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Old 12-21-2012, 11:56 AM   #26
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Unrelated: I much prefer 1-6, in any iteration. I'd rather play remakes on GBA, DS, and PSP than a new game that sucks ass.

This. Plus IX.
I've always been curious why people liked XI. It's much better than either VIII or X, but on the whole it's still a pretty large pile of awful. Outside of the nostalgia factor and the Chocobo mini-game, which I enjoyed, there wasn't a lot to like. Whiny, emo protagonist that made me hoped the villains won? Check. Cast of relatively flat and otherwise annoying characters? Check. Androgynous villain who was generally lame or acted idiotically? Check.

It also had a list of other problems including a battle system that felt like swimming through molasses and a love story that only looks good if compared to something like Twilight.

It's better than most or all of the post-VII releases, but not being as terrible as that collective bag of suck doesn't make it good in my book.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:01 PM   #27
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the first one had no character development. that was just what jRPGs were back then (somehow when they ripped off ultima iv they completely missed the virtue system). random stranger from a far away land saves the world. didn't play 2 or 3 much. played 5 some. played the heck out of 4, 6, and 7 (very completionist). played most of 9 but didn't finish it (lost my mem card). i think i like 4 the best.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #28
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8 was horrible. It was the worst of the FF series. I played 7 and then I later played 8 and my reaction was "WTF is this crap???"
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:08 PM   #29
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I've played 7,8,9,10,4 in that order approximately.

7 was my favorite.
8 was alright. I didn't hate it but it wasn't great.
I hated 9. I really liked the 1st disc but after the first disc, the game went downhill for me.
I know a lot of people hated 10, but I actually enjoyed 10. I enjoyed the story, I enjoyed blitz ball, and I enjoyed the battle system. I will agree that Tidus was on the annoying side though and that damn chocobo game with those damn birds that would fly into you!
4. I don't know. This one just didn't do it for me. The skill system wasn't very interesting to me. I don't even remember what the skill system for ff4 was. However, I was starting to get bored with jrpgs about the time that I was playing ff4. So that could be why I didn't get much out of ff4
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:14 PM   #30
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That's what makes FF4 so iconic. No grinding, no gimicky skills or battle system just for the sake of having a new battle system to master, no complicated skill trees or augmentation or transformers shit. The game was pretty much pure story without any game mechanics to get in the way. It's the pinnacle of what a JRPG should be. It's about the tragedy and drama and story, not how many materia you can stack or how many times you can hit something or how long the summon animation takes...

Today's attempts at JRPGs focus too much on some convoluted battle system for the sake of being new and different, and what really matters is neglected. I don't want a damn combat simulator with 485839520459 ways to customize my skills, weapons, and attacks for characters who's only line in the game is "...".

I want a tear jerking goosebump inducing tragedy with endearing characters I can get attached to.

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Old 12-28-2012, 05:03 AM   #31
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That's what makes FF4 so iconic. No grinding, no gimicky skills or battle system just for the sake of having a new battle system to master, no complicated skill trees or augmentation or transformers shit. The game was pretty much pure story without any game mechanics to get in the way. It's the pinnacle of what a JRPG should be. It's about the tragedy and drama and story, not how many materia you can stack or how many times you can hit something or how long the summon animation takes...

Today's attempts at JRPGs focus too much on some convoluted battle system for the sake of being new and different, and what really matters is neglected. I don't want a damn combat simulator with 485839520459 ways to customize my skills, weapons, and attacks for characters who's only line in the game is "...".

I want a tear jerking goosebump inducing tragedy with endearing characters I can get attached to.
I think that's a valid game style and I definitely would be interested in those. They'd be great for mobile platforms I think. A company that comes up with a great episodic set could really take off I think, think something like an interactive comic.

Have you tried the game To The Moon?

However, I also like games with a battle system that makes you want to, you know, play a game and not just watch a story. Like FFTactics. I think that actually helped with developing characters and story. But there's the rub, it needs to be engrossing and I never felt that engrossed in most of the PS1 and earlier era RPGs. Some were obviously more interesting than others (I really liked Star Ocean 2 for instance and a lot of newer RPGs do a similar but more modern and in depth battle system to that).
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:27 AM   #32
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FYI as much as I talk down FF13 I did really enjoy the battle system, but the problem is that's pretty much the whole game.

