I will break this review up into multiple points to make it clear why I dislike this compared to FFX
1. The characters we all know and loved from FFX are out of character and their storylines are messed with- For some reason Yuna is a lot more carefree and confident in this game, and pretty outgoing, which is nothing like she was in FFX, and don't get me started on the fact that this game decided to make her a famous pop singer. Sure she was kind of boring in FFX and didn't have much personality, but she was a lot more relateable in that game and didn't get on my nerves. Rikku is taken to the more extreme end of annoying and bizarre and lets not even talk about Brother, who is pretty much a hyperactive German stereotype in this, where in FFX he barely even talked, yet this game manages to make him one of the most annoying characters in an FF game I've played. Then We have Wakka and Lulu's love story, which makes doesn't make sense, it's only been 2 years since FFX and Lulu's already about to have his baby. In FFX Lulu clearly wasn't into Wakka like but 2 years later and they are pretty much established, its almost as if the writers of this ran out of ideas and just said well we might as well make Lulu and Wakka have something notable. We also have several minor characters from FFX who you run into and do quests for, but to be honest they don't have enough of a role in this game but there was a reason they had minor roles in FFX, yet this game tries to make them more important than they actually are.
2. Unnecessary new characters- Paine is just a pointless character and the only reason shes in this is to add a third party member. I did not care for her moody attitude and she really didn't have much story to her. On top of that one of the villains in this game is an annoying blonde with revealing clothes who constantly gushes over this guy she has a crush on. This feels like something you'd seen in a kids cartoon, but feels way too silly for FF, sure FFX had its silly moments, but this game had way too many comic relief characters/moments. In fact I didn't care for any of the new characters in this game, they could have all died at the end of this and I would not have cared, all they did was drag the story out.
3. 90% of the locations are reused- That's right 90% of the locations in this game are pretty much reused from FFX. You revisit all the old areas and do quests and this gets really repetitive fast. On top of reused locations most of the enemies are reused too. Sure I guess this makes sense in terms of story, why would there be many new enemies or why would you go to a new part of the World. But at the same time we've already been there and done this in the last game, it was a great adventure but FFX-2 treats these areas so casually that they dont feel as epic or unique as when you first venture through them.
4. Storyline is forgettable- FFX concluded things decently, sure I didn't care much for that game's plot twist, but I did enjoy the story for the most part and the end worked pretty well. Then this game comes along and pretty much brings up pointless side characters, turns Yuna and Rikku into annoying treasure/sphere hunters, gives us a way too tongue in cheek atmosphere, and when the game does start to get a little serious, it just doesn't pull out a story I found interesting. The story to this is very disjointed too, you have to find movie spheres essentially to pick up all the back story as well, and on top of this Tidus lives, which kills the ending of FFX.
5. Pointless side quests- Many of the side quests in this game are annoying mini games that have nothing at all to do with the main story. One of these is pressing a bunch of buttons as they appear on the screen to calibrate lightning towers, another one is selling tickets for a guys concert, another one is matching monkeys up with their soul mates, Im not even kidding. Many of these side quests are so boring and pointless, yet if you want 100% you have to put up with them, in FFX the side content was interesting and consisted of fighting, this is just doing menial tasks and frustrating mini games.
6. Missibles- One thing I hate in a game is missable content. One time I forgot to talk to a character after completing a side quest because the game returned me to the main ship. Then I decided to do the main story mission and after starting that I couldn't return to my ship and then after that mission finished the chapter ended so I practically missed an entire side mission all because I simply forgot to talk to a character once. If you forget to talk to a character or view a certain video, you are gurunteed to miss 100% in this game. Some of the videos you have to watch to get 100 just feel like they are going to end, yet if you keep watching something will happen, which is annoyingly deceptive. The game pretty much wants you to do all the side quests at the start of each day, and some of these side quests can be failed as well, preventing 100%. For instance if you don't sell all the guys tickets, meaning you just mess up an oversell it to one person, you will mess up your chances of 100%. I honestly didn't care enough about many of the side quests so didn't care if I got 100, I believe I got something like 75%, but I can only imagine the furstration of getting 100% and how time consuming it is doing the pointless dragged out side quests.
7. The music- FFX had a great soundtrack, even on the remastered version it had many great and memorable songs for the areas you'd visit, FFX-2 just doesn't have a very memorable soundtrack and I feel like doesn't fit the areas as well as the first game. Thunder Plains had such a good song, but the one for Thunder Plains in this game is just so much inferior and forgettable.
8. No specialized classes- In FFX, each character felt unique because they had their own trees with their own abilities. Yuna was the white mage, Auron the warrior, Lulu the black mage, then in this game each character pretty much has the ability to become whatever class they want and can even switch classes in the middle of battle. I feel like class doesn't mean anything in this game, each character feels like a clone of the other, no character feels like she has her own unique set of abilities.
9. Too much backtracking- You pretty much have to revisit almost every single area after each day and do many side quests that consist of traveling to many areas and lets just say you'll go partially crazy at the end of this game because of having to go through all these areas again. In FFX you really only had to go to each of these areas once, and aside from the Cactuar side quest there wasn't much backtracking or tediously going between areas of a location.
10. Little strategy is involved until near the end- Okay I will say some of the harder bosses did require some strategy, but for the first 4 chapters of this game I was able to pretty much spam attack and armor/power breaks and kill almost everything with little challenge.
11. Pointless classes- Half the classes in this game are just pointless and not useful. Is there a point of having guns in this too, I feel like guns are making this feel way too actiony for a Final Fantasy game.
The only decent thing about this game is the combat system is decent but most of the enemies/bosses were easy enough, I only really had about 3 bosses I actually found fun and challenging. Plus the whole Charlies Angels feel sort of killed the combat a little for me.