Why I Say Final Fantasy 8 Sucks
Note: This origonally was posted in the Returner Games Inc. Message Boards. The topic was what one thought of Final Fantasy 8, if you disliked it or liked it. My post was a bit more general but still has what I thought of FF8. (Here’s a hint though: I didn’t.) However looking back it was pretty rant worthy, so I’ve reworked it some and posted it here.
Just for the record my favorite Final Fanatsy game is 4, followed by Tactics. Final Fanasty 6 also rocked pretty hard, but it was the start down a bad path I think. In paticular, the loss of meaningful classes and the introduction of limit breaks.
I like classes. I like classes a lot. I like the idea that Person A has a set of skills that only they in their class can use and that no one else can use. It was that way in the orginal game but was really shone in Final Fantasy 4. In FF6 you had classes, sure, but it also had what I thought was a big no-no: magicite. With this, any character, with the right amount of time and effort put in, could use any magic spell they wanted. Forward to Final Fantasty 7. Any character can do most anything with the right materia… and hey! All the needed XP for materia growth stays in the materia, which led for interchangable characters for battles. Final Fantasy 8 worse because all you had to do was switch around spell junctions, and even in FF10 you can make all characters do the same thing if you wanted them too.
If they are going to do customization, I think they should go at it something like Final Fantasy 9 did, where you could customize, but only within your own class. That wasn’t too bad. But man, FF4. That had wodnerful classes, they were all diffrent, with very little overlap and they all did what they were supposed to do and were the only ones doing it. And they even had a class change, which is something I’d love to see happen again in a future FF game, but I doubt it (and not like Tactics or the Dress Up System of X-2. No Thank You.)
This really came about in earnest in FF7, but I didn’t mind how they handled it in 6, as I believe they called them Desperation Moves? Where if you were at near death HP-levels, you attack and at random they kick rear. That was cool. However, with FF7 and beyond your regular attacks really didn’t matter as much, it was how many limit breaks you could pull off to get the monster down. Personally, I’d rather just have my cool attacks, thanks.
Plot and Other Junk
Okay, I’ll admit, Final Fantasy 4 has a big place in my heart because it was really the RPG that got me into RPGs. Okay, I played the first Final Fanatsy, and Dragon Warrior, and a few other NES RPGs, but I wasn’t into them. FF4 changed all that. It was everything the original FF was, but so much more. Oh so much more. The characters, the graphics, the system, the story, everything. It was on another level I never thought I’d see. And I still think it tells one of the most powerful stories as well. A Dark Knight blindly following orders from his king, and once he finally gets fed up with it he’s sent and unknowingly slaughters a whole town? Come on! And that’s just getting started!
I also liked the fact that you never picked your party, instead the people who were in your party you was completely guided by story. It gave it a level of immersion and better suspention of belief than having only 3 characters running about while the rest chilled out back in the menu screen or what not. It, I dunno, felt like you had a team, with people doing things for very specific reasons. Yet it was still much more non-linear than say, FFX. I liked it. Now Final Fantasy 6 I think would have been worse for wear were that to have happen, but that’s only because FF6 was such an esemble piece. But even then, until the World of Ruin they usually had the FF4-style going on where the parties were chosen, just split up and you had to play through them all.
However that said, I think FF6 did have the coolest villain, Kefka, and General Leo was pretty cool, although FF4 did have Kain, the coolest anti-hero they’ve had yet.
… Oh yeah, this is about the eighth isn’t it?
I haven’t personally beaten an FF game since 7. I tromped to the last dungeon in 8 before saying “Screw it. I’m done. This sucks.” and had my friend beat it for me so I can watch the ending. ^_^;; (9 Necron left dusting me, and even when my friends played it near me, he was a lot harder than he usually was. FFX… I had to give back my friends PS2 so he beat it real quickly) I just didn’t like the story in 8. the characters were fine a sthey were just FF7 characters but better mostly, but the story was all wrong. It should not have been a love story. It should not have had schools. This was not a civil war-torn world were the kids were stuck in this school, which is how I remember reading before the game came out how that was portayed. I think. Maybe not the civil war bit but the school I know. But after a few plot points suddenly the schools are more or less menaingless.
And you feel more for Lauguna and his buddies than Squall and his buddies. I mean, huh? And when you suudenly find out about the whole “Oh wait, another witchy woman? Time compression? WTH?!??” Oi. No, I did not like FF8.