The story's subjective - there's a lot of creativity there, and some of the beats do land - but I called it a fanfiction of itself, because I've dated women who write fanfiction, and FFVIII includes many of the pitfalls amateur writers start with. The biggest one being that they really neglect to flesh out what makes so many people genuinely like/love/admire Squall despite the implosion that is his atrophied social skills. It's kind of like Twilight and 50 Shades, in that regard.
Seriously, imagine you were playing another character in the classroom, and all the teachers were singling out Mr. "...whatever." for special treatment while he existed in their general direction. And then he had a circle of friends being friends at him, a true and powerful fairy tale love being forced on him...
It's like the entire game world revolves around this human black hole. If you can't relate to him, and you're not attracted to him, there's just not a lot to actually chew on in the early going.
As for his tragic backstory - a lot of us had worse childhoods. Watching him use that as an excuse to be antisocial for hours on end is an exotic form of torture.
But onto the game mechanics, my criticism was more directed towards the way the game punishes you for not playing it in a very abstract, meta kind of a way, while doing nothing to prevent you from exploiting all it's systems and completely breaking the challenge. For some people, uncovering the great game underneath it all, will be a careful a balancing act. And while that's a fun challenge for those of us who've played way too many RPGs for our own good (I am going to take you up on your challenge to revisit it), it's also sentencing a lot of players to a dull, tedious grind, just because they used the options handed them in good faith.
It's almost like revisiting FF1 on the NES, where the INT stat does nothing, elemental weapons have no special effects, and casting status spells on the enemy can backfire due to a bug, and help them out.
People who are going to get into this game, may not have the time to waste.
But of course...all of this is subjective. And in the end, this is just your personal review, and my personal review of your review.
But even if we disagree on many things, thank you for taking the time to write these reviews in the first place. These games were sorely missed on the website.
On a more objective note, about the screen resolution, I'll just provide links. Hopefully you enjoy learning about these things as much as I do.
Final Fantasy 7-9:http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=13241.0
The more common PSOne screen resolutions.http://ngemu.com/threads/true-resolutio ... 224.59392/