Miso Soup for the Otaku SoulSummer Adventures: Summer jobs and getaways for teens and college studentsYoung and Broke: Student JobsJapan

Issendai Fails to Learn From FFX,
and Takes On FFX-2

Majestically spoileriffic.

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 completely redecorate.

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 is Logos.

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... annoying.

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.

The tail?


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.




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.


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.

Boring asskicking.

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?


Miso Soup for the Otaku SoulSummer Adventures: Summer jobs and getaways for teens and college studentsYoung and Broke: Student JobsJapan