I give it a more favourable reception than FFXIII and even then, managing to be better than FFXIII is hardly an achievement. Despite this however, it's still in that limbo between hate and love. I just can't physically love it. I don't hate it either, but it is still too bogged down with aspects of gameplay that I've just grown to hate and aspects of the storyline that made me want me tear my hair out from time to time. At best, I was very entertained by a lot of it, but I never could get myself to adore it like most people here. Do I think it's a bad game? Well...no, not really, but as a Final Fantasy game, it could have been a lot better and the team just managed to take the worst parts of FFX and crafted FFXIII out of it. Kudos to you, guys. The game gets a meh on my radar at least.
Okay, let me say that I hated Blitzball with a burning passion. FFX-2 managed to make me hate it even more which was just an astonishing achievement. It was just a snoozefest with each match being a dragging bout of boredom that wasn't enjoyable to play at all - goodness knows why I would want to keep playing it over and over again while scouting for new players. I also was not fond of the Cloister of Trials. While I appreciate them for incorporating into the temples some puzzles to break up the random grindy battles, the same tedious spheres thing was just an absolute chore that seemingly dragged out the game time needlessly while at the same time giving me in total several hours of totally unenjoyable to and fro running around. I had to do this...how many times now? And I ended up dreading the next parts of the game? That shouldn't be happening. I should be looking forward to the next parts!
I quite enjoyed the traditional combat system and I felt it was particularly well done, and about as solid as you can get for a turn-based system. I grew to appreciate the Sphere Grid thing even if I did hate it with a burning passion at first, even if it felt quite cumbersome a lot of the time. It was far meatier than what we got from FFXIII. I'm not too sure what I make of the linearity. On the one hand, the game isn't as horribly linear as FFXIII, which is a good thing. At least I can still interact with Spira, as in, speak with the NPCs, learn about the world, perhaps even grow to care about the plights of some voiceless NPCs whereas Cocoon and Gran Pulse felt like lifeless wallpapers (and shamelessly were). On the other hand, I wasn't fond of the fact that it was essentially a linear game of getting from one end of Spira to the next, mostly with straightforward paths stretching in one direction while an arrow was floating around largely useless. Still, at least game locations were revisitable, so I give it that.
Okay, the story. Yes, overall it was quite an enjoyable dramatic rollercoaster, covering the theme of religion and corruption well, and quickly becoming one of the most memorable storylines I've ever come across, but a lot of plot points just irritate me considerably. I found Rikku's and the Al-Bheds' goals idiotic. We capture the summoner to make sure he/she doesn't die yet use mechanical weapons to kill his/her guardians anyway? We save these few summoners yet sit back as Sin destroys another town the size of Kilika? Talk about the end justifying the blinking means! At the same time, Via Purifico was hilarious. We execute heretics by throwing them into a...sewer? And let's put in some guards at the exits to try and block their escape because uhh, you know, this plan is so great!
Seymour has to be one of the least impressive villains I've seen. No one bothers sending him after kicking his ass again and again and he just becomes a pest later on who just isn't threatening at all? Some stuff about Sin's toxin being a bit inconsistent? Yuna dragging out this whole "shall I marry him or not?" episode for a few hours, then deciding on doing it just to get to have a heart to heart with Seymour to get him to atone somehow (and possibly even send him at last!) when it's blatantly clear that it's never going to work. Oh yeah, and I'm not exactly a fan of Tidus. It's technically moreso Yuna's story, but hey! He's the leading man, right! He has to remind us that it's actually in fact entirely his story when Yuna's the one with such a burden of a destiny to follow. There's also the fact that at certain times I'm convinced that he's a total dumbass and the melodrama annoyed me more than anything. Wakka at one point says something so dumbass I wished they'd have just thrown him offboard. In fact, everyone's a dumbass, arguably bar Auron.
Oh, the laughing scene says hi. I know they haven't had much experience with voice acting then, but honestly, that was excruciating, yet oddly at the same time so bad it wasn't actually...that bad at all? Well anyway, while I don't hate it, I don't see the love either. It's all well and good if you do love it, and ultimately, different strokes for different people I guess, but I just couldn't make myself adore it at all.