Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
Ah, Final Fantasy VII... the first step into the next generation of Final Fantasy... and possibly one of the most overrated games I've ever bore witness to.
Now, before you get a childish attitude about it and decide that I'm a moron and don't know what I'm talking about and blah blah blah, I have MY opinion, you have YOURS. If you don't like it, then get over it! So you Final Fantasy VII fanboys who diss everyone who don't agree with you have been warned- I bite back.
Final Fantasy VII is.. not the greatest game. Graphic-wise, It was okay for its time. It wasn't the greatest. One thing that really irked me is how everyone's arms was shaped like a dumbbell... their shoulders were bulky, then their forearms were almost anorexic-looking, and then their wrists and hands were the size of their shoulders. What the heck was up with that?! I know graphics weren't top notch at that time, but come on! Clock Tower's character models were FAR superior to the horrible, blocky, dumbbell-armed characters! If you don't believe me, go look at screenshots of Clock Tower. Excluding the three-dimensional aspect and the fact that enemies actually HAD animations, battle had not changed much. At all. So needless to say, there was not a big improvement there. Personally, I expected more. The limit breaks were a fine addition, but beyond that... same stuff we've always seen.
Moving on to the Materia system... basically anyone can have anything, no set classes, nothing. Anybody can equip any Materia. Interesting as it may be, it's also rather lame and makes the game easier than it should be. I mean, when you can arm ANYONE with God-like summons like Bahamut, not to mention there are 3 different Bahamuts, that doesn't leave much of a challenge when you can have someone let loose a Knights of the Round, another cast Bahamut ZERO and the last summon Neo Bahamut. Yeah, sounds a bit too simpled out, don't you think? Especially when someone can triple cast one of those bad boys.
Now... the story. It seems pretty obvious to me that they made the whole darn thing up as they went instead of planning it out like smart people tend to do. First, it seems like everyone is trying to stop Shinra from draining the life from the planet. Sounds like a reasonable plot, doesn't it? Well, then they decide that this guy Sephiroth is some bigshot who wants to take over the world by merging with the lifestream after blasting the planet with Meteor. Well, he summons Meteor, then wakes up the WEAPONS, so it's all "Screw Sephiroth and his Jenova creatures that lord knows how fits into the plot, let's worry about something else!" So, big deal with the WEAPONS, forget about Sephiroth, WEAPONS die, goes BACK to Sephiroth... I swear, the plot is all over the place and it gets really annoying. It's no wonder I never finished the stupid thing because the plot was like a chimpanzee on Red Bull, it was all over the place and got on my nerves. The inconsistent plot that is overflowing with subplots is just annoying.
The minigames... I have one word- silly and dumb. Now, as for everything else, there are too many characters for the game's own good. I could only keep up with half of them, to be honest. There's 9 characters that you get through the game, so while trying to keep up with that crew, you have all these other people that you've got to keep up with the main quest and the main quest's subquests and so on and so forth... WHAT THE HECK!? How do they expect you to keep up with all these people?! IT'S MADNESS!!
Final Fantasy VII is so overrated it's not even funny. All I ever hear about when someone talks about Final Fantasy VII is Cloud, Sephiroth, Buster Sword, Sephiroth being a bad@$$, and Tifa's boobs. That's about it. When was the last time you heard anyone complimenting the storyline?
Everyone makes it out like Sephiroth is the ultimate villain when to be perfectly honest with you, most of the other villains in the Final Fantasy series could probably pummel him to the ground. He's hopeless without Materia and it appears the only thing he has going for him is that ridiculously long sword of his. He wouldn't stand a chance against Ultimecia, considering the power she has. Emperor Mateus of Palamecia could probably tear him apart. Kefka is no doubt far eviler than he could ever be and he'd lose to Kefka (not many would argue there.) Zeromus was a creature of pure hatred born from Zemus who could have controlled Sephiroth like a puppet. Sin would have him dead within about a minute or two... yeah. Some utimate villain. Minus the fact he's kind of childish, always talking about Mother it seems. Though to be perfectly honest, Sephiroth isn't the true villain. Sephiroth is a victim that went psychotic. The true villain of the game is Hojo and Jenova.
They've made 2 other games involving VII and it's own movie. To put it simply, they went completely overboard with Final Fantasy VII. They've done no such thing with any of the others, and quite honestly, I get sick of hearing about it.
Final Fantasy VII does have its good points, but quite honestly, the primary purpose of this review was to show WHY it's so overrated.