Does ff8 deserve the hate?

Razberry Knight

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i know this game gets mixed reviews, and i have a bit of issues with it myself. but i never fully hated the game. i still found it mildly enjoyable. so....does anyone here believe ff8 gets too much hate?
 

Shaissa

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Honesty the only real hate I see is for the GF system. Sure there are other things people poke at, but in the end it is the GF system. Which in this case I can understand the hate, cause it really is very tedious. You draw magic, equip it, draw different magic... And then where does that leave the actual point of level grinding? No where special, since the monsters level up with you, and you can get more money from the seed quiz anyways. Heck only thing worth leveling up are your GFs.

So is the hate understandable? Yeah, it's one of them "level up" systems you either like or hate. Does it get too much? Honesty I don't see that much overall... I see more hate for a lot of other FF games over VIII
 

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I think my biggest gripe with it is how easy it is to exploit the Junction system very early on in the game. I try put myself in shoe shoes of a new player though, who might not know that you can have 100 Waters for all characters in the first half an hour of game play etc. Perhaps FFVIII doesn't have the replay value of some of the other games in the series for this reason, but a new player shouldn't feel this way.

Also, on my most recent game of FFVIII I found some of Squall's inner monologue to be a tad melodramatic. I get that he is the reluctant hero and all that, but some of the hate on FFVIII I see is centered around Squall being whiny, which I can't really deny.
 

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I never saw Squall as a whiney person... At least not until he became all about Rinoa. Then it was a little whine.

I think my major problem was the twist of the story line when they were all together as kids but "forgot" because of the GFs... I mean how long were they using GFs that they had to forget? Why wouldn't Cid tell the kids? That was I think my major problem with it, bad plot twist that made me kinda wanna forget that whole part of the game.
 

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I enjoyed the game on the whole the first time I played it. I'm replaying it at the moment on the PC as opposed to the PS1 and it's quite possibly my favourite, so I certainly don't think it deserves to be hated!

I'm replaying it at the moment, but I remember having some trouble late game because Squall's level was significantly higher than the rest of the characters' levels... Squall is always in your team (pretty much), whilst everyone else comes and goes, so that's to be expected, but the enemies level up with Squall, which makes some of the later battles difficult.
 

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I think my major problem was the twist of the story line when they were all together as kids but "forgot" because of the GFs... I mean how long were they using GFs that they had to forget? Why wouldn't Cid tell the kids? That was I think my major problem with it, bad plot twist that made me kinda wanna forget that whole part of the game.

Actually, yeah. That's also pretty bad.

I know you should suspend your disbelief and all that stuff, but there's a few other little issues like that which bother me. Not quite on the scale of how they were all together as kids, but I don't like how characters like Caraway and Rinoa, Cid and Edea, are interconnected. It's only a very minor gripe I have, but I find that those kind of reveals designed to surprise/shock the player are a little eye rolling.
 

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It was easily the worst of the PS1-era FF games.

  1. You had to spend so long drawing magic from enemies
  2. Subsequently, you are unable to use magic without simultaneously nerfing your stats
  3. You had to min-max the GFs in order to allow all your characters to junction to every stat
  4. The game is pretty much over as soon as you are asked to pop in Disc 4
  5. The fact that the rules of the Triple Triad game changed based on region
  6. As others have stated, the whole orphanage thing.

1. I feel like this was a pointless waste of time. The first battle after you discover an enemy has a new kind of magic ends up taking ~20 minutes for no reason, because of the RNG deciding how many instances of the spell you receive.

2. Oh, you want to revive in battle by casting Full-Life? Enjoy having less HP as a result. As someone that endeavoured to get 255 in every stat for every character in FF7 because I like seeing the numbers maxed out, but I also like using magic, this annoyed me more than any difficult boss fight.

3. What if I wanted to build my characters' GF roster in order to do some form of role playing, like making each character specialise in a certain elemental damage type, etc? Yeah, no can do.

4. They lock out 99% of the game, IIRC only Odin's ruins and Ultimecia's Castle is available in Disc 4. I feel like they should have dedicated more disc space to allowing you to visit past areas, and less on that acid trip FMV we got as an ending.

