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Fynn
08-15-2015, 12:11 PM
Boy, has this game been a victim of negativity! But let's offset that. Let's list reasons why we love this game. It just things about this game that you love if you don't feel you love the game as a whole but think there's some cool elements ;)

I love Squall. I think he's the single most relatable protagonist in the series and the way we were presented both his inner thoughts and his outwardly behavior, and how often they contradict each other, was pretty clever!

Pumpkin
08-15-2015, 07:03 PM
Well I covered most of this on my top games list, but this is actually my third favourite game of all time! I played it when I was young and I was just swept away in all of it. The story is interesting, I like the characters. Squall is my favourite main hero character of the series because I like how they show his inner thoughts and struggles and show how he's basically stunted in his emotional development because of what he's been through. I think the love story is very sweet and I like that too. It also has one of my favourite video game worlds, I really love so many of the areas, and the music is good too!

MJN SEIFER
08-15-2015, 08:05 PM
This is actually my second favorite Final Fantasy, and I plan on doing a long appreciation article on it once I have done the same for FFVII.

Forsaken Lover
08-16-2015, 05:25 AM
Things I love about FFVIII:
Seifer
The soundtrack
Seifer
Squall and Rinoa on the Ragnarok
Seifer
NORG
Ultima Weapon
Griever
The Refining mechanic
Seifer

Anzai
08-16-2015, 06:11 AM
Ah, Squall Leonheart, the only video game protagonist to take the words right out of my mouth many times over... Squall's inner monologues served as quite an interesting way to flesh out his character. Without a doubt he is my favorite Final Fantasy character. Though for other reasons to love the game, I was always interested by the unorthodox game system with the Draw, Junction, Refine, and overall Guardian Force mechanics. Hm, thinking of the uniqueness of the game makes me miss the Devour ability. I've a fondness for Ultimecia as well, she always struck me as one of the more interesting villains to ponder. Ah yes, and a degree of mission planning that felt more defined than previous games made for a refreshing change of pace.

Leigh
08-17-2015, 04:58 PM
I’ll try to portray my feelings on Final Fantasy VIII as accurately as I can. I’ve found though, that it is one of those games, where my opinion or justification for liking the game changes each time I play through it. I feel as I grow as a person, I get a different vibe from the game. I feel and see different things in it and I may find that where as I once related to one character in a previous play through, I now relate to a different one. I always come away from the game, irregardless what concepts I have taken from it this time around, feeling highly positive of it.

I think what I do like about VIII, is it feels far more relatable because it deals with concepts of coming of age, and a character roster that aren’t a collection of monkey-children, talking dogs, and plushy toys with streams of consciousness. It makes the party collectively more palatable in terms of understanding their underlying emotions. At least from a storytelling point of view; all these characters are in scenarios and react, for a fantasy game, in a relatively plausible way.

The personalities, which may be contradicted by a number of people on this message board, are richly embossed. There is only so much one can put into a video game, but I found all the characters pretty fleshed out. You weren’t simply playing an archetype. The reasons why the characters developed ways of communicating, or lack-there-of, are written and not just simply assumed. The only character I wasn’t too keen on was Selphie, who I can imagine, if voice-acted, would be a beta of Vanille from Final Fantasy XIII. Still, she doesn’t seem too out of place, even if I find mindless optimism inherently annoying, but then again, I’m a miserable bugger in real life - so take what you will from that. Haha!

Speaking purely for myself. Final Fantasy VIII was mostly a right-place, right time kind of thing. I was growing into adolescence, which was making me slightly more perceptive socially. I was very much influenced by the romantic-led storyline, as again, I was starting to take an interest (although I would never admit it) in girls. It was just a combination of elements coming together that made it a fun and enjoyable, emotive experience for me.

I do not have much to really say on the game mechanics, where a lot of criticism tends to be the focus of direction by a lot of naysayers for VIII. Unless a game is truly unplayable, I’ve never really taken much time to really consider game mechanics analytically. I don’t have that level of investment, understanding the functions of ingrained systems of operation. Hence, I never really write video game reviews, because I tend to look at the game as a whole narrative experience, how cerebral is the experience, rather than noticing if the game has tank controls or not. I’m not good at dissecting why this works, and this doesn’t from an aspect of gameplay. Although many people will read this, and say I am just as in the dark about good writing and storytelling! =P

Does the Junction system work or not? To be honest; I don’t really know…and I’ve played this game several times through to completion. And everytime I have played it; I go to the junction, click on automatic and set it to ‘Str’. I really don’t care. I guess I am not what you would call an RPG fan, because I am not a fan of micro-management, or reading statistics on items, imported from Microsoft Excel 97. Then again, I would argue the point that jRPGs are mostly adventure games with tagged on RPG battle mechanics.

