To all the Square-heads and otakus out there (who are gonna buy this game regardless), I apologize in advance, but this review isn't meant for you. It's meant for Squaresoft whom I hope to sting a little.
To its credit, Square EA did pack in the second best RPG in the whole series with Final Fantasy VI, but I cannot let Square off the hook because they left out my all-time favorite, Final Fantasy IV.
What impressed me the most about Legends was that it has an old car comfort, but with a new car smell. Legends has all the "old-school" button-mashing, destroying-everything-on-the-screen gameplay but now it comes with flashy 64-bit graphics, loud sounds, huge bosses, and over-the-top spells and special effects.
It can if Midway effectively recreates the arcade experience while adding immersive home console peculiarities. And, apparently with Legends, they have. The original premise of having four human controlled adventurers of different character classes cooperatively questing (a refreshingly rare feature today) through maze-like stages hasn't changed, so the gameplay is still very arcade-like.
While it was spawned from the phenomenally popular Resident Evil franchise, Dino Crisis tries to offer enough to separate itself from Resident Evil as well as the myriad of clones Resident Evil sequels that have saturated the market. Capcom has dumped the pretty (and expensive) pre-rendered background graphics and shock tactics that Resident Evil used and instead have opted for real-time 3D backgrounds, packs of carnivorous dinosaurs, and real-time action. It's a big break from the norm, but it shapes up to be a successful one.
To my surprise, Dino Crisis was much better than I expected and held up pretty well under my scrutiny. Laughable voice-acting (marginally better than Resident Evil's) and the old 'door entrance' load-times are still present, but there's an effort to fix or improve on all other problems that have consistently plagued the series. Bad camera angles obscuring enemies and objects are less apparent since the use of real-time rather than prerendered environments allows the perspective to pan around when necessary.
I'd give anything to find out the motivations behind some of these major business deals I read about everyday. Are these deals and maneuverings done to provide a better service (or product) or are they just the result of long held grudges and enviousness? For example, when Ted Turner bought National Wrestling Organization (NWO) and turned it into World Championship Wrestling (WCW), it was no secret that Turner and WWF president Vince McMahon were not fond of each other. Wrestling industry insiders saw this move as purely personal.
Just as unlikely as it is for Stone Cold fans to embrace Goldberg, Mayhem isn't going to make converts out of WWF fans. Attitude will still remain their swan song as well as the overall genre leader. But for rabid WCW fans looking for fresh pixels to pummel with a steel chair, Mayhem should more than suffice.
For all its depth, though, I quickly discovered that I had little control of the game after the early part of it. No matter what I did or what kind of responses I gave [to the non-player characters (NPCs)], the story progressed regardless of that. It has been a running trend with Sakaguchi since Final Fantasy III (FF3) that furthering the plot takes precedence over player involvement.
In a word: "overrated." Alongside games like Tomb Raider and Resident Evil, Final Fantasy VIII (FF8) will go down in my book as one of the most overrated games of all-time. I'm convinced that if this role-playing game (RPG) did not bear the Final Fantasy moniker, it would have been universally panned as a poorly written obnoxious piece of CG fluff by the public and press alike.