I also liked Xenosaga II which even fans of the series dislike for its battle system. Perfect example of a game with a new inventive overly complex hard to master battle system, that... Gasp also manages to have a deep plot.

Contrary to my previous post I do love me an epic battle system, but to me such a thing should only be polish and a final touch no matter how great it is, not the centerpiece that unconditionally defines and makes or breaks the game. Plot and characters must come first and must dwarf everything else.

When I finish an RPG I don't want to remember the battle mechanics first and foremost, I want to be moved by the most memorable tragic plot surprise I've ever seen in a game.

Xenosaga II has one of the hardest and most complex battle systems in a modern JRPG, and I thoroughly enjoyed exploiting it. But all I can remember from that game is the story line.

I can still hear the despair in Rubedo's voice when they realize when and where they are as he exclaims "this is the beginning... of this planet's nightmare!". But I hardly remember the incredible battle system other than a vague recollection of chaining combos between turns, tossing enemies up or down and boosting. The plot needs to be so awesome that it overshadows even the best fight mechanics ever.

Final Fantasy on the other hand is Hollywood trash lately, all glitz and action and focus on customization and mini games and stylish self absorbed badasses uttering terrible one liners; the main game itself is missing its foundation and backbone.

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Old 12-28-2012, 06:08 PM   #33
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FYI as much as I talk down FF13 I did really enjoy the battle system, but the problem is that's pretty much the whole game.

I also liked Xenosaga II which even fans of the series dislike for its battle system. Perfect example of a game with a new inventive overly complex hard to master battle system, that... Gasp also manages to have a deep plot.

Contrary to my previous post I do love me an epic battle system, but to me such a thing should only be polish and a final touch no matter how great it is, not the centerpiece that unconditionally defines and makes or breaks the game. Plot and characters must come first and must dwarf everything else.

When I finish an RPG I don't want to remember the battle mechanics first and foremost, I want to be moved by the most memorable tragic plot surprise I've ever seen in a game.

Xenosaga II has one of the hardest and most complex battle systems in a modern JRPG, and I thoroughly enjoyed exploiting it. But all I can remember from that game is the story line.

I can still hear the despair in Rubedo's voice when they realize when and where they are as he exclaims "this is the beginning... of this planet's nightmare!". But I hardly remember the incredible battle system other than a vague recollection of chaining combos between turns, tossing enemies up or down and boosting. The plot needs to be so awesome that it overshadows even the best fight mechanics ever.

Final Fantasy on the other hand is Hollywood trash lately, all glitz and action and focus on customization and mini games and stylish self absorbed badasses uttering terrible one liners; the main game itself is missing its foundation and backbone.
I'm seem to slightly be the opposite. For me the story has to be really good for it to overcome deficiencies in the battle system, gimmicks, side quests, etc.
For example, for me Xenogears was not very interesting to me in things such as skill progression and I didn't really even care for the battle system, but I loved it's story so I was willing to forgive it's other shortcomings.
ff4 on the other hand, did not have a good enough story to compensate for its other weaknesses.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:06 PM   #34
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Ah, FF8. How I exploited thee by Gamefaqs'ing my way through all the tests thus getting maximum rank and a boat load of cash early on. I remember Ultimate Weapon being positively brutal. Even with No Encounters skill equiped I seemed to run into a random every step of the way getting to him and they were all rough, gradually depleting my will, consumables and resources. Then he was a tough nut to crack in his own right. THEN you had to make it all the way BACK with the limited phoenix downs and health boosting items you had left before you could save! Omega weapon was a bitch as well but he at least didn't put you through all those shenanigans.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:48 PM   #35
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9 was my favorite personally...and even though I know I'm in the minority, but I liked 10 also.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:28 PM   #36
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Ah, FF8. How I exploited thee by Gamefaqs'ing my way through all the tests thus getting maximum rank and a boat load of cash early on. I remember Ultimate Weapon being positively brutal. Even with No Encounters skill equiped I seemed to run into a random every step of the way getting to him and they were all rough, gradually depleting my will, consumables and resources. Then he was a tough nut to crack in his own right. THEN you had to make it all the way BACK with the limited phoenix downs and health boosting items you had left before you could save! Omega weapon was a bitch as well but he at least didn't put you through all those shenanigans.
That's another reason FF8 was terrible. You were much better off if you turned on Enc-None as soon as possible in order to minimize your XP gain as everything levels with you and a lot of monsters scale better with levels and the characters' best scaling comes from junctions, which are completely independent of level.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:49 PM   #37
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That's another reason FF8 was terrible. You were much better off if you turned on Enc-None as soon as possible in order to minimize your XP gain as everything levels with you and a lot of monsters scale better with levels and the characters' best scaling comes from junctions, which are completely independent of level.
Not sure why that would make it terrible. I thought the basic idea was an interesting one, as it completely eliminates the need for level grinding. It also causes the game to scale in difficulty with your character more universally. There's no situations like in other games where you might be breezing through an area, then get to a boss that beats you down in no time flat because the difficult level suddenly went up three notches. The specific execution FF8 used might have left a bit to be desired, but the system as a concept was interesting.