5. I don't like the Random rule, I want to pick my own cards. Back to Dollet we go...

6. I feel like this was just a cheap way of tying together the story. Compare this to FF9, where not every character had to be intrinsically linked, but some were (Garnet / Eiko) as a natural cause of good story writing. I've always said; the orphanage backstory in FF8 sounds like the writers went "oh shit, it's 2 hours until deadline and I just realised, we have no backstory for any of our characters. Um... let's... erm... let's make them all come from the same orphanage... but.... amnesia! Yeah!"


In short, yes I do believe it deserves the hate. The game mechanic and story is heavily flawed, more obviously so than any other FF game that I have played. Bear in mind that I'm not a writer, so I do fully understand and respect that some people might find plot holes or Mary Sues or whatever in other FF games more annoying than the FF8 story. That, however, does not apply to me.
 

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It was easily the worst of the PS1-era FF games.

  1. You had to spend so long drawing magic from enemies
  2. Subsequently, you are unable to use magic without simultaneously nerfing your stats



1. I feel like this was a pointless waste of time. The first battle after you discover an enemy has a new kind of magic ends up taking ~20 minutes for no reason, because of the RNG deciding how many instances of the spell you receive.

2. Oh, you want to revive in battle by casting Full-Life? Enjoy having less HP as a result. As someone that endeavoured to get 255 in every stat for every character in FF7 because I like seeing the numbers maxed out, but I also like using magic, this annoyed me more than any difficult boss fight.


I actually agree with all your points, but I just wanted to comment on these two.

1) I agree with what you're saying, but if you play the game with the intention of only using the Draw command 2-3 times per battle, and let the magic stores accumulate gradually and organically, it might not be as bad. Granted, I'm a powergamer by nature, and this is not an approach I'd take usually. But, to eliminate the tedium, I've had plans to play the game this way. I suspect the developers intended you to collect magic slowly as the game progresses anyway. Avoiding the mass Draw-fests is similar to not powerlevelling in a certain spot on any other RPG really.

2) Again, I agree; because I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, I want the best magic Junctioned to my stats and I don't want them to suffer when I use a spell. But on the other hand, I do see it as part of the strategy of the game, in the same way you can only ever have a maximum of 16 Materia orbs on FFVII, you have to think about what you need the most. If you want to have the best spells available for casting, maybe you have to settle for second best with your Junctioning, or vice versa.
 

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1) I agree with what you're saying, but if you play the game with the intention of only using the Draw command 2-3 times per battle, and let the magic stores accumulate gradually and organically, it might not be as bad. Granted, I'm a powergamer by nature, and this is not an approach I'd take usually. But, to eliminate the tedium, I've had plans to play the game this way. I suspect the developers intended you to collect magic slowly as the game progresses anyway. Avoiding the mass Draw-fests is similar to not powerlevelling in a certain spot on any other RPG really.
Aye, although I've never thought of it that way because I, like you, prefer to powergame as quickly as possible (I refused to move after getting Diablo's lamp until I had that fucker beat), what you say makes sense.

That being said, they could have done a better job of it. If we look at the ability system from Final Fantasy IX, you have the option to grind random battles to learn the abils right off the bat, or play the game and hope you learn it before you get a new weapon. I actually didn't find myself grinding in that game unless I did happen to find an upgraded weapon before my abil was learnt, because I didn't feel compelled to. I didn't feel compelled to because my gameplay experience was not hampered by not doing it. The ability wasn't less powerful before I had mastered it, and I certainly didn't depend on it to increase my stats/combat efficiency.

Looking at the ability system from Final Fantasy VII, the way they handled the Materia levelling up meant that grinding was pretty much completely out of the question. Nobody in the world would have the patience to grind mobs to get Fire 3 straight off the bat, due to the amount of AP the Materia required. They chose to make accumulation of more/stronger magic scale by increasing the amount of AP you earned from battles.

2) Again, I agree; because I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, I want the best magic Junctioned to my stats and I don't want them to suffer when I use a spell. But on the other hand, I do see it as part of the strategy of the game, in the same way you can only ever have a maximum of 16 Materia orbs on FFVII, you have to think about what you need the most. If you want to have the best spells available for casting, maybe you have to settle for second best with your Junctioning, or vice versa.
Of course I see that, but the point is that I have never in my life played another game where I needed to sacrifice my character's stats with no way to replenish them outside of special places (i.e. places where I can draw more of a certain spell) in order to cast magic.

