Final Fantasy VIII’s Balamb Garden Circa 2014
1999’s Final Fantasy VIII holds a special place in my gaming heart. It was the first RPG I fell in love with, and one of my first encounters with mature storytelling in games (for nine-year-old me, video game narratives didn’t often fall outside the realm of “She’s in another castle!”).
Despite call backs to yesteryear in HD remakes, especially some in Square’s catalog receiving the remaster-romance, FFVIII has remained the PS1 relic that it is. Game environment artist Scott Honeycutt, however, decided to give nostalgia a little face-lift, remaking the famed Balamb Garden institute of teenaged mercenaries in Unreal 4. Even Squall would crack a smile.