Final Fantasy X has, in my humble opinion, one of the most memorable story in the entire Final Fantasy franchise. It’s sequel, however, leave a lot to be desired.
Final Fantasy X-2 takes place two years after the conclusion of the first game. It centers around Yuna, now no longer a summoner but part of a sphere hunting group the Gullwings, as she searches for answers to the mystery that surrounded a curious little sphere showing a familiar face. With her, this time around, is her Al Bhed cousin Rikku, and the mysterious Paine. And this is about as much as I am going to say about the story of this sequel because anything more would be quite spoiler-ish.
Unlike Final Fantasy X, X-2 uses the Active Time Battle and the Dressphere system. Dresspheres are a sort of job class system that can be changed in-battle and outside of it. Each dressphere has a particular set of strengths (and weaknesses, with some being abysmally weak than others) and abilities. All three of our heroines can use all the dresspheres available in the game except for each other’s special dressphere.
Another addition to this game is the Creature Creator…which is where you can go to capture monsters, train/enhance them, and battle in monster tournaments. While useful to some, it doesn’t really provide much in way of the game story.
Included in the HD Remastered version of the game (which, essentially, is an HD take on the International version of the original PS2 game) is The Last Mission, an epilogue-ish, rogue-like add-on that takes place three months after the end of X-2 and is meant to tie up plot and storylines. The objective of this game is to climb up to the top of an 80-floor tower, beating monsters along the way with bosses ever 20 floors.
Now that you guys know the gist of the game, I can now get on with the good and the bad sides of the game.
As it is the HD version of the game, it is, well…as you might have surmised, is in HD. Character models are revamped and the game made to look good in the PS3 and Vita. The same could be said with the audio. This time around, Yuna doesn’t speak as though she has a speech impediment. The voice acting is spot on, and depicts the characters’ personalities well. Especially Rikku who was voiced by the incredible Tara Strong.
Since the game uses the ATB System, the battles can be a lot more fast-paced, especially during boss battles. Sadly, that’s about all the good things I can say about this game at the top of my head.
Ah, where to start? As I have previously written, the story is not as good as its predecessors and successors. I honestly enjoyed the story from the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy games than I did with X-2…and that’s saying something. The dialogues are forced at some points in the story, most of the time bordering on cliched and cheesy.
The game also requires you to get a 100% completion in order to view the prefect ending, which is what you would want to be aiming for to get the most out of the story (with the difference between a good ending and a perfect ending being only 1 after-credits scene). The thing with this though is that this game is impossible to get 100% on without using guides and following those game guides down to the last dot. Heck, you can’t even skip cutscenes if you want to get that 100%. It’s tedious, and honestly sucks the fun out of the game when you have to worry and nitpick about every single thing you have to do in the said game.
This game is also filled with pointless and otherwise frustrating mini-games that you might only play once and never do so again. Blitzball was also reduced to a coaching simulation, which is far from what we had in FFX. Heck, there isn’t even much coaching as sometimes all you have to do is watch. The newly-introduced Spherebreak mini-game, which involves a lot of math can also provide you with a headache. There is also that lightning calibration mini-game which does not take into consideration gamers who might be Dyslexic or having ADD/ADHD. And hose are just some of them.
Then there is that 100-floored tower in Chapter 5 (I’m not going to say what tower that is. And, yes. This game is separated by chapters with 5 being the final one) that could easily massacre your team leaving you frustrated to no end. You can’t skip that tower too, not if you want to get 100% game completion rating.
I honestly didn’t feel as invested into playing this as I am with any other game in the franchise. Which is sad, really. The only reason why I didn’t just give up mid-way through the game was because I simply didn’t want to put the money spent on buying this sequel to waste. I mean, I already knew what the good ending of the game would bring. Not just because this game has been out for ages in its PS2 incarnation, but also because the box art (especially for the Vita) kinda spoiled it.
I don’t even want to talk about Last Mission. It’s that bad. Not the gameplay (though it can be quite annoying as it relies heavily on luck for getting the items and dresspheres you need in order to make your life climbing the tower a little less of a living nightmare. I’m talking about, once again, the story. Just thinking about how bad it makes me wanna…ugh!
Overall, I was actually pretty disappointed with how this game turned out. I tried to keep an open mind about it, even when there are many people saying this wasn’t as good as the first one. Sadly, I have to agree with them.
So, would I recommend this game? For rent, maybe. Of course, everything I have written here are solely my opinion. Whether or not you would want to play a game–whether it is this game, or some other videogame title–still depends solely on you.