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Dais Feb 15, 2006

Understand that the draw/junction system isn't really that complicated - it just has a lot of frivolous abilities. It actually works half-decently, although nowhere near as well as it could have.

Understand that Triple Triad is apparently really fun if you get into it, but you should look up beforehand how to make sure the really annoying rules (like "Random") don't spread.

Understand that the game constantly seesaws back and forth between tongue-in-cheek self-parody and complex emotional drama, and sometimes it's rather hard to tell the difference, because even the game isn't sure at the moment.

Understand that the game will keep getting better, and that the "big scene" at the end of disc two is worth the price of admission in and of itself, because it is both laugh-out-loud hilarious and f---ing awesome.

Understand that it is one of Uematsu's most nuanced and appropriate scores, with music made to fit the world, not the game.

Understand that you WILL hate at least one character, although who it is (or they are) will be completely up to you.

Understand that there's legimate reasons people like and dislike the game, no matter how you personally feel about it.

PS: FUSHURURURURURU

GoldfishX Feb 15, 2006

I hated the characters (or rather, I hated Squall, found Rinoa annoying and no one else was worth a damn unfortunately), the draw system and the music wasn't anything special...But compared to a number of RPG's from this era, I actually felt compelled to finish FF8. The events unfold in something of an unusual way that had hours racing off the clock (similar to FFX, but less straight plodding and more crazy shit goes on). It has zero replay value though, due to the tediousness of the constant drawing. And save before popping in disc 4...You can't go back.

Advice: Play it if you don't have anything else at the moment.

Wanderer Feb 15, 2006

I found the game very uneven. It's the only FF that I've tried to replay and have never been able to get through the whole thing. I just lose interest. Part of this is the plot (which is a mess) and part of it is the characters (which range from fascinating to ciphers).

I liked Squall a lot more the second time through because I was at an age where I was able to understand where he was coming from (emotionally). Rinoa was boring. The rest were virtually ignored (aside from Selphie, who was a breath of fresh air whenever she got the spotlight).

I'm not a big fan of random battles to begin with but to have them so tedious in a game is a major problem for me. Even if you draw 99 of every spell (a mindnumbing affair), the battles still take forever (unless you use a GF and you really shouldn't have to).

There are some touching scenes in the game... and there are plenty of scenes that made me laugh... but looking back over it, it's just a very strange game. It doesn't seem to have any focus.

POPOBOT5000 Feb 15, 2006

McCall wrote:

Heh, yeah, I am like, one of the two people left that hasn't played it.

Meet the other one. wink
It's on my to-do list, though... along with X, IX, and even VII.

KujaFFman Feb 15, 2006

A very interesting game with a strong scenario - maybe too strong, by the way, since some details remain mysterious until the ending. But you can manage to understand everything if you pay attention to each important dialog.

In my opinion, this is a wonderful RPG, just like every Final Fantasy, but it seems that it is dangerous to say such things around here.

(The battle system is quite weird: you can complete the game with level 10~15 characters, because what is important is not EXP but AP. This is a difficult method, but once you've got the ability to avoid each battle, this is the easiest RPG ever.)

Qui-Gon Joe Feb 15, 2006

FF8 is... I think Wanderer got it exactly with saying that "It doesn't seem to have any focus."  The plot really is a total mess.  There is a LOT of potential, and the buildup on the first couple discs is great, but then the writers just start forgetting things and stuff is left forever unexplained.  There are more deus ex machina occurances than in any other FF.  The final boss is one of the worst in all FF games in terms of coming out of nowhere and most certainly has the most moronic goals with no good motive.  The love story between Squall and Rinoa is extremely poorly developed, and the main characters' story is FAR less interesting than a parallel story being told about the past through the course of the game.  When flashbacks are that much more interesting than the main thing going on, you've got a problem with your story.

The gameplay itself fares little better.  It is far too overreliant on GFs, and the system is broken to the point where running from every single battle makes the game incredibly easy.  Drawing isn't quite as much a pain in the ass as some people make it out to be, but it's very annoying not to be able to cast any of your spells because doing so will lower the abilities you've beefed up with them.

It's not to say the game is without Merit.  Squall himself is developed remarkably well.  I wish that the game had not forgotten about the other characters because if everyone had been written with such care, it would've turned out to be one of the coolest FF casts ever.  Also, the card game is AWESOME.  I loved playing it so much that I even collected a lot of the real cards.  That reminds me... I should look into completing the set while I'm over here.

I think the thing that disappointed me the most about the game was the wasted potential.  I thought it had a lot of great things going for it, but it just felt like it dropped the ball on all of them.

Oh, and for the record, I also think the soundtrack is rather awesome overall!

XLord007 Feb 15, 2006

McCall wrote:

HATE HATE HATE it, especially Squall.

I'm in this group.  The only good thing about FF8 is the music.

layzee Feb 15, 2006

Advice: Even though it's your first time, play this game without leveling up once, at least until you get the stat-up abilities.

