Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is a breath of fresh air. It combines the nostalgia of a game from childhood with the conveniences of modern day gaming. Released in September 2019, Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is available across platforms and on Steam.
Now, Square Enix has released a developer diary called “Inside Final Fantasy VIII Remastered.” The video features behind-the-scenes revelations and creator interviews.
It’s amazing what 20 years of difference can do to a game. The original Final Fantasy VIII came out in 1999. Since then, advances in gaming include everything from the ability to save at any point in time to faster on-screen movement, and more.
Here are six key differences between Final Fantasy VIII Remastered and the original 1999 version.
Easy Mode Options
Most games nowadays have difficulty level options. This lets you decide if you want to play through to get a feel for the game or really take on a challenge. When the original Final Fantasy VIII came out, this wasn’t as common.
For Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, the developers added in some features to help replicate an “easy mode” option. One such feature is the ability to remove random monster encounters.
In the original game, when you run from one place to another, some random monster will likely attack you. Now, you can simply toggle that feature off.
Several parts of the game also work on a timer. If you don’t complete a task within a certain period of time, you fail. That feature can also be toggled off. You can even increase your movement speed by up to three times. This makes map crawling a lot less frustrating.
No More Lagging Load Screens
No one likes sitting around waiting for the next screen to load. Final Fantasy VIII was graphically innovative for its day. While that meant great graphics, it also meant lag.
With Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, we no longer have to suffer this indignity. Along with the sharper visuals, we also get faster load times no matter where you play the remaster.
While this means you won’t have time to make a snack after a full video scene anymore, it certainly makes moving from screen to screen a lot less painful.
Improved Character Models and Visuals
The gaming industry has come a long way from the early days of pixel design. The characters for Final Fantasy VIII Remastered weren’t just cleaned up — they were entirely remade.
No more memes joking about Squall being the best looking guy in the room when his face is a pixelated mess. The developers crafted new hairstyles and added details. Accessories that were too small and pixelated before now have new motion animations.
Furthermore, background characters have been enhanced. They aren’t just faceless blobs anymore. Now they have expressions and realistic motion. The developers put a lot of work into the character model redesigns, and it shows.
It’s also nice to see enhanced visuals in places like the game’s unique Draw system. Everything from battle attacks to zoom-ins have been given more than just the airbrush treatment.
Casting spells and sparks from attacking swords have also been redesigned. The weapons themselves have been enhanced. Squall’s gunblade isn’t a flat piece of metal anymore. It was actually given its own 3D model specifically for this remaster.
No More Chocobo World
One of the few disappointing changes in Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is the discontinuation of Chocobo World. This was an external mini-game that was playable in sync with Final Fantasy VIII.
After finding Boko the Chocobo in the main game, you had the ability to send him on missions via Chocobo World. He would locate items for you in his pixelated world that could be used in the primary game. There was even a small battle system.
While the game is no longer supported with the remaster, the items can be otherwise obtained.
A small but nice change in Final Fantasy VIII Remastered comes by way of the control system. If you play the game on any Sony system, the controls remain the same. But if you play it on another system, they’re reconfigured to make more sense functionally.
Game ports to other systems can often come across as lazy and clunky. But this is not the case for Final Fantasy VIII Remastered. The updated controls make the game a lot easier to navigate for those who aren’t familiar with Sony systems.
Enhanced Triple Triad
Each Final Fantasy game tries its hand at mini-games, and several have tried card games. Triple Triad is arguably the best of their efforts.
In Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, the basics of the game remain the same, including the ability to switch rules with different regions you encounter. The images on each of the cards, however, have been individually remastered and restored. It’s a nice touch to go alongside this fantastic mini-game.
Have you played Final Fantasy VIII Remastered? What’s your favorite change? Let us know in the comments below!