on 2 February 2005
The game the Final Fantasy hardcore hated.
I just can't see why. In my opinion this is on a par with personal favourite FF7. I got this on the day it came out and recently got it again for a bit of a nostalgia moment. The anticipation of this game, I'd been playing FF7 through and through for about a year and a half and just loved it, then when this appeared and I clicked on 'New Game' I knew it was a winner. The intro was amazingly dramatic, the music and visuals had been ramped up several notches. No more coloured polygons walking around, these actually looked like real people. The usual Square 'visit each location on the world map one by one ensuring that you go to a wintery place, a desert place etc etc' formula had been booted out the window, it was now the plot that drove your progress around the world. What a plot it was.
Squall, a young member of Garden, is on the brink of his SeeD exam. SeeD are essentially a bunch of child mercenaries that are hired out for help. He finds himself embroiled in a war against the aggressive nation of Galbadia and their Sorceress, Edea. Twists, turns and drama each step of the way as you go through Squalls first missions for Garden and discover a threat to the world that is greater than any could imagine. The squad mechanic of the game was something different too. Everyone in the party seems to get along fine, where Squall is a bit of a moody outsider ... over serious and introverted. It makes for an interesting gaming experience as you see the party of people gel together. It was fantastic to see your characters have different motives and personalities that involved. I loved the way that Zell starts off as a bit of a catastrophe but comes good in the end as a real solid addition to the team. You also have a fine rival in the shape of Seifer. The way the games story evolved and your characters grew took it way beyond what FF7 ever did.
The main quibble I had with the game is that the earlier fights could go on forever with the constant drawing of magic from bad guys (you don't NEED to do this, but if you've got a potential to get nice and powerful by sitting ripping magic from things, you'll do it won't you?) and also as it seemed to take an age to power up your party if you assigned them specific GFs rather than whacking them all on your current party. Ah yes, the GFs, I loved them in this game ... nothing beat summoning Shiva as she let fly a furious flurry of ice as your joypad rumbles away with joy. A real treat for the eyes.
All in all nothing of this detracted from my gameplaying experience. I just loved the way the story moved on, some really tense cliff hangers during the opening sequence of the game when you're off on your first SeeD mission. Forgive me for being vague but I don't want to reveal anything here that could spoil your enjoyment.
They don't make them like they used to.
on 25 July 2006
I have played ffvii to ffxi and i must say that VIII has got to be the best. I was amazed at 7 but when i played 8 i fell in love all over again! The storyline is great you are taken from a regular student to leading a war against the sorceresses, this is the first final fantasy game that allows you to actually feel how the characters are feeling whether this may be sadness or joy! The FMV sequences are brilliant and really stretch the capability of the PS1, you will see what i mean from the opening scene. It took me about 40hours to complete but even then there was still many side quests that i missed out on. Looks like il have to play it over again! If there is a final fantasy you want to buy make it this one, u wont be disappointed i promise!
on 23 June 2007
I first played this one in 2000 I think, I was so excited on its release, with fresh memories of FF7 (My introduction to the world of FF). My first time playing it, I was disappointed, I found the gameplay rather slow and too difficult, and it was soon consigned to the shelf in my bedroom to collect dust. a few moths later, I happened to pick up the Strategy guide and study the Junction system in more depth, I decided one Saturday afternoon to give it another go. That's when I realised what a brilliant game this is, if you can endure the initial slow pace, (Its only the first few hours) it reallypicks up in terms of pace, and the story line is epic enough and the characters deep enough to really draw you in, its more like a good book or movie, you find yourself playing this game more for the storyline. And the Junction system is a great way to get your party's strength up really fast, and the boss fights later on are truly epic, it can feel like you are fighting a boss for about an hour or so, and it is really challenging.
Overall, slow to start, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded.
on 24 February 2004
Final Fantasy VII catapulted the series to new heights after it's release and to this day remains the most popular. Final Fantasy VIII had tremendous pressure on it and it's reception was ultimately mixed but positive. For me it represented something entirely new from it's predecessor and is the better for it.
