Continuation of the rest of my post which is below:
So this is basically why most JRPG romance subplots are broken, although maybe you can expand this to all fantasy story love subplots:
1. Female main character needs protection.
2. Male main character able to provide protection.
3. Male main character mistakes personality responsibility stemming from camaraderie/weakness on the female main character's part as love.
4. Female main character provides love out of gratitude.
This is dumb. This supposes that female characters are not strong enough to take care of themselves, that male characters should only love someone subservient to them, and that love comes from a mutual exchange of services instead of, well, love.
I don't know much about love, so I couldn't indicate an JRPGs that actually portray such a process accurately, although I have seen a lot of broken relationships so I think I can identify when those are going on pretty alrightly.
idk i really worry that a lot of romance in videogames is just wish fulfillment for the developer or gamer. similarly the fact that you can be lesbians in a lot of games but not gay males. (Which is one of many factors in why I think Fallout 2 is pretty bad but I digress).
Fuck it I have no idea.
Laguna's battle music was awesome. Hell most of VIII's music was pretty good. Draw system aside, its gameplay mechanics weren't terrible, just easy to abuse, like pulling a long summon out to mash through selphie's limit break choices (still haven't landed on the end). Just don't grow too attached to squall as a character, he takes a nosedive later.
FFVIII's gameplay mechanics were fine, the balance was just so out of whack that nothing you did really mattered.
Also you know with Squall I liked him more when he was a brooding, loner douchebag at the beginning. Because that was an effective kind of attitude for the line of work he was in and it made him an independent and functional, if not totally happy, individual.
By the end of the game he's given up all of that for the sake of BLUH RINOA YOU COMPLETE ME and is sort of a sad, broken individual that is now happy in some sense but completely useless.
Then again the first time I played FFVIII, my parents were still capable of having conversations that didn't end in fights.
But yeah, back to that. I don't think FFX bugged me as much because Tidus was always kind of a loser, but it was still Yuna and Tidus having this kind of dopey, puppylove affection towards eachother and then building a real relationship out of that. Which again isn't really healthy. I guess Yuna kind of moved away from that in the end but then FFX-2 happened and LOL WUPZ.
FFVII's romance was sort of deliciously fucked up because it was basically about Aeris preying on a semi-schizophrenic near invalid because he'd taken on the personality of her dead ex-boyfriend, and then you have Tifa who actually does care about him being eternally friendzoned. Which actually makes Aeris interseting because she was the dominant one in that relationship, not Cloud. And she's pulling this shit but still manages to be a decent person.
And Zidane and Garnet were mostly bros before falling for eachother and when he does break down about her getting married that';s more played for laughs about him being a dumbass and then Freya shows up and she's all "Zidane, you're a dumbass. Don't be a dumbass." And then he doesn't be's a dumbass.
This is why DQ5 doesn't bug me at all. It's just like <Bianca> HEY. LET'S GET MARRIED. <Bianca> SHIT WE'RE MARRIED, LET'S KILL MONSTERS. And then they pretty much continue on with business as usually, which involves a giant talking apple murdering everything in my case. When DID he get her knocked up though? God that'd be so scandalous if it turned out the talking apple monster was the father.
Anyway did FFXII even have romance? Or characters? I remember a bunny and pippi longstalkings being there, as well as some creepy jailbait kid with blonde hair. I Think the bunny was dating the gay guy from Backstreet Boys or Sean Connery or whatever. I'd probably like FFXII less if I could remember it. To FFVIII's credit, I can at least remember why I thought it was dumb. Also to FFVIII's credit the dungeons actually had things in them and were not endless deserts.