In all games that ran on MP, you could cast magic until the end of time if you had Elixir/Ether on you. In Final Fantasy XIII where abilities took ATB slots, you certainly didn't have to worry, etc.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing with you. All your points make perfect sense, and are probably very close to (if not exactly) what the game designers had intended when they created the game. Doesn't mean I have to like it! :P
 

Robbiedbee

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That being said, they could have done a better job of it. If we look at the ability system from Final Fantasy IX, you have the option to grind random battles to learn the abils right off the bat, or play the game and hope you learn it before you get a new weapon. I actually didn't find myself grinding in that game unless I did happen to find an upgraded weapon before my abil was learnt, because I didn't feel compelled to. I didn't feel compelled to because my gameplay experience was not hampered by not doing it. The ability wasn't less powerful before I had mastered it, and I certainly didn't depend on it to increase my stats/combat efficiency.

Looking at the ability system from Final Fantasy VII, the way they handled the Materia levelling up meant that grinding was pretty much completely out of the question. Nobody in the world would have the patience to grind mobs to get Fire 3 straight off the bat, due to the amount of AP the Materia required. They chose to make accumulation of more/stronger magic scale by increasing the amount of AP you earned from battles.

Yeah, I agree, FFVII had it right on, in so many ways. The pace in which new abilities/spells are unlocked is perfect, (FFXIII for example, you don't get access to the full Crystarium until over halfway through the game). Your first few bits of Materia start to level up around the time you acquire Materia like Added Effect, Deathblow, and the level of customisation really begins to gather pace from there.

Of course I see that, but the point is that I have never in my life played another game where I needed to sacrifice my character's stats with no way to replenish them outside of special places (i.e. places where I can draw more of a certain spell) in order to cast magic.

In all games that ran on MP, you could cast magic until the end of time if you had Elixir/Ether on you. In Final Fantasy XIII where abilities took ATB slots, you certainly didn't have to worry, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing with you. All your points make perfect sense, and are probably very close to (if not exactly) what the game designers had intended when they created the game. Doesn't mean I have to like it! :P

Perhaps it's my rose tinted spectacles that allow me to turn a blind eye to such flaws. I play FFVIII and I'm transported back to being a 12 year old.

Just a random thought... Maybe the Menu Abilities like I-Mag RF were shoehorned into the game to allow the player to top up their magic stores if spells that were Junctioned were used in battle?
 

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It was easily the worst of the PS1-era FF games.

Well, as long as there's a list there will always be something that is at the bottom of it, no matter how competitive the ranking for that list is.

I don't feel FFVIII was necessarily a bad game and I actually really enjoyed it, but I don't think that it is unreasonable to say that the draw system could have been implemented in a more interesting manner and that summoning GFs was mostly useless aside from Cerberus and Doomtrain. It's really possible to become stupidly strong and do ridiculous amounts of damage very early in the game just by refining magic from items and pretty much trivializes the difficulty of the game as the damage you are doing is so retarded that even the enemies that level up with you cannot take much of it.

But I had fun playing it, and I'm sure others can think of games they have played that are even less deserving of expressing an opinion about.
 

Razberry Knight

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FF8 may be my least favorite, but i don't hate it. it did take some getting used to, and it did force me to refine my skills in the game more. but i still determined to beat it. and it really made me think ahead of time.
 

Aselia

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No, no, no, a million time no. Final Fantasy VIII is the best installment of the series, but it unfortunately gets a lot of hate from fans who basically don't like it because it wasn't FF7. EVERYTHING in FF8 was a vast improvement over FF7. The junction system is amazing, and I much prefer the draw system to Materia or ANY other Magic system in Final Fantasy. I may be a bit biased however, as FF8 was my first FF. Which in turn is why it receives so much hate.

Final Fantasy 7 was MANY people's first experience with Final Fantasy, and as such, they hold it against every other game in the series. Final Fantasy VIII had the misfortune of being the game to immediately follow it, and as such, people basically went THIS ISN'T FF7 and disregarded it. I'll admit I did the same to Final Fantasy 7 for YEARS, because I loved FF8 so much. The difference is however, I actually gave FF7 a chance in the end, and found I rather liked it. Was it as good as FF8? No! but it was still a good game. The problem with FF8 is not the game, it's the fact that FF7 fans are unwilling to give it a chance. It also gets hate because it is different than many of the other games, which is also unfortunately a problem for FFXII and XIII. They are different, so people jut reject them, when they are actually very good games. Would they have been critically reviewed as highly if they weren't?


tl;dr: Final Fantasy VIII is a fucking masterpiece that gets shit on by people who likely haven't given it a chance.
 

