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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Computer Graphics > Videogame > Final Fantasy VII – Advent Children: Limited Edition Collector’s Series

Final Fantasy VII – Advent Children: Limited Edition Collector’s Series

 

Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B     Feature: C+

 

 

Final Fantasy began in the simpler days of Nintendo as an early videogame franchise, but it has become so successful and unique in the very crowded videogame field, that it has survived and grown in ways that is rare in that industry.  Essentially a Fantasy genre anthology series with touches of other genres where applicable, Sony and Columbia Pictures thought it so popular that they spent a mint to release a theatrical all-CG epic back in 2001.  However, it was a huge bomb and that was the end of the big productions.

 

A few years later, as CG animation became less expensive and the franchise rolled along without any trouble, Sony and Square Enix decided on another feature and the result was Final Fantasy VII – Advent Children in 2005.  To its advantage, the characters look more naturalistic, Science Fiction is not being marginalized as it was with Final Fantasy VII – The Spirits Within and the outright Fantasy story is more like the material they should have went with back in 2001.

 

A city named Midgar is a wreck after ugly options to bring peace were exercised, but no one could have expected the viral plague that was about to kill without prejudice.  This gives the extremists new ammunition for war and Cloud, who left this "wild west" situation because he knew how wrecked it was, may just get involved again whether he likes it or not.

 

It is a formula story, but at least it is nicely done on its videogame level.  The speed of memory seems better here than in the 2001 production, but the best speed in the world will not change a style that this critic is no fan of.  This set is for fans only, especially with the extensive added goods included.

 

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is a little soft, but that turns out to be the style of the series, as demonstrated by the previous feature film.  Color is limited, but the presentation is good enough to show that softness is the style and not a problem with the transfer.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is about the same in all three language options (English, Japanese, French) with surrounds towards the front channels when the soundfield surfaces.  The combination is fair, but nothing too exciting.

 

Extras from the two-disc set include a nice box that has the novel (72 pages) with side stories of each character), the screenplay in English (112 pages) and 10 postcards, all the size of the DVD case.  DVD 1 has reminiscence of the story digest, while DVD 2 has deleted scenes, sneak peek at the next videogame in the series, trailers for this release, a making of featurette called The Distance with English voice actors included, Venice Film Festival Footage connected to the title and a new Animé feature Last Order, Final Fantasy VII.

 

That is an amazing package of goods for fans, even if they bought the more basic previous release.  Even with the franchise marching on with all kinds of memorabilia and releases, this is a desirable version fans and collectors might not want to ignore.  Rarely do you see any DVD set this upscale.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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