Final Fantasy VII (PC) - Retroview

And Now For The Pixelized Version!

By: Desh

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 9
   Interface 9
   Music/Sound 6
   Originality 7
   Plot 8
   Localization 8
   Replay Value 7
   Visuals 6
   Difficulty Easy
   Time to Complete

20-60 hours


Title Screen

   Finally, the classic game which revolutionized the RPG genre arrived to the PC for those of us who can't afford the Playstation. Square, working with Eidos to make the PC version, completed this version very true to the original; some things got better, but others got worse with the transition.

   The battle system is exactly identical to that of its PSX twin, with ATB, limits, and visible damage. The speed of battle can be determined in the configuration screen in the menu, and for the first time (well, not really) attacks reach the enemy instead of having a character swing a sword and have it mysteriously hit a creature on the other side of the screen. Very well done on the part of Square.

   The interface of the game is almost identical to the PSX version, so let me just highlight the differences. For one, there is a quit option below "SAVE," something that was never there before (go figure). Also, you can control the volume of the sound and music seperately from the config menu. And, depending on how good your computer is, the photos, text, and materia can look much smoother or rougher than in the PSX version. Also depending on your computer is the speed of the game; on my computer, the battles load exceedingly slow, while on a friend's it is almost instantaneous, both outside the speed in the PSX version. This makes the game's feel vary between computer to computer.

   Ah, the music... I missed you. After finishing this game on PC, I tried it out on the PSX, and... wow. While the transition changed the midi quality, the music lost some aesthetics that the PSX version had. That's not to say some things weren't improved, it's just that at didn't have the same presence. In addition, the Sephiroth choir in One Winged Angel was not present in the PC version, which was a shame. But, as Mr. Nobuo Uematsu has proven to us, his music sounds good on all systems. The sound effects are all the same, though, so don't worry about those.

And the chocobos start us off!
And the chocobos start us off! 

   Originality... well, it's exactly identical to one game that I know of :) but, then again, it's supposed to be. Everything that can be said about originality has been said in other reviews, so I'll let it rest here and focus more on differences. The plot remains unchanged as well, so I won't touch on it.

   Some of the translation that wasn't quite perfect in the PSX version was corrected in this version, although not much was added; the game still has that magical quality that brings in the player and makes you despair when... you know (no spoilers, of course).

Go, Chocobo, Go!
Go, Chocobo, Go! 

   The replay value is, of course, high because of all the minigames to get enthralled in. However, I give it a lower score in this area because you would probably want to play the Playstation version instead, just to get a better feel for the game. The controls make a lot more sense, and the overall quality is much better. Saving, however, is much slower and more limited in comparison, but hey, it's not a PC.

   Unfortunately, the PC does not handle a polygon-based world nearly as well as the Playstation does. So, to make up for this, the games has been transferred to pixels. While in some cases (and this depends on your computer, mind you) the graphics are smoother and clearer, there are many more cases where an otherwise smooth color blend has become blocky. So, if you're confident in your computer, you can expect a lot, but otherwise...

Aeris owns. Period.
Aeris owns. Period. 

   The difficulty of this game is exactly the same as the PSX version. Nothing about the monsters, weapons, etc. has changed statistically. It is what you make it. Also, the completion time is the same, varying from a quick run-through to a mastery of all the minigames.

   All in all, the PC version of Final Fantasy VII is a bit of a downgrade. The movies take longer to load, the graphics are pixely, and the music has been altered. However, it's not as far off as I may have made it seem, and is still a great, dare I say it, copy of the original. If you cannot play FFVII on a PSX, then by all means play it on PC - it's almost the same quality. Hats off to a good job by Square and Eidos.

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