3 Final Fantasy Games We Could Have Lived Without
Is there any name more synonymous with the JRPG than Final Fantasy? The Final Fantasy series has produced a few of my favorite RPGs, but those aren't the ones we're here to talk about right now. We're here to discuss the Final Fantasy titles that suck, with their annoying characters, nonsensical plots, and boring combat. These are my three worst Final Fantasy games.
3. Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X could have been a good game. The combat is fun and interesting and there were some amazing boss fights (with the exception of Yu Yevon and pretty much every time you fight Seymour). Unfortunately, the characters, plot, and pointless busy work pull this game straight down.
This game has some of the worst characters I've ever come across. Yuna is passive and useless, constantly being kidnapped and waiting for others to save her despite her ability to summon any number of giant creatures of destruction. Wakka is just an idiot. Seymour is one of the lamest villains ever. He's just a cheap attempt to recapture the magic that was Sephiroth. His motivation makes absolutely no sense and he never feels threatening in the least.
Every time you fight him you just beat him down, eliminating any kind of drama. And then there's Tidus... oh gods there is Tidus. Tidus is an idiotic, whiny, disrespectful cockroach of a character. I have never hated a protagonist as much as I hated Tidus. The only characters I liked were Auron and Jecht. Auron is a badass swordsman and Jecht used every bit of his screen time to mock and belittle Tidus.
The game is also filled with padding and busy work. The Blitzball mini game is a slow, turn based mess when it should be a quick action packed game. There is nothing stimulating about it in the least. Likewise, the multiple dungeons you have to go through are just a series of easily solved block pushing and ball moving puzzles. All it does is waste your time so the game feels longer. If the puzzles were at least half way interesting, at least then maybe I would have enjoyed myself.
2. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was a 1993 Super Nintendo title that is somewhat more obscure than its heavy hitting brothers. Mystic Quest was an attempt to bring a larger western audience to the Final Fantasy series. Since the other Final Fantasy titles weren't selling very well in the West, Mystic Quest was designed to be a dumbed down JRPG. And boy did they dumb it down. I don't know if the game even qualifies as a JRPG. There is no job system, no exploration, and no customization.
Weapons and armor have been simplified to four weapons and four pieces of armor, each with three levels of strength. For weapons, you get swords, axes, bombs, and claws. Each of these weapons is strong against a different enemy type. One of the only mildly interesting things is that each of the weapons have uses outside of combat. The sword can hit switches, bombs can break walls, axes can chop trees, and claws act like grappling hooks.
Combat is incredibly boring and unrewarding. All you have to do is select your strongest attack and then press the A button until the battle is over. You might as well find a good book to read while you're doing it so at least you feel like you accomplished something at the end.
When you beat a monster you get the usual experience points and gold. Gold is pointless in this game. Any armor or weapon upgrades you get will be found in chests. You can find potion shops, but these are ultimately pointless since there are a myriad of chests that contain potions. As if to make gold even more pointless, when you leave an area, all the chests respawn, so you can just farm chests for potions infinitely until you have all the items you will ever need.
Party members will come and go, but you will only ever have one at any given time. Almost without exception, your party members will always be stronger than you when they join. Any challenge that this game might have had just goes out the window. Just spam your strongest attacks and you'll be fine.
All travel between locations is done on a world map à la Super Mario World. This means there is no way to actually explore the world. There's just nothing interesting about the world or gameplay to make me want to play it.
1. Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII is the culmination of multiple terrible game design choices and awful writing. It is hands down the worst Final Fantasy game I have ever played. The game fails in almost every possible way.
The writing in this game is atrocious. It fails at basic story telling, giving the player absolutely nothing to work with. It just tosses you into this world without one iota of exposition to get you started. If you want to know anything about what any of these characters are talking about you have to dig through data logs, but even the data logs will use terms that have absolutely no meaning to someone playing the game for the first time. So then you have to go digging through more data logs. All of this could be solved if the writers of this game had any sense of basic story telling. I can't care about anything or anyone in the story because it fails to explain the setting, the motivations of characters, or the backgrounds of the characters. Would you bother watching a movie if you had to constantly look up details on the setting or terms used? Of course you wouldn't.
The combat in Final Fantasy XIII looks pretty and uses good concepts, but at best the strategy is skin deep. Most of the combat plays itself. You have the ability to change each character's class on the fly, but that's about all the input the game actually needs from you. Sure, you can choose individual attacks if you want, but at the pace the combat moves, the best you can hope to do is choose the attacks for your main character. You're better off just letting the game play itself.
Final Fantasy XIII even somehow manages to fail at level design. Every path you travel in the game is one big hallway. Sure, you will occasionally come to a branch off of the hallway, but the best you can hope for is that it will end with a little treasure chest and nothing else. You will then be forced to return to the hallway and proceed onward. There is no exploration, no secrets... just the hallway. There aren't even any towns to break up the endless hallways. Towns have been completely eliminated, because god forbid we let the player escape the hallway and explore. Even when you get to the Chocobo theme park, a place just begging for mini-games, there is nothing. Just another hallway to run through.
The hallway somehow even extends to the leveling system. The Crystarium is just a linear path of points that you unlock using experience points. Why is it even a thing? Why doesn't all of it just happen automatically? The design choice makes absolutely no sense. It's just more pointless busy work. The Crystarium even limits how far you can progress in it based on how far along in the story you are. How does that make any sense?
These are my most hated Final Fantasy games.
Do you agree or do you hate me now? Which Final Fantasy games do you hate?