Amidst dozens of other gamers, I traveled to the local Electronics Boutique yesterday to pick up my copy of Final Fantasy VII. Like thousands of other gamers, I had pre-purchased my copy of the game, and was more than ready to tear into it. Unlike some, I had not seen much of the Japanese version of the game, partly to keep the anticipation for the US release high.
Out of the box the most surprising thing is the full-color manual. The 60-plus page booklet glazes over many of the game's complexities, but keeps it simple for RPG rookies. Unfortunately, the manual more or less goes to waste after you get into the game because it doesn't provide nearly as much information as it could to get you started.
In awe of the graphic effects, I was soon engrossed in the game's storyline. Like many others, I too had played through the demo that came with the PlayStation Underground 2 disc, so the beginning of the game was merely a prelude to the big surprises ahead. Beautifully paced, the game keeps you interested at just about every turn. After a short dinner break (where the heck is the next save point?!), it was back to the game.
Having screwed up once, I restarted the game - after I had gotten to the "avalanche" hideout - and tried a few different responses. Of course, responding differently to certain questions causes different events to take place. I won't spoil it, of course, but I'll probably be playing through Final Fantasy VII more than once just to find what I might've missed the first time around.
A glance at the clock noted that it was well into the next morning so I found a save point and stopped playing for the night. But as every video gamer knows, saving the game doesn't mean it won't find its way into your dreams.