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Making a Case For Final Fantasy X-2: 1,000 Words And More For Why This Game Deserves More Love

by on March 25, 2014 12:29 PM 45

Ask anyone which of the Final Fantasy X games is superior to the other, and nine times out of ten X will be chosen over X-2. Ask fervent Final Fantasy X fans if they even like the sequel, and you’ll receive a wide range of reactions, many bordering between distaste and outright rage.

I’m not one of those fans.

In fact, I think the game is a great exploration of various themes and ideas that started in X, and host to some of the most intense and engaging gameplay the series has ever had. While I won’t say the game is superior to its predecessor, I do think it’s worthy of being its companion, and I’m here to make the case for why X-2 deserves a little more gamer love.

The Case For This Article

It’s no wonder this game unsettles many fans: if you were to play the games back to back the tone from one game to the next — even with the Eternal Calm segment placed in between — is jarring. Even with X‘s occasional light humor and awkward moments (just think the laughing scene between Tidus and Yuna) X-2 starts full of straight up comedy camp.

In fact, much of the game straddles the line between full-fledged sequel and a B-rate parody spin-off, a J-Pop themed version of Charlie’s Angels movies with a little My Little Pony thrown in (though I hear the latter has quite the male following on the internet). Seeing Yuna take the stage during the opening credits (or, minor spoilers, a version of her) and do a quasi-Sailor Moon transformation, quasi-Lynda Carter Wonder Woman spin into a singing diva was just a weird way to follow up a story that ended with the death of a monstrous leviathan that had been destroying the cities of Spira for a thousand years.

But there’s more to the game than concerts and comedy, more for serious gamers to enjoy and explore.

Final_Fantasy_X2_HD_Screenshot (6)

The Case For The Plot

Yes, the game has some silly side-quests, and some have argued that the entire game is pretty much three girls venturing through Spira catching up on the latest gossip of characters they met in X after defeating Sin. But that’s a very minute portion of the game, and there’s something much stronger in the continuation of this story: what happens after — as Idris Elba’s Pacific Rim character Stacker Pentecost puts it — you’ve “cancelled the apocalypse?”

The most interesting thing about the backstory in X was that Spira’s entire culture was built upon a lie. A lie that grew and built over a thousand years to become hard fact, an inescapable truth to everyone in the society but perhaps the Al Bhed and a few others. So X-2 isn’t just a premise built on the idea of “We thought Y2K was coming, now it’s not, woo hoo.” No, an entire faith and way of life was destroyed by a few courageous heroes destroying what was thought to be irresistible divine punishment.

What do you do after that?

X-2 explored some interesting territory, both with the New Yevon followers and the Youth League. The New Yevoners hoped to maintain the austerity of the Yevon faith; the Youth League was driven by young passionate citizens who wanted to see Spira grow based on its needs, not on some thousand year old religion. This argument is all too well mirrored in real life between atheists and “true believers” of various faiths: the former with trying to advance life with scientific fact and progress; the latter typically viewed as criticizing science for trying to remove religiously-driven morality and faith-driven beliefs out of their lives.

But even then, there was depth to the divide between factions in X-2: the New Yevoners weren’t opposed to new ideas, they just wanted to adjust to all of the many changes at their own pace. Their motto was even “One thing at a time.” The Youth League, for all of its focus on recovering Spira’s lost history and encouraging growth, became known less for its advances and progress and more for their hot-blooded desire to fight verbally or physically, especially against their philosophical rivals in the New Yevon faction. And then, unopposed by either side was the Machine Faction, who ignored either argument and merely aimed to increase the use of machines in Spira by providing machina to everyone.

These were big ideas and vitally important to the core of X-2‘s narrative, but often forgotten in lieu of the game’s tone.

Final_Fantasy_X2_HD_Screenshot (11)

The Case For The Tone

The biggest issue with the narrative of X-2 was that the world of Spira went from being a grim pilgrimage to stop a terrifying evil to being an episode of Hannah Montana crossed with Sailor Moon. In between all of the battles, daring escapes, and risky gambits were the pop star “Y! R! P!” poses, perky dialogue and J-Pop concerts. You can’t even mention or feature content from X-2 without playing “1,000 Words” in the background, making the game feel more like a Spice Girls video game than the successor to one of the most celebrated franchises in the world.

