Shelling RPG: Junction System

Generally, when speaking of an RPG, you tend to analyze issues that have little or nothing to do with your gaming system, the one that fits your skills, your fighting, its parameters, in short, that which includes all the features that make good gameplay. Do not misunderstand me: I am of those who think that a good RPG should be a combination of carefully terraced areas As good graphics to the screen representation of the world in question, or a good story, Well told and spun, it engages in the hours and hours we spend with him. But ignore the basic systems of an RPG is to ignore the very concept of the game, because if this section is neglected, the whole game falls apart. This series of articles is intended to analyze the strengths and weaknesses that we have different systems, combat skills, parameters and features, present in those who have given RPG good hours of play activities in order to vindicate this section as the basis on which rests the whole game itself. And to begin shelling the RPG, you better start looking one of the most loved / hated the genre's history, largely beaten for being one of the most depth of the franchise in question, and have a most unforgiving of faults: talk about the Junction System Of Final Fantasy VIII. 

Junction System, for speaking "System Links" (Mistranslation, but accepted at the end) is the set of characteristics, abilities and battle under the command of moving the eighth installment of the saga. The game, at the time of the fight, pulled the classic ATB (i.e. the bar is filled in a given time, after which we can execute an action), which favored him fighting much more dynamic than those provided in RPG and pure static shift. The playable characters, as in previous installments of the saga, followed by determining the evolution of their properties through the acquisition of experience points with a target number of them to level up. Each time you level up (as in almost all JRPG that price) is increased several parameters that each and every one of the characters possessed: the classics Vitality and Force (i.e. hit points and the amount of damage you do), Resistance and Spirit (One for physical shock, and one for magic defense), the Magic Power (Damage we do with magic), the Evasion (To dodge attacks), the Aim (Not to miss the shot, obviously) and the Luck (Which incidentally, is of little use). As we see, are typical features of any Japanese RPG, with these important and applicable exclusively in battle. It is well known that the subgenus JPRG little or no interest interacting with NPC and other issues (beyond the interaction that necessarily must do to advance the story), so that the characteristics diplomatic always conspicuous by their absence. For these parameters, we add the GF linked affinity, but to understand this section, you must first understand these bugs, which are central to the game.

The Guardians of the Force (GF) are to be invocations of life, those we know who have played other installments of this series (and very present in other JRPG), but in this particular game, take on an almost exclusive role when determine success in combat. In fact, the entire system revolves around them and it is essential to find and train them in a proper manner to get juice to each and every one of the sections of the system. Being bound to a GF means having all the features we can provide: GF without bound, the character only able to run the attack command in battle, making it impossible to play as intended.

Each has different skills GF must learn through experience that gives the battle (AP Are won by defeating the enemy, along with the EXP points and items), and then apply the character that has linked (either the whole group depends on the features). Skills are classified into several subgroups: Link (The magic link allowing the parameters), Command (Allow to execute new commands in battle) individual (Increasing the parameters of the character), group (Benefits for all characters) GF (Increase parameters GF) or Menu (For objects from magic, new cards, etc.)..

GF each of these has different abilities that give the character that has linked, so it is essential to have the greatest possible number of them to our service. The skills learned in the GF menu, in the section Learn (sorry, I have the NTSC version, English everywhere), and are obtained by acquiring AP, with a target number of them to unlock the skills we learn. In this section, the game enjoys a daunting number of skills that are important but when the magic link parameters, giving them plenty of battle command options (such as command Resurrect) Menu and skills (such as changing objects by magic, the "alchemy" of life). Bind to and invoke a GF in battle (ATB works well) means increasing its affinity with the character in question, which can reach up to 1000, and we can invoke it faster in combat. Likewise, the low affinity GF if we paired a contrary element. This is not convenient to have bound Quetzal (Element beam) and a Leviathan (Water element) at the same time as one makes use lower affinity with the other. In this sense the game is balanced, giving us plenty of options for GF (A total of 16 of them) and, consequently, a lot of skills to learn and possess.

So far, the system only looks like a variation on the typical way to evolve a character, only adding the leading role of this issue to the GF, to make it necessary for the evolution. But where the system becomes much more depth, the magic system links the parameters, a fundamental part of battle strategy.

Thanks to the skills of link has a GF, you can bind the magic that a character possesses one of the parameters. If the character is bound to GF has the ability "Link VIT" Means that we can link magic in this parameter. What is this?: to increase this parameter in the character. I mean, if the parameter VIT will link a number of spells Cure (Up to 100) will see how our vitality increases proportional number. If you link the magic Revitalization, We see an increase significantly higher vitality. The same mechanism applies to each and every one of the parameters of the character, can bind spells to increase attack and defense (primary) and free choice can leave what kind of magic link to each one, being more convenience some magic for some parameters. For defense, it is more convenient as magic link Armor (The same name tells us the benefit), for example.

To this we must add that a GF can learn skills that give the character link four new parameters: elemental attack, elemental defense, attack and defense of states. Magic link to these parameters provides new benefits to the hour of battle: for example, bind the magic Electro elemental attack weaker enemies makes this element (water element and mechanical enemies) are much more sensitive to our offense when we run the command Atacar, Lowering its VIT dramatically. Another example: if we link the magic Piro to elemental defense, we will be able to get half damage when they attack us with this element, and have greater number of linked magic (or magic superior in this case, as Piro +) We are able to absorb the attack and increase the vitality of the character. This same application is true with the attacks and the defense of state, being very useful with sensitive enemy states as Sleep or Confusion and effectively defend being able to most altered states (those that make us despair both in combat). The application of these links is limited by the ability to link the character possesses the GF, so not always have all parameters available for binding spells on them.