It's much more fun than playing normally. No, really.

And consult an FAQ to get the most out of the card game, Triple Triad.

Wanderer Feb 15, 2006

One thing that FF8 has going for it: The translation. It was the first PSX Squaresoft game with a semi-decent translation (this after sitting through FF7, FFT and to a certain extent, Xenogears).

FF8 has one of those soundtracks that I rarely go back to. It worked fine in the game but out of it, I find it sterile. The synth is also pretty bad (although better than FF7s).

Yuvraj Feb 16, 2006

XLord007 wrote:
McCall wrote:

HATE HATE HATE it, especially Squall.

I'm in this group.  The only good thing about FF8 is the music.

I assume this should read like: the only good thing is that there are a few pleasant tracks to be heard. smile

jmj20320514 Feb 16, 2006

I never got past disc 1, but I can only attribute that to disinterest that I can't necessarily blame on the game itself.

I am actually quite interested in Triple Triad cards Qui-Gon Joe mentioned. It's probably the only part of the game I remember.

shdwrlm3 Feb 16, 2006

HATE HATE HATE it, especially Squall.

I pretty much agree with this.

As much as I hated VIII's story, though, I absolutely adored the gameplay. I even grew addicted to Triple Triad, despite not being a huge fan of card games in general. However, my experience with TT was tainted by the fact that I loss my Diablo card to a guy in a place you can never return to, and so I was never able to complete my collection. Damn you, square.

So, umm... am I the only one who thought that the best thing VIII had going for it was Eyes on Me? wink

Angela Feb 16, 2006

shdwrlm3 wrote:

So, umm... am I the only one who thought that the best thing VIII had going for it was Eyes on Me? ;)

Eyes On Me was certainly one of the more special aspects of FF8 for me..... although the way it was used in-game felt largely inapt.  Not the ending version, mind you -- that particular version was very well placed -- but rather that particular scene Rinoa and Squall share toward the end of disc 3.  I thought "Love Grows" would've been the more befitting piece, and they should've just kept the original pop version out of the game altogether.

SonicPanda Feb 17, 2006

OK, gameplay-wise, everyone here's right. It's damned uneven. First you struggle with it, and then once you get the hang of it, there's absolutely nothing keeping you from ABUSING it. Particularly the Limit Break system. Cancel, cancel, LIMIT BREAK, cancel, LIMIT BREAK. That said, I've seen a complete friggin' idiot make it all the way to the last dungeon without a clue what he was doing (only two people were even Junctioned), so maybe the game's just that easy?
The story? Well, Disk 1 gets things off to a great start, and Disk 4 is a satisfying conclusion, but the intervening Disks, story-wise, feel like the product of one of those first-grade projects where each kid writes a sentence and passes it onto the next kid, who takes it somewhere completely different. Expect small revalations to have no point, and major revalations to freaking insult your intelligence.*
As far as the rest is concerned, looks good, sounds good, Triple Triad rules, the final dungeon is the best ever, and nobody can't like Fujin. If it's under $15, give it a go.

* I will note, however, that Kurt introduced me to a document online that reinterprets the story fairly well, and from that viewpoint, it's not as bad. Anyway you slice it, though, the big secret on Disk 2 is still completely asinine.

Schala Feb 17, 2006

Pretty good. My second favorite FF game behind FF6 (although FF10 might take its place if I ever manage to finish it) because of the emotion of the story. I do agree with whoever said that the final boss kinda came from out of the blue, and the whole thing behind SEED and the eventual explanations for everything was rather...uh...off-putting, for lack of a better term, almost silly. The revelations were unexpected, but not in the pleasantly surprising way; they were almost ridiculous.

Still, I loved the characters and their personalities. Even though the overall story could have used some polishing, the individual characters' backgrounds were good (Laguna's story is hilarious). As for the battle system, the whole drawing magic thing can get tedious, especially if you deliberately draw out a boss fight so you can grab magic from him. As for Triple Triad, I never figured out the game and hated it the few times I played 'cause I kept losing. ^_~

Wanderer Feb 17, 2006

Amazingu wrote:

It's like I've always said:
Great Game, Lousy Final Fantasy.

I always thought FF9 fit that description pretty well, myself...

Matt Rees Feb 26, 2006

Im probably the only person who thinks FF8 is the best one - dont shoot me

Ultimatly it comes down to opinion, some people hate it, some love it - its a solid game that plays well, its challenging and interesting and even if you found the characters annoying, at least they got to you in some way

Play it and see for yourself - judge it by your own opinions not others.

Qui-Gon Joe Feb 26, 2006

Wanderer wrote:
Amazingu wrote:

It's like I've always said:
Great Game, Lousy Final Fantasy.

I always thought FF9 fit that description pretty well, myself...

And I always sort of felt the opposite.  FF9 does everything to be a perfect Final Fantasy but ends up being a fairly mediocre game.  An example, perhaps, of a whole being less than the sum of its parts.  But maybe I shouldn't pull the discussion away FF8 here.  wink

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