Release: Sep 10, 2013 - Author: cenyt - Translator: Mr Miau
The successor of the highly applauded Final Fantasy VII is one of the titles of the series that had mixed reactions. The complex but easily exploitable couplin of the enemies' strength with the player level made grinding unnecessary and had players focus on effective stat optimization instead. These changes were quite often misunderstood and the points of criticism that were mentioned the most were the alleged necessity to use the 'Draw' ability (which steals spells from an enemy and enhances the player's stats) a conjur the Guardian Force in order to win fights. These are actually two misconceptions, however, the plot and the characters also were often seen as lacking.
The protagonist Squall Leonhart was seen a bit negative especially in the US because he is not a typical hero but seems mostly annoyed by the role he is being pushed into. On the other hand, many small adjustment were made in order to make the game more easily digestable by non-Japanese gamers. For example, Zell's running gag was changed and he does not ask for bread in the canteen (bread in Japan is available in many varieties and eaten as a snack as well) but for hot dogs. Nonetheless, when he chokes on bread in the ending, there is no sausage to be seen in any version.
The developers also seemingly wanted to make the introduction into the game easier for non-Japanese players. The first two Gfs are acquired automatically before entering the world map if the player has not done so before. In the Japanese Version, Quistis does not have any GF to spare.
Even the following quest to get Ifrit was simplified. The first dungeon has to be mastered (including the fight against Ifrit) with a certain time limit of 10, 20, 30 or 40 minutes. In the Japanese Version, the timer stops after the player has left the dungeon again, whereas the PAL and NTSC-U versions stop the timer directly after the fight against Ifrit.
By the way, one small adjustment can be found in every version. The spell 'Scan' analyzes enemies and friends alike and also lets the player look at the character model from every angle. The only exception is Selphie, who can only be turned sideways. The reason for this is her revealing clothing and short skirt, the programmers obviously did not want the players to see her underwear. However, in certain situations during the game it is possible to see it (when she is KO on the ground or jumps in the air), the texture is therefore existent. In case anybody is curious: the answer is white.
Censored Texture: Boss Namtal Utok / Gerogero
The mutated version of the president double is a horribly malformed creature, whose intestines are hanging out. The Japanese Version shows them in the original red color, whereas they are blue in every other version.
This change also applies to this enemy's Triple Triad card.