How did Final Fantasy VIII become so hated ?

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
 

Davesky

Member
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.
 

Platopus

Banned
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.
 

German Hops

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

 
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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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.
 

Cutty Flam

Banned
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
Would it be best to abuse the game and take full advantage of breaking the game in that way if a new player figures it out? Still confused as hell about FFVIII since some say it’s broken but then some say you can get fucked over if you play the game like it’s your typical RPG and try to level up a bunch. Is there a middle ground for FFVIII?
 
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Would it be best to abuse the game and take full advantage of breaking the game in that way if a new player figures it out? Still confused as hell about FFVIII since some say it’s broken but then some say you can get fucked over if you play the game like it’s your typical RPG and try to level up a bunch. Is there a middle ground for FFVIII?


I would say so, but unless a new player is being coached or has read up in it, they won't figure it out to quickly and one could play several times and not realize just what you can do at the very start of the game.

The first is knowing just how good card mod is. Before the seed exam you can fight the monsters at the beach to grind out the card mod ability, this is essential and a new player wont know this.

Next is knowing how the queen of cards works, and how to spread trading rules to maximize your winnings. Sure you can still do it without changing the trading rules but will take much much longer.

Then learning triple triad, building a deck and who at the garden will play what cards. This can be a challenge at the start since you will only have a few high level cards. You can however win quistis right at the start and is a great card to add to your deck.

One also needs to know what cards are the ones you want to win for the best magic.

It is broken in the sense that if you know how you can be completly OP, there are alot of ways to get high level magic, but if you dont and just try to level up like a normal rpg you wont get far later in the game. Its a bit counterintuitive
 

Green_Eyes

Member
FFVIII had a lot of gameplay flaws, and tbh it felt incomplete story wise, and there weren't enough locations or enough enemy variety. However...the characters, music, cutscenes, art and locations were all really memorable and so the game still has a big place in my heart...it would greatly benefit from a remake imo (if it's done right, which I doubt it would be). I like it more than 7 for sure.
 

K2D

Member
It's good. It deserves the same praise as VII and IX. You can 'break' the fighting aspect of the game, but it doesn't mean you have to. First time I played it 15 years ago I did so without grinding and beat it just fine. The story is a bit more out there than 7, but that made me appreciate it even more. It's NOT FF13 style convoluted dialog.

The soundtrack is the best of any game ever made. Period.

The graphics have aged more poorly than any of the other mainline titles, which is a damn shame because it deserves more recognition than it's getting. VIII is the installment most deserving of a graphical remaster and a new english localization(!) - also seems like the option that most easiely translates 1:1 into a remake.
 
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I’ve been playing this, had decent memories from my childhood though never made it far (didn’t get past disc 1), but oh my god how many of you actually played this in the last few years? This is painful. I think I am close to the end of disc 1 and it has not been a good time.


The junction system is bad enough, completely ruins the balance and pace of the game. But the real travesty is how the game is just a complete mess of half finished mechanics. The fact that your party’s junctions and equipment gets screwed up after every dream sequence. How cumbersome it is to draw magic and issue commands in battle. The eternal unskippable GF summons. And maybe the worst part of all - the dialogue is downright embarrassing. Never have I seen such a mess of pointless banter. Half of the text is filler, a quarter is badly translated, and an eighth is cringe city. That leaves about an eighth that contributes at all to the nonsense story. Things seem to happen just because. There seems to be a plot somewhere in the mess, but it seems to be ignored while attention is directed at some shitty military high school subplot. Last of all, as if this has been quoted as the saving grace of FF8, the card game is time consuming and joyless.


I really want to like the game, so I am going to keep going for a bit, but if this doesn’t turn around in a major way soon I might just drop it altogether. Of all the FF games I’ve played this is shaping up to be the worst so far.

7 > X > 6 > 9 >>> 8
 

jimmypython

Member
The game could use another year of dev time to polish, mainly for balancing the game breaking exploits and perhaps to have the
time compression
world map more content. But I still loved it lol
 
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Rykan

Gold Member
FF8 still has the best character designs of the whole franchise, imo. Mostly normal looking people with cool, but not overly flamboyant outfits, unlike most other JRPGs. The same is true for the world itself, which was „a fantasy based on reality“ long before FFversus13/15 was a thing. I really dislike how they changed Squall’s face into a that of a typical anime-ish ladyboy in the remaster. If you compare it to cg renders of him from the original game, you can see that he had much more realistic looking features (or as realistic as was possible at the time). And his redesign in the Dissidia games is even worse; in addition to his anime face his body now also looks like he has anorexia.

