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Final Fantasy VIII : the game I thought I needed to play

Played to where I defeated the sorceres Edea. Strongly considering to let it rest here.

Let me first say that if I would have played this game 20 years ago (35 now) with what games were available then, this would have definitely made my top 10. Now my complaints about it are not caused by the age of the game but more about my age, Im an old nag 😀.

Story , characters and dialogue.

………………huh?

I was quickly met with dialogue and character display the way a japanese game separates itsself from a Western game and I normally like this. The hero is a silent self doubting and therefore relatable person and others are stereotypical Japanese seconds usually stuck in their way of being. Maybe stereotypical but not predictable. Who would have thought the highly praised sniper in the group actually breaks down like a kid when its time to shoot, claiming he never hit a target.

Dialogue involves quite a few romantic scenes where one of the two acts like shy teenage school girl and the other one is stonecold cool and acts as if they have a severe purpose/sadness.
Alsothere are quite a few times you just had to wait in a waiting room. And the story didnt seem to progress untill after a certain time had passed. So your char just stands there while you have time to overthink your life choices, such as why am I playing this game?

The protagonist's personality might have been completely acceptable when I would have been younger but its difficult now to understand why somebody who has severe social issues and lack of empathy becomes a squad leader. His tactical desicions seem to get undermined a lot and his motivation and ambition are basically non existent. For example : after a few days of floating aimlessly with their 'gardenship' the headmaster asks the protagonist to explore and make contact with the locals. And his first reaction is thinking to himself: ' Why me ?why they always want me?' As he is laying around in a state of complete lethargy.

He is not even outstanding in combat, he has the same basics as the other chars. Despite all this he quickly gets promoted to the position of great commander. Excellent corporate decision.

The combat and gameplay

The combat is definitely cool but after a while I just cant understand why you can only use 3 abilities and using an item is considered an ability. That was completely unneccesary. You barely use an item except phoenix down in combat and other than that you use potions and remedies in between fights. If you switch out draw you cant draw from draw points anymore and its tedious to switch back and forth so I didnt bother. If anything, they should let you switch out 'attack', as its basically the least effective attack in the game. Thats a design mistake, not an older game issue.

The combat system with the junctioning can be a bit complicated and I wish they would have just sticked to classes: healer-fighter-mage or something. Its possible to fine tune the combat for each character to make them effective for certain situations but the endless team switching makes this very tedious. (In almost all missions you switch randomly to other teammembers and you need to reassign their GF and abilities every time, or you can only perform a basic attack, which is mostly useless)
Gf, or Guardian Force are basically the stars of the show and it gets never old to see them being summoned. When you use your turn to summon them their HP ( about 3x size of yours) replaces yours and after a little timer they hit with their version of the kamehameha wich put your mosquito bite attacks to shame. The best tactics for any serious fights is just to spam GF's. I tried to blind or sleep an opponent a few times but the hit chance towards anything fearfull seem to be so small that you just end up wasting their turn.

I also dont like the random encounters. Like entering a cave in pokemon and being harassed by bats and whatnot every few steps you take. It really demotivates exploration and because of the unclear directions and paths you end up running the wrong way a lot, and its a hassle and makes the eyes rolls everytime I hear the attack music. I prefer respawning enemies that you can clear from a map.
Im actually out of time right now, but I think I made my point.
I had a few games of the series in the gamepass and I decided to play this one first, as I felt I needed to play it to experience the others. But now Im wondering if that is true. Could somebody not enjoy fallout 3 if they had never played fallout 1? Absolutely. With so many games and so little time I should focus on what I want to play.

Conlusion:
Im old and naggy and the game is awesome

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