Now, there are few relationships in my life that has been as fraught with dizzying highs and far down lows as my relationship with Square Enix. More specifically with the Final Fantasy Video gaming-a-verse. I've experiencing the dizzying highs and the low down low down lows.
Final Fantasy, you've played with my fucking heart. MY FUCKING HEART.
Now let's think about the gunky heart stuff. We all remember how wondrous and sparkly those magic moments with Final Fantasy have been and can be on occasion. To this day, there are songs that makes me just a little melancholy and full of memories, more than any video game should.
We all remember our good times. I think most people will cite FFVII, which was considered the most epic story since motherfucking Gilgamesh. It does have one of the most tragic moments of video games: Spoiler alert: Aerith Dies. Lesson Learned: Video Games makes me feel stuff.
For me, even more, is in FFIX, which was the last of the old school style Final Fantasies. Vivi was a tragic little black mage fighting for individuality, feeling immense sorrow and we all felt at times like Vivi, rooting for him to fight against his destiny. But JRPG's, I have learned if nothing else, GIVES ZERO FUCKS ABOUT KILLING YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS.** And I was saddened, but nonetheless, I loved the story. His story had meaning.
**yeah, yeah, you'll be like "BUT VIVI didn't die?? I SAW. I THOUGHT. I KNOW." Stop fooling yourself. Like all black mages, he's deader than a doornail.
Right—right? Remember that. How did it all go wrong? Well, let me think about this shit:
FINAL FANTASY X:
I liked this game. I did for the most part but it was undone by a few things. I liked the Al Bhed and the choices I had to make and the mean gothic lady, Lulu. She was sexy and had a nice sense of style. I liked playing Black Mages in my RPG life so I appreciated the cut of her jib. But the ending pissed me off— the whole "Tidus didn't really exist unless i got a perfect ending and then he did exist" seemed like stupid shit. Blah, blah Faythe, farplane, Auron's dead shit. The worst was Wakka's hair though. That was the serious worse thing ever. I mean LOOK AT THIS SHIT. I also didn't get Blitzball. Fuck that minigame.
Final Fantasy X-2
I know that a lot of people hated this but it wasn't terrible terrible. Ok, but the plot included the three main protagonists becoming J-Pop stars and then changing powers when they could change outfits, including becoming adorable bears and shit. Some of the fighting was good but the mythology became really fucked. Too much pandering. Ok, so it was terrible terrible. But I still played the shit out of it. I got to 100%. PERFECT ENDING. And in retrospect, if nothing else, it wasn't as terrible as FFXIII. NOTHING IS.
Final Fantasy XI
I played this game for over three years. I have very mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I had the purely greatest Video gaming experiences of my life in this game. I loved it before they nerfed everything. Chains of death through the Shitadel. I did the Chains of Promathia quests up to Sea—the funnest EVER. Remember fun times running around killing sheep, bees, fishing random shit, making pies, outrunning massive beasts and getting my Moldavite Earring (before it became a 100% drop)
The best part of this game was also the worst. It required team work. You couldn't function without a party and if your linkshell wasn't there for you, you literally could wait for hours, kill for an hour, get wiped and then have your party disband, collectively losing points after an evening of gaming. FUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOU. UGH, sometimes it was terrible and frustrating and annoying. Sometimes the quests were just weird and fucking obscure. You ever wait in a desert for hours for the weather to turn hot so you can get a specific crystal? NO? I DID.
But then they decided to nerf the shit out of everything. I sensed it when the Treasures of Aht Urghan came out and suddenly, after nerfing Black Mage (my class), they decided to have all these beasts that reflected magic. And then came the whole TP burn parties. All hack and slash. The game went more and more for easy motherfucking experience. Fast individual leveling. In other words, RUINED, BECAUSE IT DECIDED TO CATER TO THE WOW BASTARDS WHO WANT EVERYTHING TO BE LIKE WOW.
FACE 6 HUME REPRESENT. I was from San D'Oria because I wanted to make a character that resented Elvaan. For me, Elvaan were hipster jerks and I was living out my unconscious aggressive fantasies.
