A friend of mine played the japanese version for a bit, because he couldn’t stand to wait as long as we had to for it to be released in US or EU. I didn’t even want to see the japanese version, I wanted to be totally surprised and awe-stricken. And now that I have it, I’m totally surprised and awe-stricken.
I knew that it was going to be an action-rpg, but when I first got my hands on it and fought my first battle, I have to admit that I was disappointed in how slow it seemed to be. The army of shinra look-alikes (who seem to be put there for some nostalgic reasons) shot at me and I stopped. At that point I thought I would be very disappointed and wished that I hadn’t had so many expectations.
But then I got just a little further. I had just beaten the first Behemoth and they started talking. I’d of course watched the intro and I have to say that it is very possibly the best intro I’ve ever seen. They talked and talked and talked and I wanted to see more of the game, though I wasn’t really aware of time since I was still ecstatic about actually having it and being able to play it.
Well, finally I could walk around myself, I met Kunsel, one of the other SOLDIER members and he gave me some tutorials and stuff and then I was told about missions. So I went for it, I tried a mission. I won. I’m hooked.
I’ve gone through maybe 1% of the story (I hope) or perhaps even less (hoping more), but I’m level 31 now, and already completed 25% of all the missions. I con’t stop going through them, they give very nice items and of course the chance you get to level up in them is very excellent as well. I got some nice summons from it (Odin, Ifrit, Bahamut) and I already have Firaga materia and such (I think all things that are actually way too high lvl for this part of the game usually) and some very nice equips too.
The game itself looks absolutely perfect. The in-game graphics are atleast as nice as FF12’s and the FMVs are of Advent Children quality. And the awesome part about that too is that all summons are shown in such FMVs. And that is totally kick-ass dude!
It’s also fun to see that they tried to stay close to what the FF7 summons were, because that just plain rocks. Ifrit still throws a giant ball of flame at you (or is the ball actually), Bahamut still shoots from the sky like a madman, and Odin still cuts everyone in half and jumps down from his cliff. Very stylish.
The story seems pretty strange, though it’s cool to see Zack (who I’d only seen in the main story in FF7), it’s awesome to see Sephiroth back in his ‘sane’ days and to see the human side of him, Hojo is pretty funny to see what he looks like here with his oversized sideburns and his too-cocky attitude. The Turks are back again of course, they’re pretty cool, they not nearly as annoying now that they’re on your side, they’re actually pretty sympathetic.
The voice acting is the only thing I’d like to change really. I don’t like the english voices. Sure they’re not as bad as they could be and most other games usually are, but still I’ve seen some japanese trailers and they just sound cooler there (very possibly also because I don’t understand what they’re saying). But they’re not annoyingly bad in my opinion.
It’s fun to hear some of the old songs in their new packaging. quality of sound has improved in games since FF7 obviously and it’s nice to hear that.
The slot system that they use in battle is still a little vague to me. It’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t know if I do have any control over it or don’t, I just don’t know. But the way the memory thingies work and the summons and the ‘Chocobo Mode’ is all very cool and awesomely done.
All in all I just can’t stop playing and if you like action-rpgs and the Final Fantasy VII world, you might not either… Must… Play… More…