I "play" old "games" (Final Fantasy X-2)

Posted by ArbitraryWater (12105 posts) -

Oh yes. This is what I spent my time doing, during my wait for Skyrim. While, as a full disclaimer, I have not finished Final Fantasy X-2, I'm currently distracted by school work and Skyrim (oddly enough, those things don't mix especially well), and therefore figure I should write what I have done, and I think after around 20 or so hours, I have seen most of what this game has thrown at me from a mechanical perspective, and any or all remaining story points have been discovered through the use of youtube and wikipedia. Honestly though, I'm writing this blog for no other reason than to justify the time I have spent with this game, time that could've been spent doing the essay that I am currently blowing off by writing this piece, ironically enough.

Yeah. I could've been playing Icewind Dale II instead

People who have been following my writing on this site know that JRPGs are not my forte, with most of my favorite titles in that genre being well-known SNES-era stuff, like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. While I have mined the deepest darkest depths of obscurity as far as CRPGs are concerned, the last JRPG I beat was Persona 3 FES when the endurance run was going on 2 years ago. I've played other stuff more recently, obviously. Pokemon Black is still pokemon to its own detriment, and Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne is still hard (but yes, I will finish that at some point too), but I have oddly never had much interest in ever playing any of the games in the Final Fantasy franchise from the PS1-forward for any length of time. Chalk it down to me not having a PS2 until 2 years ago, my extreme aversion to Nomura's character designs, the obnoxious, unlikable characters that inhabit those designs, or this, but that has always been a series that has never seemed like it was for me... until now?

In some way, yes. Final Fantasy X-2 is the perfect, post-SNES Final Fantasy game for me, and I like it far more than I honestly should, given that its extremely stupid. While I think that the stories of all FF games are, on some level, excessively stupid self-pleasuring melodramatic nonsense that would only appeal to 13 year old wannabe otakus*, the general stupidity of FFX-2 extends beyond even that in a manner that I still have trouble deciding how self aware it actually is. It's an odd thing, whereas everything about Final Fantasy X makes it seem like something I would rather shoot myself in the foot than actually play*, Final Fantasy X-2 goes so over the top that it devours itself and instead becomes a gold mine of ironic enjoyment, and being the sad, cynical young adult I am, this stuff is like candy. Irony candy. Mmmmm...

*: The prior statements were hyperbolic in nature and used for literary effect. Please don't hurt me.

Because a game focused around an all female group of characters playing dress up and fighting evil is classy to the highest degree

For the uninformed, I am of course referring to the game's blatant use of delicious, pandering fan service in favor of anything resembling a coherent plot. The protagonist in this one is Yuna, who I am to understand was the "Tragic Love Interest" of the last game. Except now she wears hot pants and searches for magical spheres that change clothing! Did I mention that the game starts with her singing a nonsensical J-Pop song at a concert? Joining her is resident jailbait Rikku and "She wears black if you're into that kind of thing" emo lady Paine. While people who actually like Final Fantasy X weren't a fan of how some of the returning characters are portrayed in this game, I am not one of them and therefore cackle with sociopathic glee every time one of the characters acts stupid or does something stupid that no actual rational human being would actually do. This is reflected in the plot, which doesn't actually reach its main thread until a little less than halfway through, and even then the length of the game seems (so far) entirely dependent on how much side stuff you can deal with. This side stuff, consisting of such dramatic moments as "Catching a chocobo" and "Scalping for concert tickets" basically comprises half the length of the game from what I understand. I could really go on about this forever, as there is far too much in this game to mock or deride. Needless to say, if you want the long and short of it, either play the game yourself or watch some of the cutscenes on youtube. Really, it speaks for itself.

