Review by Fin_Obelius

Reviewed: 11/26/07

A sequel that surpasses Final Fantasy 7.

The sequel to the critically acclaimed Final Fantasy 7 has finally been released. After playing FF7, this game should be better, no? This is probably why gamers think this game is either hit or miss. As for me, this was one of my most favorite games, but quite a crowd disagree. "Of course it sucks, it's worse than FF7 in all of its glory."

You play as a loner named Squall Leonhart, who resides in Balamb Garden, a training facility and habitat for SeeDs (Special mercenaries). You go on training missions to prepare for the final test to become a full fledged SeeD. Although this seems uneventful, it is just a way for the game developers to pave the way for a great story. This game is a love story but it's not mooshy-mooshy. Rather, it is imperative for there to be a love story to progress the story. This game also suffers from some bad plot twists, but I still enjoyed the game and storyline immensely.

Before delving into the details, I would like to mention that the gameplay is fun and creative,. but unfortunately, it is broken and flawed as well. This game uses ATB gauges to determine whose turn it is. (ATB is just basically a meter that empties when you execute an action and when it refills to max, it will be your turn again.) However, it would be wise to perform your actions quickly as it is possible for your opponents to attack even during your turn. It all depends on its ATB gauge. An important part of FF8 is its Junction System. It heavily relies on the use of magic and summons (called GF in this game, which means Guardian Force). Firstly, you are capable of (forcefully) procuring magic from your opponents. The strength and rarity of the spell depends on what kind of opponent you are combating. You can use that magic you received for a variety of sources. You can use it to empower a stat, use it offensively on a opponent, etc. etc. The second thing that the Junction System takes advantage of is the summons- GF. It can be 'assigned' to any member of your party you wish. GF can offer you special bonuses to your stats and offer special moves, as well as their own summon. Therefore, it would be efficient to get as much different magic and GF as you can.

Triple Triad
What is Triple Triad, you ask. How shall I put it?- It is simply the best minigame ever. Devilishly simple and addicting as blazes, T3 will consume long hours as you try to collect every card in the game. And this isn't a simple matter as there are unique cards based on the residents of the world of Final Fantasy 8. In fact, I think this game is big enough to be its own game, as almost everyone in the game plays T3. Truly one of this game's true gems. Although completely irrelevant to the plot, it rewards your hard work by being able to refine your cards into expendable items used in battle or to create weapons. Before you do this, you have to teach yourself the ability.

A incredible improvement from Final Fantasy 7. The only drawback is that the pixels in this game is a little messed up. Also, you cannot see facial expression except in the FMVs. Even so, this is still an astounding effort on Squaresoft's part. The part that really impressed me were the FMVs, as they are probably the best that have ever been done in a PS1 game. Even today, some of the scenes in FF8 is considered to be the best. it's just simply incredible.

This game, in my opinion, surpasses FF7 in almost every way except the gameplay. if you consider yourself a gamer, you should buy this game to witness the masterpieces that Square made in its golden age. Complemented beautifully with its revolutionary graphics, awesome card game, and innovative gameplay. Just what you would expect from Square, the story has plenty of twists and turns to keep up intrigue. Back to the point, this is a wonderful game that hardcore gamers shouldn't miss.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Final Fantasy VIII (Greatest Hits) (US, 12/31/00)

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