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#51 Edited by Sinusoidal (1803 posts) -

I haven't played it since it came out, and I vaguely remember enjoying it a lot. The only thing I remember about the battle system - unfortunately - was having to hit R1 every time Squall attacked with his ridiculous "gunblade" and getting really frustrated when I didn't get the timing right - which was often. Drove me nuts.

#52 Posted by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

The story for FF8 is easily worse than FF7 and that game was full of nonsense. Although bits of the characters and their moments of characterization were interesting, the actual story that tied them together seems like it was written in an afternoon.

#53 Posted by fandangos311 (1 posts) -

My favorite battle system has to be from Legend of Legaia from PS1.
Not only you had to think about wich attacks and combos you would use, but it also had a rock paper scissor stuffs going on, just like pokemon.
You have the point card too, it stores a small percentage of the money that you spent, then in the battle, if you use the point card it would cause a damage equal to the money that is stored, that was probably the most usefull item in the history of JRPGs and it incentives the economy on the game.
There is also a system where you "capture" a seru(the enemys) that gives you a "magic", if you use the magic a lot, the stronger it becomes.

I REALLY like the Vagrant Story Battle System too, very clever system based on timing.
I think that Chrono Cross is somewhat in my top 5 too.

#54 Edited by floomp (21 posts) -

@extomar: Well, I personally enjoyed FF8's story a lot more than FF7's. It was more interesting and exciting IMO. The way they manage to make story connections through space and time is pretty cool. But we're probably just impressed by different things.

#55 Posted by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@beard_of_zeus: I might have to check that out, I didn't know that ps1-ps2 era rpgs were already combining turn-based and real time 3d combat elements like that.

@floomp: I am replaying the game now and, while I love some of the characters, Squall's melodrama is overblown to the point of ridiculousness. Also the main plot has a lot of twists because it uses a bunch of narrative devices that are abruptly thrown out. In FFVIII there is: amnesia, time travel, a trip to space, a super advanced civilization that is hardly described until you get there, time compression, and mind-control. On top of all of that there is the fact that the game uses "the power of love and friendship" as the rationale for how your characters can go to and return from a time compressed world. Many of the twists in the game are unearned and, while the game has its touching moments (like the final cut scene which kills me every time I see it), the central plot is dripping with jrpg cliches.

@pixelprinny: I found the scaling to be a problem when in one playthrough I tried grinding against ochu before I visited Galbadia garden for the first time. Those enemies are worth almost a full level per fight, and although they gave me a ton of ap my new gf abilities were not able to compensate for the enemy scaling. I was at level 30 before I had access to spells like Tornado and Triple without spending hours playing Triple Triad. Thanks to the scaling I abandoned that playthrough; I tried to play FFVIII like I would any other jrpg (grind and level-up) and the scaling killed me. Now I did not take full advantage of the junction system on that playthrough, but at that point in the game you really can't make your characters that bonkers without hours of Triple Triad. It was that playthrough that really made me appreciate how the junction system makes FFVIII's combat system really different from any others I had played.

#56 Posted by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@floomp: I also forgot about the monsters on the moon thing, that was also a bit preposterous. Also, why does Lunatic Pandora exist again?

@fandangos311: I though no one else played Legend of Legaia, that is one of my favorite games. I loved the world and the seru capturing was fun (though missing out on capturing a boss seru really sucked). Not to mention the cool side quests that you could do for extra ra-seru summons. One day that game will come out on ps1 classics and I will get to replay it (my copy is scratched).

#57 Edited by InsiderGamer (79 posts) -

You asked, "Also, why does Lunatic Pandora exist again?"

I know this is a little OT, but also not having played FFVIII in years, I was always similarly confused about the Lunatic Pandora. In fact, most of the game's plot was relatively straight-forward until the Lunatic Pandora, Monsters From Space!, and Esthar.

