That's the one word I can use to really summarize the whole game up. Everything about this game is just counterintuitive.
Let's begin with magic: one of the most important parts of any Final Fantasy game. Like most Final Fantasy games, it has the standard spells- ice, lightning, fire, cure... all the way up to Ultima. The difference is you'll never actually use them. You'll quickly learn that having powerful magic means having powerful stat points- so you'll still hunt for powerful magic (like the search for good materia or magicite). But using your magic ends up lowering your stats... so you'll spend a lot of time stockpiling magic so that you don't use it. huh.
Experience and levelling up: It's a neat system where the monsters level up with you, so every single level is always 1000exp instead of the exponential growth curve. This auto-adjusting difficulty is a good idea if it weren't for the junctioning system. Keeping your level as low as possible is actually the easiest way to get through this game. Levelling up actually makes you (proportionally) weaker to the enemies you face. huh.
Characters: Most of the characters are unlikable. Squall's brooding and unemotional most of the time, which means the plot is moved not by the main character's decisions but what he's been ordered to do. The few times he gets emotional and makes a decision himself, it doesn't really matter anyways, as everyone else has decided the same thing. The rest of the cast is flat- Zell is the hothead, Selphie's energetic, Quistis is trying to be the mature one, Irvine's got an ego, Rinoa... is a Damsel In Distress
. As for backstory, for 5 of the 6 main characters it's simultaneous Laser Guided Amnesia
Story/Plot: As usual, the entire world is in danger and you are the ones to save it, but it just doesn't feel as epic as it should. For having destiny and fate being a central theme of the story, you'd think the characters would try to fight fate a little harder, as Ellone is attempting to do. The main characters, however, just go with the flow. The final boss, despite being introduced early in Disc 3 (out of 4), still feels like a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere
, since she has no character development and only exists for you to defeat at the very end.
Overall: poor. The music is its saving grace.