Final Fantasy VII Second Opinion
Reviewed: 07/22/2003


This is being written to fill the large void left by our original review of Final Fantasy VIII. The review did take on a fairly unbiased angle, but it did not fully plead the case of those who did not enjoy the game. While I liked the game myself, this “second opinion” will try to make the review more complete.

The thing about which gamers complain the most is the love-themed story. This is a polarizing factor between those that love the game and those that despise it. At its heart, the plot revolves around the many trials of Squall and Rinoa, and how they become bonded together. This is a major turn off to some gamers. I don’t know why; perhaps they are afraid of love, or have so much failure with it in their own lives that a game on the topic just doesn’t float their boat? One can’t be 100% sure. With everything else going on in the game, however, the love story is, more often than not, riding in the back seat. While complaints about the story are not unfounded, they are definitely exaggerated.

The Junction System is grand if used properly, but it is not without its flaws. Equpping magic to stats to raise them is an excellent idea, and things like this are a large part of what makes an RPG fun to play, but the system is very limited. At any given time in the game, the player can only really have 3 or 4 characters that are respectably powerful, because there are only so many GF’s with only so many powers to go around. What’s that about? This damages the overall quality of the game, as it detracts from the value of developing the characters. Levels lose much of the importance they have, as pretty much the only thing that matters is what abilities the GF’s can give the characters and what magic they’ve drawn. While the system is okay, it is not nearly as complete as the Esper System, or in a sense, even the Materia or Sphere Grid Systems.

In conclusion, the many reviews recommend FF8 to RPG-ers that “liked FF7, and can handle a change.” I must disagree. While I thought FF8 was a solid game overall, I cannot recommend it very many people. The fact that the game is generally regarded by gamers as the worst Final Fantasy to hit America (poll after poll) assists in my non-recommendation. This game is most surely (but not exclusively) for the more lighthearted gamer. It is not enough like FF7 to warrant a legit comparison. More likely than not, you will find this game playable, but don’t count on adding it to your “best ever” list, as there are more avid haters of this game than most other RPGs on the market.

-Heath Hindman

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Very Good
Story Very Good
Graphics Excellent
Sound/Music Excellent
Replay Value Bad
The Verdict: 6