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This is probably the biggest reason that FFX-2 pushes me away. There's a lot to like about it. I can live past the fact that it re-hashes a lot of old stuff from FFX with some fairly poor storywriting; FFX didn't always have the greatest story elements either. Also, it's nice just to see what happens later on, a privilege we don't get with the vast majority of Final Fantasy titles. But FFX got us used to using strategy over brute force. There was a tremendous amount you could gain just by getting more sphere levels, sure, but paying attention to how various effects worked and where they were most effective always always payed off more. But in FFX-2, it seems brute force is really the only viable option, at least for most of the game. Fewer enemies have elemental weaknesses than in FFX, and the ones that do often have only minor weaknesses. Also, there seem to be no enemies that cannot be taken out with simply physical attacks. And I'm talking about old enemies that were notorious in FFX for requiring elemental magic to defeat. Flans and elements now are only sort of weak to their opposing element, but they are now vulnerable to physical attacks! So there's little point in even selecting different types of attacks when you can just hold down X with one hand and check your text messages with another while the battle plays out for you.
But the WORST insult to the battle system is the Arcana option that the Dark Knight has. You get those old status effects you know from other FF games: darkness, silence, poison. The only problem is, these spells are virtually useless. Darkness is supposed to be used on enemies with strong physical attacks, however the only enemies that aren't immune to it are the ones that don't attack much. Silence is only useful on spellcasters, yet practically every spellcasting enemy you meet is immune to it. Flans, elements, imps, even bombs cannot be silenced. And poison is most useful on enemies with a lot of HP since it deals damage based on their maximum HP, yet I have only managed to inflict that status effect on enemies that die in 1-2 hits so it never had a chance to do anything.
The one place I have ever seen Arcana to be effective was in a particular boss fight in which you're instructed to use darkness and poison on the boss. It's nice that at least they tell you when you're at the only point in the whole game where those abilities will ever come in handy.
And that's what drives me up the wall about this game.
A lot of jobs have too many useless skills and are limited to only using the job for passives or just one killer skill.
Darkness is supposed to be used on enemies with strong physical attacks, however the only enemies that aren't immune to it are the ones that don't attack much.
"Supposed to"? Interesting interpretation. For myself I use blinding skills that inflict the darkness status ailment — not to be confused with Dark Knight's Darkness ability — against any bothersome foe, especially fast critters. Very helpful when I'm item or gil farming.
I use Dark Knight's Darkness ability, which isn't included in the Arcana skillset and to which few (if any) foes are immune, for anything with lots of HP to whittle away.
To clarify, however, Dark Knight's Arcana skills don't include dark or silence inflicting spells, so the rant on those seems out of place. FWIW, I use Arcana's Drain and Black Sky most often, and Break on occasion. I'm not much for playing the poison card. But that's me. ::shrug::
What's best or worst is gonna vary by player. Might be worth playing once through under a challenge of using only the skills you like least, maybe to find some use for them.
Flans, elements ... cannot be silenced.
You may wanna reverify that for yourself, as well.
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FFX, FFXII, KH, KH Re:CoM, KH2, Okage: Shadow King, Secret Agent Clank
Drain, Osmose, Confuse, Break, Silence, Blind, and Sleep are all useful and lots of enemies are vulnerable to them. The thing I don't like about most status effect abilities in this game is that the success rate scales with your level - so pretty much if you're at a high enough level to get them to work, you don't actually need them and can just brute force the enemy to win.
I like that Flans and Elementals can be taken down with things other than magic, it avoids the dumb rock-paper-scissors gameplay of FFX.
xXGOD HAND CARNIVAL COSTUME CREWXx
I feel I should add that a Songstress darkness dance is 100% guarantee on those who can't block it
Several Songstress skills are quite nice, but you only really have a use for a couple of the songs and dances. The others aren't very good because they're massively overshadowed by the better debuffs and become redundant.
The fact alone that Dances are 100% makes them stand out among other status effect abilities. Most Songs range from useful to game-breaking. The only Songstress abilities that I would say are bad, or rarely have a use, are
Perfect Pitch - hitting enemies is rarely a problem
Carnival Cancan - a lot of effort to produce an effect that is done much more easily by other means, not to mention it's kind of counter-productive making one of the girls the DS with the lowest max HP to use an ability that temporarily raises max HP
Jitterbug - Haste isn't usually worth losing a character
xXGOD HAND CARNIVAL COSTUME CREWXx
Yeah, don't get me wrong, the songs can be game breaking. Accidently oversoul a monster you can't handle? Switch to songstress and debuff it asleep or blind.
With Songstress, when you hit a sleeping enemy, it will wake up and immediately fall asleep again. That's probably also the only time I find Adamantite useful.
Magical Masque is a good ability too
Yeah although Topper did mention this I will clarify the fact that all the songs inflict a Tempory Auto status on the enemy with an Infinite% chance of Infliction so as already stated in the case of Sleepy Shuffle you can phycically attack the fiends without fear of them waking up
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