The oft-forgotten Final Fantasy VIII has made its way to smartphones, just a few decades after it originally debuted.
Today, Square Enix launched the classic roleplaying game on both iOS and Android; it’s available for $16.99 right now, but that price will jump to $20.99 starting on April 5th. Final Fantasy VIII first launched on the original PlayStation back in 1999, though this version is the more recent remaster, which hit consoles like the Xbox One, PS4, and Switch in 2019. The game is also available on Steam. In addition to improved visuals, the remaster includes some quality-of-life tweaks, like the option to speed up combat and world exploration.
“We decided to take on the challenge to focus on ‘love’”
And while Final Fantasy VII tends to garner much of the franchise’s nostalgia — and the big-budget remakes — VIII is a notable entry in the series, one that saw Final Fantasy expand into more adult storytelling. It was still full of battles and monsters and magic, but the core of the experience was on a budding romance.
“The Final Fantasy series always placed emphasis on drama, and with Final Fantasy VII, from a broad perspective, I believe we reached the pinnacle of depicting a story where ‘protagonists face a large force of evil,’” director Yoshinori Kitase told The Verge in 2019.
“On the flip side, the series has evolved on a more granular level since Final Fantasy IV, as it began to include narratives that focused on characters’ emotions. With the advancement of CG technology allowing for a more delicate expression of characters’ emotions, we decided to take on the challenge to focus on ‘love,’ which delves deeper into the internal aspect of humankind, as our theme.”