Final Fantasy VIII Remaster Face-Off: PC vs. PS4 vs. Switch

If there’s one game over the last twenty years that has been notably absent from the the remastered or port treatment, it has been Final Fantasy VIII. Some claim it’s because Square lost the source code, but regardless, the Japanese publisher has enlisted companies such as Access Games, best known for Deadly Premonition, to help remaster the RPG in celebration of its twenty-year birthday.

This isn’t just a simple slapped together remaster, but one where most character models have been completely overhauled, making it a little more modern, although maintaining the low resolution pre-rendered backgrounds and cinematics. Because of this, this is still in the original 4:3 ratio, with no widescreen option (although like most games, that would have probably lead to simply zooming in and cutting off a portion of the picture).

Of the three versions we played, the Steam release from a few years ago, Switch and PlayStation 4, the latter is by far the best. The clarity of the picture quality is significant, with the Switch version being roughly at 80% the resolution. With that, though, the PlayStation 4 version for some reason seems to fill less screen real-estate, with larger bars around the image.

The pixelated background has been somewhat masked with a “depth of field” look that’s more or less just a blur. Not all models have been redone, with most enemies maintaining their original pixel count and textures. It’s primarily human characters and GF (Guardian Forces) that received the treatment.

Overall, the upgraded models is a welcome addition, along with the various cheats and means of making the game far more accessible, but the background blurring holds it back.

On the Left is PC, in the Middle is PlayStation 4 (Pro) and on the Right is Nintendo Switch.