My hopes to relive my past glory of one hundred-percenting Final Fantasy X-2 were doomed from the very beginning when I decided to use a guide to dictate my every action. Misinformation, poor instructions, and puns galore all made for a very frustrating return to what was once a beloved entry, but now one colored by my misjudged confidence in the guide’s author. Not even halfway through, I had wished I carried through with a hassle-free playthrough from the start, unshackled and free of any obligation to help everyone despite Yuna’s savior ego. Nonetheless, the guide did help me realize how much padding X-2 relied on.
The shallow camaraderie between the members of the flying airship Celsius made for many awkward moments, intentional or not, between the multiple return trips to the locales of Spira. While the idea of a post-Final Fantasy X world was enticing, living the religious fallout after Sin’s destruction one small step at a time was anything but. Having the entire world open to exploration from the start allowed an aspect of easily accessible nonlinearity not many Final Fantasy games offer, but soon it made me realize how little consequence the rest of the world had not in the form of main quests, alternatively known as “Hotspots.”
Areas not marked with a “Hotspots” tag were areas considered unimportant to the already paper-thin premise - is that "him"? Handing out balloons, calibrating lightning rods, and spying on friends bathing in hot springs are among the most exciting things you can do without treading on the main story, giving Dead or Alive: Paradise a run for its money on the side. The aforementioned guide was a relative godsend in this aspect as it listed items possibly worth excavating from each area until much later when every area wanted so much with the little payoff being some garment grid that was probably really good in retrospect, but damned if I cared if I had to memorize gil patterns or whatnot.
This game's saving grace was its hectic fast-paced battle system, which is totally unlike the rest of a slog the game can be. Admittedly, ninety percent of the random encounters were beaten by holding down the X button on my end, but when shit hits the fan, it hits hard. Basic tactic is putting up defenses and letting things play out, switching dresspheres when necessary to lessen the impact of the next big attack about to be deployed and withstanding until victory. In that, the capability of delaying an enemy’s attack, not just by casting a spell, but by simply attacking has always been a sticking point on my enjoyment of the combat, even when the roles are reversed and I’m the one losing the chance to deal some damage. While that may not last long, the rigid fluidity of the combat has always amazed me.
Last completed: September 24, 2014
Perhaps the second game in the series I ever played, after Final Fantasy VIII, and not only that it also follows in its footsteps in being quite ridiculous, not by its story like FFVIII's, but by its presentation (now that I remember, its story was pretty stupid, too). It could just be pure nostalgia on my part and its weird girl band-parody novelty it had going, but the battle system's departure from a distinctively turn-based one to a fast-paced action-based one just clicked with me from the very beginning to the very end when I 100%'d this game.
Last completed: Too long ago