So yeah, I understand the issues and the new, more “girly” direction, but I have to say…

Who cares? And why not?

Final Fantasy X at its core was about bringing light and hope back to Spira. During the entire journey, Tidus was reminded that Yuna as a summoner had to smile and hide her pain, because it was her duty to continue to inspire Spira. That was the one positive and absolutely necessary part of the cycle of Sin — without that hope, without that confidence, Spira would descend into chaos and madness and quite possibly never recover. It was that false hope — and Blitzball — which kept morale high and helped citizens to make it through the dark times, until the next period of Calm.

But Sin was defeated. That cycle, over. That faith, proven a lie. And a new type of darkness took the place of Sin, overcoming the hearts of Spira’s citizens. In many ways this chaos was worse: at least Sin gave everyone a common enemy, one that rallied them together against a common foe regardless of beliefs. But the one thing X-2 proved was that the same disunity that arose in modern day Spira was the very same needless enmity that made factions go to war 1,000 years ago, eventually giving birth to Sin in the first place. So how do you prevent another disaster like Sin?

How do you keep up morale in Spira? How do you inspire people to be good people without some looming, otherworldly threat? And even for the player, how much darkness can we endure before we’re swallowed up in the same emotional undertones of the previous game? The same dark undertones of many of the Final Fantasy games for much of the series?

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster (17)

As mentioned above, I’ve heard people say that the game is basically catching up on gossip. Learning what happened to characters after X and keeping up with the trivial things. “Oh, she had a baby?” “Oh, they’re dating now?” But it was much more than that. It was a way to explore what certain charaxters would do when faced with the end of the world, and surviving it. What kinds of things would we do if pushed to the brink of death and insanity, pushed beyond grief and tragedy, and then all of a sudden just given free range to do whatever we wanted? I might throw on a new costume and travel around the world hunting spheres myself, honestly.

X-2 attempted something risky: to bring a bright side to Spira.  And perhaps it was also reaching out to its female demographic, too. There’s no covering up the fact that X-2 seems geared toward a female audience in tone and presentation, so much that I’m surprised the game didn’t come packaged in a pink plastic case covered in ponies.

But again, why not?

Games have long been geared exclusively towards males, with damsels in distress and warrior men with long phallic swords. X-2 didn’t completely take away what males typically love about games: fast action, challenging gameplay, and a host of abilities to unlock. We were given an entire world to explore again at our leisure, a treasure trove of secrets to uncover, and later a Creature Creator which allowed us to bring monsters into battle to fight for us. And let’s be honest: females love these things too. Gamers are gamers, no matter the gender, race, lifestyle or creed.

The occasional J-Pop song or dance number didn’t bother me because I was still getting a damn good game and an engaging story. And if we’re to be honest about it, plenty of male-oriented shows and cartoons have much of the same silliness and camp, especially those from Japan. There’s been song and dance numbers, crazy costumes, and completely ridiculous segments in both American and Japanese shows for boys, and while I’m not saying we enjoy them all the time, it’s not anything explicitly gender-based or exclusive to females.

And speaking of preceived gender-based content…

Final Fantasy X-2 - Alchemist Dresspheres

The Case For Dressing Up With Dresspheres

One thing that always divides gamers on X-2 is the gameplay. Gone is the team-based tactical approach introduced in its predecessor, with each character given a defined role and encouraged to dabble only a little in others’ abilities. Gone is the turn system, replaced with the standard Final Fantasy ATB system. Gone is the simplicity of combat, now with this fast-paced, job-switching, costume-changing imposter.

I must admit: when replaying both games in a row during the review of the Remaster, it was a little odd for me to be facing enemies that were previously a walk in the park in X, and now posed a larger threat. X‘s combat was a breeze. It was easy. Easy to learn, easy to perform, easy to win with. Sure, it certainly had its challenges as the game went on, but everyone had a place in battle and all you needed to do as the player was swap people in and out and let everyone play their part. Cut and paste, know where to put them, react and respond.

X-2 wasn’t nearly as easy.

