final fantasy 8

Final Fantasy VIII - Original Sountrack

Soundtrack Review

Final Fantasy 8 Original Soundtrack CoverRemember the first time you heard the Super Mario Bros. theme? Or The Legend of Zelda overworld song? They are classic bits of music that have been replayed and remixed hundreds of times. Some games would undoubtedly not stand out as much in the nostalgic corner of our mind without their tunes to accompany them.

A focus on quality game soundtracks seems to be on the rise, with indie titles Bastion and Jamestown both featuring a robust cache of songs that not only sound great while playing the game, but seem appropriate to listen to any other time of the day. There was a time at the end of the SNES ere and throughout the PS1 lifetime that video game soundtracks were huge. Through a combination of audio CDs becoming cheap to buy and MIDI files even cheaper to trade, games like Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong Country, and Final Fantasy VI laid the groundwork for game music relevance.

Which brings us to Squaresoft's 1999 JRPG, Final Fantasy VIII. Nobuo Uematsu, longtime Final Fantasy composer, spent years writing music for the robust but limiting NES and SNES consoles before finally chewing his teeth on CD audio with the PS1. But Final Fantasy VII, while featuring a quality soundtrack, turned out to be merely preperation for Final Fantasy VIII. Here's my review of its Original Soundtrack.

My Gaming History

Gaming Nostalgia

Super Metroid CoverI'd like to apologize for being so wordy this week at the First Hour, but the writers here love to write!  I recently asked Ian to tell me about his gaming history, thinking I'd get a couple line reponse about how his parents bought him a Game Boy or something, but along comes a serious epic that will probably seem very familiar to many of us reading along.

If you've got your own story you'd like to tell, reply in the comments or send me an email, I'd love to host it here!

The Most Cinematic Moments in Gaming History

Gaming Nostalgia
Metal Gear Solid 4/metal Gear Solid 4 Cover

You know the scenes I'm talking about. These are the kind of scenes that you have a save file just moments before so you can replay them over and over. These are the scenes you invite your friends over to see so you can show off your system in all its technical glory; the scenes that surpass mere nostalgia and still to this day retain legendary status in the gaming community. These are some of my favorite impacting scenes in gaming history. What are yours?

Spoilers inside.

Final Fantasy VIII

First Hour Review
Final Fantasy 8 Cover

I used to call it one of my favorite games of all-time, I'm honestly not sure where it falls now since I've only played it once, and that game started 10 years ago. Final Fantasy VIII was released on September 9th, 1999, Sony's answer to the Sega Dreamcast North American release on the same day. I plowed through it in epic sessions of high school gaming, finishing it less than a month later after 60+ hours of gaming. While I'm a huge fan of the Dreamcast and will probably dig mine out over the next few days to honor its 10th anniversary also, Final Fantasy VIII just clicked with me. I'm not going to get into Final Fantasy VII versus VIII or anything, save that for some forums, I will, however, get into the first hour of Final Fantasy VIII shortly.

Well, I said I wouldn't get into FF7, but that game had a great first hour! Especially for a Japanese role-playing game that usually spends more time explaining the intricacies of the turn-based battle system than actually being, you know... fun. So it's been a while since I started a new game in Final Fantasy VIII, I remember the great opening video, and that's about it. So here's the setting: it's 1999, the sequel to one of the most popular games ever is now in your hands, and you're about to make the decision to either sign the next month away to it, or try to recover some of your cash at EB Games. So let's play the first hour of Final Fantasy VIII and make our decision.

Games I simply could not sell

Gaming Nostalgia
Chrono Trigger/chrono Trigger Cover Snes

I've been going through my large collections of games lately, which numbers in the hundreds, deciding if I can pass any of them off to gamers who can actually appreciate them for what they are. Not only do I have tons of games, but for 95% of them, I also still have their original box and manual. This makes some of them rather valuable for the collector, and hopefully I can provide.

However, there are a few games which I simply can not give up, some are worth quite a bit, others... well, they're mostly just meaningful to me. Let's take a nostalgic walk through some of the rare, obscure, and classic games I own that I could never give up.

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