Product Type: Sony Playstation games
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Finally, the Final Fantasy 8 finale!!
Final Fantasy VIII (PS)
Member Name: Cassanova
Final Fantasy VIII (PS)
Date: 01/03/01, updated on 01/03/01 (343 review reads)
Advantages: Very atmospheric and a beautifully crafted game!
Disadvantages: Lacks realism and structure
This is the eighth instalment of one of the most famous and spectacular sagas. The last Final Fantasy was number 7, and was also on the Playstation (for those of don’t know).
Final Fantasy 7 is regarded by most, to be the greatest game of all time, even now.
As for myself, I can’t really decide. I think that it should be one of the greatest games of all time, as there are several others, i.e. Metal Gear Solid, Zelda 64: Ocarina of time etc…
But back to Final Fantasy 8.
After Final Fantasy 7, people were wondering what Squaresoft would decide to do next. Although many were in no doubt that they would continue the series, and also continue to utilise the Playstation.
It wasn’t long before pictures and details about the game emerged all over magazines and the Internet. It was to be a more mature game with real emotion. Two pictures were released, one of the hero Squall, and the other of a mysterious character called Laguna.
They both looked very different from Final Fantasy 7, more realistic and very feminine. Some people were shocked, while others thought maybe it could even out shine the last game.
I myself was waiting for more details, as you can’t make such big decisions based on such little knowledge.
Anyway, as more details emerged, the game appeared to have more detailed pre-rendered backgrounds, sumptuous FMV and would span an incredible four CDs!
The first time I played this game, was on a demo CD that I got, because I pre-ordered the game. I thought the introduction was good, but wasn’t quite as good as Final Fantasy 7’s.
The FMV before the game was very good, although I prefer Final Fantasy 7’s style of leading straight into play. The beginning of the game is actually quite good. I mean, although it’s very slow and calm, as opposed to Final Fantasy 7’s straight into t
he action, it’s very relaxing and beautifully done. The scripting for the game is no particularly original or clever, as you soon discover. Squall, the hero, is a typical Final Fantasy hero: moody and shy and doesn’t seem to have any emotion apart from anger. But later on he changes, which I think is actually quite a good development, especially as it takes him a long time. But the way people talk and the subject of romance and war is told with very little seriousness and deals with issues in a very light-hearted way. When people die, and very few do, the characters don’t appear to care all that much.
Also, you not only know that Squall and Rinoa are going to end up as the happy couple, but it seems almost like they would get together whatever happens. In Final Fantasy 7 things are done much better, I mean how people thought Aeris was going to DIE?!
Plus Cloud didn’t get Tifa either, as opposed to Squall who gets Rinoa with such ease.
I think the basic story just isn’t there. It’s basically about a sorceress who wants to, wait for it, take over the world! She isn’t particularly evil and you know you are going to beat here easily after the first fight with her. Plus, the story gets mixed up with it’s hero’s and enemies. At first Seifer could be the bad guy, then you realise that he is very puny and could never be the final boss. Next comes along Edea, but then she turns out to be Cid’s WIFE?!
Finally the boss turns out to be Ultimacia (not sure about the spelling!).
Some parts of the story, or maybe it’s the locations, are brilliant. Places like Fisherman’s Horizon and Winhill are not only beautiful, but have a great atmosphere and I wish that Squaresoft had made these places more important in the story.
Actually the presentation of the game is superb. The backgrounds are beautifully realised and detailed. The map screen is much better with
paths and trains and you get the picture!
The characters look tons better than Final Fantasy 7, being both more realistic and better proportioned (although they do look a bit too thin!).
They have real emotion on their faces, but because of the weak story, they fail to make you believe they are very real at all.
The music is very good also. The main song called “Eyes on you” is brilliant and really captures the moment in many occasions. The music in places like the Garden, Fisherman’s Horizon and many others is beautiful and relaxing.
The atmosphere of places like Esthar and the part when you travel into space is incredible. Parts of the game are brilliant.
What’s wrong with the game is that the general feeling of the game as a whole is not great. It leaves you with bits you want to expand or continue. Places like Deling city are, in my opinion, are boring and no way as amazing as places like Tomb of the unknown king, with it’s mysterious and beautiful look and atmosphere. Places like this have about ten minutes worth of story, and so you’ll never come back here, whereas places like Deling city, you have to go back there time and time again.
Luckily Squaresoft have changed this (mostly) with the creation of Final Fantasy 9.
Secondly, the characters are very well done, but are lacking real emotion or at least good scripting from Squaresoft. They develop very well in some places, while sometimes you can play for hours on end with nothing happening.
This game will last a long time though. It took me one hundred and four hours! That’s right 104 hours! Now I didn’t rush, so maybe I could cut that time down to about 80 hours, but that’s still very long.
There is a lot to do in the game, but again there aren’t very many secrets compared with Final Fantasy 7.
Which brings me to the point of Chocobos. In Final Fantasy 7 there was a who
le game of breeding, racing and using them to get loads of secrets. But in Final Fantasy 8, there is a Chocobo game that requires the purchase of a little accessory called the Pocketstation! Squaresoft, why? The Pocketstation isn’t ever going to be released in this country!
What a waste!
The battle system is also a mess. Squaresoft thought they would change the system completely round and then make it worse. Magic has to be drawn from the enemy and junctioned to the character. This means that you a) never use magic because it reduces the character’s strength, and b) means you must keep drawing it from the enemy.
To top it off, the magic doesn’t take much damage, so you never use it anyway. You just end up using the very long Guardian forces over and over again.
Plus, you can’t have as many items equipped as Final Fantasy 7 or 9. You also don’t have treasure chests and you can’t buy or find secret weapons. You can only make them. This is quite boring and takes forever as you must find countless items that are harder to find than Elvis!
This game is a lot like Final Fantasy 9, great but flawed. I myself think that Final Fantasy 9 is slightly better, but overall they are almost identical in quality.
A word to Squaresoft; think before you make a game, as you can’t produce a game like Final Fantasy in just over a year, and expect it to b as good as Final Fantasy 7 or say Zelda 64.
The best games take years, but don’t think that because a game takes years to make, it is brilliant.
Thank you for your time. I apologise if this opinion was very long, but as I said in the last opinion, you can’t explain something as complicated as this in a line!