Most long time Final Fantasy fans probably agree that the next must have title in the franchise is the HD update of FFX and FFX-2.
The pathetic sales of Lightning Returns in Japan, which will likely be repeated in the west, have the once vaunted franchise back in the headlines. As I find myself looking forward to the March release of the HD overhauls I also can't help but look back on the degradation of the series accomplished by Square Enix over the course of the last generation.
While pondering this a thought bubbled up from that decomposing soup, taking the form of a question I would like to pose to you all. Upon release of the HD updates, will Final Fantasy X-2 be redeemed by history?
X-2 was the first Final Fantasy effort after the merger between Squaresoft and Enix that would later irritate fans to no end. At the time the game was unprecedented. Many will point to numerous spinoffs of Final Fantasy VII like Dirge of Cerberus but never had a numbered title had another number tacked onto it and been billed as the first full sequel to an FF game.
In the end, nobody actually took it as a full sequel though. Even with 100% completion and the ultimate good ending it didn't add a great deal to the story of FFX that couldn't have been gleaned from watching past the end credits of that game. It was considered another spinoff because it didn't really stand up to full FF standards.
There was a lot of “girl power” and Charlies Angels type stuff going on along with heaps of fan service and a less than epic plot. It was no surprise people complained and kind of wrote it off. Things have changed though haven't they? Final Fantasy XIII removed most franchise staples and turned off a lot of fans, XIII-2 tried to address those issues but ultimately came out disconnected and quite insulting on the story end of things. All indications are that Lightning Returns will continue the downward trend into something mostly unrecognizable by fans. So now that X-2 will be coming out again alongside its predecessor perhaps it won't seem so bad as it did back then.
Historically Final Fantasy has always had some goofy stuff in it (remember Don Corneo?) so maybe gamers will look right past the girl power aspect and see the great aspects of the game. Maybe they will see what was definitely the most highly evolved form of the Active Time Battle mechanic, which by the way allows management of all party members while still being very exciting. There's a very fluid class system in the dress spheres that allows for more strategic combat approaches than we've seen this generation. The side quests are more interesting and rewarding than collecting fragments a la XIII-2.
Spira is a cohesive game world with its own history and peoples instead of a set of disconnected generic areas unrelated to one another and separated by time rifts that make ones eyeballs roll in their head. The world is populated with interesting characters including old friends as opposed to the highly limited use of NPCs in both XIII titles. You'll also have the benefit of visiting the many, very different towns surrounded by areas of exploration which have been sorely lacking of late. It also has non-linear gameplay which seems to be all the rage these days.
While X-2 wouldn't have won any awards for its story at the time, I think that it is definitely a step up from what we have been treated to lately. After the events of FFX we catch up with Yuna who is trying to find her place in a changed world and gets wrapped up in an age old mystery when she finds a sphere that appears to depict former protagonist Tidus. Tracking down the truth draws her and her comrades into the complex political struggles of rising factions vying for power in the new Spira as threats to peace arise from all angles.
It has been awhile since I played it, but I'm looking forward to going through it with new eyes. While I still think Final Fantasy X was a much better, more classical entry, after what fans have been through lately I think there is a good chance that even a fluffier sequel like X-2 can be embraced by the public and redeemed by history as a damn good game.
Related Game(s): Final Fantasy X HD, Final Fantasy X-2 HD
This interests me somewhat, probably more than the newest installments. Am for sure interested in getting Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix, having completed or nearly completed the original on PS2, and hope we get the rest of it remastered properly. 🙂
Last edited by H8WL3R on 12/3/2013 11:06:06 PM
Oh maybe I should have clarified I haven't even tried FFX yet though. I think I've played most of VII, watched someone play some of the beginning of VIII and a lot of XII. I think there are a few adamant fans here of X (and a lesser extent X-2) aren't there? 🙂
Don't know what was so disagreeable with my statement, but if I offended anyone, it was certainly unintentional and I apologize.
