Final Fantasy VIII Review
Here it is, the latest installment in the Final Fantasy series, the most awaited video game in history, and it's finally here. The Final Fantasy series was always the most dominant RPG series, mostly because SquareSoft is behind it. I really think Square has outdone themselves, mixing gorgeous graphics as well as killer gameplay they have delivered the game of the millennium.
If you thought FF7 had great graphics you have seen nothing yet. Final Fantasy 8 definitely delivers the greatest graphics I have ever seen. The environments are gorgeous and are breathtaking, everything from the walls to the objects lying around and to the sky itself. Also this time, instead of the deformed characters walking around, you now have regular sized character(s) who actually have necks and regular sized arms. Let's not forget the summons that are known as guardian forces in FF8. When a Guardian Force has been summoned you have to brace yourself and prepare for some of the coolest looking special effects.
As usual the gameplay is always the most important aspect of any game, and Final Fantasy 8 delivers one mighty fine blow in that category. The game's concentration is mainly targeted at romance, but FF8 still packs a lot of action, so don't get discouraged. Now there have been many changes in FF8 from the previous Final Fantasy title, everything from the Summons and Materia to the story.
This game doesn't have Materia anymore, it now uses Guardian Forces, which can be obtained by defeating the guardian force. Ifrit will be the very first one you get, he is obtained by being fought against. (Hint: Use Ice attacks against him) The stores where you purchase Guardian Force Handwritings are called Pet Shops. You also have the ability to rent cars, fly spaceships etc. If you want to learn more on the way Guardian Forces work, either check the manual or take a look at the excellent demonstration in the game. The game also has a junk shop. A junk shop is a shop where you bring broken parts that you have found from an object, and they will try to upgrade your weapon with them.
The sound still remains very close to the quality of FF7's, but that isn't a bad thing. I actually hoped that Square would still use the sound engine from FF7, because I really like the way the tunes sound. The game also supports Dolby Surround Sound, adding more realism to the game, if you have the proper equipment. Sound effects are very good and sound very realistic.
The control is very easy, nothing to learn, just pick up and go. If you want to, you can customize your controls by opening the menu screen and scrolling down to "config". The Dual Shock is used very nicely in this game, I like the way it vibrates, not too hard nor too soft, just perfect. The Analog also works, push the analog stick a little bit to make your character walk normally, push it all the way to make your character run.
And finally the replay value, well since the game contains 4 CDs, around 100 hours of gameplay, an hour of motion captured CGs, PocketStation support and more. This sequel should last you anything from a month and up, depending on your experience with Final Fantasy games and the time you have available to spend for this game.
Well Final Fantasy 8 definitely does not leave a bitter taste in my mouth. All I want to know now is when Final Fantasy 9 is coming out.