WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?
Not a thing.
When I heard that Final Fantasy X was getting a sequel, confusion set in. Why? Final Fantasy X ended on such a perfect note. Such a final not. It seems to be almost in poor taste to release a sequel to a game so beloved as this. And if Final Fantasy X could get a sequel, what’s next? Final Fantasy IV? VII? Well, yeah. Final Fantasy X-2 was the first direct sequel, and it paved the way for the cash grabs we see today.
It also gave a certain director confidence to work on his dream girl, Lightning. That’s right. Motomu Toriyama directed Final Fantasy X-2. He would later have a hand in directing the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. I can say that I appreciate his insistence with a female protagonist. But something’s not quite right about this…
This was the first Square Enix Final Fantasy. This was also the first Final Fantasy without Sakaguchi’s involvement. That’s not surprising. Sakaguchi always envisioned Final Fantasy to be a series of standalone games. But for his reasoning:
I don’t like sequels. I hate them. That’s why every single Final Fantasy had a new cast of characters, a brand new story, [and] a different system. Our promise to ourselves is that for every single game that we make, we are going to give it our all, and then we finish it, we’ll end it in such a way that there is no to be continued checklist.
And Final Fantasy X didn’t leave much for a continuation. So they made a new story for Yuna, Rikku and…Paine? Why not Lulu? Well, I guess Lulu’s pregnant, so she can’t hang out with the girls. But they wanted the dynamic of a Mysterious Chick, contrasted with a Girl Next Door and Wild Child. So we got Paine. I thought Lulu and Paine would hate each other when they met each other. The Cure versus My Chemical Romance? They didn’t talk much. That sounds about right.
Man, this game is so weird and quirky. Why am I pleasuring Leblanc’s back? Whats with those dudes cheering on YRP’s tickle fight in the hot springs? Why are they in hot springs? What’s with Brother’s..perversion? He’s Yuna’s cousin, but is he really trying to consummate his love for her. Where’s Tidus when you need him? No, why is he even like this? He wasn’t like this in Final Fantasy X. What could possibly explain this weird character shift? Who’s this little kid named Shinra? Why does Yuna run like she flapping her arms? Did we really need a magical girl dress-sphere changing scene? That made Final Fantasy X-2 even weirder.
Yuna and Rikku are more or less the same as they always were. That disappointed me. If we were going to see them again, shouldn’t we have had more character development? But they were flat. We sort of learn more about Paine. But it all seems so inconsequential. And Yuna is really doing this to find Tidus? I thought this would have been about female empowerment, but it was “girly. Like, some dude’s parody of what he thinks girls are like. It was strange to watch. If it weren’t for Yuna, I wouldn’t think this was a Final Fantasy game.
And then I started to realize…this has nothing to do with Final Fantasy X. The whole point of a sequel is to expand upon the original story using characters to illustrate common themes. This did none of that. The characters were shallow. The story was shallow. The themes were shallow. The only thing that had depth was the battle system. This was probably the best job class system in the series, buried in a sequel. A sequel that didn’t need to exist. Are they trying to go against Sakaguchi’s vision, just for the fun of it?
I tried to make this post a 1000 words. I thought it would go along with Final Fantasy X-2’s song. But it’s not like writing 1000 words would have hammered home the point. I don’t even know what 1000 words even had to do with the themes of the game. Of course, it was about Yuna telling Tidus that she was essentially foolish to pursue her goals without him. Now you know why the perfect ending is having him back, rather than letting him go.
Sakaguchi would later leave Square Enix. I wonder if they have 1000 words for him?