Final Fantasy VII (ファイナルファンタジーVII, Fainaru Fantajī Sebun?) is a role-playing video game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series. It was originally released in 1997 for the Sony PlayStation. It was re-released in 1998 for Microsoft Windows-based personal computers and in 2009 on the PlayStation Network. The game is the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics, featuring fully rendered characters on pre-rendered backgrounds, and was the first game in the series to be released in Europe.
Development of Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 and the game was originally intended for release on the SNES, but it was later moved to the Nintendo 64. As the system’s cartridges lacked the required storage capacity, Square decided to release the game for the PlayStation instead. The music was scored by Final Fantasy veteran Nobuo Uematsu, while the series’ long-time character designer, Yoshitaka Amano, was replaced by Tetsuya Nomura.
Set in a dystopian world, Final Fantasy VII‘s story centers on mercenary Cloud Strife who joins with several others to stop the megacorporation Shinra, which is draining the life of the planet to use as an energy source. As the story progresses, the situation escalates and Cloud and his allies face Sephiroth, the game’s main antagonist.
Helped by a large promotional campaign in the months prior to its release, Final Fantasy VII became an immediate critical and commercial success. In the years following, it has continued to sell solidly—the game has sold 9.8 million copies worldwide as of December 2005, making it the best-selling title in the series. Final Fantasy VII received significant praise upon its release for its graphics, gameplay, music and story as well as criticism pertaining to its English localization. It has retrospectively been acknowledged as the game that popularized the console role-playing game genre outside of the Japanese market, and has frequently ranked highly on numerous professional and fan-made “greatest games of all time” lists. The popularity of the title led Square Enix to produce a series of prequels and sequels for different platforms under the collective title Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. An enhanced remake for the PlayStation 3 has been rumored since 2005, though Square Enix have formally stated that no such product is in development at the time; however, in March 2010, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada told the media that the company would explore the possibility of a remake
Like previous installments of the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy VII consists of three modes: an overworld map, field maps, and a battle screen. The overworld map is a 3D model, featuring a scaled-down version of the game’s fictional world which the player navigates to travel between the game’s locations. As with preceding games in the series, the world map can be traversed by foot, on chocobos, airship, or sea vessel (in this case, a submarine and a plane used as a boat), but it also includes an additional means of transportation—a buggy. On field maps, characters are directed across realistically scaled environments, consisting of 2D pre-rendered backgrounds which represent locations such as towns or forest The battle screen is a 3D representation of an area, such as a building’s interior or an open grassland, in which the player commands the characters in battles against CPU-controlled enemies. While characters are super deformed on maps, the character models are more realistic and normal-scaled in combat.Final Fantasy VII is the first game in the series to have character models with fully-rendered polygons, rather than 2D sprites.
Initially, the player is restricted to the city of Midgar, but as the game progresses the entire world becomes accessible. Progression through the game’s storyline is largely developed by way of scripted sequences, although pre-rendered cinematic cut scenes are also used often.
|Final Fantasy VII|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation, PlayStation Network|
|Media||3 CD-ROMs (PS)
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