In X-2, everyone could be anyone. The Dressphere system allowed for instantaneous class-switching during combat, based on the needs of the battle. It’s easy to see how it inspired the equally praised and criticized battle system introduced in the later XIII series, given the emphasis on combat roles instead of micromanaging attacks.

Final Fantasy X X-2 HD Remaster (16)

But unlike those later games, X-2 never took the strategy out of combat. Players were still given a wide, wide variety of abilities, buffs and debuffs to learn, which could be unlocked mid-battle and which shared similarities with some of the other dressspheres. Figuring out exactly which dressspheres were most likely needed for the battles ahead was an interesting challenge; figuring out what garment grid to use for which character based on the bonuses they’d need for the roles that suit them best was a powerful but subtle dynamic; figuring out how to best make use of the characters as a constantly-shifting team was something that only improved the nuance of the combat system even more.

There was never any certainty in X-2, at least for much of the game, because the battles kept players thinking, moving and shifting their approaches around constantly. And every newly introduced dressphere only added to the many options in maximizing your team’s efficiency, exploring new abilities, and finding the best match for any particular group of fiends you’d encounter.

Yes, at it’s core, it seemed like it was all about girls playing dress up. Each new dressphere had a new look, and a custom animation when the ladies of the Gullwings transformed during combat. But let’s be honest, fellas: how many shows “made for boys” had the same idea? Every “Super Sentai” themed show — and all of its influences and successors — have the heroes transforming into cooler new forms, complete with new powers. Everything from Power Rangers to Dragon Ball Z to Naruto and on have characters who can achieve new forms, new costumes and new looks just to receive a power boost and new abilities.

At the very heart of our favorite cartoons of all time is the idea that being stronger and godly means putting on shiny new armor or a dashing new outfit to stop evil with our radiant and glorious power. So how about we stow the “dress up is for girls” issue with X-2 and move on from it?

Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster (10)

The Case For Yuna

The last of X-2‘s most oft-cited criticisms is the change in Yuna. She’s seen as this soft-spoken, near damsel-in-distress who all of a sudden became a gun-toting badass sword-for-hire. So was X-2 an easy way to give Yuna the Xena makeover, or does it all make sense?

Yes, she is reverent and polite. But all throughout Final Fantasy X she was also shown to have this inner, wilder fun side, one made of childlike innocence and glee that had been waiting to come out. But she had to constantly hold it in to perform her duties and be the type of person she was expected to be. So what do we have here? Someone with repressed desires suddenly making a brash, sudden change to explore themselves and have a little fun? Completely unbelievable, I’m sure.

This was a sheltered, reserved woman who let her crazy carefree cousin talk her into loosening up and taking an adventure around the world. Who wouldn’t take that offer? For the first time in her life, she was doing something solely for what she wants. Everyone can relate to that, at any age, of any background.

yuna_headshakeBut most importantly, Yuna’s the same Yuna from before: she’s just trying to have a little more fun with a little help from her girlfriends, sistahs, or whatever else you want to call close female companions. Guys may not like the unending list of comparisons this may connect X-2 to, like Sex in the City or Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, or what have you; but games often have very typical “male” experiences, like gouging out the eyes of evil gods and swinging around giant phallic swords. So why not typical “feminine themes” like exploring yourself and hanging out with your friends? At least X-2 attempted to marry these themes into one game: I could be wrong, but Carrie never fought giant monsters,  so X-2 has to be something more akin to Charmed than How Yuna Got Her Groove Back.

Also, Yuna was never helpless. Remember the scene where Yuna was kidnapped by the Al Bhed in X during the Blitzball tournament? When Tidus, Kimahri and Lulu finally got to her, the door opened and she had already knocked out her immediate captors. Lulu said “I hope you hurt them,” to which Yuna responded (with a playful giggle) “A little,” and calmly walked on after stepping over her defeated foe. Couple this with an entire journey of killing monstrous fiends of all sizes and taking on Sin itself, and you have to admit, Yuna was always pretty badass. X-2 was just an excuse for her to cut loose and let it all out.

