Final Fantasy VIII a Hit With Fans

Reaction to Square's Final Fantasy VIII announcement is unbridled enthusiasm. Read what readers are saying.

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GameSpot News received an amazing number of responses from our request Friday to hear your thoughts about Square's Final Fantasy VIII announcement. Most of it read very similar to our own thoughts when we first saw the pictures - to paraphrase - "We can't wait to play this game!"

Many even made quick calls to their local import dealers (and mail order dealers) to preorder Square's Brave Fencer Musashiden, which will come packed with a playable demo disc of Final Fantasy VIII.

But we did receive a few comments that the series was straying from what had made it so cool in the past, and that the hi-tech themes of FFVII are being repeated, much to the dismay of hard-core role players. "Fighter jets, Navy fleets, armored tanks... this isn't Fantasy, this is Desert Storm! There are hundreds of games that you can play that kind of stuff in it. I feel a deep remorse to know that now it's happening to Final Fantasy as well," said one reader.

The first artwork released also pleased many fans of the series - creating a welcome diversion from previous Square endeavors. Adam Corn commented, "The news that Square will be going with a more realistic look for the characters - which was clearly apparent from the first pic - is exciting. I like the anime-style look of previous FF's as much as the next person, but this less exaggerated new look should be a welcome change."

Most people agreed that sprite-based character graphics were the way to go, and some complained about the "boxiness" of VII's stars. But one thing everyone wants to see is Square outdo itself in the graphics department. Jamal Weston said, "What I'm looking for out of FFVIII is bigger and more powerful summon spells. I thought that the Super Nova was an awesome spell, and I would like to see Square top that."

The "love theme" of the game, which was also revealed Friday, dismayed a few readers as well, but excited even more. While not the main theme of the other games, love and hope were always close by in the series. Reader Dennis Ng says, "I don't mind a love story, so long as it is believable and natural. Even better if it will feature S-E-X like in Titanic, where the lovers do it in the back seat of a car. After all, love easily leads to sex...." Perhaps the brothel in FFVII wasn't enough - but ManaHero disagrees. "A love story?? That's gay! We want, nay, need more heroes like Link that have better things to be doing than indulging in the love of another." Who says a true hero can't get a little lovin' on the side, eh?

The overwhelming reaction of excitement ended with the question: Will Square be able to top FFVII? Final Fantasy VII, like it or not, created a huge stir in the once-niche RPG marketplace. No RPG before that advanced the popularity of the genre (with the exception of the US release of Final Fantasy III).

Rounding out the reaction to Final Fantasy VII, our poll question from Friday asked which Final Fantasy VII characters you would most want to see in part VIII. Almost 7,000 people voted, and here are the results:

27.1 percent Sephiroth (1895 votes)24.7 percent Aeris (1724 votes)22.2 percent Cloud (1550 votes)10.9 percent Red XIII (764 votes)8.3 percent Tifa (584 votes)6.7 percent Barrett (473 votes)

We've got new in-game screenshots for you to check out in our preview of Final Fantasy VIII, which went live tonight. Check it out and continue to send us your reaction and questions for Final Fantasy VIII.

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