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game club

Play Final Fantasy VII With Us In Our New Game Club

by Tim Turi on Jan 22, 2016 at 10:01 AM

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Update: Winners have been selected! Check your "Conversations" inbox on this website to see if you won! If not, we encourage you to play along with us anyway! 

For some time, members of the Game Informer staff have wanted to organize a game club so that the entire Game Informer community could play something alongside one another. We're pleased to officially announce the GI Game Club. The goal is to not just play a classic – in this case the PlayStation JRPG phenomenon Final Fantasy VII – but to also examine certain aspects of games and present our findings for discussion on the podcast and website. Our Game Club can't exist without you, the GI Show listeners/viewers, playing in tandem with us and writing in your comments and insight. To help kickstart the GI Game Club, we're starting off by giving away 20 codes for FF VII on PlayStation 4 and PC.

We chose Final Fantasy for several important reasons. First and most importantly, it's one of the most groundbreaking RPGs ever created, and for many of us it cemented our love for the genre. Secondly, Square Enix is in the process of creating the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII remake, which had been a thing of myth and rumor for many years leading up to its official reveal during Sony's E3 2015 press conference. Lastly, now is a perfect opportunity for those of us who haven't completed the game in years and those of use who have always meant to play it to join up and have some fun dissecting it. Together with the GI community, we aim to examine how FF VII stands the test of time, innovates on the genre as of its release in 1997, and how it might influence our excitement for the FF VII Remake. Even better, the PC and PS4 versions of FF VII include features like switching random battles off and increasing speed to smooth off the edges of the grind in case you need them to keep up.

Our first Game Club discussion will air on episode 284 of the GI Show Podcast (Thursday, February 4), which gives us all two weeks to play up until the same point in the game. For the first "chapter" of our discussion, we should aim to team up with Avalanche and fight our way out of Midgar. Once you hit the open world, save and put down the controller (if you can). We'll follow up with subsequent discussions about the latter sections of the game in the coming weeks.

Be sure to keep a notepad handy to record any observations, criticisms, or questions you think could spark discussion during the Game Club segment of the GI Show. For the first GI Show Game Club session, consider the following discussion topics and questions, but also feel free to share your own insights and perspectives. If you can, recruit some friends to join in on the conversation, and discuss the game together.

  • The developers go out of their way to layer in a fiction about the history and lore of Midgar in the opening hours. What are some of most imaginative aspects of the setting?
  • The reactor assault is often cited as one of the most iconic and memorable opening gameplay sequences ever. Why?
  • Do you care about the members of Avalanche?
  • What are your thoughts on the surprising cross-dressing Cloud sequence? If you’re replaying after many years away, does it feel different now than when you first played the game?
  • Final Fantasy VII combines pre-rendered backgrounds and 3D character models. What’s the visual effect as a player? In the context of a 1997 RPG, what advantages did this process provide to the developer?

Email your thoughts/questions to with the subject headline "Game Club: Final Fantasy". Remember, the GI Show Game Club can't succeed without your participation! For more information about our ongoing Game Club, read our introduction post.

We'll be giving away Final Fantasy VII codes in the comments below. To qualify, post your favorite FF VII memory or a detailed reason why you want to play it and we'll send 20 lucky GI community members a Direct Message on this website with a free download code while supplies last!