I've been playing this one very slowly over the course of the last week or so. I'm only about 3 hours in; just finished the SeeD exam and got a rank of 8. I really don't know what to say about this game. This is one of those games that is so deep and complex that a "perfect playthrough" is almost impossible, especially the first time through. I've also found that trying to do these things perfectly really kills the fun of any game. So what if you can't get the super-awesome spell by collecting all of the randomly scattered chess pieces around the world and arranging them on the chess board in the final boss's room? Does it mean you can't beat the game? No, of course not, it's just for the insane completionist. I find it just more fun to play through based on my own mood and decisions and just let the game adapt. Unfortunately there are a good number of games that CAN be rendered unbeatable by this method; more an oversight on the part of the designers I suppose.
I am in fact having a lot of fun naming all the characters weird stuff.
Squall = Spoony
Quetzalcoatl = Lugia
Shiva = Cold Tits
Ifrit = Mr. Burns
Siren = Paris (Hilton)
This resulted in the somewhat amusing line:
Hooray for juvenile humor! ^^
Place: About to go down to talk to Quistis in the training area.