Classic Gaming- Final Fantasy VIII: (1999)

As we all know Final Fantasy VII was probably one of the best titles  within the series that Square had produced during the 1990’s.  While many people had enjoyed the gameplay & innovation in Final Fantasy VII there was much anticipation surrounding the game’s sequel for the original PlayStation console.  After the release of Final Fantasy VII gamers did not have to wait much longer because the eighth installment of Final Fantasy was released in 1999.  Final Fantasy VIII had marked the second 3D title in the series and was very promising considering how great Final Fantasy VII was.  Just like its predecessor Final Fantasy VII this game was directed by Yoshinori Kitase and Nobro Uematsu who worked on the musicial composition for this title.  Also, similar to many previous Final Fantasy titles this game’s high points includes great storytelling along with its innovate gameplay.  Final Fantasy VIII just like many preceding titles  had introduced brand new characters who are considered to be the characters throughout the game.  The main protagonist in this game is a teenager  named Squall Leonhart who is well known for this loner personality.

Similar to Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII Squall is a mercenary but the only difference is that he attends a military academy at Balamb Garden.  One of the  characters that Leonhart becomes associated with is Rinoa Heartilly another protagonist who works for a liberation group know as the “Forest Owls”and appears to develop a crush on Leonhart as the game progresses.  Throughout his journey Lionhart meets encounters various allies including Quistis Trepe, Zell Dincht and many more who aid him on his quest to stop main antagonist Ultimecia.  It was revealed in Final Fantasy VIII that Ultimecia was a sorceress from the future who wanted achieve an ability known as “Time Compression.”  The ability of Time Compression would allow Ultimecia to converge different eras which would destroy all life excluding her own.  Some people who have played the game may argue that she is one of the most dangerous villainesses in the entire Final Fantasy series.  Not only was Ultimecia determined to destroy all life but she had the ability to communicate with her consciousness in past along with possessing other sorcerers making her a more formidable opponent.

Final Fantasy VIII  was both adventurous and exciting for many people especially since the gameplay included some minor changes.  One of the interesting changes included the addition of the “junction system” which allowed players to summon monsters known as “Guardian Forces.”  The “Limit Breaks” from Final Fantasy VII had also made a return in this game allowing players to perform special attacks once their health bar is very low.  Also, the experience point system has been slightly altered in Final Fantasy VIII because unlike its predecessor players have to earn more points to receive level ups.  Some people may find the change to the experience point system slightly frustrating while others had no problem with it.   However, when it came down to boss battles many people had a problem with Omega Weapon.  Many players would argue that Omega Weapon has an unfair advantage because  it has an HP of over one million; it also has attacks that many people would argue are “hacks.”

Final Fantasy VIII was highly praised by critics and gamers alike and has received numerous awards from different publications.  This game was rated “Best RPG of E3 1999” along with being ranked the “7th Best PlayStation Game” by Imagine Games Network.  Final Fantasy VIII was also named “Game of the Year (Reader’s Choice)” by Electronic Gaming Monthly in 1999.  This game had also received high ratings from many other publications including PlayStation Magazine which scored Final Fantasy VIII a perfect ten.  Some people would argue that Final Fantasy VIII was just as good as the seventh installment.   However, there are many gamers who would probably prefer the seventh installment over the eighth.  Either way Final Fantasy seven and eight were both awesome RPG classics that many gamers will always remember. However, the remake of Final Fantasy VII raises the question on whether or not Square Enix will ever plan on making a remake for Final Fantasy VIII?


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