FFX-2: Girly Propaganda from lazy programmers
A few years back, Square came out with its tenth game in the Final Fantasy series, cleverly titled “Final Fantasy X.” I picked it up, because, like I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy the series, and the Playstation installments 7 and 9 were good. I also thought that there was no fucking way they could make a game as bad as 8 ever again. Overall, it was a mediocre game with a confusing ending. Something about the main guy being the lost dream of a dead city, or something. I don’t know, I didn’t really get it then and I still don’t particularly care.
I can’t wait for the e-mails I get about that. God you people love to bitch about spoilers. Well, here’s a hint: if you haven’t played a game, don’t read articles about its sequel.
Anyway, I’m not here to talk about the mediocre game, I’m here to talk about its very crappy sequel. Square realized the money-making opportunities it had, as can be seen in the recent sales of final fantasy sex toys (ok, no, but they could have! and they still might), so they decided to start cashing in and making sequels where they aren’t needed. One could argue there is a need due to the confusing ending, and the fact that it wasn’t exactly a happy one, but I still think it could have been left alone.
When a friend told me he got this game, I laughed at him for a while and called him a number of demeaning nicknames. After that, I knew I had to borrow it, to make myself suffer, to see just how truly horrible it was, and write a review to try and make you horrible monsters laugh. You see what I do for you? That’s love right there, now donate some money to the site so we can eat this week (editor’s note: follow an Amazon link and buy something).
The first thing you’re going to notice is that there’s nothing original here. All the same places and character models are being used, with little or no changes made. Even the same monsters. While this is expected to some extent, because it takes place on the same world, the least they could have done is make it look better. The characters still all look like they’ve been doing heroin because they’re too skinny, or they’ve overdosed on speed because they can’t stand still when they’re supposed to. So let’s take a look at this huge rehash and try to find out where exactly they went wrong. Even though I already know the answer to that is thinking this was a good idea in the first place.
BOLDI just pressed start and I want to shoot myself already
Yes, this game starts out with a big dance number, because apparently Yuna, our protagonist, became a pop-star after saving the world in the last game. This is, of course, a natural course of action. I know that after I save the planet from annihilation I’d go around and make everyone listen to my crappy singing. What are they doing to do? The game spends a whole chapter dealing with her dancing/singing/gyrating career at one point and the pain only amplifies as you progress. As a side note, I noticed that it seems I’ve hated every Final Fantasy that involved a dance number. I knew that to continue playing this meant saying goodbye to my manhood, but I pressed on.
Because being a world famous pop-star/hero is never enough, Yuna and her team of miscreants hunt spheres, which are basically VHS tapes from hundreds of years ago. There’s also a search for Tidus, the whiny main character from the first game. However, this subplot is quickly forgotten and isn’t picked up again until a half hour before the game’s over, instead opting to focus on dancing numbers. This is starting to sound like the plot of a movie a 7-year-old girl would make. Only I think she would execute it better.
So while she’s not singing, Yuna and her team (I’ll get to that pain in a minute) search for these spheres and Tidus, even though it was well established in the first game that he does not actually exist and was only their imaginary friend. But they don’t seem to care, logic be damned, they’re still looking for him because those old ass relics they found say there’s a chance he’s alive, even if they are grainy and ambiguous.
The worst part of the story though, is the behavior of Yuna. After saving the world, she feels she now has to help everyone she meets, while still being unsure of herself even though she’s worshipped like a god. At points I actually found myself wishing for the usual angst-ridden main character who hates the world and would rather it see it die then to help someone, at least there’s no huge celebration when he walks into a new town. There’s a strong girl power message constantly being shoved down your throat, but it’s crushed under our protagonist, the worst role model ever, because she can’t make her own decisions.
The problem is that Japan doesn’t really let their women do much, so they have to steal ideas of what girl power is from America. I think we can all see where this is going. The only strong girl messages we’ve had in the past 30 years have been Charlie’s Angels and the Spice Girls. Which actually explains this game’s existence pretty well, crappy singing and gyrating, combined with some fighting. If I see them do the Charlie’s Angel pose one more time I’m gouging my eyes out with the game disk.
Please make them shut up…I just can’t take it.
There isn’t a proper way to describe the cast without using many, many curses. While I would normally go this route, the amount of curses I would need would take hours to type out and I’d like to get this article done with so I can try and forget about the game forever, even if I have to scrub my brain with bleach. I already talked about Yuna before, but let’s look at the bunch of rejects that she has to interact with and smile at all the damn time.
