Verdict
Final Fantasy 8 Remastered is a patchy however in the end strong port of a basic JRPG. If you have not performed it earlier than, you’ve no excuse to not turn out to be acquainted with the world of FF8, even when the sport is at occasions arduous to take a look at on a 16:9 show.

Pros
New sprites look sharp and contemporary
Speed enhance permits you to get your grind on
Triple Triad continues to be nice

Cons
Upscaled pre-rendered environments present their age
The world map seems drained
Letterboxed 4:3 motion

Key Specifications
Review Price: £15.99
Genre: JRPG
Developer: Square Enix, Dotemu, Access Games
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch (model examined)

I’m reviewing the Nintendo Switch model – however, technically, there’s little distinction between varied variations of Final Fantasy 8 Remastered between platforms. Only the PC model throws in a couple of further cheats, which can see you in a position to max out character stats and cash. PC players want extra assist, I suppose. 
New modifications that come to the desk on all platforms embody contemporary character and summon sprites, in addition to improved animations. Key additions embody a 3x pace enhance, which sees you in a position to blitz by means of the various random encounters, and the choice to show them off solely when you’re achieved with grinding. 
Aside from these tweaks, Final Fantasy 8 Remastered is the basic you fell in love with all these years in the past. The similar nice Nobuo Uematsu soundtrack plonks and trills away, the Junction system affords loads of get together customisation, and the Triple Triad in-game card-trading mechanism continues to be loads of enjoyable (why hasn’t Square Enix made an official cell model of this?!).
The story – regarding reminiscence loss, estranged dad and mom, imprecise and unrequited love triangles, and, naturally, the destiny of the universe – is similar because it ever was, and the script has aged nicely. 
Related: Best RPGs 
Triple Triad stays an addictive distraction on the earth of FF8
For probably the most half, the modifications are very welcome. The foremost character sprites look razor-sharp. Squall, in all his angsty glory, seems significantly good, to the purpose the place he resembles an precise human individual. In the unique recreation, Squall’s floppy emo fringe was usually indistinguishable from his facial scar, making him look extra ridiculous than supposed. Likewise, Zell’s tattoo now truly seems like a tattoo, versus a low-resolution ampersand.   
I recognize that some individuals are upset about a few of the character redesigns, particularly these of Rinoa and Siren, who at the moment are rendered just a little extra modestly than they have been within the authentic version. Without wanting to impress additional outrage, I’d kindly recommend that anybody more likely to be offended by such sacrilege quickly step away from the web and assume on their priorities and common worldview. 
‘Junctioning’ a Guardian Force character permits you to improve get together member’s baseline stats, and use sure particular instructions.
The most useful change to Final Fantasy 8 Remastered is the 3x pace enhance perform. It took me some time to fall into acquainted fight patterns, however as soon as I used to be good to go, the advantages this characteristic brings are apparent. Like plenty of JRPGs, for those who put the hours in and grind up  your get together members early on, later phases of the sport turn out to be far simpler, liberating you as much as turn out to be engrossed within the narrative. 
Where Final Fantasy 8 Remastered falls down is the place Square Enix and co-developers Dotemu and Access Games haven’t enhanced the supply materials (or maybe haven’t been in a position to). Sprites have been given some welcome spit and polish, however the environments they inhabit haven’t. The authentic PS1 pre-rendered backgrounds have as an alternative been upscaled to suit extra fashionable shows. At occasions, that is painfully apparent. 
Related: Final Fantasy 7 Remake
The characters and story have aged like a advantageous Californian wine, standing up among the many greatest within the franchise 
While within the authentic, Balamb Garden convincingly felt like a vertiginous, multi-storey facility, right here the phantasm doesn’t work. It’s clear that you just’re pushing three-dimensional sprites round a collection of two-dimensional photos. Likewise, while you enterprise out into the open-world for the primary time, and run round that rotating 3D grid, it’s a little bit of a shock – and never in a manner that’s solely good. 
Furthermore, environments constructed for 4:3 shows don’t translate nicely to the 16:9 world. This isn’t so dangerous while you’re enjoying docked in your Switch, however slip the Joy-Cons again on the console and play Final Fantasy 8 Remastered in handheld mode, and that large ugly letterbox simply leaps out at you. 
Granted, if the groups had endeavoured to recreate each background to higher match fashionable shows, Final Fantasy 8 Remastered would have taken far longer to provide – and would inevitably have commanded greater than the £15.99 you’re at the moment being requested to half with. 
For the cash, what you do get is a devoted port of a much-loved basic, one which largely stands the check of time. In lieu of Square Enix deciding to offer the eighth Final Fantasy instalment the total Remake therapy (unlikely), I’ll take what I can get, kupo.  
Related: Cyberpunk 2077
FF8 Remastered’s 4:3 side ratio is just a little distracting, particularly within the Switch’s handheld mode
While I’m considering wishfully, I suppose because of this as Squall has now appeared on a Nintendo console, we’ll get to play as him once more when Super Smash Bros: Turbo Mega Ultimate “This Is The Last One Now Guys, We Promise” will get launched in 2028, proper?
Related: Super Smash Bros Ultimate overview
Verdict
Final Fantasy 8 Remastered sees an previous Moogle studying some new tips. If you may look past the apparent imperfections, then the fight and get together administration programs, plus the gracefully unfolding – if at occasions ridiculous – story and world constructing, that are as sturdy now as they have been 20 years in the past, will reward affected person gamers.
If you’re in search of one thing to burn by means of whereas ready for Final Fantasy 7 Remake, this remaster will sate your twitching nostalgia glands.

Computing Editor

Thomas Newton has reported on UK client know-how and telecoms for over ten years and has joined the TechSwitch staff as Computing Editor.
Previously writing for worth comparability website Recombu.c…

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