The first thing that strikes you is the vast improvement in graphics; up close the characters do look a little shoddy but from afar they are far more impressive than Cloud and co. But as most Final Fantasy fans will tell you the most important aspect of the games are their storylines and VIII's is perhaps the most solid through til the end (with the exception of X), unlike VII and IX which I feel lose their way, despite their wonderful settings and exceptional beginnings. VIII doesn't contain the twists that made VII such a thrill but it is more carefully constructed - the concept of time travel is always a prickly thing to toy with but here it is conveyed relatively well, quashing many gripes that come with it. The battle system is really what sets the game apart from others however (or rather how a character 'levels up'). Players still receive exp. points from battles but to really raise a characters abilities one must junction GF's to them and subsequently magic, of which can be drawn from points or enemies, to a certain skill such as strength.
All in all FFVIII is unlike what many people would have expected but this gives it a freedom that allows the game to offer much more than a straight sequal to FFVII. Also the Love story between Squall and Rinoa is perhaps the most endearing in the series (the only other to come near would be between Zidane and Garnet in FFIX).
Final Fantasy eight is an absolutely amazing game from the opening movie sequence. I actually believe it to be much better than final fantasy seven even though many would disagree on that. The pre rendered graphics in the game are breath taking with luscious fantasy lands appearing to be almost real due to the high level of thought and detail that have been put into them. There are plenty of new vehicles, weapons, skills and spells to be learnt and the addition of the card game ‘Triple Triad’ is a welcome break when you have had a hard day of battles and adventure, I found myself to be addicted to the card game, desperate to find the whole set and determined not to be beat.
The story line is typical of a role playing game, bad guy wants to take over the world but the hero saves the day whilst rescuing the pretty girl, but there are plenty of twists and turns in the plot that keep you going, eager to find out what the end sequence looks like. The FMV’s are definitely something special (the dance at the graduation party is wonderful) and there are a lot more than in the last outing, they fit seamlessly into the action and add to the brilliance of it all.
The characters are more developed in this outing and we see Squall Leonhart transformed from a cold, aggressive gunblade student into a warm and strong young man. There are also plenty of sequences involving the other characters where for example you take control of them while the lead character is in another section of the game adding a little variety to the adventure.
The only problem I can think of is the amount of battles that you encounter on journeys especially in caves and outside on the map area. It can become a little tedious when you can’t step more than a few paces without the screen going into battle mode, thankfully later on in the game you can junction a skill to encounter fewer battles. Other than that small gripe the game is terrific, it manages to blend fantasy, battles and spells into a seamless adventure that is highly addictive.
on 9 September 2004
I could'nt see it said on the page, so i just wanted to leave a note.
Often i've heard that people have problems getting FF8 to play on their PS2's, mine doesn't work with my PS2 either. It always crashes after you choose "new game". Apparently the PS2 can't read the first disk properly.
Might want to consider this when purchasing this game if you only have a PS2. If you have any friends with the game, get them to lend you it to test if it crashes or not first! Or you could end up very fustrated at having to buy a PS1.
I have played the game now, and like a few other people have said, it is an enjoyable game, but i didn't feel that i had as much empathy for the characters in this game as other FF games. The relationship the game builds between the gamer and the characters isn't as strong. But then again, this is also something which could depend on which type of story line you most prefer. Still giving it high for being an amazing game. Still an essential for those massive FF fans though. *Puts on cactuar hat and runs off*
on 4 August 2007
I am a MASSIVE fan of FF, all of them... They are all a little different, it would be boring if the magic/levelup/weapon system was the same on all of the games. My personal fave is FF 9 (the first one I played), but I have not played any of the series that I did not enjoy. It is great when a new one is released, the graphics never fail to amaze me. I love looking back on the old ones to see how far things have moved on. I hope FF goes on and on, it is the reason I bought a PS1 then a PS2, now I KNOW I have to justify spending £400 plus for a PS3 just so I don't miss out on FF13.
on 26 May 2006
I bought this quite cheap for a PS1 game. It was the first Final Fantasy game I played and the sheer beauty of both the setting and the storyline left me in a state of awe that remains even now.
There are a lot of people who suggest that FFvii is in some way better than this game and the only explanation I can find for this is that they played vii first and were looking for a game exactly like it (this is a 'different' game). I found that I had much more empathy for the characters in this game than I have in any other since and my only regret is that it no longer plays on my PS2. The love story is heartfelt and enchanting and although some elements of the plot seem forced, they can be forgiven for the discoveries resulting from them and the poignancy they add to the plot (trying to avoid spoilers).