Also, not sure how you'd get the GF skills if you don't get the AP from battles. Plus your SeeD pay would go down if you just walk around all the time without fighting anything. Now granted after you buy that first train ticket, money is almost completely useless in the game, since you can usually draw-cast healing spells or something rather than using items. The draw-cast system was also something I thought was interesting. It added a unique tactical quality to the game.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:21 PM   #38
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Because you're much better off not fighting anything.

Consider the following example. The numbers aren't real, but they illustrate the general point.

Level 20 PC HP: 500
Level 60 PC HP: 2000

Level 20 Monster HP: 400
Level 60 Monster HP: 6000

Junction HP increase: 6000

The same is basically true for strength as well. You'll get way more from junctions than anything else and increasing your level just makes the monsters scale disproportionate to you. You're always better off not fighting and avoiding gaining levels.

There's also a monster in the game that gives almost no experience, but loads of AP. I forget exactly which one it is, but you can easily get all of the AP you need that way. Or you could just use the Card ability, which doesn't provide any experience for enemies killed that way. You also get cards, which can be refined for spells and items, which is generally faster (and a lot less boring) than spending hours sitting around drawing from enemies.

I suppose it's nice that the game doesn't require grinding, but it results in a completely backwards issue where you're always better off keeping your level as low as possible. It defeats the underlying assumption that your characters should grow more powerful from their experiences and battling monsters. That and there are much better ways to address the need for grinding such as tuning the game to be doable without it. FF VIII just punishes you for grinding.

Overall it's a flawed system and any other game that I can think of that used a similar system (Oblivion comes to mind) had similar problems.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:16 AM   #39
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FF8 did grow on me after a while, but in order to get the best stats I found myself spending a lot of battles drawing new magic from enemies, which basically involved holding down one button for long periods of time until you needed to heal every now and then.

It got even more annoying when you had only one character with a magic junction stat who would draw their magic much quicker than others, 8 or 9 at a time whilst the others only drew 2 or 3, getting it up to 100 draws was quite tedious but worth it in the end.

Again it wasn't the experience that was important so much as the AP for the GF's talents. It was satisfying getting everything so that all 3 characters in play could have maximum stats but it did make most of the battles ridiculously easy even when monsters where at high levels.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:06 PM   #40
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Because you're much better off not fighting anything.

Consider the following example. The numbers aren't real, but they illustrate the general point.

Level 20 PC HP: 500
Level 60 PC HP: 2000

Level 20 Monster HP: 400
Level 60 Monster HP: 6000

Junction HP increase: 6000

The same is basically true for strength as well. You'll get way more from junctions than anything else and increasing your level just makes the monsters scale disproportionate to you. You're always better off not fighting and avoiding gaining levels.

There's also a monster in the game that gives almost no experience, but loads of AP. I forget exactly which one it is, but you can easily get all of the AP you need that way. Or you could just use the Card ability, which doesn't provide any experience for enemies killed that way. You also get cards, which can be refined for spells and items, which is generally faster (and a lot less boring) than spending hours sitting around drawing from enemies.

I suppose it's nice that the game doesn't require grinding, but it results in a completely backwards issue where you're always better off keeping your level as low as possible. It defeats the underlying assumption that your characters should grow more powerful from their experiences and battling monsters. That and there are much better ways to address the need for grinding such as tuning the game to be doable without it. FF VIII just punishes you for grinding.

