Final Fantasy VIII Remastered pre-orders start as launch draws near

As far as Final Fantasy games are concerned, the remake of the most beloved Final Fantasy VII title is perhaps the most awaited launch among fans. Given that it will take a bit longer for that to happen, Square Enix and Sony are trying to fill in the gap in the meantime. That gap will be filled by the Final Fantasy VIII Remastered which will bring the fantasy love story a bit of refined graphics and some modern features as well.

If Final Fantasy VII will be remembered as an epic story about saving the world and self-discovery, Final Fantasy VIII may be memorialized as the franchise's love story game. Yes, the fate of the world was also at stake but it was really the relationship between Squall and Rinoa that was at the heart of it all.

Launching after Final Fantasy VII, FF8 upped the ante in terms of 3D graphics, doing away with the bloky "super-deformed" style of FF7. That may have been revolutionary in 1999 but is, of course, quite dated by today's standards. The Remastered version delivers enhanced visuals without overhauling the game. That would have required yet another decade of waiting just like the FF7 Remake.

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, however, also introduces new gameplay elements not present in the original. JRPGs are notorious for their random encounters and the Remastered version has an option to turn all of that off. There's also a 3x turbo speed to breeze through the game. There's also an amusing Battle Assist feature that maxes your HP and ATB bars but delivers instant death when you get hit by a critical or lethal attack.

The Final Fantasy VIII Remastered will be launching on September 3 on the PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. But before that date, you can pre-order the game on the PlayStation 4 for $19.99.