Issendai Fails to Learn From FFX,
and Takes On FFX-2
More random thoughts on FFX-2
So I can see running the Guado out of Guadosalam. They were greebly
and self-righteous, and we need a little interspecies loathing to
spice Spira up. And I can see taking over Seymour's digs, since
they were by far the nicest in Guadosalam. In fact, they had about
as much square footage as the rest of Guadosalam's buildings put
together. And Seymour had an innovative and charming "Giger
meets the wood elves" thing going, so you wouldn't need to
But couldn't you at least take Seymour's family portraits down?
In addition to being tacky, seeing Seymour's face on the wall only
reminds us of how lacking in bishonenage FFX-2 is. The leader of
New Yevon? Weedy, in a sort of over-earnest jocky way. Nooj? He's
got a bionic limb like Vincent, dead-twig hair like Seymour, wee
glasses like Citan, and an eerily darkened jaw area vaguely like
Auron--though he seems to have achieved it through an unfortunate
tanning accident rather than stubble--and it all adds up to bishonen
Frankenstein. Scars and head bolts would only improve the effect.
And let's not think too deeply about Tidus Mark II, who dropped
the original's cheek--the only appealing thing about him--and picked
up a bad BBC accent instead. All his clothes are the same length
on each side now, but it just doesn't help. He acts like the sort
of man who would be popular with the sort of woman who writes personals
that say, "You: Romantic, sense of humor, likes intimate candlelit
dinners and long walks on the beach."
...I'm thinking too deeply about him. Hurrr.
At this point, the only male character who's caught my attention
Things are bad.
FFX-2 is done.
Our intrepid heroines walked the dark and dangerous Paths of the
Dead, lands meant to be seen by no living eyes and amply provided
with foul and strikingly animated creatures meant to ensure that
anyone who starts the trek alive is suitably dead by the end. Unless
you have the Charm Bracelet, in which case the Paths of the Dead
are kind of annoying and a little oversupplied with leaping games.
They reached the Farplane, the land where all good tampon commercials
go, and wended their way through a Gigeresque series of walkways
equipped with far too many organs. Not liver-and-lights-type organs,
church organs. Liver and lights would be too unannoying.
At the end was... Vegnagun's face! Aieee! No, wait, wide shot coming
up. At the end was... Vegnagun's body! Vegnagun's bloated body!
Vegnagun's bloated, spiderlike body!
Now, wait a minute. Vegnagun's head is all cool and mechlike and
skulleriffic. It's even got funky wings-of-darkness-with-little-stars-in.
That head cannot be attached to something that appears on the front
of a can of Raid. It's not... sexy. Not disturbing. It's just...
I sense a theme.
Along the way through the happy tampon lands, our heroines developed
an entourage of pathetic lifeforms. Those lifeforms stand around
now, gawping at Vegnagun's bloated, spiderlike, Raideriffic body.
Because youth implies wisdom and Rikku is the youngest person there,
she attempts a pep talk. "We can take Vegnagun apart,"
she chirps, "because Vegnagun was made by people!"
It was? Ohmigod, you're right! Silly ancient Bevellians, trying
to take Vegnagun apart with trained ferrets.
"We'll take the torso," Gippal declares, standing with
his legs wide apart and his belly and magenta-clad pelvis thrust
way forward to demonstrate his fitness for the job.
"We'll take the legs," LeBlanc says. You do that.
"And that leaves us the head!" I cry. I've wanted to
smack that thing in the face for so long. Eee!
"And that leaves us the tail!" Yuna cries.
For one thing, it's a spider. It doesn't have a tail. For another
thing, I didn't bring you all this way just to fight Vegnagun's
ass. You're demeaning the efforts of all the people who worked to
train you. You're humiliating the spirit of your father. You're
letting down your FANS, Yuna, your fans! Think of your fans!
For once in her life, Yuna isn't thinking about her fans. She goes
to fight Vegnagun's ass.
It turns out that Vegnagun does have a tail, a scorpionlike thing
twisting about right near a conveniently placed platform. Note to
future mech-hiders: Don't dock your mech right next to a complex
of conveniently located platforms at the end of a system of walkways
from the overlands, no matter how cool the security system is. Really.