In all other sections, the game meets the same strata of the classic JRPG, being of equal importance items: Healing, learning, status, etc... In this section, the most important is to get the items to improve weapons, which gives us new "Limits" (Extremely powerful attacks) for each character. Where the game is lame wanting paragraph of Magic since it must be extracted from different points of the mapping or "stolen" the enemy we are facing. The most unique is that we do not have the classic Magic points (PM) To spend each time you execute the corresponding command, but we have a kind of magic "quantifiable", as it somehow. When we steal, for example, ice magic at an enemy, do not get to use Ice Magic at ease and pleasure, but get a certain amount of "magic" to use ice, Up to a maximum of 100. Use this magic in combat means losing an ice magic, a number that decreases as we use more. If magic ice reaches 0, lose the ability to cast such magic, which we find again the method to find and "save". To this we must add that without a command linked GF Magic already learned, it is impossible to launch any magic, as well as without a GF command to extract the magic of enemies, it becomes impossible to keep magic in the character. Certainly rare and intricate this system, and for reasons we will discuss soon, one of the weaknesses of the whole paragraph.

If profits and benefits need to talk, the Junction System is one of the most profound of all the Final Fantasy series. The system is implemented for the acquisition of new features and abilities are not far from others that this section is paid by the person himself (again, as in the Job System), But the fact that you can link magic to the parameters makes the system scan one of the high points to get all the juice into battle. The GF are not just collectibles, and beyond that they have attacks that can be used in combat, his greatest strength lies in skills training for their respective benefits of each. Have the greatest possible number of GF in our power link gives us opportunities and skills that can change the character as we like, to the detriment of other systems that require us to follow a natural evolution of the same characteristics (as seen systems in Dragon Quest That are more traditional). This is one of the main sections in which the invocations have been so criticized in the later installments of the saga: I can attest to the respect that Final Fantasy XII you can spend the entire game without taking a single invocation (rather than Belias when to open the door, remember?).

It is a fresh, and while it is intuitive and we must learn to handle it quite well (and learn it takes its good hours), once mastered, it is quite different experience character's progress, giving the impression that we have total control over the characteristics and abilities of the same And can build their skills and combatant commands as suits us. And, indeed, is one of the few systems that give total freedom to "assemble" the character, always constrained by the willingness of GF. Furthermore, it is clear that other skills derived from the GF are essential to complete the game 100%, as one that allows us to convert the enemy in a letter, essential for anyone who enjoyed the addictive Triple Triad.

But not all pearls in this system because there are many weak points to outline (perhaps more than its virtues). First and foremost, the player used to the magic merely makes impossible use this tactic in combat. If you already getting the magic system does not give much room to waste, let's say you want to use a magic and linked in a parameter. A greater use, the lower the value of the parameter. What incentive then the player has to use magic in combat? Few and none, Unless we ignore the whole system and splurged like crazy magic, no link at all. Moreover, the most useful spells more powerful and are usually the ones that best will come to the link parameter, which is a grave mistake to use them in combat.

And since the system relies almost all of its importance in the link, both GF and magic, are fighting to win easy. If you enter a cave full of enemies of the water element, we have no magic to bind Electro elemental attack to make each battle a walk in the park. Because the system requires to keep the magic to bind to each new scenario and enemy, enough to know the magic link corresponding to defeat him very easily. The very difficulty of the parameters does not help the enemy, being the easiest and more if you handle with relative ease the binding system. This makes the system loses its depth, Supported the enemies tend to have a single weakness, and, once discovered, we just have to repeat the same tactic again and again. This causes us to use the command constant attack, not invoke the GF in battle (unless that corresponds to the weakness of the enemy) and virtually not use items in battle, healing only. While the strategy is done from the Menu of the game, when the battle rather we will be handing out left and right Smite, Which beat'em up old school. Only the heads are a real challenge (and the GF are recruited to fight them), but as skills are gained through GF fighting generic enemies (if we have them well trained), we have hours and hours of use the same command over and over and over again. It is very inexcusable that only a map location of all pose a real challenge for the player: the Centra Ruins But based on that in that location is the best in the game GF, Eden. And have been so throughout the game, another would be history.

Proof that the enemies are not challenging at all, is the following video, which plays FF VIII no link, in a method called Anti-Junction:

In short, a system that could have emerged as one of the strongest and deepest in the world of RPG Nippon greatly missed by not having a polished finish. The fact that rewards the acquisition and development of GF gives the game a factor of life exploration and quite spacious (if we provide ourselves with the 16) but overturns the strategy itself as a good RPG should have in combat, albeit in a minimum of difficulty. The system is interesting, but only from the menu: In combat, it is applicable, but does everything extremely easy, and it was impossible to select a higher difficulty (characteristic of this saga of Square), the game ends pretty tired. Good thing the story is interesting and the graphics and atmosphere, very well made Which otherwise would have been different overall results.

Courtesy to Pixfans

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