Reading up on it briefly, apparently years before the game's start, a crystal pillar fell from the Moon onto the game's planet. In FFVIII, monsters are the result of Lunar Cry's; spillages from time to time of monsters from the Moon onto the planet. This fallen crystal pillar held certain potent properties that Laguna was dispatched to investigate at some point. Tears Point (a certain spot on the World Map) is a likely location for Lunar Cry's to occur. As a result, Dr. Odine establishes a laboratory there to conduct research. A housing for the crystal pillar is formed (the shell of what is now termed the Lunatic Pandora -- this is why when you explore the Lunatic Pandora in-game, its walls are crystal as it is the crystal pillar, now with a fancy enclosure. Side Note: This enclosure is also what allows for its hovering capability.) and Dr. Odine discovers that when the Lunatic Pandora aligns with Tears Point in a certain way, he can induce a Lunar Cry, basically allowing for the fall of monsters from the Moon at will. This now-weapon is deemed valuable for the Sorceress War that happens prior to the game's events. The unexplained crater in the World Map around Esthar is a result of one of using the Lunatic Pandora to induce a Lunar Cry and summon monsters from the Moon. At some point, the powers of this device are considered too powerful, and it is sunk into the ocean.

Now, when Adel was captured, they knew they could not simply kill the sorceress (as in the game, they can pass their powers onto another individual), so they decided to place her in suspension in orbit and constructed the Lunar Base to keep watch over her. In the game's events, Seifer, under the influence of Ultimecia (or whatever), raises the Lunatic Pandora from the ocean, somehow moves it to Tears Point, which activates a Lunar Cry. I don't believe he cares for the monsters raining down from the Moon, but the plan is to use the Lunar Cry's 'flow' of monsters from the Moon to push the Lunar Base (holding Adel) down onto the planet so she can escape, and Ultimecia can take possession of her as well. I mean, I guess Seifer waited until the Lunar Base's orbit aligned with the Lunar Cry's trajectory with Tears Point before pulling this stunt?


I hope that made sense. I'm glad I looked into it, because I had NO IDEA any of this was the case. Was it because I was young when I played FFVIII or did they simply do a GARBAGE job explaining any of that? I mean, to be honest, a lot of that was interesting, and there was no reason to obfuscate any of that.

When I played through FFVIII, I had NO IDEA why I went to space or what the hell the Lunatic Pandora was or so many things. Why is it that 10+ years after playing the game, I have to come back and read a Wiki to understand this?

That being said, I enjoyed FFVIII.


Back on topic: I did not enjoy FFVIII's battle system. Drawing endlessly like we JRPG fanatics are wont to do (because we want perfect characters) and junctioning magic to stats is basically an incentive to never use Magic. And maybe it was my fault, but because the Card Mod abilities were never given much focus, I did not end up giving that much of a try. As well, it look me a while to even understand enemies were leveling up alongside me, such straight-up grinding is ineffectual. Not that everything needs to be explained, but I would have liked the heads-up.

#58 Posted by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@insidergamer: The main problem I have with Lunatic Pandora is that it is such a logical leap and left-field twist. Lunatic Pandora is suddenly dredged up from the ocean floor after disc 2 by Seifer after Galbadia is freed from sorceress Edea's control. How Seifer stays in power after the sorceress is defeated, AND organizes a deep sea salvage project the likes of which the world has never seen in the course of what seems like weeks, AND manages to refurbish and repower the giant monoith before Squall and the party leave Esthar I will never understand. Also the game does explain stuff like where Lunatic Pandora comes from and where the sorceress's come from, but it does so in the tutorial section in the main menu, in the same place where SeeD rank tests can be taken. In that section there is a sort of infant version of the Mass Effect codex where you can learn all about the world of FFVIII. Needless to say this is not the ideal way to convey gigantic plot points.

#59 Edited by InsiderGamer (79 posts) -
@thatpinguino said:

@insidergamer: The main problem I have with Lunatic Pandora is that it is such a logical leap and left-field twist. Lunatic Pandora is suddenly dredged up from the ocean floor after disc 2 by Seifer after Galbadia is freed from sorceress Edea's control. How Seifer stays in power after the sorceress is defeated, AND organizes a deep sea salvage project the likes of which the world has never seen in the course of what seems like weeks, AND manages to refurbish and repower the giant monoith before Squall and the party leave Esthar I will never understand. Also the game does explain stuff like where Lunatic Pandora comes from and where the sorceress's come from, but it does so in the tutorial section in the main menu, in the same place where SeeD rank tests can be taken. In that section there is a sort of infant version of the Mass Effect codex where you can learn all about the world of FFVIII. Needless to say this is not the ideal way to convey gigantic plot points.

