The Fabulous First Five Minutes Of Final Fantasy X-2

The Final Fantasy X-2 Remaster with Bonus Final Fantasy X hit the States this week, once again raising the all-important question, “How can you hate a game that opens with a dance number?”


First off, sorry about the “singing”. I couldn’t help myself.

Secondly, I completely understand why so many Final Fantasy fans hate this game with a passion. Following up the first big Final Fantasy game of a new generation with what is essentially the series’ equivalent of Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball was a move that was destined to cause contention among the player base.

I love the game. I enjoy the Dressphere system. I like unlocking all the outfits and playing with group dynamics. I relished the opportunity to further explore the continent of Spira. And that music. From the moment the game’s menu popped up I was in love.

And yes, I know her name is Lulu.

The First Five is the first five minutes of a game with light commentary. Once the five minutes are up, so am I.

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I attest that, if FFX-2 was a standalone game, in its own universe, with brand new characters, it would have been an irrefutable classic...

... But it’s not. FFX opened with the destruction of the world; FFX-2 opens with a pop concert. FFX beats you over the head that tragedy, sorrow, and loss are sometimes unavoidable; FFX-2 undoes that and gives Yuna a happy ending (sorry everyone else who lost loved ones). FFX is focused, deliberate, and purposeful; FFX-2 is aimless, bizarre, and nonsensical. Characters aren’t consistent, character arcs are undone, and substance is replaced with style.

It’s still FUN... but it’s tonally at odds with the game that it’s supposedly a sequel to. It’s like making a goofy, light-hearted, cartoonish Silent Hill game as the direct sequel to Silent Hill 2.

Everything about it is FUN, but it’s a bizarre case where “fun” as a priority runs counter to the lore and history of the universe of FFX.

It would have soared as a stand-alone game, I believe, but Square seemed to think it had to be a direct sequel. And as a direct sequel, it paved the way for many, many more subpar tie-ins, spin-offs, sequels, prequels, and other properties that only took away from the originals.

... But at least I can dress Yuna up as a cowboy. Yay.