For all the flippancy going on in this blog, I do think the battle system is pretty good. It's Final Fantasy alright, but that was never the part of FF that scared me away

Of course, what also speaks for itself is the actual gameplay. Final Fantasy X-2 basically uses a modified version of the job system from Final Fantasy V, a game that I am an apologist for (in that I apologize that you don't like Final Fantasy V as much as I do). Hell, I'd probably play the international version of Final Fantasy XII for that reason because it has the same thing. It's perhaps irrational, considering that the job systems in those games are never balanced especially well and as a result are easily min/max-able with worthless jobs like Bard and Dancer thrust to the wayside in favor of your Ninjas and your Blue Mages. Same goes here, in that you want your three ladies to basically fulfill the roles of Support, Magic, and Attack and the various permutations thereof, but really only have to use half of the jobs presented. The battles themselves are fast paced and enjoyable in that JRPG fashion, though coming off of SMT nocturne there isn't a ton of strategizing actually needed most of the time. However, the delicious fanservice creeps in here with the various (often revealing) outfits that our protagonists wear depending on their job. Perhaps most deliciously though is the unskippable 30 second clip of your ladies changing their clothes, Sailor Moon style, EVERY TIME you change a sphere in combat. Yep. EVERY TIME. Maybe if I watched more creepy harem anime I would be used to this kind of nonsense, but since I haven't I can do nothing but laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

So, in conclusion, Final Fantasy X-2 is trash. What kind of trash is it? Well, for me it is the best kind of irony: Nonsensical girly fanservice combined with a battle and character progression system I actually enjoy. Kind of like how I feel about Kingdom Hearts Obviously, if you were an actual fan of Final Fantasy X and weren't approaching this in the most flippant way possible, I could see why you find it to be the other kind of trash. Once again, I enjoy this game far more than I have any right to, despite the fact that it's full of dumb, pandering ass shots, an aimless plot, and some of the more egregious examples of pointless mini games in any video game. Oh snap, I never did mention the Massage mini game, did I? Well, there is one. And there's also an entirely optional, entirely pointless hot spring scene complete with lesbian undertones.

What have I learned from all of this? I clearly need to go on more dates. Oh well. Skyrim awaits!

#1 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12105 posts) -

Oh yes. This is what I spent my time doing, during my wait for Skyrim. While, as a full disclaimer, I have not finished Final Fantasy X-2, I'm currently distracted by school work and Skyrim (oddly enough, those things don't mix especially well), and therefore figure I should write what I have done, and I think after around 20 or so hours, I have seen most of what this game has thrown at me from a mechanical perspective, and any or all remaining story points have been discovered through the use of youtube and wikipedia. Honestly though, I'm writing this blog for no other reason than to justify the time I have spent with this game, time that could've been spent doing the essay that I am currently blowing off by writing this piece, ironically enough.

Yeah. I could've been playing Icewind Dale II instead

People who have been following my writing on this site know that JRPGs are not my forte, with most of my favorite titles in that genre being well-known SNES-era stuff, like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. While I have mined the deepest darkest depths of obscurity as far as CRPGs are concerned, the last JRPG I beat was Persona 3 FES when the endurance run was going on 2 years ago. I've played other stuff more recently, obviously. Pokemon Black is still pokemon to its own detriment, and Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne is still hard (but yes, I will finish that at some point too), but I have oddly never had much interest in ever playing any of the games in the Final Fantasy franchise from the PS1-forward for any length of time. Chalk it down to me not having a PS2 until 2 years ago, my extreme aversion to Nomura's character designs, the obnoxious, unlikable characters that inhabit those designs, or this, but that has always been a series that has never seemed like it was for me... until now?

In some way, yes. Final Fantasy X-2 is the perfect, post-SNES Final Fantasy game for me, and I like it far more than I honestly should, given that its extremely stupid. While I think that the stories of all FF games are, on some level, excessively stupid self-pleasuring melodramatic nonsense that would only appeal to 13 year old wannabe otakus*, the general stupidity of FFX-2 extends beyond even that in a manner that I still have trouble deciding how self aware it actually is. It's an odd thing, whereas everything about Final Fantasy X makes it seem like something I would rather shoot myself in the foot than actually play*, Final Fantasy X-2 goes so over the top that it devours itself and instead becomes a gold mine of ironic enjoyment, and being the sad, cynical young adult I am, this stuff is like candy. Irony candy. Mmmmm...

*: The prior statements were hyperbolic in nature and used for literary effect. Please don't hurt me.

