True, they knew where they were going before they got into development on FF12, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't have been more complex as they worked on it. They were midway through development when they decided to kill Aeris, after all, which is a part of what eventually endeared the game to so many people. We'll never know now though exactly what could have happened.
Not being much of a drinker, your wine analogy is completely lost on me.
Though I don't understand how many people say the game had NO story (and a lot of people on the internet do). It had at least as much story as 8 and 9. It had one, just perhaps not as intricate as 10 or 7 (which had the most intriguing and developed storyline, I'll admit).
I think we'll have to disagree on this one- that's exactly what I feel 12 has that the others
lack. It's a total package, where the others are only pieces of something that could have been utterly stellar, mixed in with stuff that doesn't make any sense or is rather stupid.
Funny how tastes work, isn't it?
FFX-2 is an interesting experiment- after all, what can you do with a story after you're done telling it? What exactly DO you do with yourself after saving the world? The game's a downbeat almost by necessity, which doesn't perhaps make it a great game, but interesting nonetheless. Spira, having freed itself from Sin and Yevon, is drunk on its own freedom, and it expresses itself in a variety of shallow activities. Having destroyed its own holy order, it wallows in profanity (not cussing, but crassness such as turning Zanarkand into a commercial enterprise), and the world becomes rather a mess of small organizations that can't compete with the glory Yevon had.
As for Yuna, she's going through a period of exploration herself. All that she was is gone, she spent her life expecting to die, and didn't, and now she doesn't know what to do with herself. So she tries this and that. She has yet to form a new meaning for her life, and there doesn't seem much in Spira that deserves selfless devotion. It all makes you wonder about what saving the world really means- they destroyed Sin and exposed Yevon as a sham, but did they make the world a better place? Now everyone's running around thinking about themselves and indulging their whims.
Whether or not the developers had this in mind when they made it, or whether they were just trying to turn a quick buck, I don't know. It kind of doesn't matter; as long as a reading is compatible with what's in the game, it's valid.