A roleplaying game created by the popular video game company Square-Enix (called Squaresoft at game's release). It stands out among the other RPGs in the Final Fantasy series for its primary focus on a love story, as well as a far more futuristic world. Due to the success and hype of its predecessor, Final Fantasy 7, the eighth title has become a subject of deep controversy as to whether it is a competent game. The mass of gamers who had never touched an RPG often make their decision of the better game between VII and VIII (the Roman numerals are more often used) based on whichever they played first, and their prejudice is unwavered because of their close-mindedness and a dedication to their side of the argument.
Aside from that, FFVIII, shortened as all of the Final Fantasy games typically are, is a far more realistic take on Square-Enix's franchise.
The story, lead by the taciturn and often-dubbed "emo" main character, Squall, follows a group of mercenary soldiers in their late teens who are dragged into a battle with an evil sorceress, a battle that would likely decide the fate of the planet. Along the way, Squall's team grows: party members include Squall's instructor, Quistis Trepe, two fellow mercenary friends, Selphie Tilmitt and Zell Dincht, a mercenary from another force, Irvine Kinneas, and the leader of a half-baked rebel faction, Rinoa Heartilly. Throughout the story, the characters' histories and personalities are revealed, and their innate morals and desires are tested, thrown upon the tides of situations the world forces at them.
The games play mechanic is typical of previous FF games, including numerous side-quests, extensive conversations driven by text-bubbles to continue the story, and travel across a world map (a smaller-scaled version of the world through which the player reaches new locations). Along the way, battles are fought, most often popping up at random invervals in the well-known "Random Encounter" style of many RPGs to date. Utilizing Guardian Forces, mystical creatures with massive power, the player can attach a stock of spells drawn from enemies or at numerous "draw points" to individual stats, increasing their power in that area.
The learning curve on this "junction system" seems to be extremely wide, as many people give up on the game entirely when they cannot understand it. Meanwhile, those who pick up on the simple process of stocking and junctioning spells often also give up on the game, as the ease of obtaining extremely powerful spells and high stats breaks the difficulty, making the game extremely easy.
Despite its shortcomings and the oft comparisons to other games, particularly FFVII, Final Fantasy VIII is a strong game in its own right, with high scores in many official game reviews as well as a ferocious and defensive fanbase.
Fanboy of VII- Man, Final Fantasy 8 sucks VII, is bett!er lolz
Fanboy of VIII- squall roxors you sucks
Competent Human Being- Hmm, this definitely isn't the forum I was looking for. Wow, 500 threads about this, too.