Final Fantasy VIII is one of the more divisive entries in the mainline Final Fantasy series amongst fans and a big reason why are some of the choices Square Enix made when developing its combat systems. Luckily, if FF8 were ever to get the remake treatment like Final Fantasy VII is now, it’s director Yoshinori Kitase would “really rework the battle system.”
Speaking to IGN, Kitase weighed in on some of the key pain points of those combat system developments: the game’s level scaling (which actually discouraged players from leveling up) and its often confounding Junction system. In FF8, magic had to be “drawn” from enemies or draw points and spell casts of a drawn spell depleted its stock the way items typically would. This was an odd choice, but it got even more ridiculous when spells needed to be “Junctioned” to your character’s stats, which made casting spells Junctioned to your characters actually harm their capabilities.
This system and all its complexities made for a frustrating experience for many fans but also allowed for some easily overpowered options for those who knew how to get the most out of it. In short, Kitase is entirely justified in wanting to rework the game’s combat systems.
Now, will we actually get a remake of Final Fantasy VIII? That doesn’t sound too likely, as Kitase had some thoughts on that as well:
“I've worked out that trying to recreate that kind of volume of content you had in the RPGs back then in the modern day really is not something you can take up lightly. It's such a massive investment of time and effort that we really have to think very hard about taking on any kind of project like that.”
One can still dream. In the meantime, Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth will be out in just under a few more weeks, so at least we have that.