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Final Fantasy VIII

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The eighth incarnation of this Japanese role-playing game series combines breathtaking imagery, a strong story, incredible music, and a revolutionary battle system. Following a group of young mercenaries assigned to help a rebel faction in a nearby kingdom, the epic-length game yields roughly 50 hours of gameplay stored on four CDs. As an added bonus, there’s an addictive Magic: The Gathering-style trading-card game woven throughout the adventure. Think of Final Fantasy VIII as an interactive anime cartoon so addictive it should ship with eyedrops, an IV, and a phone number to a good marriage counselor. A-