Friday, August 20, 2010

Final Fantasy Smackdown: X

Ah finally, a game in the series I actually like.

What? It's not that bad.

Okay so anyways, Final Fantasy X. The game where you play as well.... This weird thing named Tidus. A lot of people hate this guy. They go on about how he whines all the time, how he has very little personality, is kinda a wimp, and just genuinely unlikable. I've never quite understood that, because that pretty much makes him identical to 90% of the other Final Fantasy protagonist. So, what makes him special? Let's see, blond hair, no that's been done before. Maybe his sword just isn't big enough to off set his personality. No, in all likeliness, it's because he has a voice actor. Think about it. Two of the previous games had characters who whined and moaned and complained nonstop through the game, but they did it in text boxes. Tidus can actually talk. That means you can't just mash X to get through the scenes, you have to listen to him, again, and again, and again. Though I think how much of a whiner he is is mostly exaggerated.

Well a little exaggerated.

The thing is though, I actually kind of like Tidus. Before you start hiring assassins to come after me, let me explain why. I find that he redeems a lot of how he's acted in the last ten minutes of the game. Say what you will, but this is a guy who went and and fought the final boss, knowing full well victory would mean that he would cease to exist. It's not like the world was going to be destroyed if he didn't. Sure, Sin would go on killing people, but humanity wouldn't come anywhere near extinction from it. The world would have gone on. However, in order to rid the world of the pain of Sin forever, and so no more summoners ever have to be sacrificed he is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice himself. I mean, that deserves some respect right there. I can't imagine a certain spiky haired whiner doing the exact same thing to do the same. But anyways him making this sacrifice does bring up a rather interesting point in that it is a little well.... hypocritical. Letting Yuna sacrifice her life but still having a confirmed afterlife, bad. Him sacrificing his entire being, okay. But hey, in the end he had the guys to sacrifice himself to save everyone else, something I personally can't do and I doubt most of the people who played this game could, so for that one reason I don't hate him.

But anyways that aside. There is the story of the game. It revolves around Yuna making a pilgrimage to be the best there ever was, defeat all the rest because that's her cause. Then she'll collect all the various monster summons and after that head to a big city place out in the middle of nowhere to meet the ultimate summoner and the two of them fight. And then she killed the ultimate summoner. Well, oops. Oh also there's a giant death whale flying around. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! So they decided to get on that, and weaken it with the power of music and jumping inside and proceeding to beat up every half dressed man they meet till a small smokey thing appears, kill that and the world is saved! Except Tidus, he ceases to exist. Sucks to be him. And everyone lived happily ever after! Until they made a sequel.

But anyways the majority of the drama in the story comes from the fact Yuna is going to sacrifice herself to defeat Sin and they're trying to find a way to save her and destroy Sin at the same time. Then eventually they cut off that route by salvation when it's revealed Sin can never be defeated permanently, but it is replaced with the tension of knowing that the cost of defeating Sin forever will be for Tidus to cease to exist. To most people that sounds like a win win situation so I can't see why they wouldn't enjoy the story.

The story is well, it's interesting. As far as video games go, it's not bad. Video game storylines are well, not known for being the best written stories around, but this one makes effort, and in comparison to other video games could even be called good. I mean it's better than a story about a man in love with his mom and a thing for giant rocks. Okay, I'll lay off those jokes now I swear.

Despite being video game writing though, this game has some truly epic lines in it.... Most of them said by party badass Auron. However he eventually winds up saying one of my favorite lines uttered in any form of media ever. "Die and be free of sorrow, or live and fight your pain." I wish every emo protagonist in every game, movie, book, TV show, radio song, reality ever got those lines said to them. The point, don't just lay down and die and wallow in self pity. If something sucks in your life, fight the pain and endure. What can I say? Emo kids ignore me.

Honestly though, there is one thing about this game that makes me really like it though. The battle system, is FANTASTIC. You can switch party members at will in the fight, making it actually easy to level up everyone instead of a chore like in other games. It also allows for a lot of strategy throughout the game (though most of it will probably be dedicated to Yuna nuking everything) and just makes the game more enjoyable. One of my favorite things though is being able to see the turn over. I swear in some of the previous Final Fantasies I've played the turn order seems to always get really jumbled up and random making it seem impossible for me to get moves off at the right timing. Like say a Curaga spell on the entire party after the monster attacks.... Except the white mage randomly moves before the boss one round and then after next and boom TPK. In this game, not so much. Every character has their area of specialty and the right time to use them.

Anyways unlike the last couple I genuinely recommend this game. It's not perfect, but it's more than passable.

Of course then something else happened as a result of this game.




Final Fantasy X-2

DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!

This.... This game is interesting. I will admit I like the magical girl genre but... transformations are a really short part of it just for them to get into combat mode and well... This game seems to be 50% transformation scenes of watching parts of the girls' clothing vanish and new ones appear. Come to think of it, where the heck did Paine come from? I mean I get they needed a physical base character so Lulu was out, but why not use Kimarhi or Wakka for the third party member?

Oh right, we need them scantily clad..... And apparently there they think any female gamers out there are lesbians so they need only girls wearing the outfits. Or maybe they were genuinely just trying to do a Charlie's Angels homage and this entire game wasn't just a cheap excuse to sexualize three characters to no end and make a quick buck.

Honestly this game.... It's just so freaking tedious. It's like the game is trying to encourage you not to play it. "Oh you didn't go to one place at a specific time in the game! Now you can never fully clear it! Guess you might as well quit now." No seriously you have to go to a bunch of areas that have nothing to do with the plot at all and watch a bunch of cut scenes you don't care the slightest about otherwise you won't get the real ending, and you'll wind up missing most of the classes in the game. Alright here's the thing. Side quests are not bad in a game. They're good, they give you little bonuses. However, the game should not be 90% side quest and 10% main story. Then again maybe they just wanted to distract us from the main story as much as possible since it can be more or less summed up. "The world is saved, but everyone is arguing on what they should do now."

Oh and some guy playing an organ is going to blow it up.

No, really.

And that's X-2 in a nutshell.

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