Last edited by H8WL3R on 12/4/2013 2:00:59 PM
Don't worry about the downthumbers, you're good.
True. If I don't get a couple downvotes, I know I'm getting lazy.
Thanks for the reassurance World and Underdog. 🙂 Ah it's OK. I wasn't terribly offended or anything, it's just usually in my nature to be as respectful and polite to whomever, whenever and wherever. I understand though at times there are people who may genuinely disagree or may have accidentally activated the downvotes (or just have a habit of doing it to people). Later 🙂
Oh also I do have XII and have played quite a bit of it, that's what I meant originally in my my response to my first post, not watching someone play XII.
Last edited by H8WL3R on 12/4/2013 9:03:07 PM
I was one of the many who dismissed this game. But the last generation of gaming has left me hungry for a new final fantasy experience and so I will definitely be giving X-2 a go.
I can vouch for it it guys 😀
It was a fun game. A good game.
I'd also like to add I generally dislike all typical Jap fanservice but I was able to put up with this very easily, so there you go. I think this was due to being back when SE had better taste.
Although it did essentially kick-start the nightmarish cycle of adding Part 2 to future Fantasies…
I'm not usually a person to get overly excited about HD remakes. I would rather just play the original for my nostalgic fix.
However, after watching the trailer, it really reminded me how much I enjoyed FFX (still sitting on my shelf). I don't have the time these days to fully complete these games as I once used to strive to do, but I think I would rather put my hours into the FF remakes than the latest installments. I just don't like the new ones as much; and it is too bad.
Well I have made my pre-order for the special edition with the artbook. So I will no doubt give this another try, I should add I have not played X-2 since its initial release.
There are a lot of problems with X-2, I loved X and regard it as one of the best JRPGs of all time. But, X-2 was not an ideal follow up to the game. Firstly Yuna, they completely broke the kind spirited calmness of Yuna and turned her..l well into Riku 2.0. She was silly, stupid and just wasn't the Yuna I adored from X. As I have said before, I have no problem with having 3 female protagonists, its just how daft they were throughout the whole game.
Then there is the story… It just feels like one massive sidetrack, nothing really important happens. To be truthful, the only reason to play X-2 is for the ending – Which is impossible (& I don't use that word lightly) to get the full ending without a guide.
Which brings me onto the next point- structure. The game is structured in Chapters & Missions. Which breaks the traditional RPG pacing of an adventure. It just didn't work for me. But what was most frustrating is if you went past a chapter and missed a detail, you would not be able to go back and get that 100% completion ending.
The battle system which most people praise, I just couldn't get into. Play dress-ups just interrupted the pacing and to be honest, I went through most the game with the same class.
The one thing I do like about this game is that it offers a chance to see Spira in the Calm, its fun to explore the world and see the changes to the environments from X-1.
Also, something to get excited about for this release is we're finally getting the Japanese exclusive content. Which I think is like a battle arena similar to VII's. Where you progress through various stages of battle. Then there is also this monster creating scheme, which I don't know much about but seems interesting. Oh and if anyone in the US hasn't had the joy of facing the Dark Aeons in X-1 – That makes this release worth it alone.
I've put in my pre-order too. I think you can put the costume changes on short transform if you don't like the way the pacing gets drawn out. Otherwise it's a damn good ATB if you ask me, it's just quicker and sleeker than in X.
I also thought Yuna really only acts like a dufus in the beginning but eventually shows her true self especially when getting wrapped up with the spectre of Shuyin.
I'm not big on the chapters and missions either but those are sort of the main way things always are nowadays so I think modern audiences can jive with it.
I'll definitely get this collection, a must buy game for my ps3… ^_^
Good article. Reading late, was up working all night.
I just remember Rikku's bright yellow thong. I mean, it was pretty much the only reason my younger self even considered playing it. The spa scene, and then the class changing scenes. Its a fan service game to its core, while giving females a love story. To a point anyway.
