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Final Fantasy VII PC Review




Ok, here's the deal : I've tried and finished BOTH the PSX and PC versions of FF7. I've had the PC version for almost a year and a half now. So, I can clearly tell you which version is better overall.


Game Info:
Title: Final Fantasy VII for the PC
Developer: Square
Publisher: Eidos
Release: June 1998
Platform: PC

Minimum System Requirements:
Windows 95 compatible system
DirectX 5.0
Intel Pentium 133 (recommended Pentium 200)
4 megs Video Card (8 megs 3D accelerator recommended)
32 megs of RAM
4x CD-ROM
DirectX 5.0 compatible sound card (AWE64 or XG-MIDI compatible recommended)

The System I Used:
Windows 98
DirectX 7.0a
Intel Pentium III 500Mhz (required a patch to work)
3DFX Voodoo3 2000 AGP (16 megs)
128 megs of RAM
40x SCSI CD-ROM
Sound Blaster PCI512 (compatible AWE64)

Storyline:
Of course, being the same game, I'd give that score for both versions : Final Fantasy VII was a long-awaited game, because we've been three years without a new Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy was released here as Final Fantasy III for the SNES in 1994, while Final Fantasy VII for the PSX was released in 1997 and Final Fantasy VII for PC was released in June 1998.About many gamers now know the story of this masterpiece, and I won't ramble on it too long. Cloud, while detestable at first, turns out rapidly into a cool guy. Most of the heroes are also acceptable, though some may look stereotyped. However, two characters, in my opinion, stand out : Aeris and Sephiroth . Aeris represents what I would call "The Final Fantasy Spirit". What I mean by that is that is that she looks mysterious, not realistic. She's also kind and smiling, whatever happens. As for Sephiroth, he's probably the most awesome villain we've ever experienced in a RPG : cool-looking, cold, intelligent, very charismatic. Sephiroth is the kind of villain we would like to see in many RPGs. He reminds me of Ghaleon from the Lunar series a lot. Too bad we sometimes get villains that merely have any kind of personnalities, unlike those two. Overall, granted its own right, Final Fantasy VII has a good storyline. However, it is, in my opinion, FAR from the masterpiece of story that Final Fantasy VI was. Especially since we have waited nearly three years, I was hoping for quite some more. Frankly speaking, the ending in Final Fantasy VII left me on my appetite. The story evolved quite well, but finished so rushly, that I felt it was missing something. Especially after Aeris died. It seemed that she took a too big part of the story when she died. Of course, except the ending, Final Fantasy has some fantastic scenes, Aeris's death and Cid's speech while the heroes are in space are just a part of some of the hottest scenes of the game. I think the story should have had be more well-rounded , as the game started strong , then was sometimes good, sometimes bad, and finished so abruptly.

Graphics:
Granted that this game has revolutionized RPGs on the PSX and made it the new "Queen of RPGs", dethroning the SNES, it's hard not to give a perfect score to the graphics even on the PSX. So let's compare the two versions : Well, the graphics in the PC version are WAY BETTER than the ones on the PSX. With a MERE 8 meg video graphics card ( Voodoo2, Matrox G200, ATI Rage Pro) you can easily have a better experience graphically speaking. Cloud and his friends look better in hi-res, tough you have to understand that "hi-res" in FF7PC means 640 X 480... A MAJOR DRAWBACK. It would have been good to play at the resolution we wanted, say, 1024 X 768. However, that would have had probably put the minimum system requirements higher, though they're not SO HIGH nowadays. All the 3d sprites are superb, and so does the fonts and menus. ONE BIG PROBLEM, however : they did NOT re-rendered the 2d backgrounds and the FMVs, which means they're still at 320 X 200, the PSX resolution. That gives us REAL BAD LOOKING FMVs and backgrounds. ESPECIALLY THE MOVIES !!!! They're bad-looking, washed-out, low-res and badly compressed AVIs. However, this gives us one good point: to view ANY MOVIE ANYTIME, just insert the CD and open straight by Windows. Lol All in all, the PC version beats the PSX version hands down with the graphics.

Sound:
Final Fantasy VII would normally have a awesome soundtrack, but the PC version has ONE MAJOR FLAW : the music in FF7PC is GENERAL MIDI, that very compatible but also very crappy format of music. I'll put it straight folks : DON'T PLAY FF7PC WITH A SOUND BLASTER 16 !!! They DO include a software synthesizer to help the music sound better, but that TAKES MUCH MORE WORK, meaning you need a MUCH STRONGER Computer and even with the synthesizer, the music isn't as good as in the PSX version. Either way, don't expect singing choirs for One-Winged Angel. Luckily for me, I have a Sound Blaster PCI512 loaded with nice soundfonts, and the music is bearable. However, as much as the PC version beats the PSX version in terms of graphics, the PSX version beats the PC version in terms of sound.

Gameplay:
What? Should the gameplay be the same, it's the same game right??? Well, WRONG!!! Unless you have a computer that has AT LEAST TWICE the system requirements, Final Fantasy VII on the PC will have a slower framerate than on the PSX. I also STRONGLY recommend a gamepad ( a Gravis Gamepad Pro would be the most logical choice if you ask me ) to play this game. One good thing to note , though : we have PLENTY of space to save. About 10 slots of 15 save each. Also, the loading is MUCH BETTER than on the PSX, because the date is not taken from the Cd-rom , but from the Hard drive, which is faster than the 2x Cd-rom of the PlayStation. All in all, the PC version can offer better playability IF you have the right accessories with your PC.

Overall, I believe that Square did a VERY BAD JOB when they translated Final Fantasy VII. It should have been MUCH BETTER in EVERY aspect than the PSX version, but definitely wasn't. With such flaws, granted that the game itself is good, it's sad to see the little efforts that were made. Re-rendering the movies and the backgrounds WASN'T THAT HARD. It couldn't really be helped with the music though, because MIDI was the only format that could allow to stock the entire soundtrack of the game WITHOUT requiring additional CDs. So, to answer the question : Which version is better ? Well, if you have a DECENT (and I DO mean decent ) computer, go for the PC version. However, the PSX version is now cheaper and you neither need to install nor configure anything.


Review By: Murasame

Final Fantasy 7 Index

- Introduction
- Characters
--- Main
--- NPCs
- Materia
--- List: Magic
--- List: Command
--- List: Summon
--- List: Support
--- List: Indep..
--- List: Unique
- Item List
- Limit Breaks
- Enemy Skills
- Side Quests
- Chocobos
- MIDI Downloads
- Walkthrough
- Song Lyrics
- Sheet Music
- Soundtracks
- PC Demo
- Reviews
- PSX Review
- PC Review
- World Map
- Transportation
- Tips
- Wallpapers
- Cover Scans
- Game Logo
- Story Theory
- Ending Script
- Official Artwork
--- Amano Artwork
--- Nomura Artwork
--- Nomura Sketches
--- Location Sketches
- Commercials
--- US Pics #1
--- US Pics #2
--- US Pics #3
--- JP Pics #1
- Sampler Disc
- Poster Scans
- FMV Pictures
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The Scholar
03.07.04

Art Junction
08.20.04

Shrine Amp
05.26.04

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