The MagicBox Forums  

Go Back   The MagicBox Forums > General Topics > General Gaming Discussion

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-22-2019, 02:06 PM   #1
Registered User
Rubeus's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 9,518
Final Fantasy VIII director opens up on trying new polarizing things, post-mortem

Ignoring the nuisance of the junction system is the biggest failure of this game IMO.

Click for full size

Final Fantasy VIII director opens up on trying new polarizing things, post-mortem success

'As far as the junction [system], it wasn't really something we were worried about'

Final Fantasy VIII was a masterpiece: a lot of people just didn't know it at the time. Although the school setting, the time traveling and the magic-junction system didn't go over so well with absolutely everyone in 1999, it's incredible to see so many people come around to it in the modern era, especially since the remaster was just released recently: making it even easier to revisit it and for those people to see the error of their ways (dunked). Game Informer recently caught up with director Yoshinori Kitase to talk a little bit about the impact of the game on the history of the franchise, and he had some really interesting insight.

Kitase notes that the inspiration for VIII came from VII (as we sort of saw recently in the mini-documentary) in an effort to contrast VII's dark tones, but also from the team's "days as students." When he was in the final planning stages with Tetsuya Nomura, they thought "actually yeah, a story about kids in school would be a nice, cheerful story to go with." Now not everything was cheery and it did get pretty bleak at times, but I get where he's coming from, as the bright Balamb Garden was a starkly different intro than the darkness of Midgar.

Going on, Kitase explains that the team didn't really worry about the junction (new magic) system, as they were mostly pensive regarding the reaction to the whole "school-drama story" instead, which was new territory for them. Kitase says that they really wanted to try something beyond "defeat the monster, you get some money, you get some experience points," thus the junction system was born.

As for its legacy, Kitase is extremely proud: "Final Fantasy VIII sold very well, and in that sense, it was successful. But as far as reviews at the time went, they were kind of all over the place." He cites confusion with the salary mechanic (in which students get paid periodically) as a chief reason why some people didn't dig it, as well as the slow burn of the junction system. Laughing, Kitase says he still comes across forum posts stating "actually, Final Fantasy VIII was pretty good," and responds to himself "this person knows what's up!" My man!

My favorite tidbit of the interview? Although it's well-worn territory, I love that Kitase was inspired by Magic: The Gathering to create the Triple Triad minigame. Instead of just doing Triple Triad as a one-off, he wanted it to be something the whole world played, and always played, just like Magic in our universe. That sort of forward-thinking insight is just one of the reasons why Final Fantasy VIII has such an enduring legacy today.
Rubeus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2019, 10:53 AM   #2
Smash bro!
Nem's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: EU
Posts: 10,226
That's a very loose use of the word masterpiece. Back then FF games came mre often and the next sold very much in reaction to the previous title. VIII benefited from VII's sucess, but IX took the brunt of it, despite being one of the best in the series.
So, sales are not exactly what i consider a good measurement of quality.

Not worrying about the junction and draw system was possibly their biggest mistake cause it really killed the game. Draw for days boredom. Missing on GF's if you forget to draw them, not using magic cause it would make you lose stats/get weaker. That neglicence is exactly what screwed the game over.
The setting was ok. The school kids setting while cliché was not the problem. It was only when the orphanage children conveniently got reunited one by one and couldn't remember each other cause the GF's gave them selective memory loss. It was appauling. I remember that infamous scene on the abandoned football field and how the game was ruined right there for me. That was duuumb!
"Only those with narrow minds fail to see that the definition of Impossible is "Lack of imagination and incentive"" - DUNE:BJ
Nem is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:48 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.