Looking back on this game, most of the side quests annoyed me to no end. You have to get all dialogues for the 100% ending. And a tons more of annoying stuff. Beneath Bevelle is the thing that haunts me to this day. Stupid snake thing. I also didn't like what they did with Yuna. She went from a strong, courageous, independent woman to a whiny, annoying, generic character. She keeps some of her virtue but its lost in most of the annoying stuff she does. And she was certainly my favorite female character in any Final Fantasy game for her personality. Love seeing such a strong girl in a game, while being feminine at the same time. Just comes to show, a girl doesn't have to be butch to be strong.
Also also, I liked Dirge of Cerberus. Music was awesome, and story was good to a point. Like Vincents back story and stuff. It was cool learning more about him. tons more could have been done and the story didn't have to be so bad villain wise. Also the 3rd person thing made sense considering Vincent used guns. It was fun to play and everything else. I'm probably alone in liking Dirge though. Anyways, stay warm everyone.
REDEMPTION – gackt
Thanks 🙂 I'm hoping they tweaked the difficulty in getting 100%. I always thought Yuna was just being a poser, trying to fit in to the Gullwings by dressing up and acting the part but that wasn't really how she felt.
Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/4/2013 11:09:32 AM
I agree about the story, and I did get annoyed by the girl power stuff. Fortunately, it did eventually grow up slightly, but not until very late in the game.
However, that being said… that battle system, in my opinion, is the best ATB system in the whole series despite the corniness of the dressphere changes.
These was the last two Final Fantasy games I played! miss those days!!
If I get the collection it's just to play FFX. Not a bit interested in FFX-2.
There is one single Final Fantasy that I really want to try out: FF14. I hear only good things about it, and it's got an impressive metascore from being a mmorpg (those games *always* get a low meta due to the seemingly unavoidable initial problems and unfinished content).
It's a bummer it's not reviewed here. I'd really love to hear your impressions from a non-mmofan perspective, Ben.
Last edited by Beamboom on 12/4/2013 10:40:31 AM
It's been almost my exclusive game of the last couple months. (Been playing some of the kingdom hearts remake and a bit of some of the others, but mostly FFXIV)
It's good fun and well executed. I've been playing almost entirely on PC, although I have played on PS3. They play the same as either one can be played with a controller or a keyboard/mouse combo. If you do buy the PS3 version, you will get the PS4 version when it releases for free.
Graphics on PC are superior, however, we're told the PS4 graphics will be equally as good.
At this point, I recommend the PC version (it's cheaper, usually, too). I'm on the Malboro server.
All MMOs feel the same to me, Beamboom. You wouldn't want me to review it.
And it's not a Final Fantasy. I mean, it's not even remotely indicative of the core titles in that franchise.
I'd still love to read it. You got a professional way of distancing yourself to the material you review, so I'd love to read it. I really would.
Are the servers cross platform? Do everyone play on the same servers? So that if I start playing on PC, can I then continue with my character on the PS4?
Your account for FFXIV is tied in with all versions, so everyone plays on the same server just like with FFXI. The only thing you'll need to do is just purchase the PS4 version and register it on the same account. All your characters will load just fine and free to continue playing with.
Yeah, my friends and I play together (about 6 of us). Only 2 of us are on PC. The other 4 are on PS3. We voice chat through google hangouts. I can play the same character whether I'm on PC or PS3.
On top of the servers being cross platform, there's "Duty Finder" for certain boss fights and all dungeons. You can recruit players from your own server, or if you're on your own, tell the duty finder which dungeon you want to do. It'll match make you with other players across all servers also looking to do that dungeon. It's a -really- excellent feature, although it searches based on class balance. (Dungeon of 4, for example, would be 1 healer, 1 tank, and 2 DPS. Dungeon of 8 would simply double those numbers) So you can't mix it up to your advantage through the Duty Finder. You'd have to do so only through recruiting members for your party on your own server by asking around. lol
As for feeling like an FF, Ben, it feels more like an FF than anything recently. It has your traditional white mage, black mage, Summoner, Monk, Warrior, Dragoon, etc. etc. And obviously, team play is very important. Plus… Chocobos!!! Which can even fight alongside you!
