As far as Final Fantasy villains go, Exdeath is a cardboard cutout of a villain, but we haven't seen any motivation for him yet so I'll reserve my judgement on him. All I can say is that the boss fight against him was incredibly fun. He has a lot of HP and some nasty attacks, but he isn't cheap, so figuring out the proper strategy to defeat him was great. I ended up casting float on my Samurai/Ninja/Thief hybrid Faris, and on my White/Black Mage Lenna, while my Dragoon/Knight Bartz pummeled Exdeath from the air with our newly-acquired Twin Lance. After the battle, you're transported to the third main world map of the game, so it'll be interesting to see where the game goes from here.
On the Final Fantasy VIII front, I'm on the last part of Disc 2, the Garden War, which kind of marks a halfway point for the game. Recently, the Trabia Garden flashbacks provided some of the character depth i felt was mission from VIII, although not really enough. I think my problem with VIII's character's is that their function is to support Squall's character arc, rather than function as independent characters. Rinoa is really the only other playable character to have received significant attention (for obvious reasons). I'm still enjoying the game a great deal, though.
I'll keep posting my progress on games here the further I get. :)