In an editorial for another web page, someone mentioned how in FF7 and
in FF8 there are ways in which you can basically pick any number of
characters and by adding items or whatnot you can make them each attack and
use magic with relatively the same power. In other words, no character would
be different. You could have a level 50 Yuffie use spells just as well as a
level 75 Cloud. This, of course, was accomplished by using souped up Materia.
And in FF8, I suppose, it is accomplished in some other way.
I, for some reason, never noticed this. I also didn't notice how much
that this killed the Final Fantasy series. It completely makes each
individual less important. Why would it matter that you cold choose between
Yuffie and Cloud, when you can pretty much make them do the same things with
the same skill? In earlier Final Fantasies, take 3(6) for example, if you
wanted magic power you would use Terra. She couldn't hit that well, but she
had power like the rising sun. If you wanted strength you'd pick Sabin.
Speed? Send quick ol' Locke in there. And that's what made the characters in
that game so special! Not just the fact that they each had incredible stories
but that they were all used for different purposes. When Sabin would deliver
an incredibly good blow, you'd say "ahhh, trusty Sabin, always clawing their
eyes out." But in FF7, Cloud hits somebody with a pretty strong attack...so
what? Yuffie could do it.
That brings me to another point. Not just the magic power, but the
differences in strength were too small. This couldn't be altered by something
like Materia, but you'd still have Cloud and all the others doing relatively
the same damage. And, as the same writer pointed out, take Rydia and Cecil
from FF2(4), and they wouldn't even get close to one another in attack damage.
What a pity. To have it where you really don't care who you decide to
use in battle is sad. In Final Fantasy 3(6) and 2(4) we all had our favorite
parties...Rydia could summon and use incredible magic, Kain could jump and
attack well, Sabin had his special attacks, Gau had monster abilities...We
built our parties around these abilites and to try to balance our weaknesses
and strengths. But, now, who gives a rat's ass? Everybody can use summon
spells if they have the Materia. Everyone can attack well. Everyone can Draw.
People don't care about abilites or weaknesses anymore because they're all
the same. And this made the characters less fantastic. Not just in battle but
as characters themselves. This made them seem less like real people and more
like robots of the same design and model.
Squaresoft needs to go back to their old ways. They need to make each
individual character matter. I and thousands of others want to care and
debate over who we're going to place in battle, not just pick someone because
we already have the right Materia on them and it would be easier than
choosing someone else.