Is there any videogame out there that's more in need of a critical reevaluation than Final Fantasy VIII? Despite strong sales when it first released in 1999, the game is considered only a minor entry on both sides of the Pacific. Most reviews in the US were only mildly positive and bemoaned that the iconic characters of Final Fantasy VII had been replaced with a group of sensitive teenagers, while a 2006 poll in
Japanese gaming bible Famitsu revealed that Final Fantasy VIII was only the sixth most popular installment of the series. More grudgingly liked than truly loved, it's the red-headed stepchild of the franchise. And that's a shame, because upon closer inspection, the game is an excellent work of entertainment that occasionally aspires to becoming art.