Overall it's a flawed system and any other game that I can think of that used a similar system (Oblivion comes to mind) had similar problems.
It was the Cacturs on the one tiny little island you can only get to with the airship. Half the time they'd run away before you could kill them, or they'd use that obnoxious 1,000 Needles attack.

And again, I might be inclined to agree that the specific implementation had flaws, but the overall idea was a good one. It did take a little getting used to. The first time I played FF8, I assumed it was like all other RPGs, and spent a bunch of time in the garden training area, and kept wondering why it was things never seemed to get easier to kill. After I figured that part out, I was kind of neutral on the whole thing. Aspects of it I didn't like, others I liked, kind of a wash in the end.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:15 AM   #41
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And again, I might be inclined to agree that the specific implementation had flaws, but the overall idea was a good one.
No, I'm pretty sure the overall idea is flawed. It completely flies in the face of the idea that as you gain experience, you should be able to completely kick the crap out of something. I suppose you could always argue that the critters in the garden training area were just as busy grinding as you were, but that's being kind of silly. It also completely ruined Oblivion in my mind. Once again, as I gained levels I just ended up feeling weaker.

As far as FF VIII goes, maxing your level basically makes certain parts of the game ridiculously more difficult. It's contrary to common sense. Think about it. The stronger you get, the weaker you are in actuality. Flies in the face of logic. Maybe it makes some amount of sense in some kind of abstract philosophical sense, but it fails the sanity test.

The farthest I would ever suggest going down that path is some amount of rubber-banding, where the enemies might become somewhat more difficult to match the players level, but only to a certain extent. The sewer rats in the first dungeon should never become stronger than a dragon at any point in the game.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:41 PM   #42
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I have played most of the FF games and the only thing that really brings down FF VII and VIII right now is the graphic quality. Adding to people's dislike of FF VIII is the fact it takes a long time to get into the story and it was hampered by an over complicated Guarding Force junction system. Having to draw the magic spells from the opponents was time consuming but you could transfer magic from one person to another it was possible to cut down the time.

The monster leveling system in FF VIII also works for me. As the monsters leveled different magic was available and different items would be dropped. That is why the Tonberry had the ability to raise or lower a creature's level. Also I think the leveling system is like playing "D&D"...7 rats at first level could kill a party but an encounter with them when you are at 10th level the characters are playing "Rock, Paper, Scissors" before one character has the right to kill them off. That is why the GM makes them into Dire-Troll-Zombie rats.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:14 PM   #43
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4. I don't know. This one just didn't do it for me. The skill system wasn't very interesting to me. I don't even remember what the skill system for ff4 was. However, I was starting to get bored with jrpgs about the time that I was playing ff4. So that could be why I didn't get much out of ff4
at the time 4 came out, compared to what we had gotten here previously, it was a massive improvement in story and plot.* the previous jrpgs that had come out on the NES in the US had about as much plot as the original super mario brothers: stranger from a strange land has to save the princess who has been captured by some evil lizard king. that was dragon warrior, and that was pretty much the first final fantasy.





*i only played the first phantasy star a little on a friend's master system, and never had a genesis so didn't play the others. looks like phantasy star may have had a great plot prior to any of the square/enix games getting one
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:33 PM   #44
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Also I think the leveling system is like playing "D&D"...7 rats at first level could kill a party but an encounter with them when you are at 10th level the characters are playing "Rock, Paper, Scissors" before one character has the right to kill them off. That is why the GM makes them into Dire-Troll-Zombie rats.
But in FF VIII they're not dire rats, they're still the same rats, and now for whatever reason they're just as strong (if not stronger) as you even though you've just spent the last several hours leveling up to become stronger. The scenario you described is more similar to almost every other RPG's leveling system. As you get stronger, you fight tougher enemies. If you go back to the starting area, those enemies are just as weak as they ever were. And if you try to go into an area far beyond your level, you'll just get wrecked because those enemies are way stronger than you are.

