It would seem that I was not detailed in my last post about FFX, vanlandw pointed out a couple of critical areas I missed. So, I have decided to do a follow up post.
Exciting World of Micromanaged Combat
There is a huge problem with the combat in FFX. Characters can only get experience if they are actively involved in combat. For example, if you had three people in your party and only one person killed the enemy that person would be the only one to get experience. Your other team members would be left with nothing. This violates a convention that RPG gamers have gotten used to over the years. That standard is everyone in a party splits experience regardless of what they did during the battle.
While this new system may be innovative, and slightly more realistic is makes battles a pain in the ass and utterly tedious. This is because you have to swap out party members during battle so they can do something. This requires constant juggling of characters and a lot more micromanagement that I’d like to think about while grinding. My preferred method is what was used in FF7: everyone in the party gets full experience, and everyone not in the party gets half experience.
Wretched Crystal Room
I do not even know what you would call this area, but people who have played the game will know what I am talking about. Within Sin there is a room you have to run around and collect gems that appear, and disappear (usually just before you get to them). While you are running around trying to collect the gems before they fade away there are crystal shards that jut up from the ground at random. Normally, this isn’t that big of an issue, but the way it is setup is just sadistic. You spend almost the entire time running blind across the circular area trying to find the gems, because the camera is facing your character so you cannot see where you are running. I can only assume the game designers did this to be dicks, and to increase your chances of running into shards.
If you hit one of these shards you are instantly propelled into battle. And, these battles are nothing to laugh at. Most of them just force you to spend precious items you have collected. But, one in particular is just sadistic. The Great Malboro is an insidious creature that has a special attack called “bad breath.” This horrible ability utterly screwed my team, as it inflicts various status ailments, including some kind of confusion. The result was that it could slowly pick away at my characters while they slaughtered each other, and all I could was watch.
Sadly, I had never encountered anything like it in the game up to that point. As a result, I was not at all equipped to face it. Luckily, I happened to have a return sphere so I was able to add first strike to one of Auron’s weapons. I charged his overdrive and held it until I fought the creature. I was pretty strong when I faced it, so that over drive was usually enough to get it before it could get me. Ugh, I still get furious just thinking about it.
Be careful what you name things. I have read several books that use the term “moonflow” to refer to menstruation. Unfortunately this made much of this sequence of the game quite disturbing, and / or just gross. The thought of moonflow glowing is just wrong. And, riding a creature the lives off of organisms in the moonflow, ugh. The stories about Yuna repeatedly jumping into the moonflow as a child…and then, when Tidus and Wakka just jump into the moonflow…the thought of that battle still makes me feel dirty.
Although this should be an unwritten rule, it is an important one: do not name things after menstruation.