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Re: Hey Zseni by Zsenitan 07/16/2008, 6:43pm PDT
Horrible Gelatinous Blob wrote:

Back before SB rapid-cycled the forum into nothingness, you wrote an analysis of Final Fantasy VIII and how it attempted to subvert and dismantle a lot of JRPG conventions, thereby pissing off a lot of people when playing it wrong resulted in a more difficult, less fun game.

Jog my memory, if you please. I would just play FF8 again, but really I don't want to. :(

Oh man. I don't even remember this, it must have been fairly baroque. Well here's a quick guide:

1. Combat is (mostly) optional.

You can play the entire game and the only combat you'll ever have to engage is the bits right at the beginning, and then boss battles. You can get all the best spells, items, and equipment by playing the card game.

1a. The card game is as difficult or as easy as you want it to be.

You get to pick which rules you play by, and which ones get propagated throughout the rest of the world. If you want to play the very straightforward game, it's an easy version of tic-tac-toe; if you want to play a foofy bullshit thousands-of-combos game, you can do that too.

2. Levelling is (mostly) optional.

Monsters level with you - maybe a better term is "scale", with the scale being much smoother and less annoying than the similar setup in Oblivion - so the difficulty curve isn't a curve at all: it's a straight line. While you can do lots of cool stuff at max level, it is perfectly possible to complete the entire game without hitting level 20 and there are no penalties for doing so.

3. (Mostly) The characters are only minimally caricatures.

The hero is emotionally unavailable, the heroine is spoiled and jejune but she's uncomfortably aware of it, the antagonist is a frustrated romantic. There are a couple of screwballs and aeon-bishie-super-goth-nonsense-angel-wings guys, but by and large the characters play things pretty straight. While portraying Teenagers Saving The World, they are not spared from having teenager flaws.

4. Instead of Vaguely Archaic Fantasy World, it's Future Fantasy.

Taking all the best bits of the Phantasy Star aesthetic, the game world is seized by some very modern conflicts and colored by modern cities and modern technology. It's a relief after billions of Ye Olde Fantasy Tavern kinds of games.

5. Party members have overlapping jobs. Putting together a party is based on your playstyle, not in-game mandate.

6. Magic is not dominant. Summons are free and powerful. There is no mana.

8. You get paid a salary. There is no need to grind for cash, though you can if you want.

With that said, it is still playable anime. While I admire 8, I probably like playing 9 a little more. 9 is the classic JRPG perfected, 8 is kind of too open. Its grind-defeating DIY play style is incongruous next to its on-rails plot. I have similar feelings about Chrono Cross, which has interesting gameplay stuck under a suboptimal plot.
Hey Zseni by Horrible Gelatinous Blob 07/16/2008, 4:27pm PDT NEW
    You could just watch this guy's quite quality reviews. :3 by Creexuls, a monster >:3 07/16/2008, 4:30pm PDT NEW
    Re: Hey Zseni by Zsenitan 07/16/2008, 6:43pm PDT NEW
        Much appreciated! NT by Horrible Gelatinous Blob 07/16/2008, 6:52pm PDT NEW
        I seem to remember mana being replaced with drawing enemies for an hour by Entropy Stew 07/16/2008, 9:48pm PDT NEW
            As seen in the delightful spoony videos. NT by Creexuls, a monster >:3 07/16/2008, 9:57pm PDT NEW
            Well you can do that, or you can play the card game, or you can just kill enemie NT by and then transform the items you ge 07/16/2008, 11:54pm PDT NEW
                CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE NT by Entropy Stew 07/23/2008, 2:16pm PDT NEW
        Re: Hey Zseni by Grumah 07/23/2008, 9:30am PDT NEW
            FF8 is just shitty card game with shitty draw grindan, end of game. NT by Creexuls, a monster >:3 07/23/2008, 10:44am PDT NEW
                Optional combat to get right to the lore =( NT by FABIO 07/23/2008, 12:43pm PDT NEW
                    I NEED TO STAY LATE FOR A CRAM SESSION NT by Creexuls, a monster >:3 07/23/2008, 12:52pm PDT NEW
                        It's a jRPG. It's just a jRPG that works a little differently. by Zsenitan 07/23/2008, 1:28pm PDT NEW
                            You got your whole FF8 assessment totally wrong in the first sentence. NT by Creexuls, a monster >:3 07/23/2008, 1:35pm PDT NEW
                            If a game is going to force me to play as Butte Force it better be Devil May Cry NT by Entropy Stew 07/23/2008, 2:23pm PDT NEW
                    in that sense the lore is also optional by Grumah 07/23/2008, 5:02pm PDT NEW
        I talked myself into playing it again by Zsenitan 07/29/2008, 4:10pm PDT NEW
            ff8 is the first game in the ff series that I could not stand to finish since 1 NT by Grumah 07/29/2008, 4:33pm PDT NEW
                My brother had the same reaction. by Zsenitan 07/29/2008, 5:05pm PDT NEW
                    Thanks to the MMO, FInal Fantasy players finally have someone to look down upon. NT by Jerry Whorebach 07/29/2008, 5:28pm PDT NEW
                        ^_^;; NT by Zsenitan 07/29/2008, 5:30pm PDT NEW
                            FF8 is the Korean MMO of the FF series. NT by Creexuls, a monster >:3 07/29/2008, 5:41pm PDT NEW
                Re: ff8 is the first game in the ff series that I could not stand to finish sinc by Last 07/29/2008, 5:43pm PDT NEW
                    I still like ff12 :( (have yet to beat it tho) NT by Grumah 07/29/2008, 6:46pm PDT NEW
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