Final Fantasy X X-2 HD Remaster - Valentine's Day - Yuna

Final Word

Final Fantasy X-2 isn’t perfect, and neither am I arguing the case for that. And while we’re at it, neither was Final Fantasy X, which had its own laundry list of fantastic pros and minor cons that gamers either ignored, or hated. I know I can’t convince everyone of something they’ve had over a decade to let saturate into their minds, that X-2 is an inferior follow up, the Danny DeVito of this set of twins.

But one thing that was reinforced in me as I replayed X-2 was that it was a blend of ideas that could cater to everything players needed from a game. A sinister plot that could only be stopped with guns, swords and skill. A social commentary on religion’s affect on society or how society reacts to major change. A story that was part-bildungsroman, as a coming of age story on finding identity and embracing change. And just a fun, crazy, silly, engaging, wild, comedic way to past the time.

If you didn’t really embrace the idea before, try it again, and give it another shot. There may be more to the game than you really understood before, especially if you were a youth like me who wanted a specific experience from games as a young, brash typical male. It’s been more than ten years that you’ve had a grudge against this game: why don’t you give it another shot and just have a little fun?

 

Join the Discussion

  • nougard

    No.

  • MrTyrant

    How many underrated games are out there and no one mention them but many still waste space in this.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Space on the web is infinite.

  • Temjin001

    I played through and enjoyed FFX. I tried FFX-2 twice and the Charlie’s Angles take with a FF makeover just made me ill. I couldn’t handle the femme’ish, j-pop, dress up appeal of it all. I hear the combat system and game system elements are great in FFX-2. But for me, I need my FF games firing on all cylinders for me to devote the time they demand.

    • Masoud House

      I can definitely understand how you feel. I enjoyed 12’s vast open world but really didn’t feel into the story too much. The 13 series I’ve had mild interest in but really never gotten into.

      The series I feel has definitely abandoned it’s roots in a way, in that it’s trying so hard to stray away from the classics they themselves created.

      But it’s a double edged sword in that if they do make familiar games fans will claim they’re just copying off the old stuff (I love 8, and the amount of times people tell me 8 is copying 7, which it completely isn’t, is alarming). If they do something too jrpg like, they’re scared they’ll lose their western audience (the genre was horribly in decline between 12 and 13, with game journalists and analysts alike either prematurely lamenting or encouraging the death of jrpgs and Japanese gaming in general).

      So they believe they have to do extreme changes too guarantee new blood, and have strayed into action oriented gameplay with new installments. But now, many fans, myself included sometimes, wonder if the series will be recognizable after a while, with nothing but deadpan characters, dry stories, cardboard cutout characters, and insane superhuman moves. It’s like they’re trying to turn every game into Advent Children, you know what I mean?

      I think I like 10-2 because it allowed fans to try something different while still have X by itself if people weren’t interested. But still, I think it’s good the series has been experimenting, because the industry wouldn’t have created such awesome games over the decades without experimenting and venturing out. Mario is a good example of this, with some fantastic experimentation over the year, and some really odd or straight up horrible games.

      • Temjin001

        I can accept FFX-2’s presence well easier, so I can agree there. Back then it felt like an additional story to the core. And it wasn’t meant to replace the FF standard of offerings.

        But I don’t know if I can really agree about the fans complaining about copying the old stuff by staying true to tradition. I just don’t think the majority fans would complain. When we think of popular games in terms of a formula, then the formula creates the sort of gaming experience fans like. For example, FFVII and FVIII are similar only in formula but not in the specifics of play, or story, or many other elements. The combat systems, for one, while turn-based, are dramatically different. FFVIII is my personal fav of the PSX era offerings. But I can’t imagine anyone with a worthwhile opinion making legitimate claims that FFVIII was nothing more than a FFVII knock-off.

        Staying true to franchise formulas works. This is true of many long running and successful franchises. Whether we’re talking Mario, Street Fighter, Halo, Zelda, these franchises consistently stay true to a formula that has worked for over a decade and still please and cultivate a healthy base, despite detractors. Innovation can happen just fine without re-inventing the wheel. FF had it’s template down just fine. If gamers didn’t like it, they just didn’t like jRPGs.

