I would put a spoiler warning here but this game has spoiled itself already.
I don’t even know where to start with this… I had heard it was bad but literally nothing could have prepared me for the sheer monstrosity that is this game. I know I slagged off Final Fantasy X a lot (see here, here and here for my little trio of posts about it) but I did like it really, it just had a few things that I found hugely annoying and while I’m not taking what I said about it back by any means I would rather go on a date with Tidus and listen to him talk about his daddy issues all night than play through FFX-2 in its’ entirety. If you know how much I hate Tidus, then you know that that is really saying something.
“But Dragon! Why did you play it if you know it’s meant to be so bad?” Well tiny human readers, this poor life choice came about because the version of FFX that I have also came with FFX-2 so I had it anyway and I quite enjoy playing good-bad games (so bad they’re good, like Deadly Premonition, Duke Nukem Forever, Final Fantasy X…) so I thought “you know what, why not? It might be fun”. I have never been so simultaneously bored, confused and embarrassed playing a game before. That opening scene is one of the cringiest things ever made in gaming history… I’ll get to that in a sec. So I’ll take you through my reactions to this game as they came, I actually wrote notes as I was playing because there was no way I was going to remember the amount of stuff wrong with this game.
First of all, when you start the game you’re greeted with this…
That actually made me hide behind a cushion a little bit because it was so cringy. So Yuna is a pop star, Rikku has AMAZING hair (seriously, Rikku’s hair is literally the only thing I like about this game, it is so cool) and she is trying to break into Yuna’s show with Lulu 2.0… Ok… Now Yuna is here in her original outfit aaaaaand it’s gone replaced with some weird purple salsa thing and this song. Who made this? Why? I hate everything about this. Once the show is over you chase Yuna and get attacked by easy-to-kill ninjas. What is with this battle system???? I don’t like turn based fighting and this is almost not turn based any more but it was so fast that all I could do was panic and mash X to attack. If you’re going to make the fighting fast paced you can’t have a turn-based style menu to peruse and tactfully choose your next attack from because you don’t have the time! It should be one or the other! I ended up changing this in the configurations. Oh and Lulu 2.0 (her real name is Paine by the way… Yeah, that is actually her name, Lulu 2.0 suddenly seems like an upgrade doesn’t it) is so emo that she doesn’t even face the enemy, she is apparently part owl and rotates her head round to look at them while her body faces the opposite direction. At first I thought the game had glitched and that her head was on the wrong way round to her body, but nope, it’s just a phase mom!
Just when I thought I couldn’t get more confused a second Yuna backflips over herself, a second one? Right. Basically, turns out that a sphere hunter has taken a dress sphere or something that allows her to turn into a singing Yuna (and apparently attract a sell out crowd of thousands, pretty impressive really). We then battle and I equipped Yuna with the ‘songstress’ dress sphere and she… she… well… so she danced at them. She literally stood in front of the sphere hunter and attacked her with dance (the opposing sphere hunter did the same to be fair, it was a dance off). Just… I don’t know, see for yourself.
So that just happened. Now let’s board this giant lobster spaceship, oh sweet it’s Brother from the previous game, he was ni- … oh no they’ve made him super creepy and he shouts everything. For some reason his creepiness is portrayed as endearing, he is now the equivalent of that guy from your class that you think might have something a little bit wrong with him so you accept his Facebook request out of pity but then he messages you CONSTANTLY and you end up blocking him but then he gets really upset about it so you pretend it’s a glitch and then you try to avoid him for the rest of your life so that you don’t have to confront him about why the glitch hasn’t been sorted out yet. At one point, for some reason I can’t remember, he is lying on the floor and when I went up to speak to him this happened. Are you OK Final Fantasy?
Before I go back to the “story” (I use that term very loosely) let’s just look at the most ridiculous idea for a game since Sonic and The Black Knight appeared on our screens: dress up fighting. Instead of having lots of skills that you acquire through focusing on different class paths and having that all under one character (e.g. when I played FFX Yuna was my white/black mage using healing and attack magic) you swap your outfit to correspond to which class you want to be and you can do this in mid-battle, the outfit you want has to be next to the outfit you’re currently wearing though on the dress pyramid thingy, god forbid they make it too easy for us and just allow you to swap to whatever you want, you have to work to get from sexy samurai to festival pyjama party. The classes are a mixture of normal to ridiculous as well, so far I have got :
- Warrior (normal)
- Gunner (yep, cool)
- Songstress (kind of like a bard I guess but why the dancing???)
- Festival (what the fuck?)
- Black mage (OK, back to normal again)
Just to clarify a little more about the “festival” outfits, they are all in what looks like pyjamas and Rikku is attacking with candyfloss. This is SO stupid.
