Reviewed on PC

Final Fantasy VII

Reviewed By: Trask Milton

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: EIDOS/Squaresoft
Price Range: $20-30
Learning curve time: 30-60 min.
Age level: 13+
ESRB Rating: Teen
System Requirements: Compatible 3D card, P166, 32MB RAM, 200MB Disk Space

Genre: RPG
Christian Rating: 2 of 5
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 3 of 5
Adult Content: 3 of 5

Barrett Wallace from 'Final Fantasy VII'
Barrett Wallace of "FF7"
The most talked about, and popular Role-playing game ever, “Final Fantasy VII” made its way onto my computer screen, because I had several friends who recommended it to me. When I first started the game, I knew that I was going to have an unusual, but exciting experience.

In “FF7” you assume to role of Cloud Strife, an ex-member of SOLDIER, an elite group which works for the Shinra company, which is basically a corporate-government agency. The game takes place in a fantasy world, full of magic and technology. Throughout the game, you'll encounter hundreds, if not thousands of individual characters, with whom you will interact. The main character’s personalities develop progressively throughout the game, and the plot continues to become more and more fascinating and gripping as the game progresses. "FF7's" battle system is the usual RPG turn-based system, with a new twist; a timer, which decides who will attack next. This game is the most gripping, exciting game that I have ever played (taking over 50 hours to complete), and is arguably the best RPG to date, with more plot twists than any game I've played, movie I've watched, or book I've read.

Beneath the charm of this game, there is much material that I found offensive as a Christian. The concepts of death, good, evil, and many others are contrary to reality. Not only are these ideas present, but are an integral part of the plot. Magic is used for battle, including “Summon” spells, which, as the name suggests, summons different entities to help during battle. Instead of actually dying, characters in this world diffuse into the planet - into the “Lifestream”, where their consciousness lives on. Also, there are many mystic themes which consume the game, but nothing to the extent of many games that are on the market today.

Overall, though I overlooked many things, I thoroughly enjoyed most of this game. Many Christians might find much of this material too offensive, and should probably avoid most RPGs altogether. I, however, enjoyed the game, and would recommend it only to strong Christians, who would not be influenced by many of the ideas presented.

Year of Release—1997

A central theme of this game is the theory that when you die, your soul (mako energy) goes back into the Earth's “life stream.” Whenever a new life is formed (people, plants, animals) it gets its soul from the life stream that runs through the planet. This teaching very similar to the lie of reincarnation. After the beginning of the game, this becomes a MAJOR part of the story, and it is something to watch out for. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Richard S., age 19

This game has a very high reputation, but I found it unutterably boring. It is more like film, than a video game. The graphics are very nice, but the plot is quite poor. The player is forced to sit though minutes of fmv at a time, with no option to participate in the game. Also it can be hours between 'save points' which is exceedingly frustrating. As a Christian I found the dependance on magic offensive. This game is not worth playing in my opinion. My Ratings: [3/2]
   —Kowalski37, age 18

I just thought it'd be interesting to note that while although the Final Fantasy series has included mythological and religious entities for quite some time (some are original, others, like Odin, are from Norse myths), that there really isn't that much offensive content to people of any religion… except perhaps for the fact that all of these beings couldn't possibly exist in the same universe. But that's why it's a video game… :) One could argue that THE biggest reason that Sephiroth (the villain in FF7) is evil is because he is trying to become God. What little foul language there is in the game was mostly censored out when it was brought overseas to here, there is no blood, and the monsters and characters are rather colorful polygons, dispelling most notions of realism. My Ratings: [4/4]
   —J.C. Bengtson, age 20

This is a monumentous game, any way you look at it. The depth and spectrum of it are unlike anything else on the market. This isn't a kiddie game! Of course, using “summon materia” to defeat creatues in battle did not make me want to run out and practice magic. It's a fantasy game, and I have no problems differentiating between reality and fantasy, which is a symptom of mental disorders. Like the other reviews said, the story is very captivating, involving, and long. It took me over six months to beat this game (I have a real job and a family). And then I had to go back and find the other 50% of the game I missed the first time! Huge replay value, tons of secrets, several sub-games, and gobs of character development. I found myself actually caring about what happened to the characters, just like a good movie. It does have bad language in it, and only by one character, which fits his personality. If you didn't play this game for whatever reason, you'd be missing out! on one of the best video games ever made. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Stickman, age 26

