Friday, March 30, 2012

Final Fantasy VII: My Gateway Game

I am a late-bloomer when it comes to gaming. I’d played one here and there (mostly at my younger brother’s insistence) but I never really enjoyed one until I was in my senior year of high school. That’s when two of my friends forced upon me a game featuring a spiky-haired guy with a really big sword.

I’ve been hooked ever since.

For me, Final Fantasy VII was like an interactive book. There was plenty to read with all of the written dialog, and though it had a main story line, it was sort of Choose-Your-Adventure with the free-roam world. Because I wasn’t a game-player and really not good at mashing buttons under pressure, the turn-base style allowed me to actually get somewhere on the game. And the materia system? Still my favorite magic system ever.

I loved this game…but then I got stuck. And started dreaming about how I was going to get around the giant SNAKE in the marsh. I couldn’t catch a chocobo for the life of me. Then graduation and tests and college applications swarmed me, so I had to give it back. But it was not the end. One of my friends in college just so happened to have FFVII on his computer, and it became a routine to go to his room and watch him play. Before long, five of us huddled around the computer screen, following the story, picking our favorite characters, getting really mad at the end of Disc 1. (If you’ve played it, you know!)

I finally got my own copy, and spent many wonderful hours fighting fiends, calling upon some badass summons, and enjoying a great story.  When I was through, I wanted more. So I got FFVIII. I have all of them now, and many others, some turn-based, some more active, but my heart still belongs to VII. Though I've fallen in love with others, none have captivated me quite like that spikey-haired guy with the who-cares attitude. And the giant sword.  


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