Dated Visuals Made the Environmentalism of 'Final Fantasy VII' Come Alive

“Someone please get the guys who made cartridge games a cigarette and a blindfold” proclaimed a magazine ad, emblazoned with one of Final Fantasy VII’s impressive panoramas. The better future was not only arriving, it was executing the past. As Cloud leapt off a train in FF7’s opening cutscene, he was leaping into the future of gaming. In this moment, it seamlessly transitioned from video to play. The line between interactivity and film was blurred into non-existence.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bvge7v/dated-visuals-made-the-environmentalism-of-final-fantasy-vii-come-alive
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Most of the 3D Final Fantasy’s were still trying to preserve that forced environmental perspective, with X and even XIII using fixed camera angles in most areas to present their worlds as the artist intended it to be seen.

I don’t have room to complain about how the prevailing demand around these games was to “get with the times” and adopt the growing standard of 3rd person open world design, because I was definitely one of those people in the years after playing RE4. You don’t really appreciate the ingenuity of imposed restrictions until they’re gone and you’re left with something homogeneous and unremarkable.

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It doesn’t help that floating 3D cameras are still, objectively, pretty bad, despite the great strides made since the bad old days of the 3dfx/N64 era.

Not FFXII tho, which is why FFXII was the best.

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This is a lovely article, and underlines my small grief of when people talk about “finally” experiencing a game through a remake. It’s not that game, even if it shares its cast, story beats and locations.

This also goes for many other aspects of games, like control schemes. Of course in contrast to how RE4 changed its perspective, it controlled markedly different from what was rapidly becoming the “standard” third person shooter controls. Not all non-standard controls work great, but how they work can often reflect an aspect of how the developers thought of actions in their games.

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I second everything mentioned here!

While I am a fan of fixed camera angles, XII is also my favorite!