Thursday, November 25, 2010
Square's 1999 best-selling console role-playing game Final Fantasy VIII deals with an elite group of mercenaries called "SeeD", as well as soldiers, rebels, and political leaders of various nations and cities. Thirteen weeks after its release, Final Fantasy VIII had earned more than US$50 million in sales, making it the fastest selling Final Fantasy title. Final Fantasy VIII has sold 8.15 million units worldwide as of March 2003. Additionally, Final Fantasy VIII was voted the 22nd-best game of all time by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu. The game's characters were created by Tetsuya Nomura, and are the first in the series to be realistically proportioned in a consistent manner. This graphical shift, as well as the cast in general, has received generally positive reviews from gaming magazines and websites.
The six main playable characters in Final Fantasy VIII are Squall Leonhart, a loner who keeps his focus on duty; Rinoa Heartilly, a passionate young woman who follows her heart in all situations; Quistis Trepe, an instructor with a serious, patient attitude; Zell Dincht, a martial artist with a passion for hot dogs; Selphie Tilmitt, a cheerful girl who loves trains and flies the airship Ragnarok; and Irvine Kinneas, a marksman and consummate ladies' man. Playable supporting characters include Laguna Loire, Kiros Seagill, and Ward Zabac, who appear in "flashback" sequences; and antagonists Seifer Almasy and Edea Kramer. Other characters such as the main villain Ultimecia make appearances throughout the story; their significance and backstories are revealed as the game progresses.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Final Fantasy VIII (ファイナルファンタジーVIII Fainaru Fantajī Eito) is a role-playing video game released for the PlayStation in 1999 and for Windows-based personal computers in 2000. It was developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) as the Final Fantasy series' eighth title, removing magic point-based spell-casting and the first title to consistently use realistically proportioned characters.
The game's story focuses on a group of young mercenaries who are drawn into an international conflict, and seek to protect the world from a sorceress manipulating the war for her own purposes. The main protagonist is Squall Leonhart, a 17-year-old loner and student at the military academy Balamb Garden, who is training to become a "SeeD", a mercenary paid by the academy.
The development of Final Fantasy VIII began in 1997, during the English localization process of Final Fantasy VII. The music was scored by Nobuo Uematsu, series regular, and in a series first, the theme music is a vocal piece, "Eyes on Me", performed by Faye Wong. The game was positively received by critics and was a commercial success. It was voted the 22nd-best game of all time by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu. Thirteen weeks after its release, Final Fantasy VIIIhad earned more than US$50 million in sales, making it the fastest-selling Final Fantasy title of all time until Final Fantasy XIII. The game has shipped 8.15 million copies worldwide as of March 31, 2003.
The game became available on PlayStation Network as a PSone Classics title in Japan on September 24, 2009, in the US on December 17, 2009, and in Europe on February 4, 2010.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The nine main playable characters in Final Fantasy VII are Cloud Strife, an unsociable mercenary who claims to be a former 1st Class member of Shinra's SOLDIER unit; Barret Wallace, the leader of the anti-Shinra rebel group AVALANCHE; Tifa Lockhart, a martial artist and childhood friend of Cloud's; Aeris Gainsborough, a flower merchant who has been pursued by Shinra's special operations unit, the Turks, since childhood; Red XIII, a wise lion-like creature who was experimented on by Shinra scientists; Cait Sith, a fortune-telling robotic cat who rides an animated moogle doll; Cid Highwind, a pilot whose dreams of being the first man in outer space were crushed; Yuffie Kisaragi, a young thief and a skillful ninja; and Vincent Valentine, a former member of Shinra's Turks unit who was killed and brought back to life as an immortal. The game's main antagonist is Sephiroth, a former member of SOLDIER who reappears several years after disappearing in a battle in which he was concluded to have died.
The game's character designer, Tetsuya Nomura, has expressed that Final Fantasy VII was hindered by graphical limitations, and as such his designs were very plain in comparison to his real style. Cloud's original design of slicked back black hair with no spikes was intended to serve as a contrast to Sephiroth's long, flowing silver hair. Nomura feared that such masculinity could prove to be unpopular with fans, and therefore he changed Cloud's design to feature a shock of spiky, bright blond hair. Tifa's outfit with her dark miniskirt was designed to contrast Aeris's long, pink dress. Vincent's character developed from horror researcher to detective, then to chemist, and finally to the figure of a former Turk with a tragic past. Nomura has indicated that Cid Highwind's fighting style resembles that of a Dragoon Knight, a character class which was chosen because his last name is the same as that of two previous Dragoon Knights featured in the Final Fantasy series, Ricard Highwind of Final Fantasy II and Kain Highwind of Final Fantasy IV.
Several characters from Final Fantasy VII have made cameo appearances in other Square Enix titles, most notably the fighting game Ehrgeiz and the popular Final Fantasy-Disney crossover series Kingdom Hearts. Dissidia: Final Fantasy is the newest game to include Final Fantasy VII characters such as Cloud and Sephiroth and lets players battle it out with characters from other Final Fantasy games. Aeris' death in the game has often been referred as one of the most emotional moments from any video game. Sephiroth remains one of the most popular villains in video game history, unanimously voted #1 by the staff of gaming publication Electronic Gaming Monthly in their "Top 10 Video Game Bosses" list in October 2005, and winning GameFAQs' best villain contest in spring of the same year.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Final Fantasy VII (ファイナルファンタジーVII Fainaru Fantajī Sebun) is a role-playing video game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series. It was originally released in 1997 for the Sony PlayStation. It was re-released in 1998 for Microsoft Windows-based personal computers and in 2009 on the PlayStation Network. The game is the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics, featuring fully rendered characters on pre-rendered backgrounds, and was the first game in the main series to be released in Europe.
Development of Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 and the game was originally intended for release on the SNES, but it was later moved to the Nintendo 64. However, since the Nintendo 64's cartridges lacked the required storage capacity, Square decided to release the game for the PlayStation instead. The music was scored by Final Fantasy veteran Nobuo Uematsu, while the series' long-time character designer, Yoshitaka Amano, was replaced by Tetsuya Nomura.
Set in a dystopian world, Final Fantasy VII's story centers on mercenary Cloud Strife who joins with several others to stop the megacorporation Shinra, which is draining the life of the planet to use as an energy source. As the story progresses, the situation escalates and Cloud and his allies face Sephiroth, the game's main antagonist.
Helped by a large promotional campaign in the months prior to its release, Final Fantasy VII became an immediate critical and commercial success. In the years following, it has continued to sell solidly—9.8 million copies worldwide as of December 2005, making it the best-selling title in the series. Final Fantasy VII received significant praise upon its release for its graphics, gameplay, music and story as well as criticism pertaining to its English localization. It has retrospectively been acknowledged as the game that popularized the console role-playing game genre outside of the Japanese market, and has frequently ranked highly on numerous professional and fan-made "greatest games of all time" lists. The popularity of the title led Square Enix to produce a series of prequels and sequels for different platforms under the collective title Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. An enhanced remake for the PlayStation 3 has been rumored since 2005, though Square Enix have formally stated that no such product is in development at the time; however, in March 2010, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada told the media that the company would explore the possibility of a remake.