For an MMO, the story was actually pretty darn fun, too!
If you bought the PS3 version, you will -not- have to purchase the PS4 version.
Last edited by Underdog15 on 12/4/2013 4:38:25 PM
Underdog: It doesn't feel like an FF if it's real-time in an open-world. The classes alone don't make it Final Fantasy, IMO. 🙂
Beamboom: I appreciate that but beyond my own personal opinions, I'm just not well versed enough in the genre to deliver an accurate review. I suppose I could but I'd have to do a lot of homework first, as I just did with FIFA 14. And even though video games are involved, that really isn't any fun at all. 😉
that duty finder sounds like a stroke of pure genius, really. I am one step closer to trying it now. If only they could have made a Linux client too, and I'd be all over it by now. 🙂
IMO it's no need for research or in-depth analysis in the traditional sense, I'd just love to see how you perceived the game from a newbies perspective! To me it would have been an interesting read, both to get to know the game from that perspective but just as much to read the impressions from someone who's not familiar with mmos or a fan of multiplayer gaming in general.
Maybe not a full, "serious" review would be right without proper research, more a feature article perhaps. But not just a quick "this is why I hate mmorpg" without even trying, but really sink a good handful of hours into it and make notes as you go.
Cause after all you should find *something* familiar in this universe, so if you ever should try any MMORPG surely this one must be the best suited for you of all.
Do it! Go go go! 🙂
Last edited by Beamboom on 12/5/2013 4:15:12 AM
Ben, it's sort of a turn-based real-time hybrid like FFXII was in a way. Your regular attacks occur when a timer fills (it's invisible, but each weapon has an attack rate), when you use an spell or other attack, the timer one most all your other attacks have to fill back up. You have a limit break bar… but you do dodge many attacks in real time, true. (Although even that is about dodging based on where you are when the cast time fills and not necessarily with the animation)
But I do like the way FF's used to be as well. That being said, I don't feel jipped with 14 as I have in recent history.
Oh, I've tried playing MMOs before. I just wouldn't be able to compare FFXIV to any others in terms of quality and features because I never played them long enough.
I really can't stand aimless wandering around with no rhyme or reason beside getting a more powerful character. I mean…total snooze for me. I doubt that'll ever change.
But there can be found storylines in MMORPGs today, Ben.
Star Wars The Old Republic actually had very good stories and a very well delivered narrative (thanks to Bioware of course), and Underdog do indeed mention that the story in A New Hope as one of his selling points of this game.
This is why I wish you could have just given it a honest spin without prejudice. Enter the game without an attitude, just a pen and a blank sheet of paper. Not to compare it with other mmos, just to consider it as a video game.
Things do evolve in this genre too. 🙂
Last edited by Beamboom on 12/5/2013 10:56:35 AM
I suppose they do.
And I know there are individual stories within most MMOs these days, but the open-world focus inherently limits the complexity and overall potential of the narrative due to the freedom it must give the player. That will always bug me.
And the other problem is that, as I understand it, such games require a LOT of time. Time I just don't have.
That is true. They do require a lot of time, at least to reach the high level stuff.
In regards to the story or narrative, I really think it is very comparable with a single player sandbox game like GTA, Skyrim & co. If you manage to follow the main story in those games you should be capable of doing the same in these mmorpgs. Well, at least the last mmorpg I played, SW The Old Republic.
They did solve this very well in that game, in that sequences that were directly related to your mission story were separated out from the open world and into a separate instance where you were alone. Like typically entering something where more of the story then takes place (with cut-scenes and reply options ala classic Bioware and the whole shobang – just like a single player game) in areas where you were not interfered by other players.
