Review by Grand_Gamer_n1
Don't believe all the lies surrounding this game. Read this for a accurate review.
If anyone happens to come here anymore to the review section, then hopefully they will see this. If not, then ahh well. I wanted to write a review for this game because I'm getting sick of the lies that seem to circle this great game. You see all sorts of reviews on Youtube, and believe me, they're wrong. The game was great, better than that overrated game called Final Fantasy 7.
Here is where people start to get disappointed I guess. Many people did not like the fact that the game revolved around a love story instead of saving the world, which in my opinion there are too many of already (saving the world games). You follow Squall, a quiet youth who likes to keep things to himself, travels around to various destinations with his teammates as they fulfill their duties as Garden Mercenaries. The game takes you to all sorts of locations, meeting plenty of new people during the process, taking you to a quiet town, to a big city, and even to outer space (something that many Final Fantasy's never done, yet people still find the need to whine about it). You explore a vast world, unlock memories that the teammates had forgotten, among many more things. The story is great, mind you it does get silly sometimes, but very enjoyable
This is what the disappointment focuses on apparently. They used a new system for this game called the "Junction" System. It's a very easy system that's easy to learn, and when you use it to it's fullest, can leave your characters powerful enough to take on any enemy.
See, here's the thing. Once you get these creatures called "GF" or Guardian Force (Summons, Espers, Aeons, ect), you can equip it onto a character of your choice. Just make sure that you remember what GF you equip on who, since that GF will be easier to use on whoever equips it the longest. After you equip that GF, it gives you a variety of abilities. These abilities include raising your Attack, Magic, Agility, ect. It won't upgrade them automatically though, you have to equip magic in those slots. Magic can be obtained multiple ways...
1) Drawing it from a Enemy
2) Drawing it from "Draw Points"
3) Changing items/cards into magic (Using GF abilities that are gained later on)
If you equip magic onto your HP or whatnot (as long as certain GF supports it), will raise it up. This is both Good and Bad though. The good part about it is the fact that you can equip maybe 100 fires onto your health, making it raise up even more. The bad part about it is, is the fact that if you use magic to win battles, you'll want to use your best magic. And since your best magic is being used to increase your HP, if you use it, you're HP will drop the more you use that magic (not by much though).
The Junction system also allows you to equip certain magics such as Sleep and Poison to your weapon, so striking an enemy may cause one of the two! You can also equip Magic like Sleep to increase your percentage of being immune to Sleep (if you raise it to 100%, then no way can a enemy cast sleep on you!) Overall, the Junction system isn't that hard to learn. Like I said, it's easy, but it might take some time getting used to.
I just want to point out one more thing about this real fast. Like I said, this is, for some reason, the center point of all the hate for the game. People complain that drawing magic takes too long, and that they hate drawing magic like that... those people are idiots, don't listen to them. Drawing Magic doesn't even take that long to be honest. When you draw magic from a monster, it doesn't draw just 1 magic at a time. Usually, it ranges from 1-9 per draw, and depending how much you draw, the chances of drawing increase (Irvine would almost always draw 9 magic spells everytime for me). Then, they also complain that you have to keep selecting the draw command every time you want to use it... they are also wrong on that too. You can go into the options menu, and you can set the cursor on to "Memory". This remembers your last action you took in battle, and leaves the cursor to select whatever you did previous. That mean, if you want to take the time to draw, just hold down the button, and it does it automatically. Sure, you might have to spend maybe 5-10 minutes doing this, but nobody said you have to get 100 of that certain magic. The game is very muchly playable without drawing tons of magic... hell, it's playable if you don't even draw magic at all! Those people who complain about that are ignorant. They don't like playing a challenging game, they'd rather take all the easy ways out, and since it takes a while, they don't like it.
Also, one more thing to point out, you don't have to play the Triple Triad card game. I just played the game just the other day, and I didn't play the card game once, and I played through the game just fine.
The controls are fine. For the PC, they might get a bit confusing, since you're either using a game pad or a keyboard. You can place the keys to whatever button you want to, and after you get used to it, it's fine. All the keys are plainly labeled; it's obvious that the "Trigger" button is used for the Trigger command during limit breaks, so there's no confusion there.
Wow! They're wonderful! So much better than Final Fantasy 7, but you really can't blame FF7 though; It was the first generation of polygons, so I credit them for the attempt. The only bits of graphics that are painful to look at is the world map. Even with a great 3D card, the world map still seemed to frame skip, but since nothing really important goes on in the world map, it didn't bother me a bit. If you use Direct 3D hardware acceleration, it looks wonderful! Even if you use Software Acceleration, it still looks great (it resembles the Playstation graphics if you have that setting).
For the PSX, they were great, but for some reason, they were dumbed down for the PC version. The final boss music wasn't as impressive, but it's still livable. Overall, the music was great.
Please, don't listen to the lies that surround Final Fantasy 8, because that's what they are. I'm not trying to change anyone's opinion here though, if you didn't like it, you didn't like it. There's not one game or movie that everyone likes, but that's life. You'll either love this game, or you will hate this game. I, personally loved it. If you can get through some parts of the story that are just silly (or annoying parts like some parts of the space portions), then you'll find a very nice game I believe. Just give the game a chance, and learn to have a little patients. Remember, a little patients goes along way.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Final Fantasy VIII (US, 01/25/00)
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