D'Octopotts will probably be one of the first persons to tell you that I am part of the camp that finds Final Fantasy VII to be one of the most overrated games in video game history. So, why is it then, that I bought the game when it first came out on PC back in 1998 and again less than a week ago? Why did I also buy Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII on the PSP? Why have I started to wait for the price to drop over at Amazon? I will tell you why. Because despite having played FF VII three times, I have yet to beat it, the world intrigues me and I really like the music (no shock there). My last play through (2006) I was, at what I think was right before the final battle with Sephiroth.
Let's start where all stories that end up being either way too long or too vague start, at the beginning.
Coming off of the high that was Final Fantasy III (III in the U.S., VI in Japan as we all now know), I was exceedingly excited about Final Fantasy VII, although sad that it was only coming out on the new fangled Playstation and not on the N64. I remember sitting in D'Octopott's room as he started the game (I don't know if it was the first time he booted up the game, but it was the first time I saw it). I'm sure most people reading this would remember the opening. The breathtaking visuals. Uematsu's score. It was all there. I never saw D'O complete the game, which is what lead me to buying my own copy for the PC when I bought my own laptop post high school in the fall of 1998.
I don't remember how far I got during that first play through. I do remember becoming lost shortly after acquiring your first airship from Cid, the Tiny Bronco. There was something about finding a sword, or a guy who could make a sword. . . I don't remember. I found myself going back to Cosmo Canyon because I didn't know what else to do or where to go and I really liked the theme for the area. So I wandered around, fought enemies and listened to music. I eventually made it to just after the snowboarding scene, then something happened, possibly life-wise, I don't remember, but I stopped playing as I'd lost interest. And, I was irritated that Cloud and Co. had tried to stop a legitimate attempt to destroy Sephiroth's asteroid and save the planet, all because said company wanted to save the materia (history/memories of the Ancients) instead.
In 2004 I watched Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and even though I hadn't finished the game, I felt I knew enough of the main story and the characters to know what was going on in the movie. I watched it twice. Once with D'O and his roommates and once in a Japanese language class I was taking at the time.
Jump ahead to 2006, four years later and I found the FF VII discs and loaded them onto my computer. Playing commenced. This time I made it through the game up until fighting Sephiroth at the end. I was stalling because I didn't feel that I was at a high enough level. That, or I just wanted to get above a certain level although I don't remember what level that was. Then I moved from Sacramento back to Davis and have since lost one of the discs and I no longer have the computer/hard drive that my save files were on.
In 2008, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII was released on the PSP. At first I wasn't too interested, possibly because of the lackluster reviews for Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and because I had no way of playing the cellphone release of the other prequel Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII. Then the reviews started pouring in that Crisis Core was actually a good game that helped expand the lore of the FF VII universe. So I bought Crisis Core and loved it. I loved playing out events that were hinted at or briefly mentioned.
For a couple of months now I've had Final Fantasy VII sitting in my cart in my Steam account (along with 24 other games) periodically (daily) checking to see if there was a price drop. Last week, there was a 50% off drop on FF VII and knowing that Conklederp would dig some nostalgia and me wanting to finish the game (finally), I decided that $5.50 was an okay price to pay for a game that I enjoyed on a certain level (certain story elements, music) and genuinely wanted to finish. So everything that you have just read went through my head in a manner of seconds before I clicked the "purchase" button.
P.S. I'll come out with a First Impression of the game later although it will probably be more about the transition from PS1 to it's current iteration on the PC. I may even talk about why I feel that FF VII is one of the more overrated games, but that topic may be over done at this point, so perhaps I won't afterall.