Because a game focused around an all female group of characters playing dress up and fighting evil is classy to the highest degree

For the uninformed, I am of course referring to the game's blatant use of delicious, pandering fan service in favor of anything resembling a coherent plot. The protagonist in this one is Yuna, who I am to understand was the "Tragic Love Interest" of the last game. Except now she wears hot pants and searches for magical spheres that change clothing! Did I mention that the game starts with her singing a nonsensical J-Pop song at a concert? Joining her is resident jailbait Rikku and "She wears black if you're into that kind of thing" emo lady Paine. While people who actually like Final Fantasy X weren't a fan of how some of the returning characters are portrayed in this game, I am not one of them and therefore cackle with sociopathic glee every time one of the characters acts stupid or does something stupid that no actual rational human being would actually do. This is reflected in the plot, which doesn't actually reach its main thread until a little less than halfway through, and even then the length of the game seems (so far) entirely dependent on how much side stuff you can deal with. This side stuff, consisting of such dramatic moments as "Catching a chocobo" and "Scalping for concert tickets" basically comprises half the length of the game from what I understand. I could really go on about this forever, as there is far too much in this game to mock or deride. Needless to say, if you want the long and short of it, either play the game yourself or watch some of the cutscenes on youtube. Really, it speaks for itself.

For all the flippancy going on in this blog, I do think the battle system is pretty good. It's Final Fantasy alright, but that was never the part of FF that scared me away

Of course, what also speaks for itself is the actual gameplay. Final Fantasy X-2 basically uses a modified version of the job system from Final Fantasy V, a game that I am an apologist for (in that I apologize that you don't like Final Fantasy V as much as I do). Hell, I'd probably play the international version of Final Fantasy XII for that reason because it has the same thing. It's perhaps irrational, considering that the job systems in those games are never balanced especially well and as a result are easily min/max-able with worthless jobs like Bard and Dancer thrust to the wayside in favor of your Ninjas and your Blue Mages. Same goes here, in that you want your three ladies to basically fulfill the roles of Support, Magic, and Attack and the various permutations thereof, but really only have to use half of the jobs presented. The battles themselves are fast paced and enjoyable in that JRPG fashion, though coming off of SMT nocturne there isn't a ton of strategizing actually needed most of the time. However, the delicious fanservice creeps in here with the various (often revealing) outfits that our protagonists wear depending on their job. Perhaps most deliciously though is the unskippable 30 second clip of your ladies changing their clothes, Sailor Moon style, EVERY TIME you change a sphere in combat. Yep. EVERY TIME. Maybe if I watched more creepy harem anime I would be used to this kind of nonsense, but since I haven't I can do nothing but laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

So, in conclusion, Final Fantasy X-2 is trash. What kind of trash is it? Well, for me it is the best kind of irony: Nonsensical girly fanservice combined with a battle and character progression system I actually enjoy. Kind of like how I feel about Kingdom Hearts Obviously, if you were an actual fan of Final Fantasy X and weren't approaching this in the most flippant way possible, I could see why you find it to be the other kind of trash. Once again, I enjoy this game far more than I have any right to, despite the fact that it's full of dumb, pandering ass shots, an aimless plot, and some of the more egregious examples of pointless mini games in any video game. Oh snap, I never did mention the Massage mini game, did I? Well, there is one. And there's also an entirely optional, entirely pointless hot spring scene complete with lesbian undertones.

What have I learned from all of this? I clearly need to go on more dates. Oh well. Skyrim awaits!

#2 Edited by Packie (255 posts) -

It's really weird because I share the same kind of ironic, guilty pleasure from other Square RPGs. Namely, Final Fantasy 13 and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep.

Awful stories, laughably bad characterization and pretentious dialogue never got in the way of enjoying the fun as hell gameplay. I was always interested in X-2 just because how batshit insane it looks and I never particularly cared about X so it looks I'll be fine jumping into this game.

