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Final Fantasy VIII (PlayStation)

89
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  MasterMegid (900)
Written on  :  Sep 30, 2006
Platform  :  PlayStation
Rating  :  1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars

3 out of 22 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Some One Get Square A Dictionary Because They Clearly Do Not Know What "Final" Means

The Good

In 1999, SquareSoft, released Final Fantasy VIII, perhaps the most controversial incarnation of the series, as for many Final Fantasy fans it was an insult of a game. I know many FF Fans that now hate the series because of FFVIII. I did not pay the game much mind as in 1999, I did not own a PlayStation, I was far to busy playing my new Dreamcast, and my PC. It would not be until several years later until I would play the game. It is a little better than FF7, but not by much.

In FF8, you are Squall Lionheart, a rude little shit. That people are drawn to for some reason. If being antisocial is so cool, how come I am not more popular? Anyhow, you are a student at the SeeD Academy. Where the teach kids to become warriors. Not unlike Harry Potter. The games plot starts off well enough, despite a prick for a protagonist. About 5 hours or so into the game it takes a most displeasing turn. More on that later.

Also good, are the Graphics. The characters of FF8 are large and well detailed. And for the first time in the series do not change appearance in battle. The backgrounds look better than in it’s predecessor. They are more detailed, and more colorful. And often are animated. But the better graphics feel wasted on the often poor character design. Why did Square fire Yoshitaka Amano? His art used to be one of the best things about the franchise.

The Bad

On to the negative portion of my review. The opening video is just plain stupid. When Deckard wannabe, Seifer slashes down at Squall head, he would have taken his head off, not just left a little scar. Furthermore the plot quickly gets sour. Around the time you meet up with Rinoa, the love interest, that Squall seems to have contempt for. At this point you are on a train and assault it. This results in an idiotic mini-game in which you attempt to uncouple the train cars. It is very annoying. And almost resulted in me quitting the game right then and there.

I would like to say that the plot picks up, but it really never does. Often, you run around doing things, for reasons that are unclear. Many weak plot points abound. Such as why would SeeD, send children on a dangerous mission? The fate of the city rests of inexperienced youths? The plot of the two evil sorceress’ is just dumb. There is also what has to be one of the dumbest moments in video game history, when during a battle between two SeeD schools, Squall and Rinoa stop to have a chat when three feet away people are dying. Blood would splatter on Squall’s face and they would continue to chat. Furthermore the dialog is unimportant, and trite. This also almost made me quit playing the game.

The new magic system of FF8, is GF’S. This is one of worst magic systems ever conceived for a game. You equip these GF’S, and can learn skills from them as well as magic. There are no MP points in FF8, instead you must “draw” magic. No not with a pen and pad, but by sucking magic from foes and “draw points”. For instance you draw Fira, 5 times and you can use it 5 times. This makes battles incredibly tedious. And can make even the simplest battles last ten minutes. And considering you are attacked by invisible monsters every 10 seconds you spend about 75% of the game do this crap.

The GF’S also allow you to “junction”. This allows you to increase attack power, HP, etc. This system is flawed at best. For example say that you junction you attack power + 50%. Then you standard attacks even from weaker characters do about 8000-9000 HP damage, when summoning the GF only does about 4000-5000. WTF?

Limit Breaks are back and just as moronic as in FF7. This time to learn them, you must find magazines for a particular PC and have them use it. An interesting idea but a little silly. You have a limit break bar that must fill to be used, this often results in wasted Limit Breaks, and harder boss fights. Some limit breaks are interactive a nice touch, but take a little getting used to.

Also in FF8, you DO NOT WEAR ANY ARMOUR, this is very dumb. And instead of buying new weapons, you upgrade them, this in if it self would not be so bad if you did not have to find the materials, first. What kind of merchant makes you bring them the materials? That as if when you buy a house the carpenters make you bring them the lumber. Also making weapons is sorta like MacGyver, a turtle shell + a rock + a feather = a new sword…huh? Also the weapons are all lame. From “gun blades” to giant nunchaku?

The Graphics, while good, are often ruined by atrocious character. Take a look at Selphie, and Irving, and you will see what I mean. The monster designs are also bad.

The music is horrible. It just plain sucks. None of the music is memorable or often not even fitting the moment. It is God awful. And there is still not voice acting….WTF?

The Bottom Line

Overall, even many Final Fantasy gamers hate this one. But who knows others may like. As many non-FF fans do like the game. But there are so many better PS RPGS, I cannot recommend this one.