Sorry for derailing the conversation guys, but that's a great point. And like I mentioned, how Seifer also manages to time it such that the flow of Lunar's Cry is exactly in trajectory with the Lunar Base's orbit is ...pretty amazing.

Also now I think of it, I do remember the Codex in FFVIII. I checked it out maybe, once or twice, and that was that.

Actually: You seem to have a good grasp of the story's events. Want to explain one more thing for me? Spoilers ensue: At the end of game, upon beating Ultimecia, Squall warps to the Orphanage alongside a dying Ultimecia after the final battle. Ultimecia passes her powers onto Edea before fading away. The end cutscene begins thereafter.

If I'm not mistaken, during the story's events, Edea mentions she received her powers from a dying sorceress. A odd man in the future was also there (Squall). So is there some timeloop thing at play here? Don't quite understand.

#60 Edited by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@insidergamer: There is a time loop in play in the game, Edea received sorceress powers from some other sorceress before Ultimecia is defeated; thus, when a dying Ultimecia shows up at the orphanage Edea takes on her powers to prevent one of the children from inheriting her power, because Edea is already a sorceress taking on another bunch of sorceress power is not as life-changing. Thus, the power that Edea and then Rinoa have comes in part from sorceress Ultimecia. This means that there is a time loop that is constantly recurring, Edea takes Ultimecia's power -> Rinoa takes Edea's power -> Ultimecia takes power from someone who inherited from Rinoa. And on and on the cycle goes. There are other conspiracy theories I have seen that claim that Rinoa and Ultimecia are the same person, but I think it is a bit of a stretch, but then again FFVIII is full of improbable twists so maybe that would not really be that big of a leap.

#61 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12108 posts) -

Everything I hear about this confirms that I would probably not like Final Fantasy VIII because I'd immediately break the battle system for myself.

#62 Edited by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

I find the FF8 system to be the limit of how much I wanted to have to exploit in order to enjoy a game. It is designed from concept to execution to demand functional exploitation rather than necessarily having a polished set of rules with push and pull. The accoutrements that surround it also make it a little frustrating. The inability to take Squall out of your party for the majority of the game plays havoc with the scaling enemies. I reached the end boss with a level 48 Squall and the rest of the team somewhere in the low 20s. Naturally, this was an impossible mission (though I restarted the game from the beginning and learned if you cast Break on Squall he gains AP but not XP!). And then, the draw system... the draw system is absolutely time consuming and exhausting. For all the mess the summons receive, the draw system will challenge you to stay awake. I actually really like the refining system, I like the idea that you get drops that you can use your various refining solutions to get magic out of (or sell, or use) especially when they also tie that into the card game. But drawing is AWFUL. It also leads to a lot of extremely easy to miss GFs if you aren't paying close attention.

And by exploit I mean grinding Fastitochalon-Fs for Fish Fins you can refine into 20 Waters fifteen minutes into the game. Then finding some way (buying tents!) to get 100 Curagas less than an hour later. And then appending that to your HP stat and having 9999 HP hours into the game. And then keeping your HP at about 2000 (which no enemy can ever deal with until end-game) and constantly cycling to use your limit break. And then appending Death to your Status-J. Beat Diablos before leaving Balamb, grind up Enc-None and then make the game combat optional. Solve every single test by trial-and-error (or look it up on the internet) and have more money than you can ever spend four hours into the game.

#63 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3535 posts) -

I really like the battle system and story of VIII. Never cared much about the magic problem. I junctioned useless strong magic I never used to my fighter characters, and allowed the mage-types open access to unjunctioned magic. Problem solved.

#64 Posted by Dan_CiTi (3510 posts) -

While don't really care for Final Fantasy outside 4-6, and 9 and 12, 8 had some cool ideas. My least favorite of the PS1 games for sure though.

P.S. 10 had awesome boss fights.

