Final Fantasy 7 - the Computer Game Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Final Fantasy 7 - the Computer Game

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Final Fantasy 7 is a Japanese anime-style role playing game for the PlayStation. It has also been released on the PC but with limited success.

The game is set in a quasi-futuristic world dominated by the totalitarian Shin-Ra electric power company who have set up Mako reactors to drain the life force of the planet. As a consequence the planet is slowly dying. You play the role of Cloud Strife, an ex-soldier and mercenary, who is hired by the rebel group Avalanche to blow up Mako Reactor One in Shin-Ra's capital city of Midgar.

The game starts off with a stunning FMV (full motion video, or video clip) showing the city of Midgar before cutting seamlessly to the game. The game's battle system is quite complicated for a beginner to role playing games, but Final Fantasy veterans will instantly get it. The system requires you to attach Materia (magic orbs) to weapons and/or armour before the battle. During battle these Materia give special powers eg, fire and ice magic, or summon monsters such as Ifrit and Shiva. The system employs the ATB (Active Time Battle) where the person whose time gauge fills up first gets priority to enter commands.

The game's magic effects can be quite stunning with huge pyrotechnic displays for higher level magic (try casting Bolt 3 on all). All the battle backgrounds, rendered in 3D, are fantastic. The field screens too have amazing graphics making you feel as though you are actually in the game. As has been said before, the FMVs are stunning and some can be quite humorous (check out Cloud's motorbike scene). The only graphical gripe concerns the field screen character models, but saying that, they do have their own unique style. The music is very atmospheric - especially Aeris's Theme and One Winged Angel.

When playing the game a whole range of emotions are experienced - happiness, sadness, humour, despair - but it's all worth it because the final movies are brilliant!

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