The Worst Game I Have Ever Played or When Final Fantasy Jumped the Shark
By Tara Roth on July 23rd, 2012 (22 comments)
Take a walk with me for a moment down memory lane to the days of the Playstation 2. I was a casual gamer at best, occasionally testing my skills at Mario Kart or Unreal Tournament against my brother. I really had never spent more than two hours a day playing a game until Final Fantasy X was placed in my hands. Two hours quickly became six as I immersed myself into the story, leveling my characters until their feats of power reached legendary proportions. Oh the joy I felt when I heard there was to be a sequel to the story, but ultimately I was disappointed.
To this day, Final Fantasy X-2 is the worst game I have ever played.
FFX-2 picks up several years after Final Fantasy X ends with Yuna, Rikku, new character Paine and some Al Bhed (who needed to die after the first cut-scene) flying around the world collecting treasure and hunting for clues about Yuna’s angst ridden, she-male boyfriend from the previous game. First let’s start with the good points: The dressphere concept as a way to change classes without adding characters was a unique and imaginative idea, the story is interesting even though I have to credit that almost entirely to its predecessor, and the pre-rendered videos are very nice… That’s about it really.
The characters are brainless caricatures of women who wear as little clothing as possible for the T-rating and break into random cheers and clumsy high-fiving that made the gaming experience like controlling a couple of chicks from a blond joke.
The main mechanic of the game is the use of “dresspheres” which take the place of your usual Final Fantasy pick and mix of characters of various abilities. These dresspheres must be leveled up for every character if you wish for more than one girl to be able to use a particular one. Yep, that’s right, you need to level up the same sphere FOR EACH OF THEM. And in the most erect of dick-moves, some of the enemies are only susceptible to a certain dressphere and if only one girl has the dressphere you need, you might as well kneel down and start oiling up because you’re about to get screwed. This was a constant problem for me because I was not going to grind up every dressphere for every girl, I can tell you THAT for fuckin’ sure. Acquiring grids gives you the option to change dresspheres in battle and different grids carry different bonuses should you pass through every node on the grid. However, changing between dresspheres takes that girl’s turn which in damage-race style combat is instant death so you might as well forget about it. The game seems to think that receiving these grids is some kind of reward and by the end of the game I had 30 different grids of various bonuses and sizes of which I only ever used 1 (the smallest) because there was no reason to use any of the others.
Most of the characters from FFX can be found in their original locations as if their feet have been nailed to the ground and they even built a fucking dialogue tree where Yuna identifies them and shares small talk. 40% of the game can be blamed on these unskippable, time-sucking dialogue trees without which the game would probably be about 5 hours long.
The mini games (another 40% of the game) are repetitive, difficult and time consuming. There was one point where I had to catch Chocobos for a breeder so he could send them out looking for additional dungeons for me to explore. Chocobos must be caught from random encounters and there is a chance that the bird will run away before you’ve had a chance to pummel them into submission. After I spent several hours catching my squadron of birds and leveling them up by feeding them grasses (soaked in steroids I suppose), I was finally ready.
“Go my minions.” I said. “Travel wide and find me epic places to explore.”
Not one single goddamn bird came back.
"Don't worry." The helpful online walkthrough said. "Just keep catching them, leveling them up, and sending them out and after several hours you should get a return."
You will be surprised to hear that I did not set this game on fire. I keep it around to remind me that no matter how frustrating a game can be, none thus far have reached the epic shittiness of Final Fantasy X-2.
It’s a good feeling.
Tara is a part time writer and full time scientist living and working in San Francisco, CA.
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