#3 Posted by endaround (2147 posts) -

Thing is, fans of FFX hate Yuna in X-2 because she stops being a sullen princess in need of saving and actually has some internal fire. Sure the plot is a massive mess and waste of time and the game would be batter if Yuna was just going around fighting rivals for treasure but then it wouldn't be a Square game but it gets bad rap for realizing that emo boys with a secret aren't the greatest protagonist.

#4 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -
@endaround

Thing is, fans of FFX hate Yuna in X-2 because she stops being a sullen princess in need of saving and actually has some internal fire. Sure the plot is a massive mess and waste of time and the game would be batter if Yuna was just going around fighting rivals for treasure but then it wouldn't be a Square game but it gets bad rap for realizing that emo boys with a secret aren't the greatest protagonist.

Princess in need of saving? Which version of FFX did you play? I hate her characterization in FFX-2 because it doesn't feel like a natural evolution of the character. And there are far more ways to show the internal fire you claim she lacked than by dressing her up in hotpants, singing pop songs and dual-wielding pistols like she was Lara Croft.
#5 Posted by Eudoxia (43 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@endaround

Thing is, fans of FFX hate Yuna in X-2 because she stops being a sullen princess in need of saving and actually has some internal fire. Sure the plot is a massive mess and waste of time and the game would be batter if Yuna was just going around fighting rivals for treasure but then it wouldn't be a Square game but it gets bad rap for realizing that emo boys with a secret aren't the greatest protagonist.

Princess in need of saving? Which version of FFX did you play? I hate her characterization in FFX-2 because it doesn't feel like a natural evolution of the character. And there are far more ways to show the internal fire you claim she lacked than by dressing her up in hotpants, singing pop songs and dual-wielding pistols like she was Lara Croft.

Totally agree. This game made no sense and I could not even finish it. I felt almost like it was trying to target females and I am sorry if that is the case they did it in a very WRONG way. It was like they were trying to create Jem the video game.

#6 Edited by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@endaround said:

Thing is, fans of FFX hate Yuna in X-2 because she stops being a sullen princess in need of saving and actually has some internal fire. Sure the plot is a massive mess and waste of time and the game would be batter if Yuna was just going around fighting rivals for treasure but then it wouldn't be a Square game but it gets bad rap for realizing that emo boys with a secret aren't the greatest protagonist.

I like Yuna in X-2.  She has really dumb lines that are almost-but-not-quite self-aware and she gives massages to her greatest enemy in minigames that are incredibly pandering and embarrassing. its kind of like a huge slap in the face to everyone who liked FFX, and I gotta admit, that was a ballsy move.
 
I love X-2. I mean, the story is the worst thing mankind  has ever put down on paper, but if you can roll with how dumb it is, you'll find one of the best, most strategic and satisfying battle system in FF history.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking the mechanics of this game, the core is terrific. Some of the dungeons are pretty horrid, though. And while the minigames are fun just for the sheer absurdity of some of them, 100%'ing FFX-2 seems like hell on earth.
 
I would also sooner die than be caught playing some parts of that game by a friend or SO.
#7 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@mutha3 said:

@endaround said:

Thing is, fans of FFX hate Yuna in X-2 because she stops being a sullen princess in need of saving and actually has some internal fire. Sure the plot is a massive mess and waste of time and the game would be batter if Yuna was just going around fighting rivals for treasure but then it wouldn't be a Square game but it gets bad rap for realizing that emo boys with a secret aren't the greatest protagonist.

I like Yuna in X-2. She has really dumb lines that are almost-but-not-quite self-aware and she gives massages to her greatest enemy in minigames that are incredibly pandering and embarrassing. its kind of like a huge slap in the face to everyone who liked FFX, and I gotta admit, that was a ballsy move. I love X-2. I mean, the story is the worst thing mankind has ever put down on paper, but if you can roll with how dumb it is, you'll find one of the best, most strategic and satisfying battle system in FF history. There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking the mechanics of this game, the core is terrific. Some of the dungeons are pretty horrid, though. And while the minigames are fun just for the sheer absurdity of some of them, 100%'ing FFX-2 seems like hell on earth. I would also sooner die than be caught playing some parts of that game by a friend or SO.

