Anyways, I have a love/hate relationship with Square... although admittedly mostly love.
My first ever RPG and PS game was FF7 which just blew me away, and immedietly set an incredibly high benchmark. (And by the way I only care about valid reasons or simple personal preference for bashing that game, because I'm sick of whiny fanboys/girls leveling it just because it was popular. Mainstrean is not automatically bad, and vice versa.)
FF8 was then a real letdown for me. I felt a bit cheated, and it's not because it wasn't a good game, because compared to other RPG offerings out there and taken on its own merits, it was. But it wasn't a great game by any measure. I felt Square was resting on its laurels after FF7. I mean sure, they gave us eye-candy galore but graphics is always something that adds onto an existing base created primarily by story and characters.
The story in FF8 is only vaguely coherent and the whole time compression deal felt tacked on and a bit of a let down. Characters excepting Selphie and Zell were generally bland and COME ON??!! All from the same orphanage??!! How EXCEPTIONALLY conveniant. Won't have to bother with more than one-line backstories then.
I don't really care about gameplay etc, (although I do appreciate them). I just love stories and characters which I access through any medium possible, whether manga, anime, movies, books or games. These are the things, in an RPG, which keep me at least, coming back for more and enthralled with what will happen next.
Final word: I'll kick your ass in my dreams SquareEnix, if you even eyeball those laurels, but *huggles* for FF7, xenogears, and vagrant story ^_^
Oh, join me next time, and possibly beat the crap out of me with Robo in your daydreams, when I ever-so-gently bash Chrono Trigger and Cross. *builds fanboy/girl proof bunker*
(but truly truly, I'll be gentle. Tis a good game. And Frog kicks ass.)