Final Fantasy 8. Oh, what to say...Honestly, I don't have much to say about this one. I remember I was hotly anticipating the next Final Fantasy after the fantastic FF7. I think I even went to Wal-Mart and got it on the midnight launch, as sad as that sounds. Poor me. I didn't know what I was getting into.
I actually remember playing a demo for FF8 and thinking how cool it would be. There was a cool looking guy with a leather jacket and a gun-blade. Take two cool weapons. A gun and a sword. Combine them togther? Gun-blade! The weapon was so cool, that they gave it to Lightning for FF13. Because 8 sucked and no one remembers Squall using one.
I have to say FF8 was one of the most divisive RPGs of all time. Some people liked the more realistic approach to character design. The romantic story line. The unique Draw system. But I didn't get it. I have the game now for PSP but I am still not very interested in playing it again.
I would say that FF8 and FF14 have probably come the closest to destroying the image of Final Fantasy. FF8 was so universally hated in fact, that in an attempt to satisfy fans, the next game was FF9, a complete throw-back to older and better Final Fantasies.
Square Enix says they are sorry. Here is the awesome FF9.
Some things I remember from FF8 (which goes to show how little I remember from it)
1. Squall is a complete buzz-kill loser. He just whines and complains . I guess Japanese gamers like those kind of protagonists? I don't know. In all fairness, Squall was one of the first emo characters in RPGs.
2. Seifer. Seifer was like Squall except he had a coat. And blond hair. They even had the same weapon. I remember thinking, "oh it's going to be bad ass when I finally get to fight Seifer!" If I recall, the final battle with Seifer is rather anti-climatic. He just goes away or something.
3. The last boss. Queen something or other. The last boss of FF8 is so unmemorable that no one probably knows her name without looking it up on Wikipedia.
4. The other characters. Who were the other characters? Rinoa, who was like Aerith and Tifa mixed together except not as interesting. Some guy with spiked hair and weird shorts. His name started with a Z. Um, some girl with a whip. Quistis I think? Uh...who else. Seriously, the game had no memorable characters.
5. Laguna. Yes, Laguna. In a sort of weird dream sequence deal, you meet Laguna. Who is he? I have no clue. A reporter or something. You get to play as him some. But I forget why. Seriously, the game had no direction whatsoever.
6. You go in outer space at some point. I guess.
You may think "Phil, it sounds like you didn't play this game." I promise I did. I really don't remember anything from it, it was so boring.
So Square sends out a love letter to the fans called FF9. I think because expectations were lowered from FF8, a game that many recall as one of the top 3 Final Fantasies is widely overlooked.
I will talk about the grossly underrated FF9 next go. Please send all FF8 hate mail to me via Facebook.