Final Fantasy VIII - Review

Final Fantasy 8 Review

By: JKA2545

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 3
   Interface 6
   Music/Sound 8
   Originality 4
   Plot 6
   Localization 6
   Replay Value 2
   Visuals 8
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

40 hours


no bylines

   Final Fantasy 8 was released in September 1999, the eighth chapter in the long running and highly successful Final Fantasy series by Squaresoft. It was extremely hyped and anticipated by gamers all over the world. I would like to explain what was good about the game and the many bad points that I believe crippled the game.

   At the beginning of the game, Final Fantasy 8's battle system seems new and fresh, but you soon get past that and realize it's almost the same as Final Fantasy 7. Sure, there were some differences like GF's gaining levels and limit breaks at random when youâre hurt, but once you get past the pretty graphics, this is so much like FF7 it's frightening. About halfway through the games the battles had become tediously repetitious, and I was bored out of my mind. It was horrible, I only did them because if I didn't I would be too weak to complete the game. I thought the battle system was a redone Final Fantasy 7 system hidden under pretty graphics.

   One of the few very good things in this game was the music. I enjoyed the fast paced battle music, while the boss music sounded perfect. From the overture to the beautiful "Eyes on Me", the music in FF8 was very good. The sounds were also a great improvement from FF7. I thought the sword slashes and punches just sounded much more realistic. The good sound and music both contributed to the game overall, but were not enough of a redeeming factor for me to truly enjoy the game.

Cloud wannabe?
Cloud wannabe?  

   Now, Final Fantasy 8 was not extremely original. As I said earlier, the battle system looks way too much like FF7. The new Magic system, with drawing magic, was a first, but I hated it and I hope Square doesn't use it for FF9. From walking around on the world map to flying in an airship, this game looks way too much like FF7 to be very original. Actually, FF7 wasn't very original either, nor were most any of the Final Fantasy games. But I would have to say Final Fantasy 8 didn't have much originality.

   The plot in FF8 was well done in many respects. It flowed almost seamlessly through the game. I say almost because there were a few parts I could not understand. For instance, you'd be flying around and all of a sudden someone would suggest going somewhere, for no apparent reason other then the fact that you need to go there for the plot to progress. You don't know why your going, you just know that you need to go and I believe that hindered the plot a bit. All in all a decent plot though.

   I thought that the translation in FF8 was decent. Not great, but it was an improvement over some of the past FF games where there were entire parts of the game I couldn't understand because of the bad translation. This was amended in FF8, as I could understand most of what was said. But within the game, I think to make it more suitable for a North American audience, I think they should have switched all the Japanese letters within the game to english so we can understand what some signs say instead of just passing them by because of the Japanese symbols.

   Now, after I beat Final Fantasy 8 for the first time, I kept it. Why? Because I own every FF game, and there was the small chance that I may one day want to play it again.

Mwahaha, I control the subtitles.
Booyah! Lookit them there graphics!  
But I will probably never play it again because I did not enjoy the game like I enjoyed some other games, like Lunar: SSSC and Star Ocean 2. The game was simply not very fun. And why would I play a game for any other reason then for an enjoyable ride?

   But no matter how bad the actual game play elements were, I can't argue with the fact that FF8 had some spectacular visuals. From your first view of the city of Esthar to huge deserts with shifting sand to looking out of a space station to the great FMV, FF8 had some great visuals, which were probably the very best parts of the game. FF8 was a great game to watch, which is not to say that this take away from the fact that I didn't enjoy it, but it sure did look great.

   Now, if you are looking for good graphics and don't care about game play and plot and other things then by all means buy Final Fantasy 8. But if you are more interested in plot, game play and fun factor then I plead with you, go out and buy Xenogears, or Vanguard Bandits, or a lot of other games, but not Final Fantasy 8. Don't say I didn't warn you.

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy