So, I'm playing Final Fantasy VIII...

MechScapeZH

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The reviews I read said he was a jerk and totally unlikeable, which was their issue with him.
...Huh. OK. He's such a passive character (at least so far) that I'd sooner call him bland than unlikable.
 

1ce

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I remember hating it the first time around because I couldn't understand the GF system and how to use it. Certainly didn't help the game doesn't outright give you the first two GF's.

I really enjoy the setting and the music; the idea behind a military school is an interesting one, and I'm disappointed more games haven't explored the idea. The world really feels alive and there are so many little neat touches to the game that I like, such as hidden draw spots and lots of worldbuilding.

The game really drops off for me after disk 1, however. I guess it's because the game goes larger than life at this point, and the game changes gears to be more about the big picture than the small details. I do have this same complaint with most square titles.
 

MechScapeZH

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Well, I'm not sure if anyone is following this thread but...

I just finished Disc 1 & started Disc 2- I just finished the Laguna flashback & I'm currently at the part where Squall's party is captured by Seifer.

I just wanted to put my thoughts down...

-I'm not sure how to feel about Irvine- he seemed like a complete jerk at first - I hated him-(leave Selphie alone, my gosh...!), but then he couldn't take the shot at the sorceress, so I felt kind of sorry for him... He's all talk. He wants to show off and look cool, but it's all an act. That's the impression I get from him.
-Zell continues to be great.
-Carbuncle is in this game! (It's always been my favorite summon.) It made the Sorceress far too easy, though. Her AI wasn't planned out too well... Every time I used Carbuncle, she just kept casting Dispel to get rid of the Reflect status, but since GFs can be used infinitely I just used Carbuncle again, causing her to Dispel the status... I was essentially able to negate her attacks entirely by trapping her in this loop.
-Laguna continues to be the most interesting character. I find that I'm more invested in his story than anyone else's... I want to see him find some sort of happy ending.
 

Gallia

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My experience of FF8 started of normal, i didn't really like the main characters, however i really really liked the game near the end, when basically things hit the fan hard, many conclusions made and of course i loved the ending.
I really like how the characters develop in 8, gameplaywise i like the added/unique mechanics , however i didn't like the grind of it all tbh, i still prefer FF4, FF6 or FF10 in terms of grinding.
 

DonaldAlien3

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pretty good game. thank you. I had previously only known game download at mobidescargar
 

Lost_Dragoon

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The game was great. I finished it back in the day even tho the story as far as I remember was too mature for me lol granted at that stage I wasn't for reading. Always loved the music.
 

EthanFox

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One thing I do remember which really tested my patience for this game...
The Desert Prison
It's been ~20 years (I think) but I seem to recall this location had reasonably challenging fights, no way to leave or backtrack, and it was composed of 10 or so identically laid-out floors, with busy-work getting you to run around them.

It makes me think of perhaps my favourite feature of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - that you can fast travel everywhere, and that when you fail a fight or boss encounter, it restarts you back far enough to be able to teleport somewhere else in the world and come back. It means you can never get stuck; you can always go somewhere and do sidequests before coming back to face the boss. This persists right up until the very last parts of the game; and it gives you onscreen warnings in the very few situations where this is not the case. FFVIII had things like the Ultimecia boss, where a cutscene spits you out at a save-point with a boss encounter on the next screen, and there's no way around it - if you're not high enough level, you're screwed. You would have to restart the game unless you've got multiple save files (I always used to do this after playing FFVII, but a friend of mine genuinely quit the game here for this reason).
 

MechScapeZH

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One thing I do remember which really tested my patience for this game...
The Desert Prison
It's been ~20 years (I think) but I seem to recall this location had reasonably challenging fights, no way to leave or backtrack, and it was composed of 10 or so identically laid-out floors, with busy-work getting you to run around them.

It makes me think of perhaps my favourite feature of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - that you can fast travel everywhere, and that when you fail a fight or boss encounter, it restarts you back far enough to be able to teleport somewhere else in the world and come back. It means you can never get stuck; you can always go somewhere and do sidequests before coming back to face the boss. This persists right up until the very last parts of the game; and it gives you onscreen warnings in the very few situations where this is not the case. FFVIII had things like the Ultimecia boss, where a cutscene spits you out at a save-point with a boss encounter on the next screen, and there's no way around it - if you're not high enough level, you're screwed. You would have to restart the game unless you've got multiple save files (I always used to do this after playing FFVII, but a friend of mine genuinely quit the game here for this reason).
Somehow that didn't bother me... I actually turned encounters off with Diablos, so maybe that helped. (I hate random encounters, and enemies level with me, so I don't have to do them!) The area was a bit tedious, though, I agree, but somehow it didn't bother me. As I said before, I have a certain tolerance for repetition for whatever reason, so... yeah. Maybe I'm being a bit soft on this game. :guffaw: So far, the characters have carried it for me.

I've never played any of the Xenoblade games and I haven't yet reached that boss, so I can't comment (that does sound like good design, though)- but the enemies level with you, so you shouldn't ever have to level up, right...? I'll take your advice and keep multiple save files as I go through the game. :)

(By the way, I see from your signature that you're the one who's doing the lawyer game- I saw your game in the forums and thought it was really, really creative. I haven't been able to try it out because I'm swamped with developing my own game, but I just thought I'd tell you that. :))
 

EthanFox

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I've never played any of the Xenoblade games and I haven't yet reached that boss, so I can't comment (that does sound like good design, though)-
I strongly recommend XB2. Don't worry so much about the first one; they don't follow the same story (they are connected, but not in a way that would stop you playing XB2 before XB1).

(By the way, I see from your signature that you're the one who's doing the lawyer game- I saw your game in the forums and thought it was really, really creative. I haven't been able to try it out because I'm swamped with developing my own game, but I just thought I'd tell you that. :))
Thanks so much! I just released the final revision of Chapter 1, and Chapter 2's feature-complete and just needs polish and bugfixing now.
 

SepulcherGeist

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I've played an untold number of RPGs back in the day: all the usual suspects and more. All them Final Fantasys. Overwhelmingly, Final Fantasy VIII is my favorite. I think it blows all the other RPGs, particularly other Final Fantasys which I also loved, out of the water. Its quality, ambition, execution, and its raw spirit resonate with me to this day unlike any other RPG (perhaps any other game).

I do recall other people hating it though, while loving what I considered great but comparatively inferior games like FFVII. And I recall their reasons why. And I see a lot of those reasons reflected here. A story that focuses too much on Squall and Rinoa, leveling enemies, confusing junction system, and overall tough difficulty. But I found these complaints to be indicative of a "surface examination" of the game. For example, I didn't find Squall and Rinoa's story overly focused on them at all: I felt intrigued by the backstories and character progression of multiple characters, like Irvine's for instance, or Squall's father, rival, Ultimacia, et cetera. But the story was, in its heart of hearts, an "impossible" love story. And stories should focus on what they're trying to tell. I don't think there's a problem with that at all, in fact, when creating a story is strongly advised to follow the models seen in FF8. I'd much rather have a narrative on a small number of characters that is intensely rich and flushed out and meaningful.... Than something superficial smeared across an attempt at an ensemble cast. FF7, widely regarded as "better" than FF8, had comparatively horrible character development across the board. Almost no depth was explorer at all, and even Iris' death is shallow and melodramatic. You find much better story and character development in even Dragoon on the PS1. The rest of FF7s story is, well, okay, good for the game it's trying to be, but pretty basic, straight forward, and even cliche. The strengths of FF7 were the size of the game, variety of play, imaginative locations, and a fun game play system. But people tend to put on nostalgia glasses and forget it had 2-dimensional characters and plot.

