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May 02, 2006 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-05-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

12 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Following t
By Chris Gaerig
Associate Arts Editor
In 1997, Square Soft released arguably
the best video game ever made: "Final Fan-
tasy VII." A turn-based role-playing game,
"FFVII" not only perfect-
ed the RPG format, but
also set the bar for gaming Final Fantasy
graphics and 3-D interac- VlI:Advent
tion. The series follow- Children
ing is as devout as it is
opinionated, but there is Sony
no doubt that the seventh
installment stands as one
of the Gospels of the RPG world. And it is
because of this legion that the game required
a follow up - albeit as a motion picture.
The game was revolutionary in several aspects.
Its battles occurred in signature role-playing fash-
ion, but it was how they progressed in tandem with
the storyline that made "FFVII" remarkable. The
use of magic (also known in the game as materia),
the imaginative weapons system and the presence
of "summons" (calling forth various creatures
to your war effort) neither waxed obnoxious or
became boring.
Even the game's world was carefully
planned out to ensure a near-limitless range of
possibilities. Traveling through the construct-
ed planet became not only fun and exciting,
but also essential to success in the game. But

he 'Fantasy'
all of this isn't why "FFVII" became so influ-
ential and successful - what set it apart from
all other games was its storyline, in particular
its mythology.
Without diverging into a 3,000-word essay
on the genius of the plot, "FFVII" is, on the
most basic level, a story of good versus evil.
In this case though, good is apart of evil. And
unfortunately for evil, good always wins. The
game explored the loss of a significant other,
self-doubt and several philosophical concepts.
What was most important for "FFVII" - the
seventh in a series of unrelated games where
characters and-plots are only developed for 40
hours - was the perpetuation of the myth: the
inability to destroy evil completely.
So how, after hours of engrossing plot devel-
opment, could Square Soft continue the story
that began in "FFVII" without destroying the
legacy of the game? After several subsequent
followups - none of which matched the excel-
lence of "FFVII" - the sequel to their master-
piece was released (in CGI, movie format no
less): "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children."
And now that the difficult task of creating
a fantasy world and believable characters was
finished in the game, director Tetsuya Nomu-
ra and the writers had open road ahead to cre-
ate "Advent Children."
The film is set two years after game leaves off,
with the same principal and supporting charac-
ters. Cloud Strife finds himself with teammate
Tifa Lockheart running a delivery service with a
plague (called "geo-stigma") spreading across the


Minty fresh breath for those intimate times.
planet - Cloud being one of the many infected.
With no cure in sight, Cloud has lost all hope
and frequently ventures out on his own in typi-
cal rogue fashion. Not until news that his nemesis
Sephiroth (the half-human he was cloned from)
may return does Cloud reunite with his friends
to fight the evil they thought they had destroyed.
Needless to say, intense, high-paced, gravity-
defying battle scenes ensue for the next hour.
"Advent Children" is beautifully directed with
tight cinematography: features you wouldn't
imagine are important in a film made com-
pletely with computer-generated images. Cutting

between flashbacks, previous scenes in the movie
and real-time events, "Advent Children" changes
rapidly enough to keep the viewer enthralled
But even though the cinematography doesn't con-
fuse, the continuation of the storyline is a little hard
to follow. Fortunately, included on the DVD is a brief
summary of the game, which helps to clear up any
gray spots. "Advent Children" is a gorgeous piece of
technological artwork and proves itself the only via-
ble way to follow its landmark predecessor.
Film: ****
Special Features: ***

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