NightSkyPrince: FF Sequels
NightSkyPrince delivers again with another interesting and post worthy topic. As the image implies it's about the idea of Final Fantasy sequels and the questions that comes with it like: does Final Fantasy need better sequels? Is there a need? Do they ruin and/or take away from the story of the original? Do they add anything? Do they suck? What's the future of Final Fantasy sequels? These are some good questions to ask when we are talking about Final Fantasy sequels because the idea of it has caused a rift between the Final Fantasy community. I want to delve into the topic a little bit. Just a little bit. Keep in mind that what I'm going to talk about in regards to the video will hone in mostly on Final Fantasy X-2 because its the first direct sequel of any Final Fantasy game. And its also the game that I invested myself to compared to other sequels/spinoff. So let's get to it. Let me delve into the main ingredients that make a Final Fantasy a Final Fantasy game for me.
Now it's no big secret that I am a fan of Final Fantasy X-2. In all my talks of Dissidia NT, I have jumped in joy at the idea of Yuna wearing her X-2 outfit and Rikku being in the game (we all know how both that is turning out). Whenever I think of Rikku, I think of Rikku from X-2. Now I'm also not going to hide the fact that FFX-2 drew a lot of fans from pure fan service. It's not a secret nor is it refutable that one of the main goal WAS/is Fan service. I mean, Final Fantasy has always dared to show some skimpy outfits and skin with their female leads, but FFX-2 really pushed the limits. While a lot of people definitely love that idea, there are a good amount (from my experience within the community) that absolutely loathe what FFX-2 has done. I can understand why people can hate the game from that aspect but is FFX-2 really that vague and shallow?
Final Fantasy X-2, without a doubt, is a continuation of Final Fantasy X. And I'm sorry, Final Fantasy X-2 haters but it is canon (not really sorry). Now the question is: is it good? Does it add anything? Depends on who you are asking. I think it does. While Final Fantasy X had a "spiral of death" theme to it, Final Fantasy X-2 was about life and how Spira and its people are living without the idea of death and extinction looming just around the corner. I think that idea translated well to the FFX-2's ambiance and how it was vastly more upbeat and sillier than Final Fantasy X. As far as the story itself goes, I will admit that it's not a necessary addition. I like how The NightSkyPrince started the video with that last, tear-inducing scene of Final Fantasy X when Tidus says good bye to everyone after finally putting an end to SIN.
To this day, it still brings tears to my eyes. It's one of those moments where I felt that I was saying good bye to characters I have invested myself in--as The NightSkyPrince stated in his video, we tend to connect and feel attached to these characters, and I have to admit that I definitely connected with the cast. So to add FFX-2's story along with its new list of characters really wasn't needed but I honestly felt that it did a great job with its attempt to add-on to the story. It gave the two lovers the dream that they always wanted and it explored some of the loose ends that Final Fantasy X didn't and couldn't dive into. FFX-2 is Yuna's story and it capitalized on the idea that she fell in love with the Star Player of the Zanarkand Abes and that she will do anything to reunite with him again. But with that notion, it does take away from the other characters since a lot of the focus is Yuna. Former playable characters like Lulu, Wakka, and Khimari get the short end of the stick since they are mostly just there for conversations and side missions. Even Rikku didn't really get as much character progression... most of that happened in Bikanel Desert when her home was being demolished by the Guado. Shame. They could have done a whole side mission just on her. I didn't care much for Paine but I felt that she had more of a tie to the story.
Despite a lot of strong opinions out there, FFX-2 does a lot to pay homage to FFX. It builds on a lot of the side characters, it gives them a 'life' after the conclusion of FFX. Not only that, I think FFX-2 gave some shout outs to past Final Fantasies by taking the job system and giving it a new spin, albeit a bit fanservice-y, but homage nonetheless. The Dressphere system was definitely a fun take and something that I feel FFXIII took inspiration from with their Paradigm Shift gimmick. Prior to FFX-2, I believe the last time we saw the job system was in Final Fantasy Tactics and that wasn't even a main Final Fantasy title.
