Final Fantasy VII was one of those legendary games that redefines the standard of entertainment in modern life. With superb gameplay and an uncommonly rich plot, FFVII took the world by storm and secured the Playstation’s position as the dominant videogame console. Now, more than eight years after the game’s release, the fanbase is still rock solid, and in an unprecedented move Square Enix announced that it would make a direct-to-DVD movie sequel of the game. At last, the long delayed Advent Children has been released in Japan. So naturally, all of twelve hours later it was available for download with suspiciously excellent fan-made subtitles. Never one to get hung up on my morals, I have of course downloaded and watched the movie.In every sequel there is always the chance (and a fairly good one) that it will not do justice to the original. My friends, that is not the case here. Square Enix has more than delivered on the fans’ expectations. Two thumbs up. 10/10. Five stars and a bag of God damned fairy dust, this thing is amazing. Granted, it’s a fan service movie, and you’ll be hopelessly lost if you didn’t play the original game and get a good grip on the plot (though there is an extremely thorough plot summary available). The story, much like the original game, is about existential crisis and the end of the world (yay!). Again, it’s fan service, and it’s interesting that some of the characters who have upcoming games seem to get more screen time, but the story certainly doesn’t suffer for it.
Even if you can’t follow the story, or don’t care to, Advent Children still has plenty to offer. Stellar visuals, for one, representing incredibly effective use of the cutting edge of computer animation. You can type “Advent Children” into Google Images to get a sample, but still shots really don’t do this masterpiece justice. Your eyes will melt out of your head. This thing is retardedly beautiful, as in, your other cognitive processes will take a performance hit as your meager lump of a visual cortex struggles to process the scenes in front of it. The action is mind-bendingly fast and an absolute adrenaline rush to watch. All in all, it’s a tremendous thrill to see your favorite characters reimagined precisely as cool as you always knew they were. Come November, I know which DVD I’m buying.