FFX-2: Great, but returning it

It's been a while since I had my heart broken by game, but it happened last night. I LOVED Final Fantasy X, and when I heard that they made a sequel for the first time, I was amped.

The setup - Yuna, now with Rikku and a new goth-ish chick named Paine, is on a quest to find Titus or whatever his name was. I called him Slappy, so he's still Slappy to me.Anyway, you're out looking for spheres which will hopefully solve the mystery as to where Slappy went to at the end of FFX. Not saving the world, just looking for your boyfriend.

There's a heavy focus on girliness. Instead of changing classes or weapons, you equip a "dress sphere". That's right, it's outfit driven. It's like FFX ran full on into an episode of Sailor Moon and the Charlie's Angels movie. be ready for a light and breezy tone, instead of FFX's millions dying and worlds being destroyed. If you share the Japanese appreciation for cuteness and sweet-looking girls in crazy outfits, you'll love it. I like that kinda thing, but that didn't save it for me.

The production is awesome. Graphics? Sweet. The monster design is the same greatness as FFX. The level-up and dress sphere systems looked cool, and I was looking forward to working with them. Even the rivals, reminding me strongly of Pokemon's incompetent Team Rocket, were making me pretty happy.

What went wrong?

Someone at Square made a baddecision when they made Kingdom Hearts, and then decided to make that error the very core of FFX2. RTMS, "Real Time Menu Scrambling". If you played Kingdom Hearts, you may remember the frustration of trying to select a "Summon" while in the middle of a battle. You had to pull your attention from the action and flashing lights and yelling and fireballs and crazed monkeys to the little menu in the lower left corner, where you navigated down a list of options, then over to another menu, and then over to a list of characters that you scrolled through to the one you wanted. Of course, this was while a baddie or 20 was smacking the living crap out of you in real (painful) time. Some asshole decided that scrolling through menus was totally acceptable as "action".

Now, FFX2 has nothing but RTMS. When it's your turn to enter a command, the action never stops. Want to think a second about your next move? Denied. Want to look at your HP and MP? You're giving your opponents time to kill you. Want to look at your inventory? Too late, she's dead. Want to look at the fantastic graphics as the fight goes on? Don't, you need to be looking at that little menu in the corner all the time. Even worse, some attacks require you to quickly and repeatedly tap one button, while still entering menu commands with other buttons. WTF?

This killed the entire experience for me. What should have been a great game, is instead, a return happening today.

To me, it's clear that someone at Square is trying to slowly acquire the entire setup for Grandia 2's battle system. That is the greatest idea in the world. This game is a step in that direction, but a bad one. Grandia lets you think when it's time to move, and then lets the action flow fast and furious. Who at Square decided that wasn't needed?
Because I fucking hate that guy.

Maybe you should try it. Maybe you'll like it. IGN loved it, and I respect their opinion. I wanted to love it. I tried to love it. But, to me, RPG's are about taking a minute to plan out your moves and using real strategy instead of always hitting the same command just because it's the default. If you think you can have an "action", real time battle entirely through menu scrolling, this will no doubt be an excellent game for you. Not for me, though. This unholy blend of RPG and RTMS is not for me.

Grandia Extreme had probably the best battle system I've ever seen.

That being said, I hear what you're saying... But final fantasy has been moving away from traditional RPG battle systems since FF1 in the US, so I'm not surprised at all by this.

I'll write a longer post when I have some time.

you are trading it in for Manhunt aren't you?

Sounds horrible man.

u can turn off active battle mode

that's good news

I've been playing FFX2 also, and I also felt the same way. FFX was an epic by all means it brought you into a world and I was heavily addicted on the story much like FFVII did. I will say though, the battle system is pretty good once you play it for a while. Setting up combos, and timing strategy with different character changes can be fun. There are many interesting ways to administer damage. I still like the grid system better though.

The story is weak compared to FFX but not that bad i suppose. I'm only like 15% done but i beleive it will get better. The Mission based system of this RPG is also kind of lame. I dunno, its a good game but i hear where your coming from. I'm still gonna play it all the way through.

final fantasy x spoiled me for all other rpgs it was so good, that story was really moving

I'm about 10 hours in the game and think it's pretty good. I like how you can chain attack the enemies and the only thing I dislike about it is when you win beat a battle and they are giving you your exp and gil. It takes too long before they let you out of that screeen

u can turn off active battle mode
I did see a setting for it. I tried it. I noticed no difference. I still got hit while moving through menus and making up my mind.
I was very puzzled by this, not to mention frustrated. I made it to the end of the second mission, raced to the top of the tower and killed the crab boss, before I lost all patience.
How did you turn it off? Now when you're in battle, can you just leave the controller alone for as long as you want and all action ceases?

you are trading it in for Manhunt aren't you?
The store had a used True Crime for PS2, so they offered an even trade. I wanted it for Cube (load time, baby, load time), but I took it.

That's horrible.

fob_77 is absolutely correct about the wait at the Gold/Exp screen. It has really started to drive me nuts.

spg and fob_77, did you guys turn off the "think quick" mode? or are you playing real-time?

I smoke too much pot while playing to read/think that quick.

I'm playing on active and on fast. I just wait for everyones meters to go up and do chain attacks. Seems to work pretty well for me.

I'm playing real-time, I like how it's quick mainly because in FF games lately there has just been an illusion of really needing to choose your attacks 99% of time.

Speeding it up cuts down the repetition a lot.

I'm suprised Willybone.
Well, I usually spend a lot of time stroking my goatee and scratching my head when RPGing. I'm kinda obsessive about every move being the right one and every battle being a flawless execution of teamwork ending in total domination. I often reboot a game if I make an even moderately bad decision.
To be honest, I probably would've been happy to have it be realtime, if I could assign commands to buttons instead of scrolling.
Really, that's my sticking point, having to move through long menus too quickly. Either make it use one or two button commands, or just give me a minute to move through the menus. Real Time Menu Scrabbling just made me feel like I was picking options because they were easy to get to in the menu, not because it was the right move.

It's such a tiny point to hold against a game that clearly had so much to offer me, but I just couldn't get over it, even though I was winning all the battles pretty easily. I'm almost ashamed, but I swear I tried to like it.

I think I am a bit overpowered for where I'm at in the game... I was fighting a boss and killed him in a round.

I agree about being overpowered or the game is just too easy

Well I played through the game till the end. I only got about 70% complete so i got a shitty ending. I'm gonna go back and play extra mode to get 100% to see the good ending.

It actually turns out to be a pretty decent game, better than the beggining of it lead me to beleive. Not as good as FFX but still worth it.

I just killed the chocobo eater and is at about 30%