Can you believe that in a few months it’ll be almost TEN YEARS since the 9/9/99 release of Final Fantasy VIII? And unfortunately, those ten years have plagued the Playstation RPG with Internet douchebags ragging on Final Fantasy VIII for being a horse of a different color from the installments that preceded and followed it. It’s been, by far, the least-popular Final Fantasy from the latter six entries in the franchise, with fans citing just about everything aside from the graphics as an abomination.
But, really, FFVIII isn’t as awful as all of that. And finally there’s a thoughtful article that agrees with me on this.
I think it’s helped a lot of people put FFVIII in a new perspective now that it doesn’t have to compete with the ultra-success and expectations brought upon by FFVII and now that the people that played it when it was released have had more life experiences with which to relate to the complex themes of the game. Hopefully this article can inspire players to revisit or even visit this installment for the first time.
I also wanna take this opportunity to relate why FFVIII has such a tender place in my heart via an embarrassing high school memory. So FFVIII came out on a Thursday and I was sooooo stoked for it and got it on Day 1 and played a few hours of it that night and was on cloud fucking nine. Then I went to school the next day and… had a really unpleasant lunch period that heralded the beginning of the end of a friendship I’d had for a few years. It cut me so badly that I actually had to get up from the lunch table, go to the bathroom and cry in the stall. I felt miserable the whole rest of the day and when I went home I just buried myself in FFVIII for not only the rest of the day, but the whole weekend. I allowed myself to be swallowed up by it. Here, I was having a parallel high school experience, but instead of being a gibbering geeky mess, I was a cool soldier that got to fight giant mechanical spiders and summon magical creatures! It really helped me through a shitty time of my life and it was probably exactly the right game at exactly the right time for me.
I’m not expecting sob stories or anything, but maybe in the comments you can mention any interesting memories you have about Final Fantasy VIII as well! And remember to check out Pop Matters’ fantastic article about it.
And now, Faye Wong.