COVID-19 Has Me Playing – Final Fantasy 8: Remastered
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our lives and forced us to hunker down in our homes like bears during hibernation. While work is still a thing and my organization’s VPN has kept me (thankfully) employed, I also have a lot more free time that would otherwise be spent commuting, going out to eat, or any number of other social activities. This presents an opportunity for natural Introverts like myself to settle in and catch up on our gaming backlogs. Through this short series, I’ll explore several games and anime series that have kept me company while having this newly found downtime.
Kicking it off, replaying Final Fantasy 8…but in its “Remastered” iteration
A Lot to prove
Final Fantasy VIII is a game that had a lot to prove to fans when it arrived. Following up Final Fantasy VII, which officially put then Squaresoft on the map in the west in a significant way, was never going to be an easy task. Squall and friends had to try to be as charismatic as Cloud and his cadre and attempt to tell a story just as compelling.
With the exception of having more realistic proportions for its characters and an odd, yet, broken magic junction system, FFVIII was an interesting game if not quite as cohesive
I started up Final Fantasy VIII after buying a few FF games during SquareEnix’s recent Eshop sale. I honestly never expected to stick with it given how clunky its systems are by today’s standards, but I’ve found myself working through it diligently. I do appreciate the updated textures, but the pre-rendered backgrounds have kept their original resolution. This presents a really ugly contrast to the newly crisp characters, vehicles, etc., but I’m persisting nonetheless. The camera on the overworld is wonky and can’t be controlled with the right analog stick, which is a bit of an oversight in my view; driving around you have to use the L and R buttons to rotate it, which is somehow worse.
I’m not far in my adventure as I’m using a guide to try to get everything on my first play-through (there are things that are completely missable), but it’s keeping me more entertained than I thought it would.
As with most RPGs both classic and contemporary, playing on the verstile Switch is the way to go, especially since games like this don’t rely on flashy graphics. Having the ability to play in different parts of the house is a really great advantage for when I get frustrated and need to step away.
It’s kind of nice revisiting this game and getting to relearn its systems. It’s not a game for everyone…to be clear its battle systems, jittery character mondels, and menu labyrinth are as archaic as they get, but there is some value in diving into gaming history while dodging a world-altering respiratory virus.