Final Fantasy VIII Review
Hello everybody, Shaun Meyers here to share my thoughts on Final Fantasy VIII by Squaresoft (Square Enix). I purchased this game on sale on Steam awhile ago so this review is for fun/practice.
Final Fantasy VIII follows the story of a rather anti-social young man named Squall. Squall is rough around the edges and he purposely pushes people away for fear of getting hurt. Squall is also a new recruit in a group called SeeD whose sole purpose is to defeat the Sorceress. Even though Squall refuses at first, he’s eventually put in control of SeeD in order to take down one of the sorceresses called Medea. The game becomes much more crazy as the game progresses and it takes Squall and his friends not only to the moon but also through time itself in order to defeat a Sorceress called Ultimecia who wields time magic whose ultimate goal is to compress time. The story starts off pretty sane but it quickly devolves into a very strange and otherworldly journey.
There was actually a lot about this game that wound up reminding me of the later game in the franchise, Final Fantasy X. Ranging from it’s soundtrack to it’s architecture and even the ending felt a lot like X.
The combat in VIII utilizes the active time battle system used in earlier Final Fantasy games but there’s some key differences in this one. The game allows you to use a draw ability to acquire magic abilities from enemies. As long as you have magic orbs, and the magic ability junctioned, you’ll be able to cast magic. There is a limit on how much magic you can acquire on each character so you’ll need to remove some to acquire more if you hit the limit.
The enemies that you face throughout the game scale to your level. This makes the game progress easily but at the time of release this wasn’t ass popular as the non-scaling enemies of the past games. I will say that this feature did cut down on grinding so you were able to play through the story without fighting an endless stream of monsters to progress.
Junctioning is a widely used tool in this game as well. You junction (Equip) your summons, called GF (Guardian Force) to gain improved stats and new abilities. Once a GF is junctioned you can then junction any magic orbs you have in various junction slots. There’s also an auto option to make junctioning quick and easy.
The game also features a card based mini-game called Triple Triad and there are a lot different challengers for you to defeat. You also acquire new cards to utilize in the mini game as you progress. There are other side quests and hidden objects for you to discover as well. Side quests are hidden pretty well and finding them will require a lot of exploration in each area.
There is one big downside to the PC version of this game and that’s the music quality. It’s much lower than the PS1 version so it doesn’t sound very good. You can remove this issue with a mod that changes the music to the PS1 version however.
There are a wide range of other mods that seek to improve the game as well with better character textures, improved world textures, improved enemy textures, a better UI, and more. You can find a list of them here: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=391096600
In the end I had a blast with this game and I’m happy that I finally gave it a proper chance. Squall may have been anti-social at the start of the game but he becomes a much more likeable character as the game progresses. The world it’s set in is also enjoyable as well and it features some rather dark enemy designs as well. If you’ve never experienced the game yourself, I highly recommend giving it a shot, it’s very good.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to read the review folks and I’ll be back with my next one soon, until then, happy gaming folks!
Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) out!
Final Fantasy VIII$11.99
Features of Interest
- Excellent Story
- Great Cast of Characters
- Fun Gameplay
- Tons of Hidden Side Quests and Objects to Find
- Switching Junctions Frequently Is Tedious and Slightly Annoying
- Soundtrack on PC is Poor Quality