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I simply do not understand the hate that this games receives. In terms of the Final Fantasy series as a whole I don't see how it stands out as being any more or less good than the others. Sure it has it's flaws but so too does all the others. For example:

FF VI: Female Protagonist of the story plays a supporting role in the entire story. This makes sense how?
The Battle System was indeed a grind fest.
FF VII: With every installment for this game the facts became more and more unclear, particularly those pertaining to J-E-N-O-V-A and SOLDIER operatives.
FF IX: The mini card game truely sucked.

So looking at the main complaints of Final Fantasy VIII so far we have the following points:
i) The Drawing system
ii) The storyline
iii) Triple Triad Rules

These complaints of Final Fantasy VIII are not that much different than those that have gone before or after, so why does it bear the brunt of so much more hate? Maybe Aselia is correct, maybe it is because it followed a legend that pulled the heart strings of our child within. Or maybe people just didn't understand it (I've seen this point made before).

Getting back to the complaints of the game this is how I see it:

i) I would have figured, that the freedom the drawing system gives to both the hardcore and newbie gamer, to play the game in the way that they see fit, would have been well received. This game is full of subtleties particularly when it comes to the strengthening of one's characters. As has been mentioned, 100 Full Lifes can give you some whopper of a HP count, but inevitably if the magic is used one loses their overall HP amount. This is true, however, there are other ways to replenish your party's health without resorting to magic both through the use of GF (Revive), Selphie's Limit Break (Triple Full Cure) and of course the time old potion method. The player is not tied to any particular method but rather given the opportunity to establish their own strategies and approaches to character boosting. I saw it as an encouragement to experiment with the character stats. And hey, the staus immunities actually work!

More in line with the actual Drawing system and less with it's resulting Junction abilities, the opportunity to farm magic was at the discrection of the gamer, since neither the storyline or subsequent enemies needed a particular strength to be defeated at (i.e. the party didn't have to be at level 100 to beat Ultimecia at the end). On top of this, enemies leveled up with the characters thus eliminating the tiresome drag that often comes with EXP turn based games where only certain regions will offer more than 5 EXP per battle (e.g. Suikoden 1, etc). In terms of grinding it's very clear that Draw fests were the choice of the gamer and one can hardly accuse a game designer for giving them such an opportunity to make their characters as strong a badass as they possibly can...can they? So where exactly was the draw back (no pun intended)?

ii) The Final Fantasy franchise has always had hiccups in their storylines, from Terra's back-benching to terrible villians actually being trees, but hey, they aren't trying to sell best sellers so it's cool. Some of the games even had their heart stopping, grief ridden moments that made us sob uncontrolably at 3am in the morning (guilty). However, the storylines aren't jaw droppingly original so let's call a spade a spade here. They're good and sometimes touching, simple as that.

Although the story to Final Fantasy VIII can be pretty complicated at times and maybe lame, one has to consider what the game was attempting to do. Everything in the game had a cause and effect. Your summons weren't just some awesome powered up beings that were stored in stones with no lives of their own, they had their own back stories (e.g. Ifrit, Cerberus, Odin, Gilgamesh, etc.) and actually had something to impart to the story as well. The creators of the story went further to show that a power like that has a draw back (to unleash power, power must be taken from somewhere, why not the summoner?) thus adding an extra layer to the often over looked entities that show up frequently throughout the series. Unfortunately though, the added layer to this onion-esque story just made people cry despite its simplicity.

iii) The Triple Triad game is pretty simple and straight-forward whilst maintaining an element of fun. It's heralded as being the best side-game in the entire series! So why the hate? Not quite sure on that one. At any rate, the story's inclination to embroider the likes of the GFs and the Triple Triad card game into the world of Final Fantasy VIII lead us to the rules system for the card game. Each region carries it's own rules and thus bringing a new element to the usual what you see it what you get side quest. However, like the draw system there were loads of ways to get around that which you didn't want to deal with. The mechanics of the card rules were simple to understand and manipulate and ultimately, if you screwed up royally, you could always go back to Balamb and reset everything anyway. How many side games can tote that?

