#1 Posted by MrPilkington (722 posts) -

It's a long storied history with me and Final Fantasy VIII; but I'll just sum it up. Many years ago, during the PS2 early days I played Final Fantasy VIII and quite enjoyed it, but on the second disk somehow my data was erased. A year later, I started playing it again and got to around the end of the second disk and beginning of the third and my data was erased. I've had that game in the back of my mind for so many years and I would like to put it to rest and play through it, but by now is that game even playable? Most of those old Final Fantasy games haven't aged well. But as someone who wants to play through Final Fantasy VIII just to mark it off my list and see the rest of the story and so on, is it worth the long haul or will it be a foolhardy endeavor as it's not even playable anymore?

#2 Posted by Dagbiker (6972 posts) -

NO FINAL FANTASY IS WORTH IT. Except IX.

#3 Posted by MrPilkington (722 posts) -

Yeah, but I'm talking about a game that is 14 years old. As well as the fact that it's the only post SNES FF game that I haven't finished. Except for FF XIII-2, but is that even necessary?

#4 Posted by Flappy (2202 posts) -

It's totally up to you man. As a dude that played most of the FF titles (and will probably continue to do so until I rot), I don't believe FFVIII to be a good game. Blame it on the draw function or the story, but I couldn't honestly say that I enjoyed all the time that I spent with the game. I'd recommend VII and IX over it in a heartbeat.

#5 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

YES! Make those Junctions your bitch!

#6 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5353 posts) -

8 has a pretty terrible storyline, fantastic music, the best airship, the best "boat," solid sidequests, and a pretty good combat system. Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CTYymbbEL4

It's roughly the same quality as VII and IX but actually underrated by comparison.

#7 Posted by Xtrememuffinman (958 posts) -

Absolutely, VIII is my favorite one (except for maybe X). I also remember it being hell of easy, so you should be able to breeze through it. The ending is super weird and interesting.

#8 Posted by Encephalon (1250 posts) -

Couldn't hurt.

Just be forewarned that it gets real screwy at the end. Whether that's a good thing depends on who you ask. Just remember that for the people who write Final Fantasies, time travel is basically synonymous with magic.

#9 Posted by Voxus (333 posts) -

I really like the end of 8. Satisfying is the best word I can describe how I felt at the very end.

#10 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

I always follow the story until I get the airship, then screw around with side quests for way too long, then get bored and quit. Not just in Final Fantasy VIII though... this happens with every final fantasy.

I doubt that knowledge helps you with your decision though. Cest la vie

#11 Posted by hawkinson76 (362 posts) -

I don't think so. I got pretty far before I stopped playing back when it was new, and I tried again about 5 years ago, it just isn't very good. My dislike of 8 led me to skip 9, which I also tried to go back to that around the same time, got about a dozen hours in before quitting on that as well. Reflecting in it now, many if those ps1 games, even the ones I liked, are just so slow and awkward (e.g. Metal Gear Solid, Vagrant Story) . Maybe playing it with cheats would help, so you wouldn't need to spend hours exploiting the draw/junction system.

#12 Posted by thebunnyhunter (1394 posts) -

It is absolutly worth playing to the end, perhaps barring that "let's beleive in eachother so w don't dissipear" nonsence. Shouldn't take that long to finish compared to the other ps1 final fantasies if you abuse the draw system correctly.

#13 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2245 posts) -

It's my favorite ps1 era Final Fantasy game. Yes you should going through it.

#14 Edited by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@MrPilkington:

Why yes! For further reading, last year I wrote a rambling blog about why this is the best Final Fantasy.

http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/mcghee/final-fantasy-viii-is-the-greatest-final-fantasy-drunk-blog/30-80310/

It's a little spoilery, but not too bad.

#15 Posted by Draxyle (1835 posts) -

FFVIII is a very weird game.

The music, the artwork, the style, the CG; all easily some of the best in the entire franchise. That story though, it really falls apart the moment you take a moment think about it. A lot of the story beats feel like some employee went "Wouldn't it be awesome if this happened?!", without any rhyme or reason added to it. The sad part is, it starts off surprisingly strong, but really starts breaking into pieces by the end of the first disc.

But it's really still worth playing. It has its moments.

#16 Posted by Laurentech (127 posts) -

@McGhee said:

@MrPilkington:

Why yes! For further reading, last year I wrote a rambling blog about why this is the best Final Fantasy.

http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/mcghee/final-fantasy-viii-is-the-greatest-final-fantasy-drunk-blog/30-80310/

It's a little spoilery, but not too bad.

