Agreed with Dice on the insanity behind getting characters for Stella Deus. But beyond that, I'm really glad Ryan "Shiguma" warmed me up to Stella Deus before I played it. He played the import, and then I played the domestic version. And frankly I really like it. I like the weird no-nose character art, I like the desolate world, and I LOVE the 3-way conflict between a religion of pacifists who pray for God to kill everyone, a bunch of militarist activists involved in the wholesale slaughter of the resigned pacifists as part of their hope to save the world by man's hand, and then the insane middle-ground where you find yourself as the protagonist.
Seriously, it's a very memorable SRPG for me.
Also, I still love FF8, mostly for its plot THEMES (not so much plot execution) and the art / music.
Also also, I love Ash attacking FF2.
Never played SO3, but I know why people panned it.