From the moment you select "New Game" you will be hooked!
The GFX were stunning, but when you compare it to the monster that is God of War : CoO you feel a tiny bit let down, but only the tiniest bit. The game begins with a CGI cutscene every bit as beautiful as the FF7 : Advent Children movie was, and the actual gameplay GFX are almost as stunning. I take points off only because the transition from the angelic CGI to realtime is a bit jarring at first, and you do get used to it in short order, but until you do the immersion is held back a bit.
They hit it out of the park, what can I say, it's Squaresoft here folks, oh sorry Square-Enix. The soundtracks includes some old tunes remixed and new tunes you will never forget. While it is sad that Uematsu had nothing to do with the game this time around, his influence is still felt int he new music, if you've heard him rocking out in FFX then you know what to expect in CC:FF7. Sound effects are appropriate and never get int he way. This is simply a game that BEGS to be heard via a great set of headphones to get the full auditory experience.
This is the game's one true weakness, and even then it's not bad, just not what most folks expected. When you hear Final Fantasy you expect a jRPG, with a party, a world to explore and lots and LOTS of materia. Well you get most of that, instead you get an action RPG akin to Kingdom Hearts, another Square-Enix creation, and you only control one person, Zack Fair.
Instead of a huge world to explore you are sent on a very linear storyline which requires that you go to specific places. The actual main story can be neaten in 5-9 hours on the first play through, but with optional side quests this can be extended to well over 40 or 50 hours. I myself have 30 hours in the game and only have 33% of the side missions completed.
This is a subject that is very subjective, on the one hand once you beat the game this is little incentive to go through it again because you have seen the story, and that is what you play it for, on the other hand you have HARD MODE, NEW GAME+, any items/cameos you may have missed and the bus load of missions previously mentioned. So there is alot to do once you finish the game, you just have to have the right mindset to do it. Most will skip it, but alot of FF hardcore will want to 100% their gamefiles and SE has left them a huge challenge waiting for them.
(9/10) (not an average)
Despite it's few short comings this will be a game that will sell millions of copies as well as push hardware to play it on, and those people will not be disappointed with the game they have chosen. This game will hook anyone who plays the first CGI movie and if you have played the original FF7 then forget about it, it's a forgone conclusion that this game will own the next few weeks of your life while you try to get every last piece of hidden materia int he game and meet every one you can from the original FF7. So go out and buy it, this is a game you will not let you down
XXXXXXXXX_ GRAPHICS (9/10)
XXXXXXXXXX SOUND (10/10)
XXXXXXX___ GAMEPLAY (7/10)
XXXXXXXX__ REPLAYABLITY (8/10)
XXXXXXXXX_ OVERALL (9/10)