I have a friend that played FFX-2 to 100% completion, and she would probably light your face on fire for giving the game the level of praise you're spouting. And it's not a ballsy move to make a game that seems designed solely to annoy the fanbase of the original game. That's called ignoring the fans you've already built up in favor of chasing a different demographic. Like, say, deciding to make a sequel to Nier that restyles the protagonist as a Chippendales dancer on a happy-go-lucky adventure where absolutely nothing goes horribly wrong and any and all damage done to him and other characters in the first game is completely undone, and ends with a time loop that goes all the way back to Drakengard concluding with a new ending in which Angelus gets turned into a hot dragon lady and bones Caim. Then a text scroll appears stating that everyone lived happily ever after. Roll credits.

Not that I couldn't see Cavia seriously doing something like that if they were still around to make another game, but you get the idea.

#8 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1819 posts) -

There's a special place in hell for games that require you to use the same skill over and over and over and over and over again to level it up.

#9 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@SoldierG654342 said:

There's a special place in hell for games that require you to use the same skill over and over and over and over and over again to level it up.

So...Skyrim, then?

#10 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1819 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@SoldierG654342 said:

There's a special place in hell for games that require you to use the same skill over and over and over and over and over again to level it up.

So...Skyrim, then?

No, for all my criticism of Elder Scrolls games, they get a pass because they put several skills under one umbrella. You don't have to spend an hour casting Thunder on an Elemental hundreds of time so you can get Thundara, then find something that absorbs fire to grind your way to Fira.

#11 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@SoldierG654342 said:

@Hailinel said:

@SoldierG654342 said:

There's a special place in hell for games that require you to use the same skill over and over and over and over and over again to level it up.

So...Skyrim, then?

No, for all my criticism of Elder Scrolls games, they get a pass because they put several skills under one umbrella. You don't have to spend an hour casting Thunder on an Elemental hundreds of time so you can get Thundara, then find something that absorbs fire to grind your way to Fira.

...That's not how Final Fantasy works, dude.

#12 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1819 posts) -

@Hailinel: That's how this one worked. Every skill had a level attached to it and the only way to level a skill up was to use it the predetermined amount of times. Granted, I'm fuzzy on the specifics. My only vivid memory of that goddamn game was making it halfway and deciding to Gameshark my way though because there was no way I was going to actually play that fucking game anymore, but I was still morbidly curious about the story.

#13 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12105 posts) -

@Packie Yeah, if irony is what you get out of Squeenix games, then FFX-2 is probably the most pure (and by that I mean impure) form of that kind of thing. I got my copy for $6 on Ebay, which I consider money well spent. Or at least money spent.

@endaround: Didn't XIII not have any really androgynous characters? Obviously my knowledge of that is even less than my knowledge of X, but I do remember one of the characters being an actual guy that looked like a guy. Of course, maybe that makes up for the fact that the protagonist of XII not only looks like a girl but also has no business being the main character.

@Hailinel: It's good that you're here, as the reasonable counterpoint to my devil-may-care approach to this game. Having very little knowledge about how Yuna was portrayed in X, I can only assume that her upbeat "Let's help people and get spheres yayyyyy J-Pop" is not a logical progression from the somber priestess doomed to her fate of dying to defeat Sin. Just guessing.

@mutha3: Oh yeah, there is no way I would ever play this game with the door to my room open. I mean, my roommate has played some of it before, so at least he understands, but attempting to explain to anyone else in my hall what the hell I'm playing would not be a very enjoyable prospect. Of course, now all they want to do is see me play Skyrim.

@SoldierG654342: As a clarification, you basically just level up your class by using it. Even default attacks work. Honestly, when compared to the massive grind that some of FFV was, it's a step up. I know what you mean though. My personal offender in this regard is Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, a game that literally no one remembers besides me, but basically it was a western attempt at making the single most boilerplate JRPG ever with a skill system that forced you to cast the same spells and use the same abilities. Over. And. Over. Wow. Thinking back, I could probably write a really good criticism of that game now if I played it again, based on what I remember.

