One of the best-selling PlayStation titles of all time has finally made it to our shores: Final Fantasy VII, a massive success in American and Japan, has arrived just in time for Christmas.

The game features a storyline so complicated that it's incomprehensible to anyone without a degree in nuclear physics. It would appear that you control a member of a rebel terrorist group who used to be a soldier working for the forces of oppression. Or something. Leaving the plot aside, it's a role-playing game spanning three CDs and boasting more than 100 hours of gameplay in which you run around enormous locations talking to other characters and killing baddies. In its format, it most closely resembles Zelda on the SNES but is much darker and more cinematic than Nintendo's game. The rendered environments are extremely realistic and the action is punctuated by animated scenes which keep the plot ticking over.

It's compelling stuff and really challenging, but is let down somewhat by the fight sequences. For instead of tackling your enemies in a straightforward beat 'em up fashion, you have to use a menu system to select your desired weapon and target. Then, having dealt your opponent a blow, you have to suffer an irritating wait as your character recovers.

Final Fantasy VII could have been one of the greatest Playstation titles of all time, but for the battle system. Nevertheless, it looks great, is dripping with atmosphere and will last for weeks.

On release, pounds 44.99

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