Monday, August 07, 2000

Final Fantasy VIII | 8.5

This is where it begins. Watch closely, people. If you are wise, you are (or will be) playing a game that trancends almost every idea to grace the human mind on creating a videogame masterpiece. Final Fantasy VIII is as such a classic, that if possible, should be displayed in the most important museums in the world. I'm pretty sure most reviewers 'greatly' disagree with me, but then isn't everyone entitled to share their opinion? I respect theirs as I expect mine will be.

What I cannot fathom are the intensely negative reviews coming from the people! How can a game of such caliber, genius, beauty and artisty be seen as "the worst FF ever...and so on"? I simply don't comprehend. Ive heard others like "I like all FF games, 'cept 8", or "It just doesn't belong in the Squaresoft catalogue....". Why? Upon critical analysis, I think it's because people fear change. It's part of human nature. If you adapt to something, why would you want it to change?

I have almost always noticed that some of the 'hardcore fans' proclaim that Square's old style is what should have been on this game - that they miss the old style. NONSENSE! Squaresoft wanted to do something different, temporarily. They wanted to exercise their minds a bit - to stray away from the typical RPG standards. Even possibilities of 'harsh criticism' wasn't going to stop them.....they were going to experiment. You see, even though we have an inner instinct to fear change, the human will to experiment and 'move on' conquers all (look at where experimentation has gotten us: our technology is advancing). There is no such thing as 'the way things (RPGs) ought to be'. There's nothing wrong with prefering things to remain the same, but at least, people should keep their right to experiment.

You can actually see where Squaresoft wants to take their work. FF8 houses the most significant changes ever to grace the Final Fantasy series so far. Everything from the different "Junction" system, to the "realism" of the characters (not just the models, but also the humanism), to the "science fiction-themed" dramatic love story, is proof of things yet to come. Where FFIX represents all Final Fantasy as a whole by blending the old and new Squaresoft ideas, FFVIII begins a revolution. The future of Final Fantasy (as has been presented in FFX) is hinted in FFVIII.

To sum up, FFVIII is a marvel to behold. Don't dismiss this game because of negative reviews, as I did. If you do want to go by the reviews, take into consideration that some of them are written by hardcore fans who don't appreciate change....who want the same redundant ideas in their videogames. Don't let them fool you. Take it from someone who appreciates good art, and knows a good videogame when he sees one. I am usually a harsh critic when it comes to most things....and I truly do mean it when I say this game gets 5 stars. A classic!

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