‘Final Fantasy VIII Remastered’ Review – I Dreamt I Was a Mobile Port – TouchArcade

‘Final Fantasy VIII Remastered’ Assessment – I Dreamt I Was a Cell Port – TouchArcade

Square Enix has made some tasty salad of porting its Final Fantasy games to mobile for a very long time now. It’s been roughly eleven years because the first two video games within the sequence dropped on iOS, and because the years handed the others got here. In 2011, Closing Fantasy 3. In 2012, Closing Fantasy 4. 2013 and 2014 noticed the fifth and sixth video games arrive, bringing us to the sting of the PlayStation period of the sequence. In 2015, the large second arrived: Closing Fantasy 7 got here, albeit with fewer adjustments than the earlier iOS releases. Certainly, it felt like one thing working in an emulator, however it was nonetheless cool to see such an enormous recreation hit our little screens.

Following this sample, it will appear logical to assume that Closing Fantasy 8 would arrive in 2016. Properly, we did get a Closing Fantasy recreation that 12 months, however it was the fairly spectacular port of Closing Fantasy 9. In contrast to the earlier recreation, this felt prefer it was rebuilt for the {hardware}. Maybe that was the hold-up with Closing Fantasy 8? On the time, I assumed we’d see the eighth recreation arrive in 2017. As a substitute, we obtained the unique title Closing Fantasy Dimensions 2. Hm, possibly in 2018? No, that ended up being Closing Fantasy 15 Pocket Version. Oh, I see! 2019 is the twentieth anniversary of Closing Fantasy 8! Sq. Enix, you sly canine. However no, no such luck on cell that 12 months. It did come to different platforms. Maybe it was only a bit behind on cell?

2020 passes, nothing. I’ll stage with you, mates. I assumed Sq. Enix wasn’t going to do it for no matter motive. Then final week, I’m checking the App Retailer for the brand new releases and, pow, Closing Fantasy 8 Remastered ($20.99) is sitting proper there. Properly, okay. Higher late than by no means, proper? I ponder how lengthy we’ll have to attend for Closing Fantasy 10? A query for one more time. I had already gone by means of this remaster when it hit the Nintendo Change a 12 months and a half in the past, so this run by means of the cell model was extra of a test to see the way it made the transition than the rest.

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So let’s get to that half instantly. Closing Fantasy 8 Remastered is extra like Closing Fantasy 7 cell than Closing Fantasy 9 cell, I’m afraid. Mainly, it appears like the sport is working in an emulator shell. You have got your button overlays, and every thing is completed by means of these digital buttons. A pause button brings up a menu with just a few options you may tweak, together with the cheats, the colour and opacity of the management overlays, and a alternative between an analog stick or eight-directional dpad to your digital motion. There’s an auto-save characteristic, and… nicely, that’s about it.

It’s not that this can be a dangerous factor, however it does really feel a bit underwhelming after the additional care put into Closing Fantasy 9. The way in which the digital buttons are laid out additionally makes some Closing Fantasy 8-specific parts extra awkward. Squall’s gunblade includes a well-timed R2 press to deal further harm. A trifle when it’s on a shoulder button, however much less intuitive when it’s a digital button sitting up within the nook of the display. Anytime the shoulder buttons come into play, this method reveals its disadvantages. In the intervening time, you haven’t any alternative however to take care of it. Issues like controller and iCloud help are apparently on the way in which, however as of proper now it’s important to use the considerably careless contact controls.

In any other case, this port fares nicely. Certainly, the noticeable distinction between the higher-resolution characters and the backgrounds is that a lot much less noticeable on the smaller screens of most cell gadgets. It seems to be good and it runs nicely, falling someplace between Closing Fantasy 7‘s largely untouched visuals and Final Fantasy 9‘s extensive work. If you got on fine with Final Fantasy 7‘s mobile version in particular, you’ll most likely be high quality with Closing Fantasy 8 Remastered. Given the worth being requested, I do want Sq. Enix would have dealt with issues a bit extra elegantly at launch, no matter replace plans.

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Getting past the port high quality to the sport itself, Closing Fantasy 8 has discovered itself as one of many black sheep of the sequence for quite a lot of causes. Like the opposite black sheep (Closing Fantasy 2 and Closing Fantasy 13), it’s each straightforward to grasp its popularity and however love the sport. It makes some selections with its plot that I personally don’t actually take care of, however I might make that argument for many Closing Fantasy video games. The forged is a bit smaller than the installments sandwiching it, and their extra grounded nature (there’s nobody like Cait Sith or Quina on this lot) finally ends up pushing lots of the character work into pure coming-of-age drama stuff. The principle character is deliberately obnoxious within the first half of the sport, and that’s a side of the plot that always doesn’t sit nicely with individuals.

Maybe extra troublesome than its plot is its uncommon mechanics, nevertheless. Closing Fantasy 8 truly has lots of attention-grabbing, quirky programs, however it’s not superb at explaining to gamers about one of the simplest ways to make use of them. Even worse, in case you attempt to play this like another Closing Fantasy recreation, you’ll have the least-pleasant doable time you can with it. Enemy ranges scale along with your get together’s, so grinding up ranges can truly chew you within the hindquarters. You should utilize your summons very often, however there are such a lot of higher methods to deal harm that don’t contain sitting by means of unskippable animations. There’s an excellent card recreation right here that you simply is perhaps tempted to disregard, however its rewards are tremendously helpful.

You’ll be able to brute power your manner by means of, albeit maybe not as simply as in different video games within the sequence. However the true pleasure of Closing Fantasy 8 is available in benefiting from its mechanics (particularly the junction system that reinforces your stats) and breaking the factor over your knee. Leveling up needs to be averted the place doable, however don’t fear an excessive amount of about that. So long as you’re utilizing and abusing that junction system, issues will work out pretty nicely for you. Oh, and don’t neglect any of your get together members. There’s a reasonably robust likelihood you’ll want even your least-favorite of the bunch at a really inconvenient time. Belief me.

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I’m wandering into guide-like ideas right here, however there’s a motive I’m doing that. I used to hate Closing Fantasy 8. The characters aggravated me. One of many large plot twists felt silly to me. A few of the character growth got here off unearned. However the backdrop behind all of that, and the doubtless motive why this stuff aggravated me a lot greater than normal, is that I failed to grasp the sport’s mechanics. As soon as I discovered that standard ways weren’t one of the simplest ways to proceed, that I needed to method the sport on its phrases fairly than my very own, I ended up loving it. It takes a bit of labor to take pleasure in Closing Fantasy 8 correctly. I’m undecided if that’s a superb factor or not, however it’s completely one thing you must know in case you’re wading in for the primary time.

Closing Fantasy 8 Remastered took its time coming to cell platforms. The port isn’t optimum however it’s enough. Actually well-done sufficient that you must be capable of benefit from the recreation for what it’s. Now, whether or not or not that recreation goes to be to your tastes is one other matter fully. It’s an odd duck, however it has a faithful following for a motive. In the event you’ve obtained an open thoughts for a JRPG that wanders off the crushed path in additional methods than one, and never all the time in a great way, you would possibly find yourself a fan your self. I’m undecided it was the suitable follow-up to Closing Fantasy 7‘s blockbuster success, but there’s loads to like about Closing Fantasy 8‘s distinctive charms.

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