And if someone manages to break through and tries to fight bits
of your mech? MOVE THE MECH BITS AWAY FROM THE PLATFORM. None of
these people can fly. You don't have to engage.
But Baralai/Tidus Mark II aren't listening, so we engage in battle
with the incongruous tail on the conveniently located platform.
For a while now we've been hearing voices, but we figured that was
just the side effect of an exclusively high-potion diet. Now the
voices start talking up in battle. Loudly. Deeply. Authoritatively.
"DON'T GET HIT BY THE REALLY DANGEROUS ATTACK, YUNA!"
"THAT THING YOU'VE BEEN IGNORING FOR THE PAST SEVERAL ROUNDS
IS COMPLETELY USELESS AND YOU SHOULD TARGET THE THING YOU'VE BEEN
TARGETING EXCLUSIVELY, YUNA!"
"LOOK OUT! THAT ELECTRICITY SPARKING OFF ITS TENTACLES MEANS
IT'S ABOUT TO EXECUTE A NASTY BUT UNAVOIDABLE ATTACK!"
And my favorite:
There are three Nodes of Magical Doom that are too high up to be
hit with physical attacks. Rikku's been zotting them with magic
and Samurai Paine's been hitting them with Sparkler for about 1700
points a go.
Helpful Voice: "YOU CAN'T HIT THOSE NODES WITH A SWORD!"
So the tail goes down. LeBlanc's having some serious trouble with
the legs, so Yuna and Co. take a breather and save the game, then
go bail LeBlanc out. Then Crotchman and his sidekick Can't Figure
Out How To Kill Myself Boy have serious trouble with the torso,
so Yuna and Co. go get some coffee at a save point, rest up a bit,
distract Yuna with vague and boring thoughts about Being the Hope
of Spira so that Rikku and Paine can go have a spot of hot lesbian
sex, and wander back to bail them out. Crotchman and CFOHTKM Boy,
I mean. And now Vegnagun's down! It's DOWN! Big sparking arcs of
electricity and everything! Whoo-hoo!
It's a pity that no one ever before in the 1000-year history of
trying to destroy Vegnagun ever thought of using multiple groups
of lightly armored people to attack it from different angles. I'll
bet the trained-ferret lobby could've taught cigarette lobbyists
a thing or two.
Anyway. Vegnagun's dead. Baralai/Tidus Mark II flips out on schedule,
screams a lot, thrashes about to show off the neat possession effect,
and then wakes Vegnagun up again, because why not? It's a SquareSoft
game, and it's set in Spira, the place where no one and nothing
ever truly dies. FINALLY our heroines fight the head.
Baralai climbs out of the Now Really Dead No We Mean It Vegnagun
and gets depossessed. Tidus Mark II is miserable. Yuna channels
Lenne to tell him that Lenne loves him. He tries to embrace Lenne.
He FINALLY realizes that Yuna isn't Lenne. He tries to kick Yuna's
ass. Due to an unfortunate glitch in the AI, he loses track of who
he's trying to kill, and tries to kick Rikku's ass as well. Don't
blame him. Cuter ass. Besides, if he kills her he can spend all
eternity with her, and he won't have to put up with the shade of
an idol singer. Our heroines hand him his own ass on schedule, Lenne
materializes, the two of them have a boring reunion, they dissolve
into the Farplane.
FINALLY. Jesus Christ.
And then we flip to a movie of Crotchman, CFOHTKH Boy, and their
lover, a piece of cardboard, addressing the people of Spira. It's
like watching a home video of a high-school graduation. How did
these three get to be leaders with the speaking ability and charisma
of a slightly damp turnip? And has anyone told CFOHTKH Boy that
he looks even uglier in movie form than in game form?
The pain takes far, far longer to end than it should, and we cut
to our heroines. They're atop the Gullwings' ship. They're flying!
Whee! And they're never, never going to stop being themselves.
That's so nice.
Why did I bother playing this game?