#14 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1819 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater said:

@SoldierG654342: As a clarification, you basically just level up your class by using it. Even default attacks work. Honestly, when compared to the massive grind that some of FFV was, it's a step up. I know what you mean though. My personal offender in this regard is Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, a game that literally no one remembers besides me, but basically it was a western attempt at making the single most boilerplate JRPG ever with a skill system that forced you to cast the same spells and use the same abilities. Over. And. Over. Wow. Thinking back, I could probably write a really good criticism of that game now if I played it again, based on what I remember.

Fuck...The Third Age...The second worst game I've played to completion. That game single handedly killed my desire to ever play a turn-based RPG ever again. As much as I would love to hear someone tear that game a new asshole, I would never ask someone to subject them self to it for a second time.

The Witch King never died! I'm convinced he just decayed because the battle took so goddamn long.

#15 Posted by endaround (2147 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater: Well Lightning is as close to a protagonist that XIII has (it has many more even view points and stories)and she is actually pretty decent, but there is Hope:

#16 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@endaround: Hope isn't really that androgynous. Certainly not to the extent that makes a lot of people bitch when they think about "weeaboos and their girly men."

And now I'll go place my hand in a mousetrap for using the insipid nonsense word "weeaboo."

#17 Posted by endaround (2147 posts) -

@Hailinel: Well not in the Vaan way. But he is overly emo. The whole blaming Snow thing...

#18 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@endaround said:

@Hailinel: Well not in the Vaan way. But he is overly emo. The whole blaming Snow thing...

Which was justifiable (at least, to an extent), and which he got over.

#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@SoldierG654342 said:

@Hailinel said:

@SoldierG654342 said:

There's a special place in hell for games that require you to use the same skill over and over and over and over and over again to level it up.

So...Skyrim, then?

No, for all my criticism of Elder Scrolls games, they get a pass because they put several skills under one umbrella. You don't have to spend an hour casting Thunder on an Elemental hundreds of time so you can get Thundara, then find something that absorbs fire to grind your way to Fira.

...That's not how Final Fantasy works, dude.

That's how Final Fantasy II works, at least if I'm reading that correctly.

#20 Posted by Mento (2800 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: To be fair, you can't level up in Elder Scrolls games by repeatedly smacking yourself in the face with a stick. Unlike FF2 where it's a completely viable, if not required, strategy.

As for Yuna's character.. well, at the start of FFX she was a grimly determined priestess with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Tidus' "carefree" (annoying) personality got her to open up a bit, so to speak, before that game ended though. The whole game was about her growing dissatisfaction with the church and eventual bucking of tradition, which was just as well since everyone high up in that fake religion turned out to be undead or monsters. Her character in FFX-2 isn't too dissimilar to how they left her, though she got curiously way less prudish about her clothing.

Also, I notice people are being incredulous about the sad-ass duders who bothered to 100% this bawdy mess of a sequel, so I'm just going to casually turn around and leave the thread Grampa Simpson style.

Moderator
#21 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@Mento said:

@Video_Game_King: To be fair, you can't level up in Elder Scrolls games by repeatedly smacking yourself in the face with a stick. Unlike FF2 where it's a completely viable, if not required, strategy.

As for Yuna's character.. well, at the start of FFX she was a grimly determined priestess with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Tidus' "carefree" (annoying) personality got her to open up a bit, so to speak, before that game ended though. The whole game was about her growing dissatisfaction with the church and eventual bucking of tradition, which was just as well since everyone high up in that fake religion turned out to be undead or monsters. Her character in FFX-2 isn't too dissimilar to how they left her, though she got curiously way less prudish about her clothing.

Also, I notice people are being incredulous about the sad-ass duders who bothered to 100% this bawdy mess of a sequel, so I'm just going to casually turn around and leave the thread Grampa Simpson style.

I'm not incredulous. The friend of mine that actually did put in the time and effort to get 100% could only conclude that between the insane number of obscure, menial requirements required to get it and the complete lack of a satisfactory payoff for all of that frustration, playing Final Fantasy X-2 ranks among the biggest wastes of time in her life.

