The classic game generally known as the best game in the Final Fantasy Franchise! This Role Playing Game was originally released on the PlayStation and has since been spread across platforms (of which Steam seems currently the most accessible). The game follows protagonist Cloud Strife, a mercenary with memory problems who initially gets paid to join AVALANCE, A group of eco-terrorists who want to stop the world-controlling megacorporation Shinra from draining the life out of the planet. As the story progresses Cloud gathers allies and becomes more and more involved with happenings that effect the entire planet and that will lead him towards a fate that seems to follow him around. To face Sephiroth.
NOTE 1: Sequels and Prequels of the game are; ‘Before Crisis’, ‘Crisis Core’, ‘Dirge of Cerberus’ and the movie ‘Advent Children’.
NOTE 2: A HD remake of this game for the PS4 has been announced.
- Release date:
- January 31, 1997
How to play Final Fantasy VII
Being able to read the text in this game is an absolute must in order to play. The contrasts are good (and colours can be adapted by the player) which is a positive note but the letter type and relative size are always the same and for players with visual problems screen size will often decide of the game is playable here. Even in fights, the animations that are shown are handy but it is potentially possible to last through entire fights just by reading the messages. For movements outside of fights the surroundings are what the player needs to pay attention to and they are not always very clear. On the other hand, for actions outside of fights the player can use all the time they want to figure it out and focus. So, altogether this game’s visual accessibility has its ups and downs. The best tip that can be given to a player with this disability is to put all options on their ‘slowest’, to choose a colour contrast that suits you and to play it on as big a screen as possible.
The sound in this game is purely background and some small effects. All text in the game is written and even many of the sound effects are delivered with additional written versions of those effects. No problems in accessibility at all.
Easy to play once the player knows each button to use (joysticks are unnecessary and the pc version uses no mouse). Almost every button on a controller will have a function in this game (or, on the pc, a fair amount of keyboard keys) which makes it motoric harder to use. However most, if not all, of the time the player only has to use one button at a time. Also, the steam version at least gives the player the option of deciding the button configurations.
During fights the player is asked to use some speed in their actions but the amount of speed is not very high. Also, for the difficult fights the player has the option of building up their strength in the lesser fights where the controlling speed almost doesn’t matter. Another positive is that the player has multiple chances of retracting an action during the fight if they have selected the wrong one. When there isn’t a fight the player usually has unlimited time to do whatever it is they need to do, plenty of time to make the controls do what they want. At the points where this isn’t the case, doing badly makes it so the player gets lesser items but it doesn’t end the game. So, overall this game is fairly accessible for people with motoric disabilities.
The game assumes a lot about the skills and understanding of the player. Only the most basic tutorials are included in the main storyline. There are more detailed ones but those are in places where the player has to look for them. The game also has fairly advanced controls, fighting mechanics and options for ‘setting up’ the characters. It is possible to play the game while using these things only a minimal amount but it does make the actual gameplay harder. About the storyline of the game and the puzzles; these are not too complicated but decent understanding is necessary in order to play the game. If the player cannot complete a puzzle or understand what to do next in the main storyline there is no real way (in-game) around that. No ‘extra tips’ or tutorials beyond asking around with the NPC’s. The only sure thing to do when a player gets stuck because of lack of understanding is to check the internet. So in conclusion; the game was not made to be difficult exactly but it has a lot of things where someone with cognitive problems might become stuck.