Review by LegendaryFrog
For many, Final Fantasy VIII is viewed as the worst in the series, yet is held in high regards by others. Some view the modern fantasy as a god send, others a unholy damnation that should be destroyed and buired. I for one, do not view it as best in the series, only FF9 beating it out. FF8 is a very welcome change, but it still has it's problems that I'm not willing to forget.
Pre rendered backgrounds and FVM are not gameplay graphics. It's the polygon models. PSX is known to being us blocky and pixley models, but FF8 keeps it to a minumum, thank goodness. The only time it's glaring is in the overworld and when FMV is played behind the action. Characters show plenty of detail, and even blink during victory stances.
GAMEPLAY and DESIGN 7/10
First up, the Juctioning System. Players no longer have MP, but the ''draw'' magic to monsters and put it in stock. They can then use the magic, as long as they have the supply, and attach it to stats to inhance them. Junctioning ia a must, and to obtain new junctions, you must obtain the Guardian Force that enables them. Miss a important junction, and the game gets rough.
The problem with juctioning is the was it's introduced. Here's a slightly humourous scene depicting it:
Squall - I want to use magic
Magic Jucitoning Elf - Hi there! Junction magic spells to your stats to inflict some extra and elemental damage to your attacks and enhance your skills!
Squall - Wow. That will make fire enemies much easy to kill, with ice magic and all. Thank you, Magic Junctioning Elf! err, I mean... Whatever.
Magic Junctioning Elf - No prob!
3 disks later....
Squall - What? My attacks are only doing 50 damage when they sould be doing 500!
Magic Juctionojg Elf - Have you juctioned 100 Metor spells to Attack-J?
Squall - No, I only ahve 47 Fires....
Magic Juctionng Elf - Oh well! I gues your screwed! Bye!
The first time though, I relied on GF for damage, not worrying to learn juctions, assuming it was a added bonus if anything. I was wrong, and was forced to restart, becasue it was next to impossoble to learn the proper junction and obtain the right spells in that point in the game.
Spend the time drawing thousands of spells, and it's well worth it. All monsters and bosses are always at the same level as you, so leveling up is not nessisarsy at all, unless you want some extra stuff. Gil is earned automatcly, not from monster battles. Buying armor a snap because there are none. Weapons can be ungraded, but is more of a bonus if you do.
I'm a outspoken guy when it comes to graphics do not make the game. But a RPG is a story...so when they put FMV in back of action, it makes it like your watching a movie. Very cool.
Characters will be reviewd in the story section.
Juctioning = bad, contast levels = good, that Square tried something new = great.
FF8 has a MAGNIFICENT music score, but is perhaps lacking in the ''totally awesome'' tracks. I can count the number of tracks that I hum all the time on by right hand and some of my left.... (hmmmm) None of them are bad, but most cannot compare to FF 6, most of 9, or Chrono Cross. (ahhhh Chrono Cross...the best sound track ever...)
What Rocks harder than a Goron that just found a fresh crop of rock selion at Dodongo's Cavern? ''SeeDs'' is a excellent drum beat, and the introduction is comparable to ''One Winged Angel'' from FF7. ''Balamb Garden'' is nice and peaceful, and ''Mods de Chocobo'' is the best Chocobo theme EVER! (Mombo de Chocobo from FF5 comes close, though) ''Deling City'' and the Battle Theme are nice.... Other tracks, such as the invation of Balamb and assassination are excellent. The space theme is a homage to ''2001, and Space Odyssey,'' and ''Edea's Theme'' will keep you chanting all day long.
The game's main theme even had lyrics: ''Eye's on Me.'' while a love song, it has a great beat, and fits the ending cinima perfectly.
A love story. At it's core, FF8 is a love story. You may not realize it until the end, but it's all there...although I admit FF9 has a better love story.....ironic, isn't it?
Evil Sorrerous takes over capital city. mercenary group, Garden SeeD trys to stop her. Cid!..... she's not the real enemy!?!!?!? Stuff, stuff, end cridits. It's a VERY nice plot, but nothng compared to FF7. Expect plot turns and twist, mixed in with some of the best FMV and storytelling that Square has to offer. Oh.... and war is a good thing when it comes to fantasy, and FF8 does it very well.
The characters is FF8 are very realistic and likable. Nothing wrong with them......except......there far to realistic and normal. Sure, Selphie's your happy gal, Zell's your overacting cool guy, and Irvine's your loner..... it's a great cast....except....where's the weird stuffed Moogle or sexless cook? Ah well. I know a odd ball character would NOT fix the mood of the game, but it would have been nice to have a weird character. Some more diverse back history would have been nice as well.
FF8 has a interconnecting plot with a man named Laguna, which sometimes turns out to be more interesting than Squall (the game's anti hero) himself. Nothing wrong with that, but I think Squall should have been planned out a bit better.
Edea and Seifer turn out to be nice villains, with a slightly less nice final boss. It gets the job done, and besides a) Seifer is awesome and b) Edea dress has a very low cut collor. Raijin and Fujin are also nice lankys. ''RAGE!''
Good job on everything, but I prefer a goofy talking frog than a torubled school instructor.
Drawing, endless GF animations, somewhat flawed juctioning.
Modern fantasy a gripe? Heck no! I love it, but a little less realistic next time. (FFX doin` it right with a war between the fire and ice gods in a post apotolictic water world....I don't have a PS2.........)
or a 7...depending on how you play. A very nice effort with the juctioning system, but it fell short. A very worthy addition to the series. After 7 and behind 9 as favorate in the PSX series. Don't let any body fool you, FF8 is well worth the 20 bucks you pay for it. I leave you with these words:
Rock on Zell, hope you find some hot dogs soon.
Selphie, take some Ridalin, will ya?
Quistis, well, at least you have your looks to fall back on
Irvine, I hope you get a date soon.
Rinoa, don't quit your day job.
and Squall, learn a bigger vocabulary.
One of those ''Where are they now?'' Epilouge they have at the end of collage movies would fit perfectly here....
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 11/18/01, Updated 11/09/02
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