Shameful, awful shoddy gameplay. Urged to avoid if possible.
Let it be known, if you love FF7, you'll probably like this game as you take another adventure in the confusing and over saturated FF7 franchise (that's right, it's practically a franchise it has so many off shoots compared to other FF titles).
I usually give in detail reviews on games, but I could only play this game for about two and half hours before I put it down. The combat is completely broken. It's awful and Square should be ashamed of themselves for creating a Frankenstein of a battle system, especially after creating a game as balanced as Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
Battles are fairly standard. Instead of entering random encounters, you fight enemies on screen, a good thing. Then a monotone voice announces the start of combat and you proceed to mash away at them with your sword, simply by using the attack button. You can get specials in if a "slot" system matches up right where you can unleash impressive specials and even do summons. Keep in mind that this almost entirely RANDOM and it can happen many times in a single fight. Leveling is another gripe, where you can level three times in a single fight, but then you can enter an exp drought due to your "rolls" not being lucky enough. Absolute garbage. Boss fights are either very hard or just pitifully easy. This easily the worst aspect of the game and since you enter fights a lot, you're going to get tired of seeing the same specials and that god forsaken voice at the beginning of each fight. It brings up the "yeah I get it" problem in modern video gaming where developers treat the gamer like they have no ability to think or process events on their own without a visual cue or annoying voice overs. How's that for a run-on sentence Certainly doesn't help that the enemy A.I. is about as intelligent as a broom handle. I literally shot fire at an enemies back side and he just stood there.
Story. Oh boy, where I do begin. OK, so basically this story starts out with Zack, the not-so-important-character who tags along with Cloud in FF7, You know that spiky haired fellow who sat in the truck with him. Well, you'd find it hard to believe ---->
[SPOILERS] this game little to nothing to do with that game. The main antagonist is annoying and cliché, as he constantly quotes his favorite written work "Loveless". There's even a sequence that plays out like it did from FF7, except Genesis is there, which is basically retconning the entire series. [/SPOLIERS]
This game just shouldn't exist. Instead of focusing on the real main antagonist of the series, you know, Sephiroth, they introduce this minor, roadside attraction. In fact, this game should of been about Sephiroth's fall from glory as a great SOLIDER, (Shinra's elite warriors, for those of you who never played FF7) we get poor combat, overused animations, terrible music, inclusion of non-important characters who try to override the original story.
Let it be known, only the most loyal of fans would probably enjoy this game. If you're new to Final Fantasy 7, or just Final Fantasy in general, I recommend picking up a title far better and worth your time. Final Fantasy 10 is a good starting point and of course, Final Fantasy 7.