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Top 5 Mini Games in Final Fantasy VII

The Final Fantasy series is no stranger to Mini games or including scenarios that change up the main gameplay style. From card games, to underwater sports games, to even learning lines for an Opera performance these diversions added variety to the main narrative. Final Fantasy VII took these ideas to another level and added a plethora of mini games that were either ingrained in the main story or fun extras to earn rare rewards. Here are the Top 5 best mini games to distract you from taking down Sephiroth:

1. – Midgar Motorcycle Chase (G-Bike) –

After the climatic battle with Rufus at the top of Shinra HQ the party escape Midgar by stealing a truck and being chased down the highway by Shinra guards. Cloud follows on a motorcycle and the player is tasked with protecting the truck and slicing through the Shinra attackers. While initially part of the main game, the player can play G-Bike again at the Gold Saucer later in the game earing points for taking down other bikes.


2. – Snowboarding (Icicle Inn) –

After obtaining the snowboard and map from the village at Icicle Inn, Cloud rides a snowboard down the mountain through various routes before landing in the Great Glacier. The paths you take result in where you start your trek through the Glacier. Later in the game Snowboarding can played at the Wonder Square in the Gold Saucer and Cid and Tifa can be controlled instead of Cloud. The player can compete in time trials and unlock different courses to race on.


3. – Battle Square and Speed Square Shooting Rollercoaster (Gold Saucer) –

Final Fantasy VII had its own amusement park known as the Gold Saucer that housed numerous mini games itself. Each different Square of the Gold Saucer had different events to participate in, such as partaking in the medieval play on the date with Aeris, Tifa or Yuffie (you skip the play if you win a date with Barret). Although the biggest attractions are the Battle Square where you fight a set number of battles with increasing handicaps imposed upon you to gain rare items like Cloud’s Level 4 Limit Break; Omnislash and the Shooting Rollercoaster which plays like an on-rails shooter where you rack up point for hitting targets.


4. – Chocobo Breeding and Racing (Gold Saucer) –

Your first encounter with a Chocobo will usually be when you can catch one to ride over the Marshes and avoid the Midgar Zolom or when you must come first in a Chocobo Race to win your freedom from Corel Prison. After that you can either bet on Chocobo Races or breed your own and ride them to win items and rewards. Chocobo Breeding is extensive and later in the game you can breed different colour Chocobos that have new abilities like crossing rivers and mountains to allow you to explore the World Map and find extremely strong Materia in hidden caves such as the Knights of the Round Summon and Quadra Magic.


5. – Tower Defence (Fort Condor) –

Once you have access to Fort Condor you can help the villages defend the giant Condor that has makes its home above the reactor on top of the mountain. It is played again in the main game to stop the Shinra from gaining the Huge Materia. It plays like a strategy tower defence game where you buy different soldier types and place them on the field to defeat and block the advance enemy troops.


What are your favourite mini games in Final Fantasy VII and how do you think they will be updated in the remake?


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Analysis of Gameplay Diversity and Mini-games in Final Fantasy VII

The experience of Final Fantasy VII has stayed with me for a number of reasons. It has a complex narrative, great atmosphere, interesting characters and an intuitive battle system. It shares these traits with many other well received RPGs and it’s why it’s considered one of the best of all time. Although there is another aspect of it’s game design that always gets me excited to replay this great adventure. More than any other RPG I have played, Final Fantasy VII was created with the knowledge that it is meant to be fun to play, and it’s reflected in the diversity of it’s gameplay and the addition of mini-games spread consistently throughout the main storyline.

The main character Cloud is on a quest of discovery and ultimately to save the world. With all the situations the characters get themselves in, it’s only natural to think that there would be room to provide unique gameplay options. Final Fantasy VII capitalises on this and provides plenty of opportunities to break up the standard RPG mechanics.

During the main storyline there are a few major sequences that could easily have been used as a concept to create a whole other game. Not only are these sequences fun and well designed, but they fit into the plot and are not just there as side missions. After infiltrating the Shinra HQ building and trying to escape from Midgar, Cloud steals a motorcycle and the remaining party members jump into a truck. Instead of just showing a FMV of the sequence, the player assumes the role of driving the motorcycle and having to fend of enemies on other bikes attempting to stop your escape. As you speed down the highway knocking Shrina soldiers off their bikes with your sword, it’s one of the most memorable events in the early hours of the game and it’s not even a gameplay style you would associate with the RPG genre.

As only a taste of things to come, soon you have to command an army in a tower defence simulation, later in the game when making your way done a snowfield, instead of just hiking down, you borrow a snowboard and use it to cruise down the mountain. After that, you pilot a submarine and have to locate and destroy the enemy subs. Not only do these changes to the gameplay formula keep the game exciting and fresh, but they help to add to the sense of adventure and action in the story. Smaller events also occur such as a having to sneak past guards, performing CPR to resuscitate a girl, pretending to be a soldier in a Shrina march and of course disguising Cloud as a woman to rescue Tifa in the seedy Wall Market. If you were really on a quest to save the world you too would get yourself into some extraordinary situations.

As if that wasn’t enough, one of the locations you visit along the journey is a giant amusement park known as the Gold Saucer. It has a collection of mini-games such as Chocobo racing and betting, an interactive roller coaster shooting game, basketball, arm wrestling, battle arena and more. You can easily spend hours here just trying to win prizes such as items, new equipment and materia.

While RPGs are known for telling fantastic stories and engrossing players in epic boss battles, at the end of the day we play games to have fun and it’s additions like these that can greatly increase the enjoyment of the journey. Since Final Fantasy VII not enough RPGs have included elements like these to expand on the standard formula of the genre.

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