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How did Final Fantasy VIII become so hated ?

Jun 16, 2019
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I loved it, and the junction system despite how easy it was to abuse. Triple triad is also addicting af, but if you know what you are doing it completely breaks the game since you can refine them into magic And use the cards to unlock squalls best weapon before the end of disc 1

You can also get squall strong enough to 1 shot everything before the seed exam, and can keep him that strong until you basically reach hell island, all by refining cards Lol

But a first time player wont know that so i dont see it as a huge problem
 
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Dostodavesky

Neo Member
Apr 24, 2021
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It’s as good as any of the classic Final Fantasy games on a first playthrough. It also introduced at the time one the best mini-games in gaming history with Triple Triad. Once you become aware how easy it is to overpower your characters with the junction system though it’s nowhere near as fun on following playthroughs unless it’s for a one off nostalgia sitting. Also in retrospect now the map does feel a bit empty in comparison to VII and IX.

In recent years it’s faced a lot of backlash on the internet for the twist nearer the end of the game, however I feel it was never so much a problem as I think it ties into the games themes of fate, synchronicity I guess and the overall motives of the antagonist.

I don’t think it would benefit a remake like VII did though, maybe a sequel or some type of reboot where they can keep the lore and universe intact but work on telling a much better story, improving the motives of each character and having more creativity in making the world map feel much more larger and lived in. There Is some great potential there with the SeeD / Garden stuff if they introduced some Persona like gameplay to it.
 
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Platopus

Neo Member
Aug 13, 2021
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Ff8 is my favorite game. I thought the story was fantastic although I didn't understand all of it way back then. Honestly, I still don't. But that aside, it drew me in because I loved the mystery of it all. Who is Laguna? Why do they keep calling Squall that name?
The romance was lovely mostly between Laguna and Julia/Raine. These characters felt the most genuine although they were mostly background characters.
Squall and Rinoa's thing grew on me and by the near end I bought it and loved it.
As someone who has forgotten most of their childhood I quite liked the twist and found it believable enough. Also an intriguing twist to the GF junction system.

I still wish Rinoa = Ultimecia was real. I think by far my favorite fan theory ever.

Triple Triad was a hoot until you got screwed over by the random unintelligible new area rules.

Great game. 9 never managed to hook me with its characters although they were so charming. 7 was fine back then. Not much left of its essence now.
 

Vier

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Jun 7, 2019
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I still wish Rinoa = Ultimecia was real. I think by far my favorite fan theory ever.
Agreed.

 
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EruditeHobo

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Jun 5, 2013
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A lot of people have mentioned some of the obvious reasons -- like it followed 7, the enemy scaling, and the junction system (which while interesting isn't as satisfying as many other progression mechanics in lots of other FF games, almost by design).

The biggest and most obvious reason for me is the failed focus of the story. This game doubled down on this central romance in a way that... doesn't really happen in other FF games. There is always that element somewhere, but it's not so overwhelming, usually. On top of that, this is probably the weakest supporting cast of characters in the entirety of the disc-era FF games until... 13 maybe? 13 and 15 IMO aren't great in this regard, but 8 did not do this well. The entire convincing thing about the story in an FF game is there are multiple side characters that are interesting and worth spending time with. I don't think that's the case in 8, and the fact that you're engaging with fewer characters makes that feel even worse.

That's my takeaway, personally. There are big sections of the story that are really entertaining... I loved the build up to the garden battle, for instance. And cloying though it was, I was so beaten over the head with Squall & Rinoa that I eventually succumbed to caring about their relationship. I don't think it was very interesting, it felt at the time to be a real double-down on FF7 and a Cloud-Aeris 2.0 over the course of a full game... however, in spite of all that I think it worked to get the gamer to buy-in, it's just overwhelming over the course of an entire 40 hour story or whatever it is.

That said the ending of the game is strong, and delivers on that happy ending better than many FF games.
 
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EruditeHobo

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Jun 5, 2013
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People who's first Final Fantasy was 7 didn't realize the games change every iteration and were disappointed when FF8 didn't have the same system as FF7 and the bad taste remained. I think that's where most of the hate came from. Most people I talk to that were on the bandwagon before 7 might have had differing opinions, for better or worse, expecting things to not be identical from game to game allowed us to embrace it for what it was.

Junction/draw is inferior in many ways to materia, though. So even for those expecting change, the issue here is... that's a bad one.