Man, I love Final Fantasy VIII.
And no, I’m not afraid to say that on the internet.
Again, this was the first time I’d touched the game since I first beat it years ago. (Fuck off, okay? I don’t replay games).
As soon as the gorgeous opening video started playing, with its epic musical score, the memories all came rushing back. Final Fantasy VIII’s storyline is a bit of a mess at times, but regardless it’s always been one of my favorite stories in the series – it’s impressively character-driven, and features some absolutely unforgettable moments. (The Sorceress’ Assassination scene at the end of disc 1 comes to mind.)
But then, once the game actually started, I remembered how very, ah, slow paced the first disc of Final Fantasy VIII is. After playing for over an hour, I’ve yet to even start the Dollet mission.
And how about those ridiculously obtuse and annoyingly frequent tutorials? Every time I turned around, I was getting another useless tutorial shoved in my face. Seeing that I already know everything, an option to skip these would have been much appreciated.
But that’s enough complaining! I still had fun with the game. How? Well. Believe it or not, I absolutely love Final Fantasy VIII’s junction system. While I concede that the Magic Draw system is pretty stupid, (though I’ve never minded it) the actual junctioning process is absolutely fantastic in its depth and versatility. I love that I can micro-manage everything, from specific stats to elemental affinities. I love the system so much that I found myself spending needless amounts of time drawing magic and improving my stats.
That might be why I didn’t even make it to Dollet.
Could the junction system be better? Yeah, of course. It should be far easier to obtain magics for junctioning; spending battle after battle drawing magic really is a cumbersome system. But regardless, I love the amount of control the system affords; for me, the junction system is one of Final Fantasy VIII’s greatest triumphs.
I really want to play more, but I’m afraid I must move on to a different console generation, and a different series. Look for the third part of my relapse sometime tomorrow, folks.