“Last time she saved the world…this time it’s personal. Yuna’s story continues in the first true sequel of the Final Fantasy series. New dangers threaten Spira. Familiar allies are at hand. And somewhere, somehow, a friend may still be alive…”The first female-led Final Fantasy hails the return of a free-spirited Yuna, her enthusiastic cousin Rikku and introduces Paine, their sarcastic, hardnosed friend. The game takes place two years after Yuna’s fateful journey to defeat Sin in Final Fantasy X. The once chaotic world of Spira has gone through a massive transformation, entering a period of “Eternal Calm.” Despite the Calm, Yuna’s heart is empty and longs for her lost love. She obtains a mystical sphere that contains imagery of what she thought was gone forever driving her to seek the truth behind what she has seen. The game is fueled by a tragic story of unrequited love and ominous secrets that threaten the peace of their world.
Final Fantasy X-2 has graphics comparable to Final Fantasy X. They’re simply outstanding and looks to be one of the best-looking games this year for the PlayStation 2. The majority of places you visit will be those you visited from Final Fantasy X from Mt. Gagazet to the ruins of Zanarkand. You will find yourself engrossed in what happened before to what has happened now.
A new addition to Final Fantasy X-2 are the “spheres”. Some of the “spheres” contain visual recordings of historical events, where as the “Dress Spheres” open up different types of jobs and change the character designs, all of which can be changed in the heat of battle. There are many job classes that players can choose during play and each comes with it’s own unique outfit. Each time the character changes to a different class, there will be a change sequence that will occur. Though this can be disabled from the options menu, I don’t think anyone would want to disable this since they would be missing such graphical beauty. The Full Motion Videos (FMV) are just as stunning as before. The opening FMV is just jaw dropping and will leave you wanting more FMVs just like it. Like Final Fantasy X, you will be able to view all the movies in the “movie theater” after a certain point. Most of the graphics used are from Final Fantasy X including most of the enemies. Though some complain, I say it’s a sequel so why not include many of the enemies from the previous game.
Unlike it’s predecessor, the music is quite the opposite. It has that “pop” sound instead of the dark music you would normally hear from Final Fantasy X. This music brings something new to the series and the trend may be used in upcoming Final Fantasy games. The voice actors are the same ones who performed in Final Fantasy X, and seemed to do an even better job with Final Fantasy X-2. You can feel emotion coming from the actors which adds a lot of depth and feel to the game. Final Fantasy X-2 supports Dolby Digital Surround Ex and Pro Logic II during some movie clips though I have yet to see how much this improves on the game.
Final Fantasy X-2 breaks into new bounds. First off, Final Fantasy X-2 no longer follows the “linear” storyline, but rather gives the player the option to either freely roam around the world leveling or advance the game’s story by doing important missions which are labeled as “hot spots”. While some say that this completely destroys the whole Final Fantasy series, in actuality it introduces new concepts to the RPG world.
Final Fantasy X-2 uses the Active Time Battle System forcing players to prepare strategies on the go. This option can be switched to the Turn Based system, but you will be missing some advantages the Active Time Battle system has that the Turn Based system doesn’t. Such advantages include chaining attacks together for a more powerful blow. Active Time Battle also gives the player the advantage over the enemies by preventing attacks from the enemy by attacking them first. Dynamic movements have been incorporated into gameplay resulting in a deeper immersion of the game.
The controls are exactly the same from Final Fantasy X, except for the fact that you need to press circle to jump when needed. In battle, you can no longer switch characters since you only have three characters to choose from, however you can switch jobs like I mentioned before. You might be thinking, only three characters to choose from?!?! But like I said before, there are many jobs to choose so you won’t feel limited to just three characters. If you’ve played Final Fantasy X, you probably felt the same way I felt about the characters and how you wish they could have done more than what they were allowed to do. So now you can by changing jobs. The Dress Sphere system is a great addition to Final Fantasy X-2 and I hope to see more of these innovative ideas.
The only thing I found a bit lacking would be the accessory system. The accessory system only allows you to equip each character with two accessories. They don’t really add much to your defense or offense the way new armor and weapons do. You are not able to buy new weapons or new armor, which to me is a bit disappointing since I like to see the different types of weapons within the game. This is understandable though since there are many jobs to provide many different types of weapons for each character as well as new clothes.
Many Final Fantasy fans will be disappointed by the fact that there are no summons in Final Fantasy X-2. What replaced summons are Special Dress Spheres, though you will rarely feel the need to use them. Special Dress Spheres are basically enhanced versions of the character with three parts. These Special Dress Spheres are really useful in a tight spot such as summons were in previous Final Fantasy games.
RPG fans will be amazed by this sequel since it goes beyond what Final Fantasy X brought us. Is the game fun you ask? Of course!! You’ll find yourself playing and replaying the game over and over again trying to find out what you missed to achieve the perfect ending. What more could you ask for from a Final Fantasy game? We have dual storylines, multiple endings, and tons of extras. And we can’t forget the New Game Plus mode which also adds to the replay value. New Game Plus is a feature that allows you to start a new game with the accessories your characters had previously.
I was a bit skeptical and excited at the thought of a Final Fantasy sequel. My expectations were pretty high for this game and well…Square-Enix’s first attempt at a true sequel has resulted in success! What more could you ask for from a Final Fantasy game? We have great looking characters and a great storyline. And we must not forget the new addition of dress spheres which makes this game even better. If you’re one of those people who just wants to play through a game once, then you’ll have loads of trouble seeing all the endings since you must play through the game a few times to see them all.. All in all, this is a must buy for Final Fantasy and RPG fans.
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