        I do agree that jRPG’s (or most japanese games in general) suffered bias kickback from critics during the Xbox’ish-360’ish explosion. I remember clearly reading critics making absurd comparisons between Lost Odyssey and Mass Effect. I love Mass Effect. But Mass Effect has no business being mentioned in a jRPG review. They’re completely different offerings.
        Sales have suffered for S-E. But something S-E has yet to figure out is that they never needed to reboot their franchise as an action-RPG.

        Ultimately, I do think FFXIII would’ve faired much better had it modeled itself traditionally after FFX. FFXIII as it was just made matters worse. It tried to appeal to an action gamer and it also tried to appeal to the old school. However, it ended up being neither here nor there. Now S-E has just gone haywire with the franchise and is continuing to destroy itself by trying to adapt itself to their perception of what gamers want. They need to stop it. And just make the games that got them where they are today in the first place and have faith that FF doesn’t have to turn into an online-social-community-action game to stay viable.

  • Temjin001

    one last thing. Lost Odyssey deserves more respect and should be played or re-played for those missing a taste of the past. It was the best jRPG of the prior gen for those who liked traditional FF style formulas.

  • carrebeannut

    FFX was rubbish, first hate love story & second hate barbie games, just remaster FFXII international zodiac with additional map rozzaria continent, i love open world in that game.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Hate love stories?

      Oh boy… That’s sad.

      • islan

        Analogue: A Hate Story? Oh boy, I’m there!

    • Masoud House

      I also loved 12 dearly. But if you hate love stories…Well, that cuts out the vast majority of games it there, especially rpg games.

      Not that you must conform or anything, but it severely diminishes the content to experience out there. And there’s some great games with romances at their core.

  • Galen Nycroft

    I am going to try again to get into FFX-2. What turned me off the first time was that it was a mission based game. I think Mission based games are only made when there’s not enough meat to the story or pacing.

    I have always seen it as a cheap way out for lazy developers that can’t write a competent story and pace it correctly. Final Fantasy X was a complete story, and despite the game world and environs being broken up into ‘pieces’, it managed to tell a complete story.

    Whenever a game adds a ‘guild’ or ‘guild missions’, it’s a sign that the game needed to be padded. FFX-2 was practically ALL guild missions, meaning the game’s story is sparse at best.

    I can get around the silly girl power aspects of the game, and I can even try to tolerate Rikku, but to go from a complete experience like Final Fantasy X to this hacked up, mission based garbage was just too much for me. I even could tolerate Yuna going from a pretty strong protagonist, to a dumb singing bimbo (story related or not) and with a haircut that I despise on a women…just too much in this game got on my nerves!

    The worst part is you get to play as the horrible characters, but the cool ones Nooj, Gippal, Baralai, Leblanc, etc…are NPCs.

    I am going to try again since The Atelier games pretty much warmed me up to Mission based games and quests. Maybe now I can get into the battle system more.

    • Masoud House

      The game was mission based, but never restricted your ability to travel the world at your leisure and speak to everyone you met. I think missions were included so that players would have a little more guidance on where they went BECAUSE of all the freedom, not for padding. Compared to X, which began very linearly, X-2 gave complete freedom nearly from the beginning.

      On her being a bimbo…I don’t agree. She was still relatively reserved clothes wise, only baring a little more skin than before, and never nearly as much as Rikku. The haircut…nearly the same, to me.

      LeBlanc bore much more skin than Yuna did and had half the character: why follow her?

      • Galen Nycroft

        I don’t use the presence or absence of skin as the measure of a ‘bimbo’, I use the character’s personality. Yuna seemed really silly to me in this one. As for Leblanc, I liked her because she reminds me of the kind of over the top character you’d see in a classic Final Fantasy game. Even her costume was great and ‘classic’.

        Leblanc is supposed to be a somewhat ridiculous character, but the game actually wants you to take Yuna and Rikku seriously.

        As I said, I am going to give it another go, now that I have played similar styled games (The Atelier series). If I can get through a silly Atelier game, FFX-2 should be at least palatable this go around.

        • Masoud House

          Ahh, I see your point. It’s like having the girls from Clueless or Legally Blonde help save America from the Civil War (though I don’t think it’s that far, but how I’m seeing it through your eyes). And then harkens back to the idea of “Let’s save the world through a song and dance routine!”