#65 Posted by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@dan_citi: I agree, 10 had really interesting boss fights and enemy encounters. I think this is due to the fact that characters are really narrowly focused in that game and as a result the developers could really focus the boss fights in such a way that every character has a role in every battle, yet no character is awesome in every phase of the fight. But this is all facilitated by the ability to freely switch between every character in every battle.

#66 Edited by JZ (2125 posts) -

Know what was awesome? Renting cars

#67 Edited by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@jz: Hell yeah! And buying gas!

#68 Posted by Dan_CiTi (3510 posts) -

@thatpinguino: It was one of the first "set piece" games too, maybe MGS1-2 could be an earlier example.

#69 Posted by NoRemnants (386 posts) -

I think the FF8 battle system would be the best I've ever played if not for the flaw in which using magic that is junctioned didn't make your characters weaker. It led to you either not junctioning your best magic to it or not using your best magic in battle. I love how core the guardian forces were to the strength of your character though.

#70 Posted by paulunga (2125 posts) -


#72 Posted by wastedcolumbo (70 posts) -

I've always wondered why Final Fantasy games only have a single battle system per game, especially in the age of DLC. After all it's mainly just tweaks to mathematics going on under the hood, and you don't even need to add any new animations, casting firaga could look the same whatever battle system you are using. And it could add so much more for replayability, hell if Square-Enix offered a Final Fantasy V battle system DLC pack for XIII I might have actually finished the damn thing.

#73 Posted by Mesoian (1574 posts) -

That's not grandia 3.

#74 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (731 posts) -

Once I got the hang of the draw/junction system it was immediately apparent to me that I could break the system. But I just didn't have the patience to do that to the nth degree. Drawing 99 magics then refining it to a 2nd and 3rd tier was just too tedious to me, so I just did it for a little bit then I said "good enough". It was an interesting idea but the process for obtaining the magic is too much. You should have been able to buy magic stocks at shops or something. The GF aspect was really cool I thought. Leveling them up and in turn unlocking new abilities and junctionable stats was nice. I disagree with you that the game isn't grindy. Grinding doesn't have to only be fighting a ton of random encounters. Anything that impedes the story progression for the sake of boosting your character's stats is grinding, and you can't tell me it didn't take you a lot of time to get 99 of the best rarest magic for at minimum 3 characters.

#75 Edited by pg77 (24 posts) -

Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy 12.

#76 Posted by DrBroel (45 posts) -

Yes, you can break the game. But just because you can break it, doesn't mean it's not a ton of fun if you play without breaking it. I just think RPG players are more likely to be OCD and can't stop themselves from exploiting every option.

#77 Edited by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@hippie_genocide: I actually didn't have to spend that long grinding items because mugging and card mod get you more than one item per monster and each item can be converted into 10-20 uses of a spell. That covers a lot of the basics like curaga, regen, and the level three magics. For the high level stuff you use enc-none and walk around the islands closest to heaven and hell and use the hidden draw points to get 100 of every high level spell. I rarely go that far, but to do so takes about 20-30 minutes. I even went so far as to have enc-none on for almost the entire third and fourth discs in my most recent playthrough and I had no problems with the enemies or with gathering items. Doing so even shaved 7 hours off of my usual play time and my party was still super strong thanks to junctioning. I would agree that there is still come form of grind, but the degree to which you have to participate is much smaller.

#78 Posted by Mezmero (2063 posts) -

Yes I remember liking the battles in FF8 more than the rest of the PS1 Final Fantasies. I really enjoyed the small touches that made it easier to survive a battle if things go wrong. For instance you could have actual control over using you limit breaks more so than 7 or 9. With the use of things like Aura and hot swapping between characters with HP in the yellow, you could pretty easily get out of a sticky situation without attempting an escape. You even got to toggle a drawn spell into either a single or all-targeting effect without adding an All function in the status menus. I also liked that you could alter the 4 ability slots based on what GFs you have equipped and almost turn characters into FF6 style classes with specialized actions. Haven't played the game in years so I'm sure I'm forgetting some of the finer points but all in all I'd say FF8 was pretty awesome back then.

#79 Edited by Unmada (68 posts) -

Skies of Arcadia has my favorite RPG combat system. The Spirit Point system made me think several turns ahead. It's not super-complicated, but has a lot of options, and each character is unique in their special abilities.

