In light of the new remaster that has just hit the current generation of consoles, I figured I would talk about one of my favourite games from one of my favourite franchises .. Final Fantasy VIII!
I never actually owned this on the Playstation, but got this when it hit the Playstation 3, and I was simply enthralled. It is unlike any other Final Fantasy game that I have played with it’s unique junctioning system, where you enhance the members of your party by assigning the various GFs (Guardian Forces) to them, along with magic which you must “draw” from the monsters around the world.
As with any game in the series, the characters are all wildly unique in their own way, with a variety of weapons and personalities. The new remastered version brings us refreshed character models, so the party have never looked better!
The characters are in fact some of my favourite throughout the whole series – in particular, Squall Leonhart, Quistis Trepe, and Seifer Almasy. Squall is my favourite of all the Final Fantasy protagonists, and Seifer is a fantastic rival character in my opinion.
The character development that takes place as you progress through the story is very deep and emotional, though I won’t mention anything specific to avoid spoilers for the sake of the people who may not have played this game yet.
This is a long game, one that you will need to sink many hours into if you want to complete the story, let alone complete everything. The original Playstation version had 4 game discs as it was such a large game. There are lots of optional areas to explore, particularly in the second half of the game, lots of enemies to fight, cards to collect and card games to win, and there are GFs for you to find.
There are some interesting themes that are tackled in the story, personal growth, memory loss, love and fate, not to mention the controversial nature of a school dedicated to training teens to become an army of elite mercenaries!
The remastered version has actually added a few features that help you blitz through the story, which I would say have been added specifically for those of us who have already completed the challenge of the game, and simply want to experience the story again. There is a fast forward setting which allows you to play x3 times faster (but keeps the music at the regular frequency thankfully), a boost mode which gives the party full health and full limit break, and a no encounters option which of course turns off random encounters. Personally I am definitely making use of the x3 mode, as one of my favourite parts of these kind of games is grinding, levelling, all the things that most gamers would probably complain about!
This is absolutely one of my favourites, and definitely what I would consider a classic. I would say the remastered version is well-deserved, and I’m really looking forward to completing it!
- Platform: Playstation, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
- Release Date: 11/02/1999-23/03/2000 (Region and platform Dependant)
- Rerelease Date: 03/09/19
- Genre: Fantasy RPG, Adventure