Retro Review: Final Fantasy VIII wish this was a final fantasy~Kevin Weaver
In an unspecified year, it became mainstream to make the most whiny, emotionally disturbed, and all around apathetic characters the star of every piece of major media. From comics, games, and even to movies, these "emo" stars started to be called innovative for their ability to relate to the audience.
This premise alone insults me, literally.
"Final Fantasy VII" was developed by Square Enix back in the glory days of the late 90s. It was hailed as an epic journey with a deep premise and story line, filled with characters that built themselves with the world, and is also attributed for one of the most shocking deaths in gaming history. I disagree with all accounts.
First of all, epic is meant to describe something being richly detailed and enthralling with its size and depth. The term was coined for poems back in and before the old Roman Empire, such as Homer's "Odyssey." "Final Fantasy VII," on the other hand, feels like every idea and detail were drawn out of a kid's coloring book and thrown together into what can barely pass as a realistic world. I never once believed that any part of it was fun, realistic, or even deep. Note: having plot twists does not make something deep.
Next, these are not good characters. Aside from design, which is admittedly original for its time, these characters are all more flat and stoic then anything else I have ever seen. Cloud remains a cry baby from beginning to end, Yuffi an annoying ninja girl that is just begging to be thrown off a cliff, a second emo character named Vincent who won't even grunt unless someone passes wind in his face, and most notably of all, Aerith, a character I never understood or cared for. This leads into point three.
If you have a character no one cares about, they aren't going to care when they die. Yes, Aerith dies. I tell you this like every message board and internet meme tells you Snape kills Dumbledore. But guess, what? I didn't care. I almost cheered when that ten-foot blade impaled her. I wish I were making that last part up.
The only thing that is worth noting in this game is the combat system, which is important for a game. However, given the time between when this was made and now, there are plenty of newer games that have a much-needed update to this system, and with characters and stories I can care about.
Simply, this game did not age well, and I did not enjoy it. I say this as someone who did not play it way back in the glory days, because I was too busy enjoying other "legends." However, this is evidence enough, as I am not being drowned in nostalgia, that this game did not age well. Others may have, but this is not one of them.
Rating: 2/5 Elephants