I have a soft spot for turn-based systems. The trick with the characters and monsters charging each other and mixing it up constantly, trading blows and running around regardless of whose turn it is, is hugely significant for me. It can be argued that it's strategically important (it does determine line-of-sight and area of effect), but what tickles me about it is the illusion of each and every random encounter being a unique battle. Having everyone line up on their side of the field is now unacceptable for me with turn-based combat. Skies of Arcadia, you captured my heart!

#80 Edited by Cogzwell (254 posts) -

@wolfhazard: It's really weird because I grew up knowing nothing but hate for FFVIII because the Draw mechanic basically required you to grind to cast spells and the Gunsword was so stupid. It's odd seeing so much FFVIII love come out of the woodworks lately.

#81 Posted by Discoman (170 posts) -

I didn't like FF8's battle system because of the Draw feature, which lead to long periods of trying to harvest from enemies. I thought it was easy to get everyone's best weapons though, but that's if you know what you're looking for. If there's one thing I hate about SquareEnix RPGs is how item crafting isn't explained on where you get the appropriate materials nor (in the case off FF12) all of the recipes themselves. I never knew about the creatures getting tougher with lvling up. Man did I waste alot of time in that game if that's the case.

Chrono Cross was great because you needed to attack to charge up spells and then cast spells to influence the field's element distribution which would effect spells of the same element and the ability to do summons. If you picked the wrong characters you need to do alot of strategy to change things around. Also fights couldn't go on forever because you can only use a spell once in a battle.

#82 Posted by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -
@discoman said:

I didn't like FF8's battle system because of the Draw feature, which lead to long periods of trying to harvest from enemies. I thought it was easy to get everyone's best weapons though, but that's if you know what you're looking for. If there's one thing I hate about SquareEnix RPGs is how item crafting isn't explained on where you get the appropriate materials nor (in the case off FF12) all of the recipes themselves.

I actually liked the way that each item or enemy was tied to very particular locations in FFVIII, though I did have the guide book which showed me where each enemy was located. I enjoyed that there was an island inhabited entirely by cactuar, and the islands closest to heaven and hell were also really cool. I felt like tying very specific enemies to very specific locations on the world map lent the game a sense of cohesion that was special.

I do, however, agree that the crafting and refining systems are poorly explained by the game, you really need to consult outside sources to really understand all that the game is doing with its magic and item systems.

#83 Posted by householddutch (44 posts) -

@thatpinguino: I remember playing ff8 when I was young and bad at games. It felt confusing and poorly explained. Then I came back as an adult and sincerely enjoyed breaking the game. I'll always have fond memories of it, especially going on GF hunts and puttzing around on the islands of heaven and hell. With a bit of tweaking, this system could have had very different feedback.

There are a few neat fan theories on stuff in the game, and all this happy plot-talking makes me want to bring up this theory in particular. After I read it, I can't "unsee" it from the plot.

Also, not sure if we're talking about ps2 games here, but I thought Suikoden 3 had some interesting battle mechanics. Certainly better than the "We'll stand over here, you stand over there and we'll take turns hitting each other and this is so easy you can play a significant portion of the game on auto" approach that later entries had. You have a big battle area, and up to 6 characters divided into 3 teams. At the start of the battle, you pick what each team does. Say team 1 has one character that can cast healing stuff and another that can cast fire stuff. You can only directly decide what one character does, the other will default to attack, unless you pick guard for both. So you can heal and use a default physical, or cast a fire spell and use a default physical attack. Or one item and default attack (each character has his/her own backpack). Sounds gimp, but made for some fun strategy with picking your team, especially with the dozens of characters you pick from.

The battle system also had this movement/distance/time bar, where you can cast X spell, but you see on the bar that it's gonna take more than one turn (casting speeds for individual characters eventually improve {I think}). So you can do the 2 turn spell and hope your casting doesn't get interrupted by an attack from the enemy, and hopefully you haven't paired your caster with a melee fighter which will run the both of them right up in the mob's face. Your melee fighting dude will physically run up to the enemy and whack it, but this movement and the attack will eat up time on the bar. If you have a faster character you can run up to them and get in several hits before the time on that turn runs out. It gets to be fun mayhem, especially since you decide what all 3 teams do at the start of each turn, hit confirm and then watch everyone run around like idiots all at once and pummel each other.

