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Final Fantasy VIII (PC) - Retroview

I Don't Know What Possessed Me To Play This Again...

By: Desh


Review Breakdown
   Battle System 6
   Interface 3
   Music/Sound 5
   Originality 6
   Plot 3
   Localization 6
   Replay Value 2
   Visuals 6
   Difficulty Moderate
   Time to Complete

25-45 Hours

 
Overall
3
Criteria

Title

  The time has come for the era of the Playstation to come to a close. The highly-powered PlayStation 2, the GameCube, and the XBox are now taking over the gaming world. However, one system will outlive them all - the PC. With this tool, games of just about any system can be played, provided you have the right equipment. Games such as Final Fantasy VII and VIII, being composed of CDs, should be quite compatible with the PC. However, these ports were not as successful as they could have been.

For instance, unless your computer is designed to work with a Playstation controller, you will be forced to use some other type of joystick or *gasp* keyboard keys. Battles depend on quick reflexes and easily accessible commands; with a keyboard, chances of coming up with a decent configuration are slim, and the chance of getting one as good as the PSX provides is nigh impossible. One major problem in particular is easily locating the run buttons and the "boost" button. On a PSX controller, it is very easy to press these buttons and press other buttons simultaneously. Especially for the boosting, the keyboard makes a poor substitution.

Another problem in FFVIII's interface is the lack of a "quit" option. Even with all of the controller issues that unaviodably crop up, it should have dawned on the designers to create a "quit" option. Now, Alt-F4 and Ctrl-Alt-Del always work, but... it really is unexcusable.


How quaint.
How quaint.  

   Now, I'm not particularly fond of FFVIII's soundtrack to begin with. In fact, I was very unimpressed by it even on the PSX. But when you go from a system where the music was specifically designed for that midi system to a computer, for which midi system can be anywhere from as good as the PSX to extremely shotty. The music that was already tinny and empty was even more so. In short, the port lost what sound quality it had to offer originally.

As for originality and plot, I believe I've said enough in the ratings at the top. As this is only a review on the port job itself, I will refrain from putting my full, em, "input" on them. With that said, I can safely say that what little bad translation there was in the original was not noticably changed.

Also varying from computer to computer is graphical capabilities. As this game did start to show the limits of the PSX, a system made to run graphics and such, it would not be surprising if some computers would have a hard time running FFVIII. However, even on some of the best computers that could easily run FFX if they had to would still not show the fullness in that the PSX showed. The major factor in this is that, while the PSX runs polygons, PC's run games in pixels. A good amount of clarity was lost in the transition.


No, drawing was NOT made any more fun.
No, drawing was NOT made any more fun.  

   With all that said, I strongly suggest that, if you are compelled to play FFVIII, play it on a PlayStation if at all possible. Either way, I shouldn't have to convince you to much to not replay it. It was painful going through again, except even worse because I replayed it on a PC. There are definitely better games you can play, as there really isn't much more to play through in FFVIII. Even Triple Triad can't bring me back.

Now, FFVIII was very easy to begin with. It's the only game I know where characters at level 40 can have 9999 hit points. What makes the PC version a little harder is that some small secrets are harder to see with the down-graded graphics, and the altered controls make getting around frustrating, not to mention the problems posed in battles. It was for this reason, too, that the game will take a bit longer, as it will probably slow you down.

   With all that said, I strongly suggest that, if you are compelled to play FFVIII, play it on a PlayStation if at all possible. Either way, I shouldn't have to convince you to much to not replay it. It was painful going through again, except even worse because I replayed it on a PC. There are definitely better games you can play, as there really isn't much more to play through in FFVIII. Even Triple Triad can't bring me back.


A nice, quiet party...
A nice, quiet party...

Overall, the port of FFVIII is about as bad as the port for FFVII. I say this mostly because, although the were both reduced to about the same level, except for graphics, FFVII lost considerably more. Then again, it had much more to lose... in any case, if you must play this, and you have a PC but don't want to buy a PSX, you still have the opportunity to do so. Just take it with a grain of salt - although it could be much better... it isn't.





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