          • Galen Nycroft

            Yeah, this is kind of what I am getting at. It could also just be my perception of Yuna…a dour girl with a huge burden on her. I always saw her character as solemn. It was a bit jarring to see her with a new ‘sassy’ haircut and jumping around jiggling and singing.

            But I am enjoying the game the second time around. I think the FFXIII battle system helped me in a strange way, as now the battles in FFX-2 seem to be a breeze.

          • darkpower

            Just so you know, Yuna’s hairstyle was exactly the same between the two games. Didn’t change at all. Rikku’s did, but not Yuna’s.

            And I have to ask, what about that hairstyle, or even some silliness in games, bothers you?

          • Galen Nycroft

            Yuna’s hairstyle DID change big time! I hate this hairstyle on most women, because it’s such a cliche as to say ‘now she’s wild, she’s vivacious’. They cut the hair short and then flip or tease it up on the ends. It just makes women look annoying to me.

            I also hate the ‘two ponytails on an adult female’ look in RPGS.

            Sorry, I am kind of a freak when it comes to hairstyles on female characters.

          • darkpower

            You’re thinking of Rikku’s hairstyle. Yuna’s has always been short throughout both games.

            What if a woman did that with their hair in real life? How would you deal with something like that?

            And two pigtails? Wonder what you think about a certain Anime that 10-2 borrowed concepts from whose main character had that hairstyle as a main characteristic.

          • Galen Nycroft

            I know women who have that hairstyle and they are obnoxious. That could just be their personalities, but the hair makes them seem even more obnixious to me.

            That ‘two ponytail’ look just screams ‘Silly Girl’ to me. It bothered me when I played Legend of Heroes:Trails in the Sky, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Tales of Graces F, it just really made me not care for the characters. I know that is ridiculous, but as I said, I have weird hair hangups.

            And if you are referring to Asuka from Evangelion, the hair annoys me too on her. It’s like a hairstyle for a 4 year old girl. On a teen or grown woman, it just seems so weird.

          • darkpower

            1. I was actually talking about Sailor Moon, which Usagi/Serena has that as a main trademark.
            2. But you do agree that they have the right to have such a hairstyle if they want it, right?
            3. Are the hairstyles, even if you don’t prefer them, that much of a turn off? What about the return of the ATB and how they utilized it in this installment, or the ability to change classes on the fly, or the non-linear way of telling you the story, the side quests and mini games, and all the other stuff that made this game, for me at least, much more mechanically sound than its predecessor? That should be what matters in a game at the end of the day! I liked the hairstyles, but I also liked the mechanics of the battle system and the non linear nature of the game as a whole.

          • Galen Nycroft

            Usagi’s a teen goofball, so it fits her personality. The character is meant to be a ‘Silly Girl’ so it’s perfectly acceptable.

            Yes, anyone can have any hairstyle they choose. Even if I think it looks stupid or makes them look like the ‘b’ word.

            The hairstyles are not so much of a turnoff that I lose all interest in a game, but they do make me eyeroll or groan. They also make me look at the characters in a certain way, which may not be the intention of the director.

    • darkpower

      The GTA games were also all mission based and non linear, and they are known as some of the best games ever. You might not think they compare in scope or genre, but you criticized mission based games as a whole, so all examples are valid here.

      As for the outfits, sorry for being so blunt, but are you saying that a woman can’t choose to show a little skin if they choose to?

      • Galen Nycroft

        GTA games aren’t story intensive role playing games. In games where the story is the key feature, stage/level/missions should not be the main method of advancing the story. No other Final Fantasy game needed to do this in order to advance the story, FFX-2 is the only game in the main series that needed to do this, because Motomu Toriyama cannot tell a good, cohesive, all inclusive story without breaking it up into pieces.

        I have no problem with the outfits, It’s the ladies’ vapid personalities that really turned me off this time. I don’t use showing skin as a guide for hooker/slut shaming. Hell, one of my favorite characters is Ivy from Soul Calibur, mostly for her haughty attitude, but also because I love her costumes.