As far as gameplay, FFX-2 stays in line with the traditional JRPG mechanics but with its own spin of the system, complete with its quirks, its ups, and its downs. The most notable thing about the battle system is the ability to change jobs with the Dressphere system and the faster real-time element. Since the cast is smaller, there is no swapping out with characters; just Yuna, Rikku, and Paine with the initial release of the game--for some, the subtraction of that perk that FFX added is definitely a downer but what FFX-2 added, it definitely was enough to balance it out for me. Now as far as the layout of how to play the game, it's definitely vastly different from FFX. It's not 'linear' and a lot of the story aspects are optional. Basically, one gameplay can be as bare bones as just the main story if one chooses not to dive into side missions. It's also based on multiple play throughs and a completionist/lover of FFX-2 like me definitely played this game a handful of times.
As far as the music, yeah, there's no comparison. Final Fantasy X is superior in every way. There are far more memorable music in FFX in general that I feel like this isn't even a comparison. But I can appreciation the upbeat and jovial beat that FFX-2 offered and at the same time, I love me some nostalgic legendary music that FFX had. After all, I do have the soundtrack for both games so that says something. But yeah, I don't find myself gravitating to FFX-2 when it comes to epic FF music; that's what Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy VI are there for. Then there's the voice overs. Voice acting was still young for Final Fantasy when FFX-2 came out but the acting was definitely BETTER in FFX-2 by a few blocks. Though I never really thought FFX was that bad, just not as polished as FFXII or even FFXIII. Though Rikku and Auron definitely had the best actors in FFX/FFX-2 (in my humble opinion). Let's just put this here:
FFX-2 didn't have anything like this. AT ALL.
So FFX-2 in terms of gameplay, story, music, and overall presentation is something I feel contributed to the game it came before but what about the other Final Fantasy sequels? Do they do something for the games that they follow? Personally, I can't say yes or no. I know I loathe FFXIII-2, but there are some who absolutely love the game and feel that it was superior to the original. I played Dirge of Cerberus and felt lost with what the heck that was (and I like Vincent Valentine and Yuffie). Didn't play FFXII Revenant Wings, FFIV After years, and didn't even touch FFXIII-3 so my judgement when it goes to the sequel as a whole solely depends on FFX-2 and a little bit of FFXIII-2. So here's what i can really say: I feel that the Final Fantasy sequels add to the story but without them, games like Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII is just fine. Don't get me wrong though, I'm glad that FFX-2 does exists since, you know, my feelings for that game and the time of my life that I played said game are special times. I guess I'm kind of an oxymoron, aren't I?
As far as spinoffs, what about them? I think they're a different breed altogether since they're mostly loosely based or set in an "alternate" dimension, so something like the Dissidia series is good on its own. But #RIKKUinDISSIDIANT is still something that must happen, just saying.
To sum it up, I think FFX-2 is a great game, flaws and all. I think it adds something to Final Fantasy X's overall story even if Final Fantasy X would have been PERFECT without FFX-2. Now, do I want to take FFX-2 out of existence? No. I don't think we would have seen Rikku in all her glory without FFX-2. The same judgement can't be the same about the other sequels if one is asking me, but I know every sequel out there holds a special place in someone's heart. Are the purists right? Are we straining the original concept of Final Fantasy which is: no sequels, every numbered title means FINAL and that's it? Again, watch The NightSkyPrince's video. He has some great points. And what about FFX-3?Does that mean though that I am all for FFX-3? Probably. I'm not opposed to it as long as they take both the good that FFX and FFX-2 did and put it in the game... and I want a FINAL CONCLUSION to the story. I can listen to the story, that's for sure, but I do want a final chapter to every story I read.
So I think that's all I really have to say about this. And NightSkyPrince, if you ever read this, thank you for bringing up this topic. Definitely helped me to put some thoughts into the surface about a game I so dearly love, which is, obviously, FFX-2.
until Next Time!