While I was playing through Sabin's story arc near the start of the game I got to thinking about why I like some of the characters more than others. Sabin and Cyan both do two to three times as much damage as any other character I have at that point. I gave Locke my best weapon, the gauntlet accessory, and the vigor up accessory and he still does less than half the damage Cyan does. And yet I'd rather play with Locke than Cyan. Why? I think a big part of it is because I get to decide precisely what he does while Cyan attacks someone at random.
The party near the start of Sabin's arc is Shadow, Sabin, and Cyan. Sabin and Cyan killed any enemy in one special attack. Shadow took two attacks to kill something, but was fast so would generally go first. Running into a group of 3 enemies should result in each character killing one enemy. Shadow would take an extra round to get his but it should still work out to one kill each. Unfortunately Cyan would have a 33% chance to finish off Shadow's target. Then even if he didn't Sabin would have a 50% chance to kill it. It made me very sad.
It was a little better when I traded Shadow for Gau. At least then I couldn't control anyone at all! Just sit back and watch the enemies evaporate. Well, Gau pretty much did nothing because I don't know which rages aren't worthless but at least Sabin and Cyan weren't screwing up my carefully laid plans.
Sabin has the other problem that you can fail his attacks. It seems easier on the PSP than it was on the SNES to pull off the fireball move but I have missed a few times and it really sucks to take no action.
At any rate, I thought it would be interesting to rank the characters in preferential order and see if they follow the controlly pattern or not...
Setzer's special ability can fail which is a little annoying but at least when it works it hits all enemies. And really, I don't use slots very often. It's all about throwing dice at people!