        • darkpower

          The story is non linear due to the story completion system in place. The game has multiple endings, and the only way to get the best ending is by doing absolutely everything the game has to offer, and to check everything within missions. You can go the quick route if you want, but you’re better off taking your time and checking every place every chapter to see what changed at all, for both the story completion and as a way to grind levels so it’s never a tedious task. That’s the whole basis behind any mission based game, ever.

  • ace

    Honestly, i don’t see why X-2 got all the hate that it did. As a child when i played it for the first time and heard the awesome main menu music, i knew i was in for a treat. Then, seeing Yuna come out on stage like a boss and break away from her sheltered image from the first game made it all better. The story, in my opinion, isn’t that bad. It was great to see the characters deal with their internal struggles and overcome it. It isn’t that girly as people make it out to be. As long as you’re okay with your masculinity you’ll be okay with the game. In fact you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t immerse yourself in this game.

    • Masoud House

      I couldn’t agree more! Well said!

  • Kamille

    lol, no.

    • Masoud House

      That’s an assumption, that I love all Japanese games. I am in no way a Japanophile. But I do have an opinion, as do you, that I feel strongly enough to express. Thanks for expressing yours, but I’ll have to disagree with your assessment.

  • islan

    “She’s seen as this soft-spoken, near damsel-in-distress who all of a sudden became a gun-toting badass sword-for-hire.”

    Wrong. In FFX she reversed expectations by looking like a damsel-in-distress, but turned out to be the strongest character in the entire cast. In FFX-2 she didn’t turn into a “gun-toting badass”. She turned into fan service.

    • Masoud House

      Just to be clear, you did read my example of her from a scene in X, right?

      And while the action hero look for her may be cliche for western audiences, it didn’t devalue her character or image. I can’t lie and say that it’s not a HUGE departure from being a summoner, but it was nice to see her given a physical presence to match her mental strength.

      If you see anything in what I wrote, you should understand I don’t think of her as a damsel. But I think SE wanted her to be the star in both the fast paced action direction and her wisdom and resolve, and being a summoner in a restrictive and elaborate dress probably wasn’t going to help.

      • islan

        “action hero look”

        Again, it’s not that she became a badass action hero. Her very first scene is her as a pop-idol, for crimanidly.

        Is it not as plain as day what her ‘role’ is in this game?

        http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/9DSXC2Sa8uM/maxresdefault.jpg

        It’s an indulgence for apparatuses of rotating blades.

  • David Rodriguez

    I thought the ending of FFX was perfect. The ambiguity surrounding Tidus, and the ascension of Yuna’s character. Further closure was not needed in X-2.

    • Masoud House

      I’ll say this: I NEVER asked for or expected a sequel, but I did enjoy it when it came. Based just off the idea that there didn’t need to be a sequel doesn’t mean the game doesn’t deserve merit for looking at what is a essentially a post-apocalyptic world, creating a completely new combat system, and having a little fun.

      Though I’ll admit it did start the unsettling trend of just making games to reuse old assets, something which really took off in recent years that cheapens the quality of rushed products.

      But also looking at it from a fan perspective, the make characters weren’t particularly great. Kimahri was a silent beast, Tidus was annoying to look at and doing anything direct with him would cheapen the ending for X, and Wakka was just straight up annoying to me. Auron, without giving spoilers, was indisposed. As far as cosplay and probably especially Japanese fans, Yuna, Rikku and Lulu were probably the most loved. Giving them their own game (with Paine essentially Lulu in pants) probably made a ton of sense.

  • Kupo

    I liked that we got to see what Spira was like after the defeat of Sin. I found that very interesting.

  • PrinceHeir

    Lol so many idiots here SMH.

    We actually learned a lot of new info from FFX-2. The real people of Zanarkand was revealed: Shuyin and Lenne. With Tidus being a dream version of Shuyin. And his tragice death with his love one in the real Zanarkand.

    We get to see Yuna grow with her friends. And if your surprise why Yuna is much more happier here(still sad in her heart) then you clearly haven’t played the game since it was revealed in the first chapter how She and Rikku decided to travel all over Spira and discover new things.

    That’s how they also met Paine and she became close to them as well. It was also nice to see a much more lively Spira and meeting new factions. Al Bhed and the world are now in truce. New and old familiar places being built.

