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Developer:
Square Enix
Publisher: Sony Home Entertainment
Platform: DVD, PSP
Release Date: April 25, 2006

by Jason Ferguson




The wait is over for Final Fantasy VII fans. With the release of Advent Children, we finally have a continuation to one of the most popular RPGs ever! The fact that itís in the form of a movie rather than a game might be a disappointment to some, especially considering that the last Final Fantasy movie stunk! However, I can definitely say that this movie is better than The Spirits Within, and should at least satisfy fans for a while.


I donít want to give too many storyline details away, because instead of the normal 50-hour-long video game, weíre looking at a couple-hour-long movie, and I donít want to spoil it. Anyway, here goes: A few years after the events of Final Fantasy VII, the world becomes infected with a mysterious disease. Meanwhile, Cloud has run off in seclusion as he battles his inner demons. Suddenly, Cloud is contacted by Rufus, the former Shinra president, who requests Cloudís assistance in protecting him from a new threatÖ Kadaj! The mysterious man named Kadaj and his brothers are searching for their ďmotherĒ and will stop at nothing to find her. They believe Cloud may know where to find their mother, and as their vile scheme unravels, the heroes of Final Fantasy VII must once again unite in order to save the world!


Thatís really all I want to say, because going too much further could give away information that some readers might not want to know. I will say that the plot is fairly predictable, and not horribly deep. However, itís enough to tie things together, providing gamers a chance to see more of their favorite RPG characters and giving Square Enix an excuse to make a movie. Although most of your favorite FFVII characters will make an appearance at some point in the film, you unfortunately wonít get to see much of anyone aside from Cloud and Tifa. Barrett, Red XIII, Cait Sith, and the gang are all largely ignored. Vincent, who wasnít even a required character in FFVII, has a larger role than the previously mentioned party members, and even worse, cell phones were featured in the film longer than any of them! Heck, there were times (especially the first half of the movie) where I wasnít sure if I was watching Advent Children, or a really high-budget cell phone commercial.


Realistically, the story in Advent Children was probably its weakest point, which is a shame because it was one of the strongest points in FFVII. Watching this movie, itís immediately obvious that itís a bunch of flashy fan service, with high production value but not a lot of depth. Still, the rest of the movie manages to make up for it, and the storyline shortcomings will probably be forgiven by FFVII fans who are desperate for a sequel. Hopefully we can get a better storyline in the upcoming FFVII spinoffs, such as Dirge of Cerberus. While it might be somewhat of a disappointment in the story department, it's still a fun little ride. As long as you aren't expecting anything mind-blowing, and you can deal with some predictability, you won't be too disappointed with the story.


Aside from the chance to see some of your favorite RPG characters (and YuffieÖ) back in action, Advent Children also provides some really cool action sequences that are sure to take your breath away. The fights are simply amazing, and although certainly over the top, will be sure to please the most die-hard action fan. If you like films like Hero, The Matrix, or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, then the battles in this will be to your liking!


Needless to say, Advent Children looks beautiful, which fans have come to expect from a Square Enix product. Advent Children provides great character models that seem to come to life on screen! Although FFVII had great graphics for its time, it was sort of hard to really get a good impression of what the characters looked like during gameplay because it was so blocky. Advent Children recreates those beloved characters with the highest level of detail! Considering the quality of the graphics and the overall coolness of the fighting scenes, this movie may even appeal to those not familiar with FFVII.


The voice acting is of very good quality. Itís not exactly a star-studded cast, but Advent Children proves you donít need superstars in order to have a good film! The dialogue is up and down at times, but the quality of the voice talents is still there.


The music is really great, and is reminiscent of the FFVII game. Youíll hear a lot of familiar tracks. However, there were moments where the music just didnít really seem to fit, and almost seemed intrusive. Still, itís some really high-quality stuff here, and fans of Nobuo Uematus will find Advent Children worth watching for the soundtrack alone!


So, does Advent Children live up to the hype? Not really, but when youíre the follow-up to FFVII, youíve got a lot to live up to! Still, itís a must-see for fans who want a glimpse at what happens when the game ends. However, I suggest it as a rental.


Final Grade: 78%




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