PS2 Reviews: Final Fantasy X-2
Final Fantasy X-2 screenshots
The Final Say!
Final Fantasy X-2 - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: February 2004
Review Score 8.8/10
Distributed By: Electronic Arts
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The Final Fantasy series is one of the longest running series on the PlayStation and although there has never been a true sequel to a Final Fantasy series, the latest instalment from Squaresoft is a true sequel that not only compliments the original game but goes that one step further. Final Fantasy X-2 is the sequel to Final Fantasy X that was originally released in May 2002 within Australia. Apart from being based in the same world as the previous game, the game also returns two favourite characters, Yuna and Rikku. In the last game of the series, Yuna fought a valiant battle against the godlike creature called Sin that not only threatened the very world that she lived on but also the universe.
With the help from her friends and comrades, Yuna used all her powers as a summoner to finally defeat this ancient foe and once again return harmony to the universe and her planet of Spira. The battle was costly and not only did many people die but Yuna was irrevocably changed. After leaving her powers as a summoner behind, Yuna has taken on a new career as a Sphere hunter who also happens to be Spira's most famous popstar.
Joined with her friend Rikku and a mysterious warrior called Paine, this trio of girl power must now search the entire world of Spira for spheres that are lost memories of the history of the planet. Unfortunately for this trio, they soon become entwined in a deadly battle of cat and mouse that once again threatens the very humanity of this post-world of Sin. As you can see, X-2 once again has the classic Squaresoft trademark of storylines and although it starts slow, it soon draws the gamer into this beautifully created world.
Before the main gameplay starts of X-2, the gamer is treated to an amazing pre-rendered CGI cinematic that introduces each character to the game that is vaguely reminiscent of a hip hop music video but I must admit that I'm always impressed by the work that Squaresoft puts into their games. After a few tutorial type battles, you soon find yourself aboard the Celcius, a futuristic airship that lets you travel to any part of Spira. Squaresoft have also gone away from the traditional RPG style of games and have split the game into five chapters and before you can skip to the next chapter, your characters must complete a set number of missions. This new feature is great because not only does it help with the pacing of the game, it also ensures that you don't rush into the game with inexperienced characters.
X-2 also boasts a new in-game interface that has considerably been changed since its last instalment. As Yuna has given up her summoner powers, she now wields two powerful handguns that allows her to blast her way through almost any problem.
The girls also have access to dress spheres that lets them change their costumes (oh.. how and cute sexy) which also allows them to change jobs and give them access to new weapons and powers. These jobs include professions such as warriors, mages and gamblers that all have unique abilities.
Another change in the game is the combat system that supports the traditional turn based interface or the real-time interface that lets both the player and the enemies attack at the same time. Although a nifty idea that helps speeds up the battles, it does get annoying trying to organise everything so I eventually switched back to the trusted turn-based interface. Your characters can also perform various battle combos, depending on how fast you can get out your manoeuvres that also leads to the chain attacks. These attacks mean if you successfully hit your opponent without missing, you basically do more damage to them because it is a continuous attack and also looks quite impressive, needless to say. Apart from that the interface is fairly similar to Final Fantasy X where you must walk around, solve puzzles and of course battle your way through a plethora of enemies.
Graphically, X-2 looks almost identical to the previous game and the only major changes to the game are the improved special effects and of course the improved character models. Rikku, Yuna and Paine are probably the most sexiest computer generated characters since Lara Croft appeared on the market those so many years ago. Some of the costumes that the trio wear are quite revealing and I'm sure any teenager male gamer will get a kick out of seeing their favourite characters dressed in skimpy outfits. The backgrounds of X-2 are a little bland but fortunately the beautiful CGI scenes that are littered through the game are worth admission alone.
The voice acting of X-2 has been professionally done and some of the actors that performed the voices for the previous game have returned to once again lend their talent to this highly addictive and entertaining game. The sound effects sound quite brilliant and contain everything from Hollywood style explosions to deadly sounds of magics flying around the screen. X-2 also contains a new musical score that is quite upbeat when compared to the previous game and is extremely light-hearted and pays homage to the Final Fantasy series.
Although Final Fantasy X-2 uses many of the attributes of the previous game, it is still quite a decent game that contains extraordinary graphics (that are not dated), amazing CGI cutscenes, a brilliant musical score, spot on voice acting and of course a very engaging and in-depth storyline. Just remember that if you purchase this game, you can say goodbye to your life for a few weeks. Finally another Final Fantasy game!
- Andrew B
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