Not sure how this is made in FF14 though. But that's the exact kind of thing I'm sure you would focus on in your review/article/whatever-it-becomes.
Yeah, "the single player gamers fare through mmorpg land" is the tale I'd love to read. Solo the whole darn thing, treat it like you want, play it how you like.
That's what gaming is about!
Last edited by Beamboom on 12/5/2013 3:08:08 PM
One thing I -really- hate about open world type areas is the constant running around. I hate feeling like I spend half my time just running from point A to B.
FFXIV does address this well, though. There's the usual things like Chocobos and other mounts to go faster, but the real awesome travel feature is in teleporting and warping. You don't have to learn it. Once you visit an Aetherite crystal (there's at least one in every area), you can teleport there for a small gil fee (it costs more the further away it is). However, you can select 3 favorite locations you can change at any time when visiting a spot you want to make your new favorite. Favorite crystals cost half the amount. And lastly, you can set one as your home point. Warp will teleport you back to your home point for free, although it has a 15 minute recast timer.
Those teleport abilities are available to everyone right at the start. Thankfully, I don't feel like I do much running around. Most actions have a purpose.
My biggest complaint when compared to a game like SWTOR is that there isn't enough voice acting. IMO, all cutscenes should have it. They don't. It's few and far between… I shouldn't get excited when I encounter a cutscene that does have it.
I have no doubt the storylines are comparable to that of sandbox games, but the latter are only a stone's throw away from MMOs, anyway. I'm talking about games that actually excel in the realm of storytelling, and the only way to do that is to create a linear adventure in which to tell a cohesive story.
The best stories are found in games like Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, Bioshock, Heavy Rain, etc. There's a reason why whenever there's a "Best Story" award, sandbox games never win. The closest I've seen is L.A. Noire.
My point was just that as long as you are able to enjoy a sandbox game – and you evidently are – I believe you should be at least theoretically able to enjoy the same (including the story) in a mmorpg.
And I seriously think my idea here is great: A single player gamers tale from his mmorpg travel? Man I think that is a darn good idea for an article. Plenty of room for some hilarious remarks too. 🙂
Really? Admittedly I didnt get very far in SWTOR (I was only playing during the beta period, basically testing out the classes and sides), but as far as I recall there were always voiceovers in the cut-scenes. But my memory may very well fail me here. Nevertheless, the impression I am left with was that there was an insane amount of voice acting recorded for that game. I've never experienced anything like it in any mmorpg before.
Is there a trial for FF14, or do I have to pay up right away?
Last edited by Beamboom on 12/6/2013 4:36:29 AM
I haven't seen the trial myself, but a co-worker of mine said he played a trial off steam. Maybe check that out?
I only recently started paying because I was apart of Alpha, and subsequently, Beta testing. Alpha testers got a little time free.
Last edited by Underdog15 on 12/6/2013 11:38:18 AM
I did a search on Steam, nothing there 🙁
Sorry about the lack of articles lately folks, I think I'm back now 🙂
It may or may not be redeemed. Some fans see FFX-2 as the start of the franchise derailment. It was the first sequel in a franchise that had never had a true sequel (only spin-offs like Crystal Chronicles), and it seemed a little like fanservice, which we had never seen from FF before.
On the other hand, you could also say it was the last FF that was true to old-school form. FFXI was an MMO and FFXII, while great, was drastically different from any previous title. And those who played FFX-2 know that it represented one of the most accomplished and entertaining forms of turn-based combat EVER.
So it'll really depend on the fan's position.
Ben, what if Square Enix remade FFXIII and XIII-2 with the ATB mechanic from FFX-2? Would you consider them better games? Or the lack of many other aspects would keep you from accepting them as true blue Final Fantasy?
