RT @Final Fantasy 8 analysis

Here’s a pretty well put together article that analyzes FF8, the time in and peer media in which it was released (Whedon, Rowling), and story in games.  It’s written for someone who has never played it (or, in fact, many games at all).

For the cynical gamers, note: this is not a “games as art” piece as the author discusses near the end.  Just a slightly deeper look at an often overlooked game.

Note: It does spoil the ending.  Read at your discretion.


I thoroughly enjoyed FF8; enough so that I replayed the entire thing twice back-to-back when my save data was erased 2 hrs from the end (otherwise known as 58 hrs in).  FF8 was actually the reason I bought a Playstation (or, more accurately, I played FF7 on the PC and my PC was incapable of running FF8).

And, yes, combat in FF8 was *horrible*.

5 thoughts on “RT @Final Fantasy 8 analysis

  1. Look, I’m glad that the author enjoyed FF8 as much as he did, but his self-indulgent wankfest was pretty tiring after a few paragraphs. The article was overflowing with compliments to a game and described specific instances where typical angsty teen drama was lauded as an “extraordinary scene”. I mean Twilight has as many vague looks with outcast emotional teens. Sure, the author has no qualms comparing it to good stuff like Buffy or Harry Potter, but Squall could have just as easily been lifted from Twilight and shopped at hot topics. Get off of the pseudo-intellectual high horse and play the game for what it was, another installment of Final Fantasy that met with mediocre acclaim but was well done and utilized more of the ps1’s power than FF7. Even the reference to Buffy was weak (considering I consider those early seasons of Buffy as the lame years). If he enjoyed those seasons of Buffy, then his taste in media is put to serious question.

    • First, and only point I would need to bring up, if you want to question the author’s taste: You’ve seen Twilight? :P

      Second, Squall was a bit ’emo’y, but he’s only one of the characters. I remember enjoying some of the secondary cast a bit more, the Sniper (Irvine?), Seifer, and Riona were well done. Also, while Squall may appear generic emo-y, FF8 came out well before Buffy was popular and before Twilight was a twinkle in some author’s eye. Squall’s anti-hero, emo-y act was pretty different from the normal spunky spikey hair, or gruff/silent BJ Blackowitz, or Duke Nukem.

      • Ah, well I know you haven’t seen as many movies good or bad, but there is a difference between viewing something bad and affirming that it’s bad in contrast to viewing something bad and believing that it’s good.

        Anyhow, I’m not criticizing the game necessarily, but rather the author’s approach of the subject. The heavy handed view of how dramatic and deep the character was while in fact those traits were pretty standard fare for, well, forever. Before emos, there were goths, rebels, Jets, etc…

        Also, I’m not sure how much Buffy you’ve seen, but Buffy is not emo. Please watch South Park Season 12, episode 14 for reference.

        I’m sure you don’t mean to say that Squall pioneered the emo (we can list a ton of movies with emo characters I’m sure, but some examples are “The Craft” or “Breakfast club” or Beetlejuice) but you’re missing the point. The point is that the emo character by itself isn’t very novel or interesting in my opinion. You might like him in the FF8 setting, fine, but don’t pretend that his motivations and emotions are great storycraft when those same things that was hailed as the second coming can be found in things are much less socially acceptable to like (ie, Twilight).

        I also wanted to mention that I copied and pasted the original reply onto his blog.

  2. Casey: “I’m playing it right now. I don’t understand why people hated the battle system in it, beside not understanding how to junction. Supposedly, they would just say the secret is to not level at all, but this is untrue. You need to level smart! Once you understand this, the game becomes more fun, and the battles are great.”

    Me: It’s been quite some time, but I remember it involved 5 turns or stealing magic until enemies didn’t give you any more, getting up to 99 spells, then joining those 99 spells into 33 bigger spells. get 99 more weak to get 33 more medium, until you had 99 medium, then convert those into 33 greateragas.

    Very tedious, and punished casting any spells because they made you weaker. Once you had greateragas junctioned to your abilities, you were ridiculously strong; it just took forever to get there. Unlike normal leveling, it was more about negative reinforcement from casting spells, than tedious positive reinforcement grinding weak enemies.

    My notes are mostly imported from my blog: you should post some comments there :). donttellmetheending.com

    • You would only upgrade your spells the first time through. The second time, you realize that it is much more efficient to do it by creating them from items. 40 hours in, and I already had all of my characters using junctioning spells they shouldn’t be, and I had my best weapons in the second disc.

      And for Emo characters, I don’t think you noticed, but FF7 had 3! I mean, it’s my favorite, but MAN! Cloud and Sephiroth are both kind of whiny and self-angsty (I think they have ‘mother issues’ or something.) And if that’s not bad enough, Vincent. “I’m going to sleep forever, because I was baaaad” Squall was just Quiet, and a loner. I guess he didn’t really have a reason for it, except his half-sister wasn’t around past 5.

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