    And what’s wrong dressing more lightly? You can’t even choose whatever dress you want(White mage/Black Mage) so i don’t know why people are complaining here.

    Amazing combat system, tons of mini games, I love the multiple endings, but hated the progressive system where you need 100% to get the True Perfect Ending(which if you screw a past chapter, there’s no way getting that ending and will have to replay it once more.) The music is light hearted, but fan. Traveling the Gullwings ship looks ace.

    And Final Fantasy X was supposed to be one game? LOL Did people freaking forget the little scene at the end of FFX where Tidus swims up the ocean?? That’s basically hinting a sequel right there and was use correctly at the end of FFX-2 True Ending.

    The only thing i was kinda disappointed is why didn’t they use Vegnagun to stop Sin in the first place? Though Vegnagun was rumored to be much stronger than Sin, so they might fear that they won’t be able to control it once Sin is gone?

    Other than that, the story manages to connect some of the dots and gives more information about the world of Spira.

    Though i heard a lot of people didn’t like the audio drama(i haven’t heard it yet) So i’ll reserve my judgement and play the game myself before judging it.

    People here just wanted to same old FF games being played over and over again. FFX-2 was nice change of pace of the bleak and depressing theme of FFX. Plus Sin is finally destroyed after 1000 years. Your telling me people should be depress forever? Despite the many losses over the years, they finally achieved TRUE Peace. The game concentrates more on how will people rebuild their lives, things, relationships, and having fun without the worry of an unknown behemoth destroying their homes and families.

    • Allisa James

      You know how dudebro neckbeards get when “icky girly things” are in video games for once instead of generic “manly” things like space marines and gratuitous violence.

      And I completely agree with you — X-2 really tied things together well and was a refreshing change of pace in both plot and battle system. One of the few Final Fantasy games that actually required some strategy and fast reflexes.

      I’m on the fence with the audio drama myself but definitely listen to it and see how you feel.

  • Nicholas Perry

    I cant possibly fathom 1000 words as a J-Pop song or even remotely Charlies Angels like (Not saying that you were). That song is a masterpiece IMO, one of my favorite songs of all time. The first time I heard it, I cried.

    /whatevs to the hatahs!

    • Allisa James

      I actually love that song myself — it’s really well done and moving (and definitely does not count as J-Pop).

  • Lex Luthor

    I loved X-2 so much more than X, cos i couldn’t stand Tidus. Out of all the Final Fantasy’s Tidus and Hope are the only 2 characters i disliked, but at least with the XIII series Hope wasn’t the protagonist.

  • Mark

    I liked X2, it was a good game.

  • Jecht_Sin

    Ohhh, whatever. But I expected High Summoner Yuna, the saviour of Spira, to rule the world with her teammates, not to become a dumb pop singer. People had to kiss the soil where she was walking!

    And don’t make me start about Lulu marrying “that guy” (just to avoid spoilers :p).. Even worse than Hermione and Ron, Harry & Ginny. So depressing. A fist to the stomach I received when I’ve seen it the first time. lol

  • darkpower

    To me , the game has a lot better mechanics gameplay wise than FFX, getting rid of the CTB in favor of an ATB that lets you chain attacks, the ability to change classes on the fly, with buffs and debuffs meaning more than before, the grids adding more flexibility due to them giving you a was to certain class abilities without needing to equip that class, and with the addition of the monster hunter system that I’m sure FF13-2 took inspiration from, the game offers a lot more in terms of strat planning and flexibility. You can also interrupt an enemy’s turn with the chain system, one of the first times I remember a FF game letting you do that.

    And so what if a game has silly comedy moments? What is it anymore with gamers thinking that they’re never allowed to have a sense of humor, or that every single game needs to be ultra serious with everything to be viewed as good enough? Do they really go through life never cracking a smile or always feeling THAT insecure about their hobby that they can’t enjoy a good laugh every now and then? Haven’t any of them heard of Monty Python before? It’s just a part of a bigger problem I’ve been seeing with the gaming community. Stop taking thing way too seriously, and stop thinking that games are never allowed to have comic relief or are never allowed to have silly moments or make you smile or laugh once in a while!

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