Review by JHealy

"This is as good as it gets...."

We all probably have a good idea about what this game is about, so I really don't need to go into that. Let's just get to the actual ratings.

Graphics: 9.5/10

The graphics are absolutely beautiful! The characters are so well modeled that they are almost living (well, they look that way). Even the prerendered backgrounds are beautiful. The only graphic problems are the occasional blurring as you get closer (like when you first walk into to the first town, try to get over to the junk shop. The sign on top that says "Shop" blurs). Everything else is perfect.

Gameplay: 10/10

You can't ask for better gameplay. There are just so many things to do in this game. The battles are probably where you'll spend the most time, but you'll also spend a lot of time playing cards, riding trains, and carrying out missions, each of which is different. Therefore, the gameplay never gets repetitive.

Music: 9/10

The only reason I didn't give this a 10 is because most of it is remixed from Final Fantasy 7. Listen closely to everything but the battle music and you'll hear the resemblence. I'm not saying it's not good, just not original.

Innovation: 7/10

The only average thing about this game is innovation. Part of this is mentioned above with the music, but a few other things are copied from FF7 also. For example, Squall strikes me as being very similar to Cloud in character. Also, is it possible that you have Sephiroth in FF7 and Seipher in FF8 doing basically the same things? Consider that they both started out as friends to Cloud/Squall, then later turned and became the ultimate enemy. If someone from Square is reading this, I will let them know that NEW CHARACTERS ARE IMPORTANT!

Replay Value: 10/10

Though I haven't finished the game yet, I know that I already missed a GF or two, a few spells, and several Weapons Manuals. I am in disk 2 and I have yet to upgrade my weapons! Therefore, you just know I have to play again. And I will. That gets it a 10 in my book.

Overall, you're looking at an almost perfect game that lived up to the hype. Check out my other reviews for if you want to see a few overhyped games (like Metal Gear Solid and Pokémon). I give it a 9/10.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 04/07/02

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