Legions of the internet, can I ask a favour of you? Can we stop lauding Final Fantasy VII? I mean, look: I like the series. Hell, I even enjoyed XIII, which is easily the most divisive title that’s been released in the franchise. But I really don’t understand the pedestal that most gamers of my era stick this one on. I played it when it released, I liked it, and I even downloaded it when it became available on PSN. Chances are, I’ll play through it again when the PS Vita gets PSOne support. It’s a good game. But it’s not that good. I mean, honestly, think about how strange it is that the re-release of a fifteen-year-old game is considered newsworthy. We didn’t start chomping at the bit when Knights of the Old Republic went up for sale on Steam, nor when Fallout popped up on GoG. I mean, it’s just weird, isn’t it?
But, I digress. Yes, if you couldn’t decipher it from my opening spiel, Final Fantasy VII has, as promised, become available as a digital download via Square Enix‘s eStore. No, this is not the HD remake fans have been clamoring for since HD became a thing. It’s ostensibly the same game you played on the PlayStation back in the day, albeit with a few added tweaks.
Cloud saves are now available, so you can keep your progress even if you have to bounce back and forth between PCs for some reason. There’s also a new character-booster, which lets you max out your characters’ health, magic and gil, in case you aren’t a fan of the whole ‘game’ aspect of role-playing games, and just want to experience the (fifteen-year-old) story. The promised achievement system isn’t up and running yet, so keep an eye out for the update that adds that.
Hold on, though, it’s not entirely that simple. Yes, the game is now available as a download, but, at the moment, it’s not available for everyone. In celebration of the franchise’s 25th anniversary, Square is offering this title exclusively to members for the price of $9.99 for the month of August. From now until September 12th, the title is only available to those who hold membership status (although, you just have to go to the website to sign up, so it’s not super exclusive or anything). After that date, FF VII will be available for everyone and anyone to download for the slightly higher price of $11.99.
So, go check it out. Despite what I may sound like, I really do think it’s worth playing through, if you haven’t yet. Chances are, though, everyone downloading it will have played through it already. Maybe even more than once.
But for any of you who haven’t played it yet but are thinking about downloading it, guess what? Aerith dies [Editor's note: Are you insane, Steven? That's the equivalent of insulting a gamer's mother... who didn't bring them chocolate milk... like she promised. Highlight to see the spoiler... yes. Really. ^MF] And no, that’s not a spoiler: apparently, it was a national tragedy.