The FFVIII review saga finally comes to an end

Finally, we're moving through compressed time!

As Retronauts takes on its brand new form, it's time for something to come to an end -- that being this big review series of Final Fantasy VIII. The fifth part is out there! In said fifth part, we go through the ending of the game -- the run through Lunatic Pandora into *compressed time!!!*, and the best part of the game as a whole, the disc 4-filling Ultimecia's Castle. The video, as ever, is embedded just below.

There's plenty to love about FFVIII's ending run -- the final dungeon is certainly worthy of the top billing, as is the final fight with Ultimecia itself, which is one of the better RPG fights of them all. For all the issues that the game might have had with its flights of logic? It sure gets good here, and that's certainly helped me think of the game as very good on the whole -- something I really wasn't sure I was going to end up thinking going in. For as controversial and as divisive as FFVIII is? I certainly don't regret spending all of this time with it, even if it ended up being a long as hell review.

There's still one other thing that needed to be looked at in this video -- the two main fan theories that swirl around the game, "Squall is Dead" and "Rinoa is Ultimecia", both of which have been popular for years and unlike many a theory actually come up often in conversation around the game. I don't really fully support either theory -- I find the Rinoa = Ultimecia one to be a fair bit more interesting considering the hugely negative spin that it ends up putting on the game's story and how different that is for an FF game, although a lot of the evidence for that one is kind of circumstantial. Squall is Dead is something that just doesn't help the story at all for me -- isn't "it was all a dream" one of the worst possible cliched finishes around? Isn't that why everyone ended up hating Lost? I don't see how that theory being true, if it was, makes FFVIII a better game. Some reading this might not know what I'm talking about -- rest assured that it has spawned entire books of Internet forum arguments over the years.

Final Fantasy VIII will never be the best-loved game in the franchise, but it's fans will certainly be very passionate about it -- and there's no doubt that as a Final Fantasy game, it tries to break out from a lot of the things that had become normal and expected of the series. Some of those changes might be to a fault, but the game assuredly never manages to be boring -- there's too much wild stuff going on for that to happen. It's quite the ride, and it's one I'm happy to have gone on. And hey -- you never know, there's a slim chance that in 3 years or so I'll get the urge to review Final Fantasy IX! If so, then it'll be back to Square's world once more. Until then, it's time to get back to the silly companies, licensed games and European computer beat.