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Two years after "Final Fantasy VII," a mysterious disease called 'Geostigma' plagues the planet, believed to have emerged from the body's response to foreign material introduced during the game's conclusion. Tormented by his past, former SOLDIER Cloud Strife chooses a secluded life away from his friends.

"Advent Children" is a story of forgiveness and redemption. This theme resonates throughout the film, allowing viewers to empathize with Cloud's struggle for absolution. As Cloud confronts a resurgent evil, we witness him grappling with his fears and past mistakes, a familiar struggle in our own lives.

The film captivates from its opening scene, with flawless character portrayals, impeccable CG graphics, and a stunning musical score that includes both new tracks and remixed classics. Battle sequences are intricate and varied, while familiar locations from "Final Fantasy VII" are vividly reimagined. The film masterfully blends action and visual splendor without losing sight of its central theme of redemption.

However, viewers unfamiliar with "Final Fantasy VII" may struggle to appreciate the emotional depth of "Advent Children." Critics might dismiss it as an overly-dramatic narrative with a sappy plot, saved only by its stunning visuals. But criticism is inevitable in any creative endeavor.

The question remains: did Square-Enix succeed? Undoubtedly, "Advent Children" surpasses "The Spirits Within" and exceeds all expectations. The film showcases the studio's extraordinary capabilities and honors the legacy of the beloved "Final Fantasy" franchise. Square-Enix's investment of time and effort in this project has indeed paid off.

Gameplay 4 / 5
Soundtrack 3.5 / 5
Replay Value 4 / 5
Storyline 4.5 / 5
4 / 5 Great!