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favorite Final Fantasy customization system, but it’s decent enough

As far as the mechanics go, Final Fantasy 7 mostly builds on those found in the sixth game. Limit Breaks return, but instead of being as rare as a solar eclipse, they’re a regular staple in battles. The Magicite System in the sixth game gets a few tweaks and becomes the Materia System. Characters have their own stats, weapons, and Limit Breaks, but every other ability is contained in your materia, magical stones that you can add to your weapons and armor. Your characters will level up through experience, while materia becomes more powerful from AP earned in battles. It makes the characters largely interchangeable, since you can always just move your materia set-ups from one character to another.

That works in the game’s favor at times, but at the cost of feeling invested in any particular characters from a gameplay point of view. The main advantage to it is that there’s no real way to lose out. Characters who leave your party for story reasons won’t take your investment with them. It’s not my favorite Final Fantasy customization system, but it’s decent enough, and it is definitely fun to collect all of the various materia, even though assured madness lay down that path.

I feel like the game kind of loses itself after what was originally the end of the first disc, when the most well-known spoiler in video gaming happens. It’s almost metafictional the way the game itself feels like it’s in a state of confused grief for a while before it starts to pick up the pieces and move on. There are lots of side-trips that don’t quite hit the mark, like the first trip to Wutai, or the bizarre business with an old friend of Barret’s.

The game sometimes feels like it’s dragging during some of these jaunts, though they never actually last all that long. The move away from tile-based 2D also introduced some control awkwardness that the series would resolve in later games, but not here. You sometimes have to be in just the right position to talk to someone or examine something, and your character will sometimes stubbornly resist getting into said position. The battles can also feel pretty slow, especially when participants let rip with their powerful attacks. You can’t skip summon animations in this game, nor can you skip Sephiroth’s two-minute special attack, or any other overly-long sequence. They’re impressively cinematic, but sometimes you just want to get on with things, and you can’t do that here. My kingdom for a fast-forward button in battles to go with my bugged, sped-up Palmer outside of battles.

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Posted by on 25. August 2015. Filed under Internet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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