No-stall-gia, Part 2: Final Fantasy

No-stall-gia, Part 2: Final Fantasy

Or otherwise called, who needs cohesive and sequential posts?

I’ll start off with a confession: when it comes to gaming, I am an entitled U.S. citizen. Whenever another country makes a game, I get bitter when they don’t localize all of the content. How dare they feel the need to save money and and prioritize their distribution process?

I don’t know if a particular country came to mind for you, but I’m talking about Japan. With my love for JRPGS and every single thing I’ve played on my Vita (Persona 4 Golden may have received more quality time than my family this holiday season), I hate hearing about earlier local releases and abhor Japanese-exclusive content. I’m also too cheap for importing, so you could also call it a personal problem.

I also don’t know if a particular company came to mind, but Square Enix, I’m looking (typing?) at you.

I was introduced to the Final Fantasy series late in the game–Final Fantasy X, actually. It is the first time I remember a game ever having such an involved story. Despite its simplicity in message, I was playing through it not only blind to the story, but also any tropes that might have made it predictable. The moment I found out the pilgrimage’s true end goal, I dropped my PS2 controller on the ground. So often I played generic good-beats-evil games. Even with captivating characters, the only unpredictable parts of those games were what wacky thing they would say next (and some one-liners you could see a galaxy away).

Also new to me? The overwhelming amount of optional content. With the extra summons, celestial weapons, and monster hunting collect-a-thons, up to fifty hours of my first game file was spent flying around in the airship, procrastinating on that silly thing called my destiny.

With all of these sidequests, I have a hard time understand why they chose to cut out the biggest challenge in the game: the dark aeons. Here you get to battle summoners who sided with Yevon, convinced Yuna and the gang were the sacrificial lunatics. These are quite possibly one of the biggest challenges I have ever come across, and with the HD remake, the United States finally got to feel the pain.

I’ll be honest, I only beat a few of them before I ran out of useful places to grind, and they are long and painful without the right exploits and leveling. Here instead of having elemental weaknesses, elemental magic is completely useless. As you might have guessed, an all-out assault is also not an option. Here you need to always have Yuna for her healing and two others. The game guide I bought–I take this shit seriously–said that you have to plan from the start who you want to have fight the dark aeons so that you fill out their sphere grids the soonest as well as give them all special stat and ability boosts.

Now I’ll be honest–this is about it for the differences. If you are not as in love with the story, characters, and battle system the way I am, there isn’t much more replay value here than there is in the PS2 original. But with the addition of this one feature, it reshaped my progress in the game. Finally I could feel justified in favoring some characters over others in battle and not feel guilty for ignoring some of the ultimate weapon quests.

A poll to the masses–has anyone out there actually dodged the two hundred lightning bolts it takes to acquire Lulu’s weapon? If so, let me shower you with virtual gold, jewels, and loose women and men.

Overall I had just as much as I did every other time I’ve played this game, but it is also one of my absolute favorites, making me easy to please. Would only one or two additions be enough reason to replay a game you have a middling opinion of? Or even one you really love; I’m a fountain of curiosity tonight.

Now I only have one more game I really want to talk about, and it is the biggest difference for me, both in how I played it and the content added.

Also I will hopefully have more information on my upcoming weekend stream here, so that you can tune in. Hey, now I can say, “Stay tuned,” and mean it literally.

So, of course, stay tuned.

3 thoughts on “No-stall-gia, Part 2: Final Fantasy

  1. I ADORED FINAL FANTASY X. It wasn’t my first Final Fantasy game, but I’d only been playing the series for a few years when I picked it up. I screamed when I found out the truth of the pilgramage and honestly cried at the end of the game. I was holding it together pretty well until Yuna said “Just, one more thing… the people and the friends that we have lost, or the dreams that have faded… Never forget them.”

    A game that could make me cry? I was destined to buy the HD remake, though I don’t know how much of the extra content I’ll play through. The music CD is what really convinced me to buy the game. I mean, the music from the original is fantastic, but I love what they did with it in this game. Right now, I’ve just made it though the Calm Lands. A part of me is dreading X-2, though. I hated that game when I first played it.It just seemed to spit on what was a bittersweet masterpiece of a game. I’m hoping some of the additional content will help me understand why all the booty shots are necessary.

    Love your review! ^_^

    Like

    1. I am so sorry it has taken me so long to respond to this, but I am so excited to hear someone else who loves it just as much!

      Yuna is great, and Auron has some of the best quotes of the game (I’m not as awesome as you and have them on hand!) Even if in retrospect some are archetypal, they still do such a great job with them.

      And I’ll be honest, I barely made it through X-2–didn’t even get as far as the first try back on PS2. I just know all the work it would take to get the ending I’d probably appreciate and can’t bring myself to do it.

      If you don’t mind me asking, what others did you play before? I’ve heard some people who played it later in the series had some problems with it and am curious where you’re coming from.

      Also, a thousand Yunas at MAGFest. Wishing I’d gotten a picture.

      Like

      1. Let’s see… IX was the first I played, followed by VIII and VII I think I played I, II and IV on the GBA before X. I don’t know what people have against X. As far as I’m concerned, it has all the elements I expect from a Final Fantasy game. Great game play. Side quest. Awesome characters and character development. Fantastic music. The story moved me to the point of tears by the end of the game. My only criticisms of the game is the story and cheesyness of X-2 and that there was little minority representation.

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