#22 Posted by Mento (2800 posts) -

@Hailinel: She's not wrong. The sidequests are terrible and Via Infinito takes forever. Uh, I've heard.

Moderator
#23 Edited by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@Hailinel said:


I have a friend that played FFX-2 to 100% completion, and she would probably light your face on fire for giving the game the level of praise you're spouting.

 Well, your friend is clearly crazy on multiple levels  if she trudged through X-2's myriad of inane sidequests and can't be taken seriously!
 
But for real, I don't see how the core battle system and progression in X-2 is anything short of brilliant. What exactly bothers you about the battle system? 


 
And it's not a ballsy move to make a game that seems designed solely to annoy the fanbase of the original game. That's called ignoring the fans you've already built up in favor of chasing a different demographic.

 Well, yeah, and that's ballsy! You're taking a risk by aiming at a new audience, rather than relying on your old. I mean really, a direct sequel that would have continued the story in X in a serious manner would have been the safer course of action for Squeenix.
 
Your mileage may vary on how stupid a move it is(and I have to admit, that in the case of X-2, it was pretty stupid), but it was definitely unusual.
 


 Like, say, deciding to make a sequel to Nier that restyles the protagonist as a Chippendales dancer on a happy-go-lucky adventure where absolutely nothing goes horribly wrong and any and all damage done to him and other characters in the first game is completely undone, and ends with a time loop that goes all the way back to Drakengard concluding with a new ending in which Angelus gets turned into a hot dragon lady and bones Caim. Then a text scroll appears stating that everyone lived happily ever after. Roll credits.

 
No lie, I'd be intrested in seeing that just for the mindfuck factor involved.
 
Hell, as long as there is child-murder somewhere in the story you just described, I can actually see Cavia doing it.
#24 Posted by endaround (2147 posts) -

@Mento said:

@Video_Game_King: To be fair, you can't level up in Elder Scrolls games by repeatedly smacking yourself in the face with a stick. Unlike FF2 where it's a completely viable, if not required, strategy.

As for Yuna's character.. well, at the start of FFX she was a grimly determined priestess with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Tidus' "carefree" (annoying) personality got her to open up a bit, so to speak, before that game ended though. The whole game was about her growing dissatisfaction with the church and eventual bucking of tradition, which was just as well since everyone high up in that fake religion turned out to be undead or monsters. Her character in FFX-2 isn't too dissimilar to how they left her, though she got curiously way less prudish about her clothing.

Also, I notice people are being incredulous about the sad-ass duders who bothered to 100% this bawdy mess of a sequel, so I'm just going to casually turn around and leave the thread Grampa Simpson style.

Nope you have to hit a wall. Actually that was changed between Morrowind and Oblivion but in Morrowind you could just keep swinging and as long as you connect with something your skill improves. So you back yourself in a corner and tape down that attack button. Similar to how you can raise your sneak by just being on the opposite side of a wall and just sit there forever in Oblivion.

#25 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@mutha3: What bothers me about the battle system is that it's tied to everything else in the game. It's not worth playing through for the combat because absolutely everything else in the game is thirty-one flavors of terrible.

#26 Posted by mosespippy (4435 posts) -

I think the quotations should be around old and not play & games. FFX-2 isn't an old game and you actually are playing it and it actually is a game.

#27 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

30 seconds that aren't a penalty for switching mid-battle?
 
Also, is the international version of XII different? I've played a lot of FF games and I feel like that series is still a research project in itself. Exhausting.

#28 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12105 posts) -

@mosespippy:It came out in 2003. That was 8 years ago. I was in grade school when that game came out. That's old. I'm old. The Xbox 360 came out 6 years ago. That's old-ish.

@ahoodedfigure: The international version of Final Fantasy XII, subtitled "International Zodiac Job System" is apparently significantly different from the base game, in that at the start you assign everyone to a job, and each job has its own unique level up grid. Of all the International Versions of square games (the international version of this game apparently has an additional dungeon and two more dresspheres), this seems like the one that makes the most significant change to the gameplay, to the point where it actually starts sounding appealing to me.