Rikku is back from the first game (actually the whole cast is back at different points, but for some ungodly reason they decided to make Rikku the one you use in your party), but she hasn’t changed much. This is a bad thing. She acted like a dumb sorority girl then, and it’s even worse here now. Whenever there’s some scene with character interaction, she’s wiggling around like a moron. This isn’t a flaw in the programming, they must have made it so she never stands still. You can take solace in that if she was real, she’d get date-raped by guys in frats all the time. Even when the game stops being a dance simulator and they’re supposed to be doing something important, she’s still talking about having some party or some other vapid shit. While she was the most annoying character in the last game, now she’s only a minor nuisance when compared to the rest of the cast, it just seems like more because she’s always there, finding new ways to piss me off.
Brother is your typical Japanese man. He constantly makes no sense speaking broken English, dancing around and being an overall pervert. Brother is the, guess what, brother of Rikku. He has no other name. Whenever he talks, he moves around like a retard trying to eat soup. The things he says make it even worse, because they’re painful, creepy sexual comments he says to Yuna. Knowing that America likes to censor sex dialogue from Japan, because we know that their whole country is a bunch of depraved perverts, I fear what the original dialogue was. But I would not be surprised at anything, at this point you could convince me they cut out a Yuna rape scene and I’d believe you. It’s that creepy. All the scenes with him in them just make everything uncomfortable. He reminds me of that one kid you grew up with who couldn’t really handle puberty properly, so he was always talking about porn.
Tobli is some type of dwarf thing that puts on shows in this wasteland of a game. Through the game you interact with him, and he’s annoying as hell. When talking, he reminds you of one of those Disney characters who try way too hard to be cute and make you sick. Except, he doesn’t get huge merchandising deals, thank god. Also, most sections of the game with him are optional, so you don’t have to see him as much if you can’t stomach it. I know I couldn’t.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “If there’s no male lead, there’s no insane woman trying to be a controlling bitch to my main character.” While true, LeBlanc makes up for it. She fits a few of the stereotypes the women in the game are supposed to have, including:
- Clothing showing off most of the body
- Being a controlling bitch
- Having lots of STD’s
Ok, so maybe the last part isn’t said, but it’s implied. She spends the whole game either fighting you, because you’re rivals, or complaining to you about her missing boyfriend because she’s a co-dependant schizophrenic who falls apart without a male to lead her around and instantly turns to guidance from whoever’s around, even her enemies. There are some things that not even pixilated tits can help.
There are more characters, but they’re either useless, unremarkable, or so stupid there aren’t words for me to express my hatred.
Surely there must be a saving grace to all this
Surprisingly, there briefly is, except it’s ruined instantly thanks to the girly theme of the game. Everything has to be coated with flowers and oils and shit to remind you this is a game that portays females in a way different from hentai. If you don’t know what hentai is, be very glad of that fact and whatever you do, do not google it.
What I’m talking about is a well-done battle system. Since you have only 3 people to play with in the entire game, they make up for it by bringing back the job system. Except this time, you can switch jobs mid-fight, so if one strategy isn’t working, you can try something else. This keeps the action at a fast enough pace that I don’t find myself reading a book while I repeatedly hit the X button throughout a battle.
How is this bad you wonder? Well, the designers realized that this wasn’t near as fruity as it could be. So, they decided to call jobs “dresspheres,” that go in “garment grids.” There’s even a job class of “dancer.” Nothing is safe here. Everything is a constant reminder I’m no longer a man for playing this game. The game is about buying pretty dresses. It’s at this point you can feel your manhood being sucked away and replaced by unicorns, pink things and monthly crotch bleeding.
Answering questions that didn’t need to be asked
After playing for around fifteen hours, the game ends. That’s when one last kick in the balls comes to laugh at you. Apparently, the game has different endings. Now, while this is fine for a game that takes a few hours to complete, or an action game, it’s a terrible idea for an RPG. Especially when the only way to get the other endings is to do the annoying side missions that could lead to over fifty hours of play time. So to get the good ending, you have to go through all that again. When I found this out I just gave up. Some things are hopeless. I skipped the side crap specifically to get to the end to see what questions they answered, like how an imaginary person was made real, which they didn’t answer in the ending I got, probably because it was the worst one you could get (although even a good ending in this game is like saying you got the good type of cancer).
I was curious though, so I looked up the 100% ending and I found out nothing was answered anyway. So, thank god I wasn’t anal retentive enough to find that out on my own. It would have broken my spirit and I’d have wound up as the old guy at anime conventions dressed as sailor moon. Now, while I’d look sexy as hell in that skirt, for now I’ll just settle for my self-respect.
As a rational person, I avoid games like this, except when I’m playing them expressly for reviewing purposes. But the thing that scares me is that out there are anime freaks that think everything from Japan is so OMGKAWAI (why did my spellchecker not point that out?) that they love this game. And I can’t think of anything worse at this point
Wait, yes I can. The thought of ever playing this game again. I need to go punch some hookers to feel manly again after this.