This guy knows what's up.

FFVIII is the bomb. It's still completely playable and awesome. Truth be told, if you're just in it to finish the game, you can do that really easily. The game requires no leveling, and it is actually easier if you don't level. Just burn through the story if that's all you care about.

#17 Posted by SpecDotSign (166 posts) -

@MrPilkington: I've had this same problem with Chrono Cross, but we're not here to talk about my problems. My answer to you is YES. Final Fantasy VIII has THE BEST ending credits in a video game ever in my opinion. Now I know something like that isn't an incentive to go finish a game, but it is awesome. A great way to cap off a good game.

#18 Posted by SpecDotSign (166 posts) -

@0blivion said:

I really like the end of 8. Satisfying is the best word I can describe how I felt at the very end.

Why no one has mentioned the ending credits is beyond me.

#19 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

I've played very little of the game. I'd like to play it but the magic system seemed awful. Is it really necessary to draw with every single character. I'd like to know the way to get through the game doing the least amount of drawing as possible.

Also don't limit breaks completely break that game?

#20 Posted by JasonR86 (9658 posts) -

Sure. Why not?

#21 Posted by LawGamer (164 posts) -

I remember thinking that VIII was vastly overrated. It's kind of strange, cause when I think about, the individual parts of the game were really good by themselves; great music, good graphics for the time, the best mini-game in the entire series, etc. Despite that, I also remember it being an absolute slog to finish.

Basically, if you come for any of the above, I'd say go for it. If you play these games for the story though, I wouldn't bother. Seriously, it makes MGSII look coherent by comparison.

#22 Edited by QuistisTrepe (628 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

NO FINAL FANTASY IS WORTH IT. Except IX.

Oh wow. No, just no. VIII is immeasurably better than the utterly vanilla IX. VIII is my last fond memory of the series.

#23 Posted by Aetheldod (3555 posts) -

Yes ... VIII is the best Final fantasy because its less dependant on magic (I never liked magic}) Also the junction systme allows you to make really awesome dudes etc. It´s not for everyone tho.

#24 Posted by IBurningStar (2164 posts) -

No. No one should ever play Final Fantasy VIII ever. Ever.

#25 Posted by Dan_CiTi (3261 posts) -

Play the SNES ones, after those you're good. 

#26 Posted by demonknightinuyasha (464 posts) -

Personally I really liked 8. One of these days I'm going to get back around to it. maybe they'll do an HD update! :D

#27 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5353 posts) -

@Aetheldod: Most Final Fantasy's aren't exactly magic heavy; there's usually a way to break the game with spells but it's generally pretty convoluted compared to just brute forcing with physical attacks and limit breaks or their equivalent.

#28 Posted by Savage (321 posts) -

I first finished FFVIII years after its original release and, despite being an enduring fan of the FF games, came away from it feeling pretty underwhelmed by many aspects of the game. However, after later stumbling across a certain fan theory that interprets the game's plot in a whole new light, I now look back feeling more impressed with FFVIII. For those who have finished the game, be sure you haven't missed out on this interesting interpretation of its story:

#29 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7615 posts) -

Go for it. I'd actually say that besides graphically, the SNES-PS1 era of FF games haven't aged badly at all, they're all still perfectly playable.

VIII was probably the worst game of the bunch, but since you started, you might as well see it through to the end. Just play IX afterwards to cleanse yourself.

#30 Posted by RazielCuts (2952 posts) -

It's the only one I haven't finished because I hated it's magic and draw system. 'Once you've used it, its gone.' 'But what if I want to experiment and see what its like with a new enemy?' 'NO, IT'S GONE!' refillable MP or GTFO.

#31 Posted by Hunter5024 (5635 posts) -

I vote yes, the ending made my favorite ending list, and I think it has probably my favorite final dungeon in the series history. If you really want to just blaze through it just keep Squall at low HP and spam Renzokuken for every fight.

#32 Posted by Rebel_Scum (688 posts) -

@Flappy said:

I don't believe FFVIII to be a good game. Blame it on the draw function or the story, but I couldn't honestly say that I enjoyed all the time that I spent with the game. I'd recommend VII and IX over it in a heartbeat.

This.

#33 Posted by RedCream (704 posts) -

Yeah, go for it.