Honestly I don't see the reason for the amount of slack Final Fantasy VIII gets and any argument I've seen to date has yet to explain it to me. The game was really as simple or as indepth to complete as the player wanted it to be. Period.
 
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No it doesn't deserve the hate because you always have the option of choosing whether or not you want to draw magic, you have the option of whether or not you want to do the optional sidequests. Anything you want to do is up to you. Since I specifically went for leveling everybody up to 100 with 80 hours of gameplay I guess that was my chosen path. There's very little rules and guidance as to what you want to do with the game and there's nice content along with it as far as it's concerned. If you want a J 4xDef Stat you can have it. J 4x Elem Stat, sure.. or you can play without getting the Junctions and stuff, but being as I did. I got all the GFs as well. If you want to kill Omega weapon as well you can, it's all up to you. Based on the realism of a final fantasy game cornered with it having Party, Single, Command, GF, Refined abilities and I forget the other made the game even that more better with content. You didn't have to play the way it made you play. It's not as linear as say Final Fantasy 7. Also it was one of the few final fantasy games that had you go in space so that was a cool concept as well.
 

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The game is very different to the typical Final Fantasy feel, it's far more sci-fi/modernised in design, so that might put people who like the typical fantasy setting off. I for one loved it though, the art direction in VIII is my favourite of the whole series. Just the sleek designs to everything looked really fantastic. Also I love the designs for the GF's, most of the variations being my favourite in the series, especially Odin.

When it comes to Final Fantasy VIII, compromise comes to mind. I believe the game has setbacks, but the positive far out way it. For example, the side characters like Irvine, Selphie, Zell & Quistis all lack depth and back story - beyond the dollet mission Quistis has no perpose being in the story at all. With all this said, the major positive is that the character development in Squall is easily one of the best in the series. It very heart rendering to follow Squall and learn about why he has become so closed off from people and how he over comes that. So while it lacks depth inside characters it really made up for it with the lead characters story just being really engaging.

Of course.... then there is that Orphanage scene... which is just utterly dreadful. I really cannot stand it. However, as bad as it is, it really doesnt change that much within the story, other than having the characters bond with Edea more personal... beyond that... I can just pretend it never happens... I just have to because it really is enough to ruin the game and if there is anything this game does deserve stick for it is that.

The junction system is flawed... there is no denying that, you shouldn't be able to have 9999hp by the end of disc one. However, as broken as it is it never dampened the experience for me. Nor does the drawing system, when you understand how GF shops work, there is no need to spend 20 minutes in a battle stocking 100 spells as the GF shops are just far more efficient, so with this method the drawing system never seemed tedious to me.

Overall I really do enjoy VIII and regard it with the rest of the peak of the series (VI, VII, IX & X) as it has so much to offer, if you're willing to overlook the flaws.
 

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I think VIII had a lot more substance, story, character and better all round gaming experience than it's predecessors and some of the later FF games. It does have it's issues, but none more than VII which seems to get a lot more praise than I think it deserves. I felt that although some points in the story were extremely cliché, it had a lot of deep and emotional scenes as well. I loved the introduction of time travel, how in-depth it was, Moombas were especially adorable and SeeD was quite a fun addition to the FF games.

I think nostalgia does play a huge part in it for me, as seems with other players, but I genuinely think it's one of the best games in the series.
 

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No it doesn't - I love the story and the characters and the music, and the opening and ending sequences are stunning. I do think it is the most 'love it or hate it' game in the series though, and having to follow up FFVI and FFVII was always going to be difficult for any game.
 
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I always felt that, at the time, VIII's story was a surprise to people who had been playing the series for years. At the time, it was the youngest cast of characters, and the issues of individuality and parentage did seem more "teen angst" compared the issues that games like VI and VII dealt with. But I don't think it really deserves hate anymore. Like mentioned before, it's the GF/leveling that really stands out as a negative these days.
 

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eh, i agree it has bad moments (as belz pointed out) but really for me, the game is only bad because it feels like the entire story exists to forward Squall's love story. like every other ff game had a actual plot line to focus on and had a love story as a side-thing, but for 8 it really seems like the entire game is about getting squall to love rinoa and then accomplishing that love. that's not bad for people like me, but for the average gamer that might seem like a video game version of chick-flicks which ffs shouldn't be. that said, the game is still fun and engaging for it's genre and i think it's got a cinematic feel to it so it's worth playing.
 
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