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Reviews Comments: Counterintuitive Final Fantasy VIII game review by willyolio

That\'s the one word I can use to really summarize the whole game up. Everything about this game is just counterintuitive.

Let\'s begin with magic: one of the most important parts of any Final Fantasy game. Like most Final Fantasy games, it has the standard spells- ice, lightning, fire, cure... all the way up to Ultima. The difference is you\'ll never actually use them. You\'ll quickly learn that having powerful magic means having powerful stat points- so you\'ll still hunt for powerful magic. But using your magic ends up lowering your stats... so you\'ll spend a lot of time searching for the strongest magic in order to not use it. huh.

Experience and levelling up: It\'s a neat system where the monsters level up with you, so every single level is always 1000exp instead of the exponential growth curve. This auto-adjusting difficulty is a good idea if it weren\'t for the junctioning system. Keeping your level as low as possible is actually the easiest way to get through this game. Levelling up actually makes you (proportionally) weaker to the enemies you face. huh.

Characters: Most of the characters are unlikable. Squall\'s brooding and unemotional most of the time, which means the plot is moved not by the main character\'s decisions but what he\'s been ordered to do. The few times he gets emotional and makes a decision himself, it doesn\'t really matter anyways, as everyone else has decided the same thing. The rest of the cast is flat- and one-dimensional. Zell is the hothead, Selphie\'s energetic, Quistis is trying to be the mature one, Irvine\'s got an ego, Rinoa is a Damsel in Distress. As for backstory, for 4 of the 6 main characters it\'s simultaneous Laser-Guided Amnesia, and one is just pretending to have Laser-Guided Amnesia. huh.

Story/Plot: As usual, the entire world is in danger and you are the ones to save it, but it just doesn\'t feel as epic as it should. The main characters, however, just go with the flow. The final boss, despite being introduced early in Disc 3, still gets no development - she just wants to destroy the world. Almost every plot point just happens for the sake of happening - things rarely feel like action-and-consequences. It\'s just... an event. Then another event you stumbled into. There\'s very little linking things together organically. The characters just constantly react to things while having little to no motivation or agency of their own. There\'s supposed to be a theme of love, but the love story is not believable (i.e. very little development) and the characters are unlikeable (see above). There\'s a secondary theme of fate, but again the characters barely have agency, and just do things as they happen. The writing is atrociously lazy.

Overall: Poor. It might not be the worst, but then again, Final Fantasy 1 came on an NES cartridge, so it\'s forgivable. The music is its saving grace - thank you, Nobuo Uematsu.


  • Kerrah
  • 3rd Jul 11
You forgot the card game. :P
  • willyolio
  • 5th Jul 11
oh yeah, should have mentioned that. playing cards all day is what makes you more powerful, not levelling up. never have I ever seen a mini-game (not even a sidequest, technically!) be so damn powerful.

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