Friday, November 23, 2012

Final Fantasy VII: Versions and Plans

Next up in my marathon is the best selling game in the series: Final Fantasy VII. I'd remembered hearing something about a recent PC re-release of this game so I figured I should go looking for information on what may have changed to see what version I wanted to try playing.

It turns out there have been surprisingly few version of FFVII over the years. Considering how many versions keep popping up of FFIV, for example, I would have thought there'd be more FFVII running around. I guess FFVII is the first game of the PlayStation era and therefore the original version was playable in more places than the old ones thanks to the backwards compatibility of the PS2/PSP/PS3. As best I can tell there have only really been 2 relevant releases. PSX and PC. The game changed a little between the initial Japanese release and the subsequent NA port, and a little again when the NA version was ported back to Japan, but they're essentially the same game. It was also released on the PS Network for PSP and PS3 but that is also a straight port. The PC version apparently was built off of an old branch of the PSX code and as a result ended up a little different. And by different I mostly mean incredibly buggy. But because it was on PC it was relatively easily modded. The new PC release a couple months ago is essentially just the old PC version with the better mods applied which fixed bugs. And some easy to obtain achievements.

The new PC version doesn't sound like it's really any different from the old PSX version. As such, it's really not worth my while to pick it up. But for someone who wants to play the game in one location the new PC version sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to go. At any rate, I still want to play on the bus so I decided download the PSN version on my PSP instead of getting my PSX copy back from Andrew. I have to go through the hassle to set my router up each time I want to download a game on the PSP so I decided to buy FFVII and FFVIII at the same time. I went to start the downloads and ran into a bit of a problem... My PSP came with a 1G memory stick. FFVII is 1.3G and FFVIII is 1.8G! Those are huge! As Andrew pointed out, it's these sizes that took the Final Fantasy series away from Nintendo. The N64 could apparently hold 64M on a cartridge... Assuming this download is the same size as the initial game it would have taken 21 of those to hold the game. Yikes!

So I ended up having to go buy a new memory stick. It doesn't seem like they're really sold much anymore but I found a 4G one at The Source. I wanted a bigger one but if I need to offload games from the stick to my laptop in the future (or even just buy another 4G stick) it won't be the end of the world.

Now that I have the game the question is do I want to do anything wacky... Apparently the game is considered to be pretty darn easy and there are a lot of people coming up with all kinds of crazy challenges. For example, single character, initial equipment, no materia, no accessories, no running from fights. SCIENMNANE for short. The fact that this is even possible should be a clue as to how easy the game is when you use three characters, gear, and abilities!

On the other hand I've only played this game twice. The first time I did pretty much everything. I killed Sephiroth entirely with morph damage! The second time, during my first FF marathon, I think I just plowed through to the end fast. But while I remember a bit about the plot and mechanics I don't feel like I know the game very well. Not like FFIV or FFVI where I could rattle off pretty much the entire game if I had to. So I think I'm just going to play the game normally, be overpowered, and smash things. And then complain about how easy it is later.

Oh, and I'm going to date Yuffie this time. Honest!

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