#29 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6387 posts) -

I've been looking forward to this blog for a while now as I was curious as to the evisceration you'd give the game. Great read, Arbitrary. I played through X-2 mostly because I could buy it for stupidly cheap (and at that point, I loved anything Final Fantasy). After absolutely loving VII-X, I was stunned and ashamed at what X-2 became - an unnecessary cash-in sequel that did little to redeem itself beyond a few neat ideas. I thought the combat was interesting, though a bit quick paced and perhaps slightly easy. After that, I've started to sort of lose my confidence bit by bit in Square's games. Every now and again, they bring something to the table that at least gets my interest. Last Remnant had awful combat, but had some solid ideas and character designs. FFXII had some great moments, but the whole never quite came together the way I felt a game in the FF proper should. Come to think of it, I think the best RPG games Square has done in the past few years have been Final Fantasy Tactics A2 and Crystal Bearers, which seems completely odd to me. I'm sure there are lots I'm forgetting about, but man, they've changed. I keep hoping they start to develop two distinct branches, one for those of us craving a more old-school turn-based experience, and one for the new, obviously action-RPG influenced games they're making now. Will they? I doubt it.

Moderator
#30 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@Sparky_Buzzsaw said:

I've been looking forward to this blog for a while now as I was curious as to the evisceration you'd give the game. Great read, Arbitrary. I played through X-2 mostly because I could buy it for stupidly cheap (and at that point, I loved anything Final Fantasy). After absolutely loving VII-X, I was stunned and ashamed at what X-2 became - an unnecessary cash-in sequel that did little to redeem itself beyond a few neat ideas. I thought the combat was interesting, though a bit quick paced and perhaps slightly easy. After that, I've started to sort of lose my confidence bit by bit in Square's games. Every now and again, they bring something to the table that at least gets my interest. Last Remnant had awful combat, but had some solid ideas and character designs. FFXII had some great moments, but the whole never quite came together the way I felt a game in the FF proper should. Come to think of it, I think the best RPG games Square has done in the past few years have been Final Fantasy Tactics A2 and Crystal Bearers, which seems completely odd to me. I'm sure there are lots I'm forgetting about, but man, they've changed. I keep hoping they start to develop two distinct branches, one for those of us craving a more old-school turn-based experience, and one for the new, obviously action-RPG influenced games they're making now. Will they? I doubt it.

Square Enix hasn't given up on turn-based games, though. Final Fantasy XIII was proof enough of that.

#31 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6387 posts) -

@Hailinel:

I consider it to be more of an action-RPG, which I know is technically wrong. What I'd like is a return to having true turn-based options, or at a way to slow things down immensely. Maybe it's just my frustration with XIII as a whole, as while it was a very pretty game with characters I started to like, it never gripped me as a whole or really even interested me all that much.

Moderator
#32 Posted by Mento (2800 posts) -

@Sparky_Buzzsaw: Oh, it was a very necessary quick cash-in. This was a couple years after the Final Fantasy movie, which lost them around $90,000,000. That they didn't go beyond the stripper transformation sequences and sexy masseuse mini-games is almost admirable, given their desperation.

Moderator
#33 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12105 posts) -

@Sparky_Buzzsaw: I can't really help you here, since Square Enix has proven that they are not interested in making the kinds of games I like. Not that that's a bad thing, but my interest in Final Fantasy XIII basically stopped around the part where people say it takes hours upon hours for all of the game's mechanics to actually be useable by the player.

@Mento: But wouldn't have been better if they had gone the whole way and just made the most shameless DoA style booberific title they possibly could have? Actually, let me answer that for myself: Probably not. There's a line between this game's fairly tame but still shameless T-rated pandering and the creepy softcore cheesecake porn that basically defines either of the Dead or Alive volleyball games. I enjoy this game because it's stupid without being entirely aware that it is so. DOAX2 might as well come with a sign saying "FAP HERE YOU PSYCHOLOGICALLY BROKEN MANCHILD"

#34 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6387 posts) -

@Mento: Hah! Good point. I'd managed to forget all about Spirits Within.

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