powerful Empire was old even during the time of Star Wars: A New Hope.

So in the end, Final Fantasy VII is like God of War and Halo, it takes what has been done before, and polished it to a shine. The game is a classic and I think will stand the test of time, but it's not an original game. The characters and the story are cliche and have been done before, but Square had the strict censorship lifted on the move to the Playstation One, so they got to swear alot.

Love it, hate it, indifferent to it, Final Fantasy VII is a classic and legendary game, but it is an overrated game as well.

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