I’m not going to lie, stupid outfits aside I quite like the idea of an outfit change to go with your class because I’m a bit girly like that, but they don’t keep the outfits on when you’re out of battle, what do they do? “oh crap we’re being attacked, hang on two secs while I just put my mage outfit on…” this means that you can’t really see the outfits because they’re always zipping about in battle mode. From what I can see I like Yuna’s black mage costume but it’s hard to tell. On top of all that I have no idea what the stats are doing when I swap these outfits round, they all change drastically and I can’t tell who is better in which class/outfit.
While we’re on appearance, hey Yuna, what is that thing down your back? It looks like a pink lion tail. Is this meant to be her hair?! I am genuinely asking, is it really? How did that one part of it get so long in the space of two years? And why has she done that to it? It looks like she escaped from the Matrix and forgot to pull the wire out of her head. How does it not constantly get in the way? Rikku looks like she’s going for a Jecht/Captain Jack Sparrow inspired thing, she’s also a huge fan of assless chaps and thongs in this game, but you know, each to their own I guess, maybe she likes the breeze… Still love her hair though. Finally, Lulu 2.0 it’s-not-a-phase-mom Emochick. She’s the strong and silent type, her name is Paine, just like what she feels in her heart every day as she resents her parents for their lack of understanding of her soul. There’s not a lot to say about her as she is so strong and silent so far that it’s removed any need to attempt crafting a personality for her. I’m not even going to talk about the revealing clothes they’re wearing… I’ve mentioned it before and I can only come to the conclusion that they thought “hey you know who we didn’t objectify in the last game? Yuna and Rikku, if we make it 2 years later they are both legal right? Sweeeeet $$$”.
Back to the “story”! Lobster airship drops us off in a super inconvenient spot on a mountain where we race other sphere hunters to the top of a mountain (where the ship could totally have dropped us rather than below it, just saying) to be the first to get to the sphere. Luckily the game also decides to teach you how to jump at this point and it’s so stupid and counter intuitive that they leave you a huge amount of time to get to the top as you also learn to jump, I don’t think it would be possible to lose, I stood at a ledge for about 2 full minutes watching Yuna wobble over and over as she refused to jump up a small ledge. You also fight a few gun snakes (I wish I was joking) and ninjas on your way up but nothing is really a problem because mashing X still works at this point. What is this guarding the sphere though?! My first boss?? IT’S A GIANT CRAB! Hold on to your hats though because if that didn’t freak you out enough then the name of this crab will terrify you. His name is BORIS. ALL FEAR BORIS THE MIGHTY IRON CRAB. I genuinely believe that Square Enix put some animal names in one hat, and then some items/elements (like gun, metal, fire, sword) in another, pulled out the papers and put them together, voila! Snake Gun and Iron Crab! Once we have the sphere we go back to the airship and put up with Brother a little bit, then we go to Besaid, the starting point of FFX and where Wakka and Lulu now live together. Lulu is going to have a baby! How lovely! How far along is she? Due in 2 weeks! Oh goodness, she must be huge! Let’s go say hi. Oh Lulu, my goodness, you literally have not changed one bit. You’re still wearing your corset at 9 months pregnant? Are you giving birth to a noodle?
Whatever. I wasn’t even surprised any more at this point.
We then set out trying to find a cave, to open this cave we needed to find numbers hidden around the island but I may have talked over Lulu recommending that I speak to people on the village and ask about the cave so I ended up wandering around Besaid getting angry about the island’s lack of caves for a really long time.
Finally, we found the sphere and left the island and went to Zanarkand, I remember this place having some nice music… It sounds a little different though this time… Are those bagpipes?! Why would you use bagpipes in any piece of music, let alone this one??? That, my friends, is where I quit. I just couldn’t do it. For the rest of the night I played through the first episode of Life is Strange to remind myself that video games are good (it worked by the way, Life is Strange is brilliant, can’t wait to play the second chapter tonight). I couldn’t totally escape from Final Fantasy in that though, Life is Strange is made by Square Enix too and that prompted this little bit of self-indulgence on their part when I looked at a TV in the game:
It’s been a while since I did a big ranty post like this, so I suppose it’s a good thing that FFX-2 gave me a ton of stuff to write about, I’ve been in a writing slump recently so a long post like this hasn’t happened in a while. Mainly because of this I’m wondering – even though the idea of it is making my stomach churn – if I should try and keep playing FFX-2 a little bit longer… What do you think? Would you like to read about this a bit more or do you think it’s better as a one off? What are your thoughts on FFX-2 in general? Is there anyone out there that actually likes it? I won’t judge you too harshly if so!
I’m just going to leave you with a couple of final random screenshots of the game, just let them speak for themselves (I did play a little bit further than Zanarkand in the end in the name of blog pictures).