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An unprovoked assault on a neighboring nation, a daring strike team's incursion deep into enemy territory, and a declaration of war against the world transform a once-peaceful existence into chaos and strife. At the heart of this maelstrom is Squall Leonhart, a young cadet attending the prestigious Garden military academy of Balamb.

Perceived as a lone wolf by his peers, Squall's unwavering determination to excel propels him into SeeD, an elite mercenary group. His final test as a graduating SeeD cadet involves resolving the escalating tensions between the bordering nations of Galbadia and Dollet. However, the already convoluted situation takes a turn for the worse when Galbadia initiates a global invasion. For Squall, the external chaos pales in comparison to his internal turmoil, sparked by his encounter with the vivacious Rinoa Heartilly, which has upended his orderly world.

Final Fantasy VIII maintains the series' tradition of delivering high-quality role-playing games. This installment introduces the innovative junction system, revolutionizing the RPG landscape. Though initially confusing and time-consuming, this unique approach to character development offers an engaging method for enhancing attributes and stats.

While FF8 might feel slower-paced compared to its predecessors and its graphics appear somewhat dated, these shortcomings fade into the background as players become more immersed in the game. The card trading mini-game, for example, adds depth to the storyline, even though it can occasionally be frustrating when rare cards are lost and players must scour the world to replace them. Learning when to restart from a save point after losing a card becomes essential.

The game's time-period shifts in the narrative inject suspense and mystery into the plot, while the storyline and hidden secrets keep players captivated. With enough dedication and playtime, gamers will find their efforts rewarded, as FF8 culminates in one of the most memorable RPG endings of all time.

Gameplay 4 / 5
Soundtrack 4 / 5
Replay Value 4.5 / 5
Storyline 4 / 5
4 / 5 Great!