Other: Final Fantasy VII
Creator: Yoshinoti Kitase, Tetsuya Nomura, Hironobu Sakaguchi
Autumn, 2001 ~ I was 22 years old and the first time I played it was for eight hours straight without moving.
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Final Fantasy VII
RSI-inducing adventure that brought computer role-playing into the Western mainstream.
An epic, utterly immersive experience, Final Fantasy VII (commonly abbreviated as FFVII) takes the average player over 70 hours to complete. Produced by Japanese software house Square, it is, as the numeral suggests, the continuation of a series.
The Final Fantasy series had been hugely popular in Japan since 1987, but was largely unknown in the West. FFVII changed all this. It was a huge critical and commercial success, and kick-starting the boom for big-budget role-play games (RPG's) outside Japan.
A huge step up in terms of technical sophistication, gameplay, plot and graphics, FFVII cost over £30 million to produce. It was the first Final Fantasy game to be released for a console - the PlayStation - and for PC.
Central to FFVII's success is its emotionally involving plot. Young mercenary Cloud Strife is employed to carry out terrorist attacks against mega-corporation Shinra. An accidental meeting with flower girl Aeris Gainsborough ultimately sets him and a band of companions on a quest to save the world. Ranged against them are Shinra, sinister black-clad figure Sephiroth and the mysterious power JENOVA, plus hordes of regular monsters. The death of Aeris in the game has become a legendary RPG moment.
The story plays out through a mixture of move-and-click gameplay, full-motion-video, mini-games and battles. Success in these battles depends largely on adept customisation of equipment and weapons. An excellent soundtrack by top game composer Nobo Uematsu adds greatly to the game's atmosphere.
Since FFVII, the franchise has continued to be highly popular in the West. The game is followed by a fully animated film sequel, Advent Children.
Work nominated by Gaomajiro.