There's some other cool stuff, like finding all of the characters and the weird strategy/war battles the game throws at you. The exploration is super slow and dreary unfortunately. Lots of backtracking through bland boring areas. But the payoff is worth it.

#84 Posted by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@householddutch: The problem with the Squall is dead theory is that it disregards how ridiculous some aspects of the plot are in the first disc and uses the implausibility of the story in discs 2-4 as proof that Squall must be dreaming. In disc 1 Squall attempts to kidnap a president, he frees a trapped ghost in an ancient tomb and the ghost speaks to him about life and death, he has strange dreams where he enters another person's body, he fights statues that come to life. The game is full of wild and implausible stuff from the starting point, thus to me nothing about the later discs is so tonally off center as to think that a few lines of dialog would make me believe that the later discs are all a dream.

#85 Edited by Hunter5024 (5962 posts) -

Maybe the reason I'm more accepting of this battle system than some is because I hate using magic anyways. Asking me to scroll through a list? That's just a waste of time sir. In Final Fantasy 9 I used Zidane, Amarant, Steiner, and Freya, cast regen and berserk on all of them and just laid back and watched the massacre. So the whole complaint about not being able to use the most powerful magic in Final Fantasy 8 rings pretty hollow for me, because there are equally powerful alternatives that take less time to use. Also once you were higher level your stats would usually max out even if you didn't have 100 of a particular spell to Junction, between that and the two limit breaks that allow you to use free magic, I don't really see the problem.

#86 Posted by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@hunter5024: I play the same way so the magic use thing is not really a problem for me, but magic in FFVIII is a little hampered by the depletion thing for people who want to cast spells and have absolutely max stats at all times. It usually is a philosophical thing rather than a practical problem. Though practically, gfs tend to do the exact same things as spells, except they are unlimited use and they tend to be stronger, so really there is almost zero reason to use magic not named aura.

#87 Posted by householddutch (44 posts) -

@thatpinguino: Yeah, I don't have a problem with the main story as-is, I just thought it was an interesting take. Not that "it was a dream all along!" is an original concept at all. I have a fondness for endings that are bittersweet, and found the idea that everything ends unresolved appealing. Anyway, totally too ballsy of a move for Squenix to do something like that. The ending of FFX though, was great. Your favourite?

#88 Posted by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@householddutch: My favorite is definitely the end of FFIX, both for the completion of Kuja's tragic story arch and his redemption (which I wrote a blog about) and for how it treats Vivi's death. I mean the game has the stones to kill off a 6 year old in the final moments and have him narrate his last thoughts. Not to mention the incredibly self referential final cut-scene that calls back to a ton of previous FF games. That game, to me, was a culmination of over a decade of franchise growth and back story all combined into one final swan song for Sakaguchi.

#89 Edited by danieljm41 (17 posts) -
#90 Edited by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -
#91 Posted by 137 (481 posts) -

that awkward moment where you hit a boss battle and forgot to junction a swapped members abilities.

#92 Edited by TranceQuina (150 posts) -

@beard_of_zeus: Gotta back this man right here. Grandia II is the shit.

#93 Posted by PurplePp1Eater (3 posts) -

I'd have to wholeheartedly disagree with the OP. This is the only RPG I've ever played where I felt discouraged to use magic because it would mean taking a stat hit.. then having to go through the grind of finding and drawing that specific magic, from that specific creature again was tedious. Think about that for a second.. your decision to cast one 5 second spell could create 30 minutes of work for you. To me it was never worth it.

To be honest, when I read "Best Battle System: Is it FFVIII?" on the homepage I clicked on it only because I couldn't believe you were serious. The drawing/junction system was one of the worst rpg elements ever created. I think when I was a kid I just tolerated it because it was "final fantasy" but looking back it was pretty terrible. Just the thought of ever replaying FF8 makes me cringe. You would literally have to pay me hundreds of dollars to replay that game. Can't say that I could say that about any of the other ones.