Interlude: Movie Fuckery.
You guys might remember what a disaster Final Fantasy: The Spirits within was. It had a lot to do with the fact that it spent too much time in the uncanny valley.
Now you think that Square Enix would have learned. You think they would self reflect and think "What is it about our games that makes it fun and wondrous to play?" YEAH, YEAH.
WELL FUCKERS, YOU DON'T KNOW SQUARE ENIX. Instead they are like "How can we take our most beloved product and fuck around with it beyond the point of recognition? I KNOW! LOOK"
Yes, I saw this. I SAW ALL OF THIS MOVIE YOU UNREPENTANT BASTARDS. They threw out any reasonable adherence to physics. It was all about what looks cool.
It didn't look cool. Uncanny valley!
Final Fantasy XII
I played you for about two weeks. You seemed mildly interesting until I wandered off. You are like the Bill Pullman of the Final Fantasy Franchise.
Final Fantasy XIII:
It wasn't universally awful. I mean, I played half of it but it gave me a headache. Let me say this: the paradigm fighting system is pretty cool. I like all the names: TRIDISASTER and spent a significant time to see what combos would reveal what cool fighting names. Lightning seemed cool. I liked the characters, except for whiny little Hope who is like Final Fantasy's Carl, with all the nihilism and whininess but no cowboy hat. BUT IT WAS SO FUCKING LINEAR. It was like FIGHTFIGHTFIGHTFIGHTFIGHT. Go to beauteous fight scene and watch shit. fightfightihfiahfosaf GARHG! Go to hell, Square Enix. If I can't go to town and hang out with my moogle and fucking go buy shit from a friendly shopkeeper! I DON'T LIKE YOU. FUCK YOU.
Final Fantasy XIV:
You ever play the Alpha and Beta of a game and you really are excited about all the improvements that they'll make to make the game awesome?!?!?! Well, that didn't happen here. THREE DAYS I WILL NEVER GET BACK. I have the special collectors edition sitting in my living room which is unusable since the reboot. I'm not sure I can even be legacy player because I was so angry and bored and angry and bored that I stopped and all I got is a leather bound notebook and a clicker and my memories. I heard the Realm Reborn is fun but I don't trust you, Square Enix. I DON'T TRUST YOU.
Maybe I'll get one when I get a PS4 and it comes out on that platform next year. MAYBE WHEN I TAKE MY ANGER MANAGEMENT CLASSES.
I DON'T WANT A FUCKING FLOWER, SQUARE ENIX. I WANT YOU TO GIVE ME MY TIME BACK.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Just as I thought I was getting out. Just as I was like, "Man, fuck that. From now on, I'm only playing Persona and all that Megami Tensai world o' games." I got drawn in. DRAWN IN. And for the stupidest reasons. On the spectrum from Tidus to Sephoirith, let's say that Serah was way in the Tidus camp. Noel Kreiss and his stupid fucking name wasn't much better. Hope was back. He became slightly less insufferable. But you know, there was exploring and the chance to visit and revisit worlds, even if it were through that whole incomprehensible time travel rift plot line thingy.
Oh and let's not forget the matter of the soundtrack. Talk about the highs and lows. Some of it was GREAT old school stuff and kind of dreamy melancholy stuff and other music was this, an insult to Chocobos:
And just as I was getting to the end—-(SPOILER)—fucking Serah dies? SERIOUSLY? AND THERE ARE LIKE EIGHT OTHER ENDINGS AND A SEQUEL? Yes, I'm there. I watched most of the other endings— a lot of fucking work for very little reward (just a snippet of animation) but that's what Square Enix does best. And I'll watch the sequel and CURSE THE DAY I WAS BORN.
Look: Costume Collection: OF COURSE YOU DO THIS TO ME.
The moral of this story? Fuck you, Square Enix
The real moral of this story: I'll be first in line for FFXV and I'LL HATE MYSELF AND HATE YOU FOR THIS FOREVER.