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Final Fantasy VIII (PlayStation) artwork

Final Fantasy VIII (PlayStation) review

"The music is uninteresting for the most part (with the slight exception of a few good songs), and the graphics leave much to be desired. It can be fun at times, but most of the time the game seems like a chore."

What could've been the most exciting FF to date ended up being very disappointing. I waited on this game for over two years, and it failed me in just about every way.

The graphics are better than Final Fantasy 7's, but the overworld is choppier-looking and really needs a makeover. Sure the polygons are texturized this time around, but this doesn't make for too much of an improvement. I think it makes the graphics look dirty, especially in comparison with even Final Fantasy 7. At least in FF7, the graphics looked cleaner with all the texturized polygonal mapping. I think the graphics could have been much better, but they make good use of the Playstation's now-arcane architecture.

The music really isn't all that great either, especially compared to Final Fantasy gems of the past (such as Final Fantasy 4, 5, and 6). For the most part I would say the music and sounds are much better than Final Fantasy 7's, though. Balamb Garden has a nice song, and the battle scene music (although not all that inspirational) is sort of cool. I think the boss music is also good for an FF game. The boss theme reminds me of Final Fantasy 6's, which is pretty cool. It almost has a hypnotic sense to it.

The storyline is one of the main downfalls of the game. I don't think the characters are developed enough. And even though I didn't like the story to Final Fantasy 7 and thought the characters needed a little more work, this game made me think in the same way, but more so. The story isn't top notch, but many other areas of the game are an improvement to Final Fantasy 7. If you liked FF7, you may like FF8 as well.

The enemies in the game require too many hits, and the boss' HP's are skyrocketed. I don't think you're given enough power in this game, and you're practically forced to use Guardian Forces (Espers, summoning monsters) to defeat the enemies. They're great at first, but they're lengthy and after a while you may get tired of watching them. The challenge level is significantly decreased once you've got the summoning monsters' powers up, though.

The game is alright at times, but for the most part, it's boring and uninteresting. If you're new to the Final Fantasy series, then I suggest Final Fantasy Anthology, or buying a Super Nintendo (or dusting the one that's in your closet) and trying out Final Fantasy 2 (Super Nintendo) and Final Fantasy 3 (Super Nintendo). Those Final Fantasy games are gems. I have more fun playing those older FF games than FF8. Hopefully FF9 will be more fun.

Overall this game is a major disappointment, but it is, alas, an improvement in many ways to its predecessor (Final Fantasy 7). The music is uninteresting for the most part (with the slight exception of a few good songs), and the graphics leave much to be desired. It can be fun at times, but most of the time the game seems like a chore. If you can find this game cheap, then get it. Otherwise, save your money.

icelake's avatar
Community review by icelake (Date unavailable)

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More Reviews by icelake [+]
Final Fantasy Anthology (PlayStation) artwork
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I think the games could have been a little harder, just to make things a little more interesting. But games like Final Fantasy 8 that require many, many, many hits against the bad guys in order to defeat them make me appreciate this game's challenge level more.
The Granstream Saga (PlayStation) artwork
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Maybe this game was just poorly translated. The game is so linear, I don't think you really have a choice as to what you want to do (reminds me of the first 11-13 hours of Final Fantasy 7, where you're in that power plant). I literally want to scream while playing this game.
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It's also great for someone who doesn't want to get entangled in a more-complicated RPG like Lunar, with all the elaborate video sequences and character parts. This is a core RPG. It has most of the RPG elements without all the flash.


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