Final Fantasy VIII isn’t a very easy game to get into; monsters level up with you, junctioning is confusing, the story and characters are strange, etc. Many people find this Final Fantasy the game they hate. But later on in life, they grow to love it.
I always loved it, so it was a surprise to me to see so many people disregard it. But I think I know why.
Monsters matching Squall’s levels aren’t so bad. Which leads to finding junctioning to be a little bit less straightforward. But junctioning is actually pretty efficient once you get the hang of it. It becomes easier once time goes along.
I guess it’s the story that still peeves many people. But without this strange, vague story we wouldn’t have the fan theories. Only Final Fantasy VII spawned as many official spinoffs. Final Fantasy VIII’s fan theories (i.e. Squall’s Dead, Rinoa is Ultimecia, etc.) are iconic without being official.
But the biggest turnoff is the main character, Squall. Perhaps you thought him to be cool or complex. Here’s a skinny guy wielding a gun that doubles as a sword doing max damage to his enemies. He also was aloof and that seems like he’s mysterious. If not, he was just a self-absorbed jerk.
Yet we grow to love the SeeD cadet because we start accepting. We see who we and others were and how far we’ve become. Some might still see themselves as Squall. Others who remember someone like him may grow to accept that person, as with age we usually grow tolerance. Otherwise, we look back at how Final Fantasy VIII changed the series and grow to love both even more.
I’d love it more if Square Enix released a Final Fantasy VIII remake for the PS4.