Final Fantasy VIII
Game Info
Square Electronic Arts
ESRB Rating
Violence, Language
The Good

• Grand FMVs
• Junction/Draw system is a great change of pace
• Card Game is addictive

The Bad

• Drawing magic gets a bit tedious
• Maybe too many menus


FF8 is a shockingly different version of the Final Fantasy formula. Instead of castles and knights, FF8's world is filled with neo-futuristic villages, space ships and soldiers. What starts off as a small exercise by the Garden, leads Squall and his allies into a deeper plot started by the sorceress Edea. During this, Squall, despite his better judgement, falls in love with Rinoa.

Graphics -
FInal Fantasy VIII has a strong, more mature graphical presence. The characters and monsters are consistent, well detailed and have excellent texture mapping. Their animations are more fluid and you really feel their personality by the way they move. The in-game animations and CG movies look gorgeous.

Gameplay -
Both of the Draw and Junction systems are innovative and fresh, a change of pace from previous FF batlle systems. Some players may grow tired of the almost over-customization that this system provides, but the game does have a feature that will let it do the junctioning for you. This game is set up to be as deep and involving as the player wants it to be. One nice feature is that the enemies grow in strength as your characters do, meaning that the more you level-up, the harder the fight later on might be.

One major draw-back is that a player may find themselves putting creatures to sleep so they can draw enough spells from them on more than one occassion. Also, the random battle encounter rate is ridiculously high, forcing the player to fight a battle every few feet.

Triple Triad, the card game within the game, is probably the best minigame in the Final Fantasy series, yet. Don't be surprised if you spend a good portion of your game time playing this to get the whole set. You'll want to at least get some of the cards, because they can be transformed into useful items.

On the whole, this is a great game, but some gamers might find some aspects to be just too must customization. With all of the beautiful graphics, deep story and the card game, how can you pass this up?

- - kinderfeld

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