This also had a limit break system I liked and some of the best moves ever, my personal favourite being Selphie's 'the end' which was a superb way to finish any battle. The junction system is far simpler than it seems, allowing you through trial and error (or use of the 'auto button') to chose which aspects of the character you would like to strengthen, which gives you the ability to customise each character in a way not seen since. I will admit that I used a walkthrough (by Dragonfogel on Gamefaqs) to complete the game, though I still managed to play it for well over 100 hours (all gfs/omega weapon beaten/ every character levelled up as high as possible etc). The ending was suitably amazing and kept me in suspense right throughout the video under the credits to find out what happened).
on 14 March 2006
Final Fantasy VIII was actually the first Final Fantasy game I had ever played as well as being the third PlayStation game I had ever played. It really opened my eyes to the gaming world and the universe of adventure, action, romance and roleplay.
Final Fantasy VIII starts slow but very interesting as you battle your way within the military invested world before you uncover more dangerous and exciting plots. Like most of the titles in the series the game grows and matures throughout the course of the adventure and new challenges confront you.
The exploration of Final Fantasy VIII's world is actually not as big as other titles in the series such as Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy IX but the story is much mroe intruiguing and it centres around a more dioabolical plot.
It's Final Fantasy VIII which breaks the mark for being the first Final Fantasy with lifelike FMVs, evolving from the washy (but amazing) FMVs of Final Fantasy VI and the chunky but adorable look of Final Fantasy VII. The graphics, although a bit washy, are meant to look as lfelike as possible and believe me, for its time, they do!
It may not hold many mini games and side quests like others in the series and the story may drag but Final Fantasy may take you a very long time to complete, as long as you don't have a strategy guide to accompany you, and it'll keep calling back to you for more.
Although it may not look as good as newer releases, Final Fantasy VIII is probably the second to Final Fantasy VII as being the most well known Final Fantasy of its time. There's no doubt about it, every RPG lover should have this game!
on 16 February 2004
I would personally rate this game as being one of the best in the Final Fantasy series. A great storyline combined with an intuitive character customisation system makes for compelling gameplay.
The key to your characters abilities lies with the Guardian Forces, which are like FF6's espers and FF7's materia in some ways. Each Guardian Force has their own abilities, which either your character or your party can use. The absence of MP means that magic has to be accumulated (described as para-magic in the game), and only by Junctioning a GF can you use magic. Accumulating magic is also important in order to boost your stats. Junctioning GFs will also mean that you can summon that particular GF, as well as use their abilities, such as Mug, Counter, HP+80%, Refine Items (useful for obtaining certain items and GF abilities), and Card (ever watched Cardcaptors?). If you manage to obtain a certain GF, you can turn off the annoying random encounters altogether, which is useful.
The characters are part of a compelling storyline, and each of them have well defined personalities. Squall is notably different to the main characters in other FF games. Its fair to say that you probably will not warm to him straight away, but he changes drastically after meeting Rinoa. Zell is a brash martial artist, Irvine has an eye for the ladies, Quistis wields a whip, and Selphie is...useless and annoying. Well, to me, anyway. The cast also features Squall's rival Seifer, the other mysterious main character Laguna, a few sorceresses and the obligatory Cid.
The other features of this game include various side quests and the card game. Even thought the rewards may not be great from completing side quests, they provide an alternative to levelling up.
The music in this game isn't that outstanding or memorable, but it does a good job in creating the right atmosphere. The background graphics are detailed and varied, although the character models look slightly "off" at some points during the game. You might find it hard to make out some objects amidst the scenery, and the world map looks kind of empty, lacking in scenic variation. Aesthetically, its not as beautiful as FFIX was, but very few games look that good on the Playstation anyway. Also, its kind of amusing to see the characters run around in a 3-person train, almost Benny Hill style.
If there is one complaint, it would probably be that if you didn't have a walk-through guide, you will never find half of the secrets, no matter how many times you play the game. Seriously, just try and obtain the (most useful ;) ) GF Doomtrain without looking it up. Or even how and where to find the items needed to upgrade your weapons. But they are minor gripes in what is an impressive game.