Final Fantasy VIII isn’t well written, if we are judging it by literary standards. The characters are simplistic, because it is a video game. An early-period video game by contrast to this seventh-generation of cinematic gaming franchises. But for a video game of its time, I’d say that it stands out pretty remarkably; at least in terms of character development and the depth of the story being told.

Finally. The music is to die for.

Shorty
08-18-2015, 07:44 PM
I find myself agreeing with many, if not all points made by Leigh. The discovery of this game was also a right place, right time circumstance for me, especially with such a coming-of-age story as this one was. While I don't particularly like or dislike Squall, I did strongly identify with his isolation at the time of my first play-through.

The story, again as mentioned, is not a perfect one. Some elements are outright far-fetched and completely outlandish. I think that the story also makes good use of its individual character stories - Selphie's Trabia garden getting bombed, the town of Balamb under possible fire and concern for Zell, Rinoa's complicated past being in a rebel alliance against her father's forces. All of these complications, mixed with the discovery of their shared orphan childhoods (a stretch though it may have been) all really brought the characters alive to me.

I wish Rinoa's story was explored much more because I feel like she could have been such a strong character if we saw a little bit more story and emotion from her, especially in regard to her feelings about being a sorceress. The only reference we really get from her and the sorceress line is how she is afraid of Squall not loving her for being aligned with sorcery. I wish that we saw much more of that emotion, fear and dread manifested from her in that sense. I also wish that there had been more of a contrast between her and Squall; he feels that he is burdened with saving the world, but in actuality it is Rinoa's story and Rinoa's burden. I would have appreciated a story more along those lines. I appreciate it all the same, though.

I found Laguna's whimsical side stories paralleled with the group's journey to be just wonderful. The fact that we meet him later in the story and pieced it all just blew my mind at the time, and I honestly did not anticipate meeting him, especially in the circumstances under which the party finds him. I wish there had been more surprise in that moment, because it blew my mind.

The music was phenomenal. It set the tone for the game for me. It was fantastic.

The junction system both spoiled me and cursed me. In my first few playthroughs, I did not understand what the hell I was doing and assigned spells at random. After I read a little bit on how to use it to my advantage, the use of the system became such an incredible aid to battles that I expected the same system in future FF games I played and was disappointed to find them not so :shobon:

I love this game. Fuck you, haters.

Colonel Angus
08-19-2015, 02:47 AM
I third the "right place-right time" thing. I was in HS @ the time this came out & could really relate to it. For quite some time it was my favorite game. It seems like Square really nailed the timing when releasing the PSX games.

Rin Heartilly
08-22-2015, 10:16 AM
I absolutely adore this game, I also feel that a lot of the negativity it receives is unjustified because many are from FFVII fans that wanted VIII to be another VII and was disappointed that it wasn't.

While FFVIII wasn't the very first FF game I've experienced (my first was X after watching my cousin and my best friend in grade 6 play it), VIII was my first ever 'proper' rpg (I mainly played pokemon and kirby games prior) and the first FF and PSX title that I owned, and I really fell in love with it. I was only around 11 when I first played it so I probably didn't understand it very well but I thought Squall was hot and all the girls were pretty, and the summons were badass which drew me into it ^^;. I loved this game even more when I replayed it multiple times in highschool which like others have mentioned was probably the optimal time frame to play it in which I found especially Squall a really relatable protagonist (and I still think he's the most relatable FF protagonist).

Even though I have a huuuuge backlog of games I've yet to play at home on various consoles, I still play VIII at least once every year, because i love it so much ^^

Bri
09-06-2015, 02:17 AM
I started playing and I enjoy it, I was telling my Fiance (also a long time member on here) that there should be some type of movie made out of it. I think Squall is my favorite character. I enjoy playing, still have a lot of battles and levels though. Thankful that Bert introduced me to it!

escobert
09-10-2015, 03:54 AM
I like that there's a good amount of side quests in VIII. Lots of exploration and I liked Laguna's story!