Here we are again folks, it is time to preview the upcoming September PS4 games. However, for this month, I am going to concentrate on just one game and that is Final Fantasy VIII remastered. As it is one of my favourites – although it wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea back in the day – I wanted to give it a special preview. Let’s get into it!
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Release date: 03/09/19
Official page: https://ffviiiremastered.square-enix-games.com/en-gb
I love, love the Final Fantasy series and I loved Final Fantasy VIII so I was glad that this title has finally got a remaster. Most of the other Final Fantasy games have had a remaster over the years and I’m glad this has finally got one. It’ll definitely keep me occupied until Final Fantasy VII remake comes out next March.
So, I’ll start with a brief outline of the story for those that haven’t played it. It is set in a world where ancient power known as the Sorceress Power is passed down through generations and as we play, the peace of the realm is threatened when the evil sorceress Edea takes control of the Galbadia Republic. You play as Squall, a seventeen year old cadet of Balamb Garden military’s elite mercenary force, SeeD and it is up to you as well as other allies to stop Edea and save the realm. Aside from that, it is also a story of love and friendship.
The main protagonist – Squall Leonhart
So, what’s new? Well, the remaster has taken the character, weapon and enemy models and rebuilt them from the ground up to be completely 3D instead of the textured 3D look the 1999 4-disc original had.
Nostalgia plays a huge part in these remasters so whilst it’s important that they update the game to fit modern technology, they also don’t want to make it unrecognisable and I have to say, it looks great and straight away it takes me back to my teen years when I first played it.
Squall and his love interest, Rinoa Heartily
The gameplay has been kept the same which for me is definitely a plus point, you can’t mess with that. As said, you don’t want to make it unrecognisable. Like most of the early Final Fantasy games, VIII uses the classic JRPG turn-based system which I love, it gives you the chance to battle strategically and use your characters to their full strengths. There is three characters you can control on screen at any given time and you set their action at the beginning of their go. Although, the gameplay has been kept the same, Square Enix have added a couple of tweaks which are useful, especially if you’ve played it before. The game can now be played up to three times faster than the original at the expense of some of the time-consuming cutscenes as well as moving around the world quicker. You can also cut out the certain sections of the game which are timed against the clock but only do this if you’ve played it before as a good chunk of the game will be missed.
The classic turn-based battle screen
Moving onto levelling up and all of your stats can also be tweaked in this title. The game uses a junction system that allows you to connect spells to your stats like power or spirit and thus, improving them. The more powerful the spell and the more of that spell you have junctioned, the higher the stat. Another great thing in this title which I enjoyed first time around and that is the Guardian Forces. They are basically a summoned monster that can help you in battle. Final Fantasy fans will definitely recognise some of the regular and popular summons.
The GF Ifrit helping out in battle
You will get so many GF’s playing through the linear story but there is a lot to collect through side-missions and some of them are amazing and powerful. It is definitely worth putting in the extra time to get them.
Another thing in the original which I put time into is the Triple Triad mini-game. It is so addictive! It is not only fun but you can gain items from playing as well. Cards can be refined into items and many of the game’s rarer items are found through this mini-game. You can also gain pride from collecting the character cards and these are also the strongest cards so they are not easy to find.
Triple Triad is an addictive game of strategy
This title will be available digitally for £15.99 and this is an absolute bargain for well over 100 hours of play. I cannot wait to start this game again and despite the option to quicken the game, I think I will play through it fully, I want to immerse myself in that world again.