Final Fantasy VII is without a doubt the greatest game ever made. Even the later Final Fantasys, which extend to infinitely incredible graphics, still do not touch the story, depth, and the all around incredibleness in the game. You grow to love the characters, and you feel that you know them. That is one thing that all the Final Fantasys have always done, they've had the most character development of any game I've played. And unlike other RPG's (where since your the main character, the main character does not talk of have any personality whatsover), Cloud is the hero, with an intrigueing, and complex personality. Now some people say Magic has to do with witches, yet there are none to be found in this game. The Villain is Sephiroth, an incredible swordsman. The magic system is Materia, which are tiny little colored orbs, that have different properties (such as Fire, Ice, and Bolt, but then they gain levels and go to Fire 2, and Fire 3 and so on). As for content, there is language, but I barely noticed it with the storyline (Final Fantasy VIII is much cleaner with language), and the concepts you don't really pay much attention too. This is not our world, it has a system of life, nature, and magic that might have origins of ideas in our world, but it is not our world. They don't appear to have a God or Devil in it. As for getting lost in mysticism…you can't; the world is fantasy, and you can't be in that world, with materia, swords, and weapons… My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Logan Pierce, age 15

I played this game for the Sony Playstation 3 years ago, not understanding some parts of the story, and some weird things in the game. But after playing it last Christmas, I understood some of the objectionable material in the game. Of course the swears are many, constant from the character Barrett. There is one part in the beginning in a town where there is a, would you say, umm, pimp, or womanizer of sorts. But this really dosen't bother people. The magic system is fine, but I, even my mom, was concerned about the Summon system. First off the name totally gives you that weird feeling. The entire plot is very, very, very well done, but the way they describe life is a litte far from the real world, but of course, this is a video game. So if you are an RPG fan, this is the best one, some objectionable elements, but nothing big. If you want the new Final Fantasy game, then pick up Final Fantasy IX, i've heard that its much different then VII and VIII. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Carmello Chiara, age 16

Approaching this from a Christian perspective, real life (for me) is filled with more “objectionable” content than this game. Most teens who have a strong foundation shouldn't have any problems with the mysticism involved, excepting they know better than to get involved (it has happened). The game itself is simply the most beautiful game I have ever become immersed in, which is the only real danger it represented for me (addiction). My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Joshua Powers, age 17

WHOA! I'm still trying to catch up. Man I have played through the game and let me tell you something IT WAS FANTASTIC! The Story is wonderful and the characters are very well built. The only thing is that it's all you do. Every second of the day all you want to do is play that game. It's very addicting and I wouldn't start playing it unless you have a lot of free time on your hands. It took me over 50 hours to beat it. As in terms of content it does have some bad words in it. It says the “S” word many times (6-7) and references the “f” word but it is censored. Example: barret would say something like "I'm gonna kick that @$#%#$@ butt!" All in all it's a wonderful game but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 12 mostly for the language and the fact that they probably wouldn't understand the story. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Gene, age 13

Unless you're a hermit, you've probably heard of Final Fantasy VII. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest games ever created. Combining strong characters, an outstandingly good storyline, and lots of little extras to keep you playing, FFVII is the main game for RPGers. As for how it measures up for Christians? I don't think it's really all that offensive. This is a FANTASY game, something some Christians seem to neglect. So what if it has magic in it? It's used in the context of fantasy and everyone knows it's not meant to be taken seriously! That's the point of making games like this! To use your imagination and have a fun time. Some swearing is present, but its nothing serious. Some other rather “comic” things take place throughout the game, but are all meant for a good laugh in the midst of a rather chaotic story. Overall, if you're a fan of RPGs (which I am), you'll love Final Fantasy VII! This is a game that will be loved by fans of the genre for years to come! My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Josh Bizeau, age 17

This is one of the best games that I have ever played. I am a huge RPG fan, and I haven't seen many games that can match up to this one. The story line is great, the graphics are great, everything about this game is great. I played it for the playstation, loved it, and bought it for my computer. I recommend this to any RPG fan. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Chris, age 18

This was the best VG I have ever played! I have to agree with the review however in saying that there was a lot hidden in the game that goes against Christian views. Another thing that affected me was that I found it highly addicting. Be careful! This game will suck you in and not let you go. But other than than that, if you are into RPGs and are looking for a fairly mild game out on the market, FFVII is the way to go! My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Turtlemaster01, age 15

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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