I am a massive fan of the final fantasy series and am into all of them but this is by far the best one they have created so far. It's a brilliant concept to go into the past of final fantasy 7 and show you more depth into the remaining characters and explain why things were.
It begins with a similar beginning to final fantasy 7 to reignite those well known feels of excitement and wonder. You are immediately shown the most well known character from ff7, Sephiroth who could easily win best baddie of any game of this century! The new characters are well thought out, the voice acting is amazing (unlike some other games I could mention) and overall you get the feeling this game has in no way been rushed. Even 'unimportant' conversation between characters is witty and inventive. I've never laughed so much while playing a game. Zack is very funny, and also charming, you can see why Aerith fell for him.
It takes you the beginning of Soldier, shows you the most important 1sts and perhaps the greatest soldiers there ever were. You are there at the beginning of Clouds journey and there at the end of others. You witness the love blossom between Zack and Aerith and (if you've played FF7) see some very similar scenes that once included Cloud. All the way through this game you get the sinking feeling that you have seen this, but that's the point. We get the full story, from another perspective so we understand all the story, we see that some characters were not always good and others weren't always bad. The ending is worth waiting for, it's powerful, emotive and is the final link.
Well for the past couple of months this game has been my everything, so to all those who may complain about the length, they just haven't look hard enough. The missions are necessary to the game and are not there just to bulk it out. You develop characters, progress your strength and abilities while enquiring Gfs, magic and items that are otherwise inaccessible. These are what make the game interesting after all! (Tip mission 7-6-6, magic pot, most annoying battle ever!)
I also must mention the new way of fighting. If like me, you were impatient in past battles, waiting for ATB bars to refill or simply waiting for your turn, you will love this. It has been simplified into a free for all, a raw fight. You still use magic and MP and can select items anytime you wish! Limit breaks and summons are also more random, they are controlled by a DMW reel that spins like a bandit, it you get 3 the same you're a winner, and receive a limit break or summon or 'special character' sequence (they're fun!). There are no upgrades for weapons, you use two, and only when the time comes will you receive the second! You also level up differently, no EXP, the game keeps a mental note of your progress and levels you up when necessary (its more often that you would expect!).
You can just choose to follow the game and move from chapter to chapter but if you explore, don't follow the natural flow and actually develop your own story, you will see some really magic moments. Questions like where Aerith got her bow from and why she wears pink may seem insignificant but are just some of the things you can discover.
The graphics are incredibly beautiful, the cut scenes make you long for more, even the Gfs scenes have been upgraded (Odins is by the best)! And Zack, the main man, is by far one of the best characters there has ever been. You will grow to love him very easily as he matures, overcomes challenges and is there for our very own Cloud.
This game is everything we have been waiting for, and more! I really can't describe it well enough, but even if you have never explored the world of Final Fantasy, this is a very good place to start!