Waiting for Final Fantasy 7 Remake? Well, Final Fantasy 8 Remastered is out now

Waiting with bated breath for the release of Final Fantasy 7 Remake next year? Well, don’t worry, Square Enix has just the itch for your Final Fantasy scratch.

Final Fantasy 8 Remastered is officially out now and, while it may not boast the same completely overhauled re-imagining that FF7 is getting, its got newly-rendered visuals, console-specific features and more boosts than you can shake a stick at.

Check out the release trailer below:

What’s new?

Originally released in 1999, Final Fantasy 8 focuses on the story of Squall Leonhart, a newly-graduated member of the mercenary force SeeD. Along with his no-longer-trainee friends and resistance member Rinoa Heartilly, Squall must save the world from the sorceress Ultimecia, who (spoilers?) wishes to compress time. And you thought FF7 held the record for bonkers JRPG plotting.

It’s worth noting that Final fantasy 8 Remastered is a remaster and not a remake. But what exactly does that mean? 

Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a complete re-interpretation of its original game. While fundamental gameplay, story and title will stay the same, almost every other aspect has been redesigned for the modern era. Square Enix is essentially making an entirely new Final Fantasy 7 game.

However, a remaster just touches up technical aspects (such as sound and graphics) of the original game to bring it more in line with modern titles. In the case of Final Fantasy 8 Remastered, Square Enix has revealed the game is getting new and improved visuals alongside the addition of some quality-of-life features.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Per Square Enix, the newly rendered visuals “bring the game’s characters to life like never before.” Compared to the old PS1-era graphics, the new looks are certainly improved, though some models – like the weapons – haven’t gotten much love, and are still heavily polygonal. The remaster also adds console-specific features like trophies and achievements, naturally. 

But the biggest addition is of boosts, which aim to “enhance the experience” – which seems like a tongue-in-cheek way to describe very minor ‘cheat codes’ that smooth out the grindier aspects of the original game. In short, if you’re here to revisit the story (or explore it for the first time), these tweaks should make for a more pleasant playthrough. Check them out below:

  • Battle Assist: The ability to always have maxed out HP and ATB, and trigger Limit Breaks at any time.
  • No Encounters: An enemy encounter option that allows players to enjoy the storyline uninterrupted. While enemy encounters are turned off, players can still enjoy the story’s event battles.
  • 3x Speed Boost: Play through the game with three times the speed.

If that’s not enough for you, then PC players can also ultilize customizable system settings, an option for players to acquire all items, abilities, cards and specials, and the ability to max out in-game currency, character level and spell supplies. 

Final Fantasy 8 Remastered is out now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.

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