(Keep in mind I'm not considering Lighting Returns 'cause it doesn't even have a party…)
It's hardly just that.
FFXIII was watered down in the interest of "streamlining" for mass audiences. That resulted in less overall control and customization, such as the characters having no equipment. One could argue that FFVIII characters didn't have standard equipment, either, but there was a very complex and intriguing system – Junction, in which magic essentially became your armor and offered stat boosters – that was in place of it.
And without either a world map or a more open world as found in FFXII, XIII just felt much more constricted in terms of exploration. No towns? No different vehicles? And then little stupid things, like Game Over if the leader dies, as if your other party members don't even exist.
It's not just that it wasn't true turn-based. I know people think that's my only issue. My issue is in fact that Final Fantasy no longer feels like role-playing. For the record, XIII-2 was deeper and more open, and it fixed a few of the lacking issues in XIII, but the story wasn't very good at all an the characters sucked. And there really was a lack of direction, as if the game was trying to adopt open-world traits.
Final Fantasy was Final Fantasy all the way up through X-2. I accepted XII because it really was fantastic and undoubtedly a role-playing game. It melded turn-based with other true RPG aspects, and I can't for the life of me figure out why they couldn't evolve that way. Why change the entire format and style…?
FFX-2 was fun.
Anyone who would consider it as a stand alone game in the Final Fantasy library is wrong.
I've always held it with the same regard as Ocarina of time compared to Majora's Mask – familiar enough sure, but overall a different experience.
In addition to revisiting one of the finest worlds brought to us in a FF game (Spira) there are an plenty of side quests and minigames to keep you busy.
The narrative isn't a selling point but only relies as a purposeful way of getting from point A to B.
The dressphere battle system takes some adjustment and now I consider to be one of my favorites, very fluid / quick combat cycles.
Oh and if you do play
visit the 100 levels of Bevelle…
For that sole reason I will not be playing the remake anytime soon
So what this article is really asking is, "Does Final Fantasy X-2 suck less than the dreck Square-Enix has released in the last 3-4 years? That's a pretty simple "yes."
Seriously, though, looking back, X is my favorite from the past two generations of FF titles/spinoffs/etc. When put side by side with its predecessor, X-2 was a bit underwhelming(and thus disappointing), but i didn't dislike it. The battle system was indeed deeper than X's, but also interesting and intuitive; the sphere grid was improved, and (again, in retrospect) the dress sphere system was effectively a well realized version of what they later screwed up with the whole paradigm shift nonsense years later.
And how is it no one has yet mentioned blitzball? I said for years i'd buy a blitzball spinoff game, and the current downloadable games/DLC market would make something like that both easy to market and inexpensive to buyers. $50 might have been a tough price point for what is essentially a side game, but $10 for a retooled, fleshed out version of blitzball on PSN, maybe with a bunch of old FF characters as unlockable players? Count me in.
you know im going to point something out alot of people Miss Alot of fans that bash X-2 also bash FF5 or FF3 NES later re released on the DS now what do these 3 games all have in common the answer is simple its a Class change system
the so called fan service of the different outfits is taken from FF3 FF5 where you changed your class your sprite would be different to make it feel more like that class
why do i bring this up because ive heard it alot that people didn't like the class system in FFX-2 so i asked quite abit of people that didn't like X-2 if they liked FF5 or FF tactics and 16 out of 20 said no which thats 80% of the people i asked
Now why do i bring this up because OMG FF1 had a class system and thats where the series startedso technically X-2 went abit back to its original roots
well in terms of battle
FFX was complete and alot of people when they see FFX-2 don't understand why Yuna acts like that Well the entire world was changed the temples traditions crumbled and were shown for a way to control the masses
Yuna lived her whole Life following the traditions she lost that way of Life
She lost the Person she Loved by completing her Life goal
people change alot when that happens so she went with Riku and the al bhed
and Riku did influence her quite abit over those 2 years after sin was defeated and before the start of X-2