Day VIII: Final Fantasy VIII

Disclaimer: Spoilers will be all over this post — you have been warned!

Released in 1999, Final Fantasy VIII was the second game released on the PlayStation platform.  The game continued the modern/futuristic trend of Final Fantasy VII, containing weapons such as the gunblade and technology that included space travel.  However, the game did take some radical departures from many of the things players became used to in the Final Fantasy universe.  Magic Points (MP) were non-existent, money could not be obtained by killing monsters, monsters and bosses leveled up with you, stat increases from leveling up were marginal at best, and the characters actually looked like humans on the world map instead of sprites or the blocky polygon models seen in Final Fantasy VII.

The game introduced the Junction System to allow for players to increase their characters stats, and magic (and some summons, known as Guardian Forces) was obtained by literally drawing it from monsters that were encountered in battle.  It was a very unique system and its main goal was to shift the emphasis away from straight grinding of experience points.

With this post, we now enter the point in this countdown in which all of these games will be very close to each other and my decisions in ranking became very, very tough.  From this point on, there will be very few reasons one game is above another and those reasons don’t stand out as clearly as they have in the rest of the countdown.  I will do my best to differentiate the games and clearly define my reasoning; however, I’m quite sure that I might see several disagreements from this point on.

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