Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Top 50 Games - 37. Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy VIII is definitely not the most popular game in the series. But when it comes to Square's flagship franchise, it's hard to win. The truly hardcore seem to deride nearly every entry save for VI. It makes sense, of course, that many an RPG fan was disappointed with the followup to VII. Regardless, VIII is a wonderful, if flawed game. One of the most prominent complaints hurled at VIII over the years is Squall and how he's a selfish, moronic, unadorable prick. Yeah, I guess that's kind of true, but in 1999, getting a hero that was a bit more layered and difficult than Mario was rather refreshing. Mind you, this was before the days when starring an 'antihero' became a joke (one that developers still aren't aware of). Despite your probable disdain for Squall, FFVIII can charm you in other areas, like its mature, sophisticated Neo-European aesthetic. It can also befuddle you with its mind-bending Junction system and time-compressing story. I believe that it was this entry that truly elevated the series into the realm of graphical dominance it occupies today; that is, if you consider proportional characters to be important. Whether it's good or great, its placement on this list reaffirms that it's my personal list, and not an objective one. That opening CG cutscene was un-freaking-believable, though. I'll be waiting here... for you... So cool.

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