20 years after the release of the first version on Playstation, a pivotal title in the saga of the "final fantasy" is back. I'm talking about Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, a game that mixes the memories of the past with a series of improvements designed to make the new experience truly unforgettable.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered review: let's brush up on the plot
In a universe with a realistic imprint but alternating futuristic cities, fishing villages, mystical ruins and alien spaceships, the events with the sixteen-year-old protagonist take place Squall leonhart. Squall is part of a select military squad, i Seed, under the orders of Garden di Balamb. The gardens are the military bases that protect the country, or at least in theory: one of the gardens, that of Galbadia, has come under the control of the evil witch Edea and his rider Seifer, a former comrade in arms of Squall.
The witch Edea appears to be the most powerful being in the world and, despite various plans to defeat her, nothing seems to work. However, it turns out that Edea is the victim of one possession by another far more powerful witch from the future: Artemisia. Its goal is to use "temporal compression" and reign over the past, present and future at the same time. It will be up to Squall and his team, made up of Zell, Selphie, Quistis, Rinoa ed Irvine put an end to his plans.
The gameplay remains totally unchanged from the past. I remind you that we are in fact talking about a Remastered version and not a Remake. The remastered in fact only serve to make the graphics of the game more modern and attractive to our eyes, improving the general fluidity a little. In remakes, on the other hand, there is a tendency to revolutionize different aspects of the game, changing game modes, graphics and plot.
But stop the chatter and get back to us. We are faced with a classic system of turn-based combat. To support it the typical elements of an RPG: this means that, at the end of each fight, you will get experience points and skills necessary to enhance your characters i and i Guardian Force.
They also come back too the minigames. Among these is the famous Triple Triad, the card game that has always been much loved by fans.[
Una new entry: i tricks
To modernize the title - or perhaps to improve a game system that is now a bit obsolete - the developers have added 3 small optional features. Which ones are they?
The first allows you, through a specific command, to increase game speed. You will then be able to run from one side of the map to the other in no time and speed up the (sometimes) slow invocation sequences of the GFs. Personally I found this gem very useful for those who, like me, already know Final Fantasy VIII by heart.
The second feature concerns the deactivation of casual encounters, obtainable by pressing two buttons together, while the third allows you, always using a button, to increase the bonus points received at the end of the fight and to make the limit break, the final moves of our PCs (choice that will make the most loyal players of the genre turn up their noses, like myself).
Finally, we come to the graphic changes, starting from the models of main and secondary characters, monsters and Guardian Forces which are significantly improved. They remain a bit static in their expressiveness and angular in their movements, but the difference is truly remarkable.
Practically unchanged, however, everything else: backgrounds, locations, field maps, trees and mountains do not seem to have undergone the deserved restyling, thus leaving us a general feeling of incompleteness. The contrast - between what is new and what is firmly linked to the past - immediately catches the eye, finding us with characters who are now more contemporary immersed in settings that remained unchanged in 1999.
The old black side bands also remain, keeping the game at one resolution of 4: 3, which now clashes with modern televisions. I wouldn't have minded enjoying the 16: 9 experience.
But let's let the images do the talking. Here are some before / after examples for the characters. In the middle you will also find the HD version released for PC in 2013.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered review: buy it or not?
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch e PC. If you are a nostalgic fan of the saga, you absolutely cannot miss this opportunity to relive the sensations and emotions of 20 years ago. The plot and the music of Nobuo Uematsu that made us fall in love are still there, ready to bring out something that seemed dormant. For those who have never played with this title in the past, I do not recommend the purchase because it is from there that it comes and remains.
- It's Final Fantasy 8
- More pleasant to watch
- Small tricks to complete the game more easily
- Only the PCs improved
- Old combat system