Well here’s a nice little surprise. Square Enix launched an enhanced version of Final Fantasy VIII on Steam for Windows PC today.
Certainly not the first tango with a Windows version (I owned the CD-ROM set back in 2000), Final Fantasy VIII’s release to Steam marks the first time the game is available with optimization for modern hardware as well as the previously Japan-only PocketStation release Chocobo World. While an emulated PocketStation will not be a system hog, the fact that Square Enix threw the title in is a nice bonus, even nearly 15 years later.
Final Fantasy VIII was often looked down upon, especially in the years prior to the PS2. Following the consensus classic of Final Fantasy VII, VIII was viewed as a disappointment compared to the taut narrative of its predecessor. Even when compared to the following IX, with its throwback gameplay and visuals, fans of VIII often had little to turn to beyond character design.
Today however, VIII is considered to be a sound entry to the long-running JRPG series and continues to be my favorite Final Fantasy. They say you always remember your first, and FFVIII was the first I played to completion.