The problem lies in the fact that magic in FFVIII is pulling a triple duty as a) a consumable item b) an equipable like your standard weapons, armors, shields, & accessories and c) the usual alternative to attacking (not in the sense of what it was used for in FFVIII but in RPGs in general). Given the way things were balanced nobody ever used the first and third options unless they absolutely had to as there were plenty of other consumable items (besides who ever uses a consumable item in an FF game?), and GFs at the start then Limit Breaks became your usual go to in terms of alternatives to attack. And since GFs became more and more obsolete people started ignoring their Int stats which is what determines how successful a person is at drawing spells among other spell related activities. In a normal JRPG growth is spread out across the board (stats go up with levels and are the basis for everything, equipment gets better as you go along supplementing your stats in direct then indirect ways, skills, spells, and abilities open up new options allowing different characters to assume different roles, and jobs or classes allow characters to develop further specialty in their given roles. FFVIII does a lot of renaming and repurposing to achieve the same results. Jobs, alternative actions, skills, and abilities are now tied to GFs. Magic becomes the new equipment which GFs dictate where you get to wear. And Limit Breaks assume control over the alternative actions once you have enough descent magic to equip and the higher level Limit Breaks. Characters, their levels and stats, and what they're armed with (save for Squall's Lionheart) don't factor in for squat. Its all in which GFs are equipped, what they learned, and what magic you have stocked up.