#34 Posted by MalkavianJD (58 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

NO FINAL FANTASY IS WORTH IT. Except IX.

But...Final Fantasy VI

#35 Posted by RVonE (4634 posts) -

VIII is fantastic. Best of the PS1 era with IX a very close second.

#36 Edited by TobbRobb (4603 posts) -

I'm sure you have better things to do with your time. I won't argue that it's a bad game, "though I honestly don't like it", but it's really old, and there's a bunch of other things to play. If it feels like a chore, just dont do it!

EDIT: @Aetheldod said:

Yes ... VIII is the best Final fantasy because its less dependant on magic (I never liked magic}) Also the junction systme allows you to make really awesome dudes etc. It´s not for everyone tho.

VII let's you do the exact same thing. And is arguably easier to handle.

Though that is a matter of what system you prefer, VII is easier to fool around with when you know how, while VIII is more annoying but you don't have to be crazy to find out what works.

#37 Posted by Supah_Ted (42 posts) -

I say yes. I have put over 300 hours into it. And it holds up pretty well.

#38 Posted by GunstarRed (5125 posts) -

I really hated playing VIII, but I know I was glad to finish it. I don't fully remember the ending, but I remember being really wowed by it and was glad I'd pushed myself through to the end.

#39 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

Yes. The junction system is the best system in any Final Fantasy so far. Reaction to the ending seems pretty polarised, though so I wont comment on that even though I liked it. I think we should all be able to agree, though, that the final dungeon is awesome.

#40 Posted by AuthenticM (3717 posts) -

Absolutely. I played, beaten and own every mainline Final Fantasy game, and can say with honesty that VIII is my personal favorite. It has aged a lot better than 7 did (both 8 and 9 did). The story is great, the combat is fun though easy to exploit. The soundtrack is amazing. The pacing is actually beneficial to the story and not cited a lot. The game just keeps on going.

In short, play it. It's great.

Online
#41 Posted by Neurotic (632 posts) -

No. But I would never suggest playing FFVIII to anyone.

I'll try and be objective though. You seemed to enjoy it (for reasons beyond me) but as with every other Final Fantasy it is hella long and there are newer, more relevant (better) games you could be playing or just other things you could do.

Also, the PS2 early days you refer to were a long time ago. Your tastes may have changed and regardless of how well it holds up, graphically or gameplay wise, it won't hold up as well as when you first played it.

#42 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

If you made it to disc 3 and want to go back and do it all again, you might be one of those people who actually enjoys awful things. Go for it.

#43 Posted by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -

Personally I quite like it. If you're able to appreciate games as products of their time then I think it's worth going back to.

#44 Posted by ImHungry (377 posts) -

I'm rather fascinated by the divisive opinions in this thread.

Personally VIII is one of my favourite in the series as somebody who's played basically every main game. The scaled leveling made for quite the different experience and the GF system was great (except for the part where boosting sucked). The characters were all really strong and the music is fantastic. I will agree that the story is full of holes but strangely enough that made the game that much more fascinating to me as it provoked thought about what actually happened in the end and lead to a lot of reading of theories about the story and such. Not going to say that's neccesarily a plus as it's just how I felt, but I think the hokey story is more than made up for by the other aspects of the game.

#45 Posted by Nodima (1165 posts) -

When it was new, I played this game a LOT. Like, 13-15 full saves, three or four of them eclipsing 100 hours, some at level 22-30 some at level 99 for all characters, some with all the best equips some with the bare minimum. I was terribly obsessed with this game.

For a bit of nostalgia, and lack of cash to buy bigger games, I grabbed the PSN version sometime last year and pretty quickly/enjoyably got to the 3rd disc, pretty sure I'm about a third of the way through that one, but I just abruptly stopped and don't really have a desire to jump back in.

Still, considering I've exhausted just about every minute of gameplay one could expect from a game like FFVIII (considering my thoughts on gaming tedium these days, it's amazing my favorite Final Fantasy is the one with the Draw system) I'd say if you didn't decide you hated the game those other two times you tried it, you should definitely give it another shot. The story on the 3rd and 4th discs may not be for everyone but there's some really great boss battles, and everyone should get a chance to use Squall's most powerful limit breaks.

#46 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
#47 Posted by Marcsman (3180 posts) -

I liked VIII. I don't know about playing it 14 years later though.

#48 Posted by tunaburn (1890 posts) -

the draw function is a terrible magic system. but the game was fun enough at the time. i wouldnt play it now though.