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Okay, X-2, I forgive you...

The same disease that makes me a baseball fanatic in RL makes me quite fond of blitzball, that minigame which so many people despise. I actually will play a game for fun as a ten-minute break to wake myself up, the way other people would play a game of Tetris.

I was therefore irked at the abomination done to it in X-2. I didn't touch it. How dare they turn my pretend-you're-athletically-coordinated action game into a team management sim?

The imminent start of baseball drove me to try it again on a whim. And you know, once I get over not being able to control the ball carrier (Shoot! Shoot, you idiot; the clock is running out!), the sim is actually not bad, the moves are slightly more plausible (more types of dodges and tackles, more types of passes, no hit points or players poisoning each other), and I like the new players.

Rikku's two-arm over-the-head throw is hilarious.

But, okay, what really sells it for me?

Lucil / Paine / Miyu (my old favorite of the FFX free agents) is pretty much the best offensive lineup ever.

Lucil kicks butt, takes names. Huzzah.

I do wish they'd found a way to make the game 3D -- they're in a sphere pool, for goodness' sake -- but it's got enough oomph in it for me to enjoy.

And now, "It's time for Dodger baseball." Vin Scully, here I come.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
melchar
Apr. 4th, 2010 10:52 am (UTC)
Nah - not for me. FFX blitzball forever! I didn't like watching it or playing it in FFX2. In FFX, I could actually beat the Goers in the title match and hold my own in league or tournament games. It's enough fun that I will voluntarily play it.

OTOH my hubby played both games till the end - and he -adores- FFX blitz. He asks to play it [now - as I am doing another go-thru] - and just got Wakka's status reels tonight. [worst reels evar IMHO] But then he will also voluntarily do lightning dodging to get the venus sigil for me - and run chocobo races to get the sun sigil. [my least favorite twitch bits of the game.]

As for the tactics, I love that keeping the team intact gives Wakka a huge bump when he uses Auroch spirit for each Auroch in the pool with him. Wakka is a blitzball -god-!
auronlu
Apr. 4th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, I used to get Miyu as my goalie, but in recent playthroughs I've gotten to be an Aurochs purist. That Aurochs Shot is incredible.

I've never gotten the extra Jecht shot. It's about the only thing in FFX I haven't gotten; I ought to!

I'm not saying X-2's version of blitzball is better -- it's not -- but I no longer despise it, because I've found things to like about it.

In one way, I like the fact that it's harder. With FFX, it's very easy to game your team so fast that they quickly become unbeatable, and with a little finesse you can win the opening match about 95% of the time. (Toss the ball back to Jassu, carry along the wall, break through Abus the wimp, pass to Wakka, shoot. Rinse and repeat.) FFX blitzball is slightly less fun for me now that it's so easy.

X-2 took a little more work. Even once you've got a good, solid team, the Al Bhed Psyches -- and, surprisingly, the Fangs -- put up a challenge. What you lose in being able to control the ball carrier, you get back in terms of being able to try many, many more permutations. The different formations and attack patterns actually do make a difference, for example, and different formations work better or worse depending on who's on your team. (I experimented with various different playing techniques, and finally found I needed a 3-1-3 with Shaami, Paine, and Miyu as the best forwards, Lucil as the uber-effective centerfielder, Yuna and Cahan in back doing blocks and passes, and Rikku sitting in front of the goalie where she can intercept almost anything because she's so fast).

It's missing some of the cool moves like drain and venom, but I love some of the one-two moves the characters will make if you work on their compatibility. There's a lot more volley shots and volley passes, and some characters just happen to have moves all their own. (Lucil and Miyu have a corkscrew shot, Lucil's got an odd tackle, and Miyu's got the FFX sphere shot).
(Deleted comment)
auronlu
Apr. 4th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
Heh. I have to admit part of my reason for liking X-2 is that I have great fangirl squee for Lucil. Finally, an athletic activity where her outfit almost makes SENSE. She's so tough she leads calvary charges wearing a thong swimsuit.

I do wish that blitzball were a spin-off game. I would so be there, especially if they added true 3-D movement.

I didn't give X-2 blitzball a chance either. I've ignored it for years. I think, if I'd run into it without seeing FFX's version first, I would've gotten addicted a lot sooner.

I think about SimCity and all the popular sim games. It's got the same virtues as those. It just happens to be SimBlitzball.

There are a lot more options for players, because there are more stats to choose from, more factors and variables to consider. Also, I like six-person teams. It changes the gameplay slightly.

For the most part, I've been working on getting together a team with highly effective people. However, I love secondary characers. So right now I've just signed Maroda and Barthello, trying to get them built up into a defender and a goalie.

Also, I keep sticking Isaaru in back for comic relief. He's quite effective in some ways, but the poor boy WILL NOT ATTACK. Pacifist blitzball player. It's very funny. Rikku, on the other hand, is a demon. She comes flying in out of nowhere and BEATS UP RONSO AND TAKES THEIR CANDY.

The biggest problem with X-2 blitzball is that without a tutorial, it's too bewildering to figure out.

I've found one on gamefaq, but it still took me a while to figure out the basics of what are we trying to do, here?

Edited at 2010-04-04 05:56 pm (UTC)
samuraiter
Apr. 4th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
By coincidence, Miyu is one of my favorite characters to 'fic, I appreciate that you have a picture of her that is not the distance shot of her sitting on a bench. *yoinks* :-)
thbogzdd
Apr. 4th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
I'm sure it's no surprise that I love FFX-2 blitzball. Ok, well not as much as FFX's blitzball, but I love it anyway. While I do agree with you that FFX blitzball is much easier, I've gotten to a point where FFX-2 BB is also easy, and I don't really want to build up my team any further because I like it as it is.

I've got Paine, Tatts, Abes Ace as forwards, Lucil as mid, Yuna, Rikku, Balkei as defs, Shinra as goalie.

The thing with FFX blitzball is that you have to keep leveling up your players because the opposing team's players level up too. With FFX-2, the other teams stay the same level while you grow stronger and stronger. I like the sim part of the game, but lately I haven't found any areas I want to improve on my players.
cygna_hime
Apr. 4th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
I have yet to understand X-2 blitzball enough to know if I like it or not -- similar to how it was with me and X blitzball, really, except that since in X-2 there's no point where you *have* to play, I haven't really poked around to figure it out.

Fact: I hated X blitzball, hated it hated it -- and then all of a sudden I was familiar enough with the controls to switch to Manual mode, and BAM! loooooove it. In Auto mode I spent most of my time yelling at the AI to stop being a dumbfuck, go *that* way, what do you think you're doing?!! It was deeply frustrating. Now I actually know what I'm doing, the hardest part is trying to level the team evenly (stupid center getting all the stupid XP).
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