Regarding enemy leveling, I found it weird at first, but I see why they did it. They didn't want it to be a grind fest, but rather keep the story going forward and reward you more for being thorough, clever, willing the explore, and willing to work at its many secondary game-play elements (such as the card game). That's sort of where the junction system comes in. You bind with GFs (the summons), and unlock different abilities, skills, stats to upgrade, et cetera, and the more you unite with that system, the more growth that becomes available for your characters. So, if you're exploring and mastering things and being clever, you gather resources through which you can junction to, say, your HP or strength to boost them up. Or perhaps you unlock an initiative bonus to always strike first in combat, or have access to a Shop screen through your menu, or whatever.

My first play through of the game I remember being easy at first, but toward the end of the 3rd disk I struggled immensely, had to develop a new game plan, go exploring and gathering stuff, and revisit the bosses I'd been stuck on. And from there I fought my way through the rest of the game, beat it, and felt incredibly elated my months of deep emotional commitment had finally come to a beautiful and rewarding end.

Then I played it again, actually recording the whole game on VHS while I played because I loved the story so much I wanted to have "movies" of it. I dominated the second play through with my grasp of the game's mechanics, not struggling much at all save for the secret bosses. Then I played more play through, but from there on out I was too power gamed. I'd get Squall's Lionheart sword early, max his strength, and cast Aura on him, and rapidly hit "cancel" in combat until his limit break appeared. In otherwords, I could play through the vast majority of the game using Squall's best limit break every single turn with max damage every hit. And beyond that, all my other characters and strategies were on lock to, making me truly invincible.

But figuring all this out didn't happen over night, or from "grinding." I discovered all this by playing and loving the game, and going to the drawing board over and over again to come up with new strategies. No other RPG has made me do that. Most just require a grind gate. And well, I love grinding and RNG and all that too. But in my opinion, nothing ever came close to the experience FF8 gave me.

And that's just the beginning. I consider FF8 to have some of the best world building around, and nothing can hold a candle to its music. Best game soundtrack of all time. Fight me. The leit mo tief hitting in during the end credits... Incredible. Chills every time.
 

M.I.A.

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Sadly, FFVIII was my least favorite Final Fantasy.

The Draw System was... tedious and un-enjoyable at best. The enemies leveling up with you was.. not implemented as well as it could have been. This is one of the few Final Fantasies I didn't like so strongly that I never finished it.

I did LOVE the Triple Triad though!! :) That's probably THE best minigame in the FF Series!! :)
-MIA
 

MechScapeZH

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Just finished Disc 2, and again, I wanted to put my thoughts down. (Put it in a spoiler tag just in case.)

-The characters all being from the same orphanage was a bit too coincidental, but I like the "GF-induced amnesia" angle. Irvine being the only one who remembers was also a nice touch- so far, I think he's the most developed of the "minor" party members (that aren't Squall & Rinoa). ...Frankly, I might steal it. :guffaw: But how does that work exactly...? They forgot only their childhood? Nothing else? ....Okay. I guess I just have to accept it as it is.
-The sorceress being their caretaker, though- that's where I draw the line. Too many coincidences. She's Cid's wife and the party's caretaker and they end up fighting her specifically?
-I find myself surprisingly invested in Squall & Rinoa- I never care about romance plots in stories such as this. Their dynamic is too entertaining to ignore, with Rinoa trying to get Squall to open up to her and Squall being... Squall. Their conversation right before the Galbadia Garden dungeon particularly sold me on their characters- the bit about Squall making his signature ring was interesting- does he do, like, metalworking in his spare time? It's cool to see that he has some sort of hobby besides moping. :guffaw: Also: he named the lion on the ring, because of course he did. It's possible I'm misinterpreting, but I think this scene gives some great insight into his character- he a bit sillier than he appears. (He named the lion! I expected "Whatever, who names a drawing" but oh yeah, it does have a name! Here it is!...This amuses me more than it should. Rinoa seems to know him well- she isn't surprised at all!)
-Seifer was pathetic near the end- does being a "knight" mean this much to him? Or is he being controlled, like the sorceress seems to have been? I feel like he's either going to turn out to be a terrible character or a great one.
-Just realized something- did Irvine hesitate to attack Edea before because he suspected that she was Matron? If so, that's very clever. Similar to Seifer, I think his character could go either way.
 