As far as the whole orphanage plot is concerned:
People who say it‘s too much of a coincidence that the six main characters just happened to grow up in the same orphanage have it backwards: The reason they all became SEEDs and did missions together was exactly because they went to the same orphanage. After all, they were raised by Edea, who came up with the idea for the ‚Gardens‘ in the first place (after a time-traveling Squall told her about it). They probably all decided to become SEEDs together when they were kids, but then gradually lost those memories through GF usage. The only thing about this that’s questionable is why they didn‘t stay in contact with each other, especially since the memory-loss thing was apparently a well known fact, or why Cid, who was Edea’s husband, never reminded them.
I certainly agree with the world itself. It's still one of my favorite settings of any Final Fantasy simply because of how relatable and normal it is. It works really well with both the sci fi and the magic elements.

The character design too, though I will say that Zell is basically 90's fashion personified.
 

Astral Dog

Member
I don't understand the combat system, however FFVII isn't much better it aged a lot the best of the PS1 games is IX imo
 

Otre

Gold Member
FFVIII is only good to people that had little experience with RPG's, were wowed by the ps1 graphics, are a slave to emotional nostalgia and have no sense of pace. There plenty of Final Fantasy's you can replay today, I would not recommend this one. VIII is downright mediocre. Too much time is wasted Drawing spells, attaching that to your stats and watching the unskipable summon animation for the nth time breaks the pace of an already slow moving, slow loading RPG. The story was unremarkable and the characters forgettable. A fan theory being more interesting than the main plot of the story says a lot.

Theres plenty of worse RPG's but VIII deserves to be near the bottom of the list when ranking the Final Fantasy's.
 

Quezacolt

Member
FF viii is one of those games that start really good, imo, but then you start to notice the cracks, and oh boy, those are big cracks.

The combat system is flawed. If you level up, the game becomes harder. Because of the junction system, you basically should never use your best magic, because those increase your stats the more of that you have, making Melle the best option.

Drawing is cool as an idea, but in practice it ends becoming awful after a while, because if you want to become stronger, you need to draw more magic from enemies.

The story is super interesting until a certain point, after that, the writing goes downhill.

I had this big love for the game when i was a teenager, it was the first FF game i played, just was never able to finish it back then, since i was playing it on a friend's house.
2 Years ago i finally decided to give the remaster a try, and yeah, it was easy to see all the problems the game had, and those were hard to ignore. If you're at at the first hours of the game, sure, you might ask why so many people have issues with the game, but after a while, there's no escuse to not see the obvious reasons.
 

PeteBull

Member
FF8 was amazing game, ofc u got diehard fans of ff5/6/7/8/9/10 preaching other games in the series are just junk and their most favourite one of the bunch is the only real/amazing game but that was peak of the series where all of those games set standards both in graphics/storytelling and in mechanics, and by proxy in sales/popularity too :)
Personally played FF4-10, skipped 11 coz of it being online(and i had no net back then or at least no access to good enough one for gaming), skipped 13 for obvious reasons(thats the black sheep in the series btw, not ff8),played ff12 but in a very casual way, skipped 14 too coz at first it was terrible, than when it got fixed/improved i was long done with top mmo like WoW even, and enjoyed hella of ff15(120h ingame with all secret dungeons/bosses completed, even before first patch).
And with all that experience even tho i prefer ff7 most i trully apreciate ff8 too, i remember i had like 500hours+ in it, and me+ my buddy were taking 15min turns of selling/buying items from shops to max out stats of characters- game couldnt be bad if both of us (highschoolers) were doing that for hours/days only to max out character stats to 255 each ;)
 
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Davevil

Member
It was the sequel to a true masterpice like VII, any game that came later would be crushed by this weight
Add to that the story was ridiculous and the characters depressed like an emo and you have the big picture
 

bbeach123

Member
It was my jam when I was 14 , highschool theme , love triangle , saving the world , cool emo mainchar , fcken sign me in .

The gameplay was... Questionable . You see here the 14 years old kid who only play a handful of RPG , doesnt read any guide , dont know wtf is level scaling (bigger numbers = better right ? NOPE) . It take me 30 hours to know how junction work and another 2 restart (because i'm fcking stuck) to know that the boss level scaling with me .

The story was all over the place , cool adventure to a 14 years old though , but if you older than that welp .
 

fatmarco

Member
Just please, please give us the classic Squall look / all other characters look if they appear in any new games. That new art style they used on Squall was horrible in the remaster/ the Dissidia games etc.
 

The artful mincer

Gold Member
I loved it back in the day but tried it recently and lost interest about midway through.

Because of the junction system there is literally nothing to find in the environment except more spells.

There seemed very little consequences to just spamming guardian forces which makes them feel less special the battles got tiring as a result of this.

