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Final Fantasy 8 - A Review
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Final Fantasy 8  -  A Review

Final Fantasy 8 is one of my most favourite role-playing game of all time. It has a reasonably good graphic, an interesting plot, amazing gameplay and rewarding side-quest.

This game was released in 1997 on PlayStation 1. That is 16 years ago so it is obvious that the graphic is not as good as today's games. However, back in those day it was considered as having one of the best graphic available. So as long as you can keep an open mind about the game, I believed its story-line and wonderful gameplay would greatly compensate for the quality of graphic.

The story is set in Balamb garden, your average school with an exception that they also specialised in teaching students the art of combat. The main character, Squall, an introverted student who has just completed his field exam and got promoted to be the leader of the most elite group in Balamb garden - SEED. Their job is to carry out missions all over the world to generate income for the garden. However, Squall's first mission tied him down with a group of vigilante seeking independence. Little did he know that his meeting with group leader Rinoa would lead him onto unexpected journey that would change his life forever.

The gameplay is based on the famous 'Active-Time-Battle' system. Basically, each character will possess an 'ATB' gauge. Once the gauge is full, characters would be able to perform certain action which consumes the gauge. As time passes the gauge will fill up again allowing for another action. In this game, you can fight monster using physical attack, magic and even summon mystical creatures known Guardian Force to aid your party. Similar to other role-playing games, as you defeat monsters you will gain experience which, once the threshold is reached, will increase your level and fighting capabilities. There are also 'limit break' which can be considered as your ultimate skill.

Unlike other role-playing games, the side-quest in this game is very rewarding. What I mean by rewarding is that the side-quest can be started early in the game and it has direct impact on how strong your characters can be. For example, playing a card game mini-game at the beginning of the game will most likely slowed down the progression of the story but in return for your effort, you will be able to obtain the best weapon in the game early on. Moreover, you can increase the stats of your party dramatically. This gives you so much the freedom of playing the game where second, third or maybe even your forth play-though will still be exciting. Side-quests in many other games occur much later with very little impact on the strength of your party.

In my opinion of a good role-playing game, Final Fantasy 8 has the whole package. As long as you are willing to keep an open mind about graphic quality of the game. you will definitely enjoy playing it, most likely as much as you enjoy playing every other series of final fantasy.


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