18 August 2012

Finally! The Seventh Fantasy (IV)

If you've been following this feature, you know that I haven't played enough Final Fantasy VII to pass any judgement on its overall quality, and yet today I feel confident telling you that anyone who claims this is the best game ever made - and there are plenty who would - is patently wrong. Look! I have proof!

In this scene we have some manner of control console with three stations, and the buttons at these stations must all be pressed simultaneously. Barret and Tifa automatically press their buttons, while the player is left controlling Cloud, who must match their timing. There is no real indication of when Barret and Tifa will move, and precision required is ridiculous. Hit the button a tenth of a second too early or too late, and Tifa will reprimand you and tell you to try again. Unfortunately, the button used to skip through dialogue is the same button used to make Cloud act, so when you're on your ninth attempt, and you're mashing your controller, frustrated by the text scrolling across your screen once more, it's all too easy to keep pressing until you've triggered another early button press. Ugh.

What is the point of this segment? There is nothing remotely enjoyable about guessing the correct time to press a button. There is no consequence for failure except having to try again. It doesn't develop the characters, world, or plot. It's a moment of sloppy, needless frustration with no purpose, and I hope it doesn't indicate anything about the rest of the game.