In my opinion, FF8 had the least interesting story, characters, and worst battle system. At the time, I enjoyed the game only because of the huge leap forward in graphics. Every kid in 1998 was like.. Full sized characters while you walk around??! Holy shit! Best game everrrr!!! FF8 is a game that heavily relies of being eye candy.

#94 Posted by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@purplepp1eater: Firstly, I think the notion that the game actively discourages you from using magic is overstated. The only case when you will take a substantial stat hit when using magic is when you use the same spell a bunch of times in a row; otherwise 99 uses of a spell or 100 uses of a spell junctionened to a stat will not make a huge difference in your character. If you positively cannot fathom having a sub-optimal character for one moment then sure the system encourages you to use physical attacks; but, you can play the game using magic and not have your stats take a meaningful hit.

Secondly, if you know how to get spells in FFVIII then it does not take a half-hour of work to replenish a single cast of a spell. You can draw or refine every spell in the game from multiple enemies and items, and as such I have never had a problem getting spells to junction after the first disc. Once the garden is mobile you have access to almost every spell in the game based on where you fly, and that is not possible in most games.

Thirdly, a battle system being different from the norm does not make it terrible. As I argued in my op, battles in FFVIII force you to rethink how you play jrpgs in that the game discourages you from fighting tons of random encounters and instead encourages you to take as many resources from each encounter as possible. This is a fundamental difference in how you are meant to play the game, and a reluctance to embrace the combat system will result in a less fun time playing the game. No one plays other FF games complaining that the game discourages you from using magic because magic costs mp and mp is limited. It is because mp is an accepted convention, while the draw system was not. You are attacking the worst case scenario without considering the best case.

#95 Edited by deadmoscow (268 posts) -

Final Fantasy 8 always felt like the black sheep in the series, but I really enjoyed it. The focus on romance was refreshing, and I thought it was probably the least dumb of any of the Final Fantasy romance subplots (and let's be honest, they've all been really dumb). I just wish there was a JRPG that didn't use the trope of "giant monsters will destroy the universe unless we fight back with the power of friendship!"

I did have a lot of fun min/maxing the everloving shit out of the game though. I didn't go completely nuts with zero xp playthrough, but I did pretty much max out any relevant stats and hit the end game with none of my characters over level 12 or so.

#96 Posted by Jimbo7676 (722 posts) -

I really liked FF VIII and I liked that they were willing to something unique and interesting. I never got why people disliked it unless it was just that they didn't want something new. That said I think you could have made a longer post and made more strong points and maybe compared the system to other ones you like/dislike to show why it is your favorite. Such as discussing GF junctioning etc. Saying something is your favorite system of all time is a big deal and you could have used some more points to argue it.

#97 Edited by thatpinguino (1373 posts) -

@jimbo7676: I have written more extensively about it here. And I did not know that my post would be front paged when I was writing it or else it would have been more extensive. Also I did not title my original blog post FFVIII My Favorite Combat System, I wrote my original post as a look at a unique system that I really enjoyed, not as a stand for FFVIII as the greatest combat system ever. Though the game does have y favorite combat system and I am glad to defend it.

#98 Edited by Max_Cherry (1150 posts) -

I'm indifferent to FF8's junction system, but I am partial to FF7's materia system. It incentivized you to race Chocobos to get that mad materia among other things.

#99 Posted by Max_Cherry (1150 posts) -

I haven't played it since it came out, and I vaguely remember enjoying it a lot. The only thing I remember about the battle system - unfortunately - was having to hit R1 every time Squall attacked with his ridiculous "gunblade" and getting really frustrated when I didn't get the timing right - which was often. Drove me nuts.

Why didn't you just toggle the option to automate it?

#100 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

That is really the issue with the system: It is almost impossible to lose any fight where the only risks appears if an enemy has a "One Hit Kill" attack. Otherwise, you went through the motions where you have to ignore the party to lose where in many more combinations it didn't matter (close your eyes, hold down X, you win). I'm not saying that Final Fantasy has a history of stressful or difficult combat systems but FF8 was way more "can you push a button?" easy than the others.