After the worldwide and overwhelming success of Final Fantasy VII, many people realized the existence of RPGs. Thanks to this, the wait for another title in the saga was highly requested and also highly anticipated. When Final Fantasy VIII's release day came, many people were impressed as several were disappointed (the disappointed, for the most part, are those who only played FFVII and didn't know much about the franchise in general). The game gave a lot of talking for various and incredible amounts of game content. Like a couple of months ago and I fell in love with Cloud's journey to stop Sephirot, today I have my thoughts on the Squall and Rinoa story.
For starters I will just say that Uematsu's work was impeccable as it always has been, including the feeling that he is constantly surpassing himself. The theme "Eyes On Me" was a revolutionary soundtrack for the franchise, not only because it was sung by the famous Faye Wong, but also because it was the first time that a vocal theme was introduced in Final Fantasy (marking footprint for future installments) Although people do not know very well if the FFVII soundtrack is better or not, what nobody disputes is the sound direction is much superior to Final Fantasy VII, something surprising considering how well polished the sound of its predecessor was. . Apart from "Eyes On Me", others like "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" are not far behind. Without further elaboration, I will say that the sound section of FFVIII is wonderful.
Speaking of wonders, the visual is not only something wonderful and innovative on the PlayStation, but it is something so difficult to overcome that you had to wait for the PlayStation 2 for better graphics. It was a wonderful thing, and I'm sure a lot of the people who had the console on the day of this game's release were in awe of the graphics. The cinematics are so fluid and vivid that to this day one does not know how Squaresoft managed to make that immense graphic output on that console (even though there was plenty of time left for the arrival of the PlayStation 2). I think it is very obvious and deserved that this section deserves a 10/10, Square shone not only with the innovative and fluid cinematics, but also with the modeling of the characters, the backgrounds and the environment, the color palette, the design of the main characters, not forgetting the fucking G.F, etc.
Aside from those wonderful things we mentioned earlier, the game involved 2 game systems that divided the fanbase:
- the extraction and linking of magic and its consequences
- always being on the same level as the antagonists
On the one hand, the system of links and extraction of magic and G.F was something so absurdly complex that it is not difficult to understand because most of the players are not comfortable using it. Each time you have to extract different magic to have better attributes and I understand why some people find it annoying to spend hours extracting 100 Cures with the 3 characters to have better attributes, however, the system was somewhat tedious but never quite annoying.
And as for always being at the same level as the enemies, it made the game incredibly easier if you kept at a low level fleeing from the battles instead of leaning for hours (I spent the game at level 38 :P) , and every time you level up the enemies along with their magic also did. This is good and bad depending on where you look at it. It is good if you are tired of being lean for hours, but it is bad if you want to fight and you want to mercilessly kill the annoying monsters that screw so much.
There is something that I really liked and it is the GF These monsters are summons that allow you to learn skills to the characters, such as seeing things that you don't normally see, discounts in stores, converting cards or even having no random encounter (without counting increasing even more the characteristics of the characters without using magic). And speaking of cards, Final Fantasy VIII has a certain card game (very good) which we will talk about in the next section.
For all that I said, although it is not the best it is not a bad section at all, on the contrary, it is a very good one. The G.Fs help you a lot and save you hours of leveling or magic searches. And another thing is the manufacture of weapons, which will benefit you a lot.
Before going down in history, I want to talk about this card game called Triple Triad. This minigame is one of the best minigames Squaresoft has ever made, there are a lot of cards, there are different rules, the difficulty is well balanced and it is very addictive.
What Final Fantasy VIII lacks in mini-games it has in secrets, and they are many. The map is even bigger and more varied than the one in Final Fantasy VII and a lot of it is optional. There you will find things like new G.F, more cards, obtainable objects, materials for your weapons, magazines for character limits, better magic, etc. You can be the whole game with the cards, looking for G.F or trying to get materials for the Lionheart.
Moving on to the stories, I must say that while it is not the best, it is the most complex, complicated and elaborate of all Final Fantasy, I will not say anything more not to mention spoilers. Of course, I consider the characters very simple for the piece of history they have, such as when you wear shoes and they look great on you. The characters (aside from Squall or Rinoa) not only do not have a clear goal or defined development, but their characters are based on just one personality. That doesn't have to be bad, it's true, but we are talking about a story that mixes witches with time travel (and does it well).
Outside of that, believe me when I tell you that if you don't mind the link system this could be your favorite Final Fantasy.
Total: 9/10 (Superb)
Final Fantasy VIII is a title very worthy of its predecessor, and although it is not better, it is one of the best Final Fantasy that exists. It is far from perfect, it's true, but the beautiful graphics for the time and the beautiful soundtrack are worth everything. My name is Santiago Aguilar (Guileion) and this was my review, I hope you like it. :)