Shame because I was enjoying the world building and story (although I know it gets crazy later) but there's nothing to find in it.

Stark contrast to FF7 which I ve replayed multiple times over the years and always finished and enjoyed.
 

ULTROS!

People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks.
Honestly, it's probably because of the junction system. Understanding FFVII's system was pretty easy (traditional leveling up, slot the materia to any character), but FFVIII, there's no levelling up and the game scales as you "level" which isn't exactly player friendly to the amateur or beginner (SaGa, anyone?) and the junction system gets very tedious (draw, equip, and more equips, then draw some more).
 

Jada_Li

Member
FFVIII is the first FF game I played and one of my favorites. I remember playing a bit of the game back in EB Games and really becoming interested in it. I have played it numerous times but as of yet have still not finished the game, lol. The junction system is somewhat easy enough to grasp but then gets a bit complicated for me. The point is, it seems, is experimentation which I likely just miss some magic or something useful. I don't know. Years ago I just looked up the ending. Maybe some day....
 

Shifty1897

Member
I’ve been playing this, had decent memories from my childhood though never made it far (didn’t get past disc 1), but oh my god how many of you actually played this in the last few years? This is painful. I think I am close to the end of disc 1 and it has not been a good time.
I got bad news for you bud. It's all downhill after Disc 1.
 
FF8 was great.

I cannot see how the game can be considered a black sheep of the series when FFXIII, FF9 and FFXV exist. The latter two weren't bad games but they weren't even close to being as good as FF8.
 

MP!

Member
cause it's just not good.

Though just like star wars sequels making the prequels look not so bad... XIII makes 8 look like a good game.
At least 8 has a great soundtrack
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
This is an old thread.

The main issue for VIII was that VII was so good that it was a difficult act to follow. I remember a lot of people were upset that they wanted VII-2 and VIII wasn't that.
 

AmuroChan

Member
It had to follow FF6 and FF7. Expectations were sky high at the time. I liked FF8 for what it was. It tried some new ideas. Not all of them were executed well, but I didn't think the game was that bad. It's better than FF15 IMO.
 

Neff

Member
I cannot see how the game can be considered a black sheep of the series when FFXIII, FF9 and FFXV exist.

I adore the game but it seems its numerous systems are just too experimental/obscure for many.

More than anything I think, it's poorly balanced. If you try to play it like a regular FF- fight, level up, and equip spells commonly available to you, you're going to have a horrible time, suffering long, repetitive battles with a weak party, and you'll probably rely on summons to do any kind of decent damage. If you invest even the slightest bit of time into refining/carding and whatnot, and pay attention to Junctioning and GF abilities, you can make your party invincible in an hour. There's almost no in-between. You can either play it badly or too well. It's inorganic and lacks a smooth growth curve for the player. I love it though. Tinkering with the menus to make my party pure death is incredibly satisfying, but it does trivialise the entire experience in terms of challenge. Personally I've always seen that as my reward, but I can understand how it's not for everyone.
 
I adore the game but it seems its numerous systems are just too experimental/obscure for many.

More than anything I think, it's poorly balanced. If you try to play it like a regular FF- fight, level up, and equip spells commonly available to you, you're going to have a horrible time, suffering long, repetitive battles with a weak party, and you'll probably rely on summons to do any kind of decent damage. If you invest even the slightest bit of time into refining/carding and whatnot, and pay attention to Junctioning and GF abilities, you can make your party invincible in an hour. There's almost no in-between. You can either play it badly or too well. It's inorganic and lacks a smooth growth curve for the player. I love it though. Tinkering with the menus to make my party pure death is incredibly satisfying, but it does trivialise the entire experience in terms of challenge. Personally I've always seen that as my reward, but I can understand how it's not for everyone.

I'm with you. I've never considered the difficulty in JRPGs as anything other than a signifier that you need to grind, level up more until you're a kill-death-murder machine.

It's part of the fun.
 

IFireflyl

Member
It was the sequel to a true masterpice like VII, any game that came later would be crushed by this weight
Add to that the story was ridiculous and the characters depressed like an emo and you have the big picture

Anyone who calls Final Fantasy VII a masterpiece is a moron.

I still love you though.
 
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MagiusNecros

Gilgamesh Fan Annoyance
FFVIII has GILGAMESH therefore it is good.

I imagine the caveats has to do with the Draw system and how you have to level stuff up through it, the points of no return and the "the orphanage" story bits kind of throw a wrench into the story.

Some may find the Gunblade trigger system annoying but it was quite engaging.

I think mostly FFVIII just gets overshadowed by FFVII and FFIX for different reasons.
 
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