astracat111

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Hello everyone. :)

So I just received a copy of the 1999 PC version of Final Fantasy VIII from my aunt (just finished FF VII's PC version, which I also got from her) and I've been playing it a bit- I've got up to the first Laguna flashback sequence (where Squall's party blacks out in the train & Laguna's party is in the forest and Laguna first meets his love interest, whose name escapes me at the moment). It's pretty fun- far more than I thought it would be since my aunt didn't have a super-high opinion of it. (I like the Draw system a lot. Props to the developers for doing something different.) I just wanted to see what people who played FF8 when it came out think of it (no spoilers, please!!), since I'm too young to have played it back in '99.

Can't wait to hear from you. :)
It blew us away, to be honest. Games back then were nothing like movies, and the west never really took them seriously enough to make large stories, let alone stories in where you might actually cry for the characters like Final Fantasy 6.

When 7 came out, as you even see from the game over screen, it was like a film-game....of some sort, some new creation. It combined the click and point adventure games in where you were a small moving character on screen with a battle system and these incredible fmv sequences. I was playing it when I was 12, and god....I remember getting it for PC with that Brady Games guide...it was just beautiful on so many levels.

When 8 came out, especially with the operatic opening, it just blew everything else out of the water at the time. There was NOTHING like it in the west. Again, back then, the western mind was just that a game is a game so f*ck it, while the Japanese mindset was to take what they were doing very very seriously. The Japanese culture has a double edged sword, in that when you have a job you stick to it forever, even if it's unhealthy, kind of like marriage here except culturally we have such thing as divorce r*pe.

Final Fantasy 9 was to me the pinnacle of all games back then. It was literally competing with the early 90s disney golden age films I felt. They were very strongly trying to make a huge masterpiece. You can just play the first hour or two and you'll be running around a castle, running on rooftops, watching a parade on an airship with fireworks, with a band in a festival, I mean...hot damn it was just spectacular. Play a little more through and you just have this story in where the characters are so human like any person you'd meet, just seeking for their peace of mind, and learning in the beginning hating each other to love each other. Just beautiful.

The games that reminded me most of that 7, 8, 9 era might be adventure games like Grim Fandango....it's a shame that had to end. What it felt like when 10 came out? I don't know, you walked in a straight line on a road from point a to point b. The characters were taller and stiffer, they felt more supernatural rather than regular pizza guy saves the world type of deal, so they were a lot less relatable. It's still good, to me and a lot of us 90s kids it just wasn't the same.

11 came out, and for some reason it's an mmorpg. I played it quite a lot and liked it, but in a very very different way to that 7-9 era. 11, 12, and 14 were more like games rather than the game-movies they had evolved into in the late 90s.

Where as they were competing back then with hollywood animated films around that time like say Anastasia or something, and not to mention in the east competing with Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, now a days they compete with dark western things like Halo or God of War. You can tell, as they took the tone of the original Final Fantasy 7 and completely 'modernized' it, which means to make it colder, darker and muddier than it used to be.

In short, there's a reason that fans cry when they're making remakes of these things, although I myself am a skeptic to be honest...I think they could easily just create Final Fantasy 16 to be like the 7-9 old days but with updated graphics. I mean, hell, they made Octopath Traveler, and while the story was kind of bland and the art style had a lot of dirty browns used in it, it still felt like a step forward. It absolutely shocks me when Enix executives said "We can't understand why Octopath Traveler is selling so much, to be honest we're surprised about it" or whatever. Of course it sold well, you're making something that's more of a fastball rather than a strange curveball like they've been trying for over 10 years now.

Nintendo's got the right idea, forget about graphics, just create good games. I feel like Square needs to return to that to be successful, otherwise I could see in the next coming decades them starting to fall apart as they've lost the soul that drove them.
 
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