That you can essentially avoid leveling almost entirely and still tear through the end boss shows why this system is broken. In fact, you can one-shot some of the final bosses forms with a basic attack because guess what, they're just as low of a level as you and have an HP total under the damage cap. There's even a guide for going through the entire game without gaining a single level and it might even be possible to avoid ever getting any experience. And because of the junction system, you can still max out a lot of your stats and be ridiculously powerful.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:58 PM   #45
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I'd argue that's actually a huge plus. The vast majority of combat in console RPGs, and Final Fantasies in particular, has always been busy work. Post FF7, they've been overly animated and thus slow to boot.

The only portions of that I can really call a mistake is the infinite drawing from enemies, and the overly generous Triple Triad card refining. Pretty big flaws, but compared to "Fight 100 boring curb-stomp random battles in this dungeon to get to the next interesting encounter" MO of the rest of the FF series, it's pretty minor.



One of the more interesting plots too. Could've used better flushing out, but it was a return to the series roots. The evil force isn't dude with a god complex, but an indestructible force of nature, and the best you can do is trap it in a time loop.

Game had it's flaws, but the ones I hate most - aggravatingly long combat animations, super attacks as a reward for getting you butt kicked, annoyingly emo protagonist - were all introduced in 7.


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at the time 4 came out, compared to what we had gotten here previously, it was a massive improvement in story and plot.* the previous jrpgs that had come out on the NES in the US had about as much plot as the original super mario brothers: stranger from a strange land has to save the princess who has been captured by some evil lizard king. that was dragon warrior, and that was pretty much the first final fantasy.
There was at least one much NES rpg with a much stronger plot then either - Destiny of an Emperor. If you're counting action RPGs, there are a bunch more too.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:26 AM   #46
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Game had it's flaws, but the ones I hate most - aggravatingly long combat animations, super attacks as a reward for getting you butt kicked, annoyingly emo protagonist - were all introduced in 7.
Cloud did start the whole dark/brooding protagonist trend, but he was nowhere near as much of an annoying emo git as Squall. Also FF VI has desperation attacks, which were a precursor to limit breaks. The game just didn't go out of its way to make it obvious (or guaranteed) to the player.

I would also say that FF VIII is a worse offender in each of those categories than VII. Summon animations were longer (Eden in particular goes on forever), you could keep using limit breaks as long as you were low in HP (or just all the time later when you get a certain spell) and all of FF VIII's main characters are whiny little twats or otherwise unlikable.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:36 PM   #47
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10 was the first and last Final Fantasy game I played and will ever play. To me it was just a bunch of bad cutscenes occasionally interrupted by a very short gameplay sequence. I will never understand the appeal of FF games.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:41 PM   #48
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I'm trying to get into 10 now, Some people have it amongst their top FF games as the storyline and endings are apparently epic but other things like the Game of Thrones books/films/chores seem to be distracting me to easily.

Might be a bit off topic but can anyone persuade me that it's worth pursuing with before I change my mind and replay 12 instead?
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:10 PM   #49
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The only thing that I liked about Final Fantasy 8 was Triple Triad.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:07 PM   #50
PhatoseAlpha
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Originally Posted by Mopetar View Post
Cloud did start the whole dark/brooding protagonist trend, but he was nowhere near as much of an annoying emo git as Squall. Also FF VI has desperation attacks, which were a precursor to limit breaks. The game just didn't go out of its way to make it obvious (or guaranteed) to the player.

I would also say that FF VIII is a worse offender in each of those categories than VII. Summon animations were longer (Eden in particular goes on forever), you could keep using limit breaks as long as you were low in HP (or just all the time later when you get a certain spell) and all of FF VIII's main characters are whiny little twats or otherwise unlikable.
VI's desperation attacks were precursors in theory, but sure weren't super attacks. By endgame, most of them were weaker then your basic attack.

Eden does go on forever, but it's actually only about 10 seconds longer then Knights of the Round was. Thing is, Eden wasn't actually that good of a summon to begin with, so I didn't use it. Plus using KotR effectively meant Quadra magic. That makes it a 1:30 long summon I won't use much, versus over 5 minutes of watching KotR for the single most damaging attack you could get, thus really should've been using.

Characterwise, matter of taste. Whiny emo kid versus Less whiny emo psycho. Squall needed a good swift kick in the daddybags. Cloud needed to be institutionalized. Pick your poison.
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