Black Sheep of the PlayStation One-era Final Fantasies, Final Fantasy VIII finally enjoys its well-deserved time in the limelight with a remastering that looks better than ever on the Nintendo Switch. Follow a student of the famous military academy of the SeeD, the stoic Squall student Leonhart, who is in constant conflict with his rival Seifer as their country prepares for war.
Final Fantasy VIII was one of the first games in the franchise I played. If you followed my other reviews of Final Fantasy VII and IX for Switch, you will remember that IX was my first entry. VIII was my second race in the franchise and he is pale compared to his brother IX. It didn’t help that I bought the game used at GameStop and couldn’t access the second disc because the first one was scratched beyond recognition, so I could never finish the game before I played the steam version.
What bothered me the most was the unnecessary complexity of the Guardian Forces and Junction systems, but how great it was when everything worked well. VIII doesn’t have a fascinating history or world famous characters like VII or the simple but nostalgic return to IX, but it is a fascinating JRPG in itself.
It is difficult to recommend this game to anyone who is not a fan of the game series or the JRPG genre. I certainly wouldn’t recommend this game as the first game in Final Fantasy (which would be Final Fantasy IV), because it’s actually famous enough to be one of the most controversial games in the series.
Not only is the game a tricky intermediary, but it is also very different from the rest of the franchise. As I said, the game is quite difficult because of love it or hate the node system, which forces the game down your throat with various tutorials. Junction works with the Guardian Forces (Summoning) system, which can equip players with certain characters, giving them team skills such as magic and summoning. GFs equalize the characters they equip and create different passive statuses for attributes such as magic or power.
Even the magical system is different from the other episodes of the series, because it is based on the character command, where characters can draw magic from enemies and score points. Magic, on the other hand, can be provided with certain attributes and, in combination with the coupling system, also increases the statistics.
It’s a little too much and it might discourage new players, but this remastered version has several quality features that make it more accessible than ever. As with the previous Final Fantasy remasters, there is an option to triple the speed of the game, which is ideal for classic and heavy grid JRPGs like this one. Players can also enable or disable random and annoying sample encounters, reducing fragmentation. There’s even an option to maximize your character’s HP and limit the escape bar if you want to fly through the game to enjoy the story.
This is the most beautiful version of Final Fantasy VIII I have ever seen. The first time I turned it on, I was totally blown away. Square Enix has done an excellent job in redesigning the character models so that their characteristics are recognizable and clearly defined, unlike their first release on PlayStation in 1999. Not only are the character models more beautiful, but they are also totally different (even censored for some female characters like Siren Calling), which some loyal fans have pointed out on Twitter. Even Squall’s face and facial features seem radically different from the original. It wasn’t a problem for me, because I’m just happy to see the details on the screen without tiring my eyes, but it could frustrate some FF VIII’s on a diet.
Fans of the Steam version of Final Fantasy VIII were worried about the lack of a soundtrack compared to the original version on PlayStation. Players will be pleased to know that this version offers the best of both worlds, and contains the original music of the game that twenty years later is still exciting.
For some reason, Final Fantasy VIII has not been remastered, while his siblings have benefited from several re-releases. Fortunately, this remastering is more beautiful than ever and sounds as good as I remember. It is the most affordable port in the JRPG class, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly deserves another chance to shine on the Switch with a whole new generation of gamers.
Final Fantasy VIII remastered version revision
- Graphs – 9/10
- Sound – 9/10
- Gameplay – 8/10
- Last call – 9/10
Final thoughts: EXAMPLES
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is the best way to experience the classic adventure and is perfect for Switch on the go. After all, he’s the handsomest man in the room.
Tony’s been playing since he could walk. Pokémon Blue Version helped him learn to read. His greatest achievement is not only playing the entire Kingdom Hearts series, but also understanding it.
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