Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
9. ATTACHING SPELLS TO STATS
Final Fantasy VIII is by far the easiest game in the series to break. This is due to the Junction system being so easy to abuse. It’s possible to make characters who are unstoppably strong at a very early point in the story, without doing that much hard work.
The reason Final Fantasy VIII has these issues were due to the Junction system. This allowed you to attach spells to your stats in order to make them stronger. Using more powerful spells meant that the stats would be increased further.
The ability to draw magic from enemies meant that you had a limitless source of energy to call on. You could also use Guardian Force abilities to refine weaker spells into stronger ones or transform Triple Triad cards into groups of powerful spells. All it took to make Final Fantasy VIII laughably easy was a little creativity with the Junction system.
Fans criticize Final Fantasy VIII’s broken gameplay. Was the Junction system to blame? Sort of, but the player was as well. We don’t have to collect 99 of each magic. Of course, how should we know 99 of a certain magic would make you so powerful? And why is it that you can potentially get powerful magic so early?
But I like the idea of breaking the game so hard my characters become gods within the first three hours. Sometimes I like to think the developers wanted us to play the game with as little interruptions as possible. This is why I think we’re able to learn ENC-none early on the game as well.
I also admire what the developers did with the Junction system. They made a game that not only broke the rules but broke boundaries. The game mechanics itself put little limitations in the way your characters could be powerful. But this is in keeping it the game’s structure. Once Balamb Garden becomes mobile, you can truly see the world before you get the Ragnarok. The remake could take this further. I’d like to go on a mission to the Deep Sea Research Facility, and fight Ultima Weapon before Dollet. I’d also like the remake to capitalize on non-linear gameplay.
I also like the reinvention of the game mechanics. Drawing magic is similar to Osmose; in order to replenish your magic, you draw. Element Attack-J and Status Attack-J is a reinvention of spellblade. While hated, attaching spells to your character’s stats is pretty innovative.
The problem is the game’s ambitions didn’t balance well with player expectations. I think developers thought most gamers would appreciate the innovation that went into reinventing the game. X7Strife’s suggests a fix:
Before entering Ifrit’s cave you can already obtain Tornado (or even Flare) spells within an hour. It shouldn’t be removed but it should be rebalanced and let the player use MP to use magic instead of those stocks
Adding to this suggestion, maybe we could balance the effectiveness of the magic based on levels? This would solve the problem of monsters becoming overly powerful themselves while still providing a challenge.