After the hype died down, Final Fantasy VII has never really been my favorite game in the series in the first place, but there’s no denying that it’s an extremely popular one that’s rightly considered a classic, and I’ve been saying for years that it made no sense for Square Enix to avoid it when choosing which older games to remake. So when they said they were remaking it for PS4, my reaction was “Finally!”.
“Moment that shocked you the most in any video game”
This is one where I knew what it was going to be right from the beginning. I was playing an RPG that blurred the line between fantasy and sci-fi, and around the mid-point of the game, all of a sudden my favorite character was killed!
“That one level you hate in a game you otherwise love”
Let me explain something. Xenogears is an RPG with random encounters. It also has a jump button. Those elements combine in an annoying way, because if you run into a battle in mid-air, you lose your momentum and fall straight down.
The first half of Babel Tower is a vertically oriented area with a lot of hard jumps where missing a jump means falling back to the beginning, and it has random encounters.
“Favorite supporting character”
For a video game, the distinction between “main” and “supporting” can be pretty clear; in most genres, anyone who’s not playable (and isn’t an enemy) is a supporting character. It can still get a little blurry, though, with really major characters like Zelda. (Or really minor playable ones in some games.)
This might be stretching the definition a little since she tags along with the player throughout the entire game, but she’s not really a party member in gameplay terms. Ruby from Lunar: Eternal Blue.
flying cat baby red dragon has a lot of the best dialogue in the game. She’s got a crush on Hiro, which is kind of creepy since she’s a cat dragon and he’s a human, though Lunar’s dragons can learn to shift into a human form too. She is also somehow able to carry around a ridiculous number of items in the Sega CD version of the game, and occasionally swoops down to finish a weakened enemy.
“Game you’ve played from start to finish the most times”
I’m excluding things like fighting games from this. I’m positive that the answer is Chrono Trigger, thanks to a combination of it it having so many endings and it being one of my three favorite 16-bit RPGs.
It’s possible that if games that can be finished in one sitting at counted the answer might be Sonic the Hedgehog 3, but Im not sure even then; I played Chrono Trigger a lot.
I’ve already mentioned Xenogears, so I doubt this is much of a surprise. It’s practically the perfect RPG even with obvious flaws; if budget and time hadn’t caused certain parts to get left out (and if the translation was better) it would be my unquestioned favorite game in any genre.
The story is the best, most complex, and deepest of any video game ever made, with the most developed characters around. Religious and psychological symbolism that actually makes sense, romance, a search for identity, and more backstabbing than Final Fantasy Tactics. (Figuratively. FFT probably holds some kind of record for the amount of literal stabbing.)
The music is just amazing; one of the most emotional video game soundtracks ever.
The battle system is still fine, though the concept involved has been done better since.
Homages and references to anime and classic sci-fi all over the place (a few of the more obvious include Childhood’s End, Soylent Green, and Macross), but it’s still entirely it’s own thing.
The graphics….well, you can’t have everything, but they hold up better than FF7’s do at least.