Alright my gamers! I want to touch on a game that does not get the love it deserves and for those that have read my work before you know this holds heavy for my heart especially since it was one of the first games I bought when I was a wee lass with a shiny new PS2. This game is quite close to my heart along with Monster Rancher the Trading Card Game. So without further ado I’m going to revisit my childhood and also possibly muse on something missing in some of today’s games. Now let’s go!
Storyline: Your name is Squall Leonhart and after the most breathtaking cinematic scene it’s time to take an exam! You didn’t even gather your materials yet! You need to get your Aeon like creatures (GFs) and obtain a new one from a cave before you can even be allowed to take part!! Your team is made up of some characters then shortly after your life is filled with these guys…and more! Along with a couple of girls with very key roles in your waking hours and even during your unconscious ones. The storyline is something that starts out simply and gets more complex as it goes. Bringing in even multiple countries within the world going from high school like crushes to assassinations and martial law. And it all bursts wide open with one very antisocial young man.
Character Development: The young man is very headstrong and knows that at the end of the day…you’re on your own. However, throughout he learns to care for people and even how to depend on them. I know it’s not much to say although I feel like this very much goes in line with my own life along with a lot of gamers. You just do what you can and if you’re really into gaming you don’t tend to talk to a lot of people, they judge you, they rebuke you, and the best way to keep safe. Anyways simplification aside game has taught me a lot and just because Final Fantasy 7 was so highly praised Final Fantasy VIII did not get the proper credit.
Graphics: The graphics for a game of that time are quite impressive with sleek characters far surpassing its predecessor. Only sporting a semi rigid edge to the characters on the map and in battle.
Battle System/Learning Curve: The battle system relied on an action bar which made the turns somewhat balanced and hoping you could hold out at low HP to drop a limit break. All this while utilizing the power of GF summoned. Also allowing the use of abilities, magic, stats, etc… Also setting up the limit breaks was something I always found interesting especially with Rinoa’s companion Angelo which are acquired while picking up and reading pet magazines and obtain better weapons by obtaining magazines and getting parts for upgrades from various creatures. At the same time, you can also play the card game however I’ll admit I don’t play mini card games within games. I prefer the feel of sleeved cards in my hands but I digress. The game is an easy pick up however, there is a fair bit of grind which can be helped when you put a T-Rexasaur to bed and hit it with damaging magic until it goes down. Wash, rinse, and repeat. This creature offers a fair amount of experience and once asleep stay that way for a good while.
Playtime/Replayability: I’ll be honest. With my case of NGS (new game syndrome) I never finished this game but I return to it again and again. With a story I relate to, graphics that were a major improvement from its predecessor promising lots of playtime with an original count of four discs! With an open world and so many things to do in it from trains to chocobos and flying around in a giant fortress and defending it from invaders. All in all while searching the world for a way to go up against those who would do harm.
Now I know what you’re thinking… This is a very short review. Now even with new games and new mechanics certain things could be drawn from this. The open world, junctioning abilities to improve stats, and places to search that take you out of the main storyline such as the temple where you find the brothers. Not sure what else to say about this game. Just that it has a special place in my heart and has receive too little credit. Sure Final Fantasy VII was good but let’s face it the graphics were terrible and did not get much better until they made the later games. Right now you’re probably thinking ‘well if FF VIII was sooo great why didn’t they remake that or add on?’ Well to this I would say to you “you don’t paint a mustache on the Mona Lisa and you don’t ruin a classic.” Now I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do this game’s justice so this Hatter highly approves this game even and especially with age. Good night gamers.