Final Fantasy X-2

a game by Squaresoft
Platform: Playstation 2
Rating: 8/10
See also: Final Fantasy Series

We, as gamers, have been given a unique gift in FFX2, the gift of a real, actual, sequel. Continuing the events from FFX, you'll take up the role of three unique female characters; Yuna and Rikku, whom you know from the original, and a new character, Paine. Noble adventurers on a quest just like any other Final Fantasy game, the experience you'll direct them through this time is far from ordinary.

First things first, we'll get the basics out of the way. The engine, CGI, and many gameplay elements are virtually identical to FFX, especially given that much of the scenery, character design, and overall production elements have been reused. While there is original material to look at, it feels at first unusual for a Final Fantasy game to repeat like this. However, that strange feeling fades quickly, and with the similar makeup of the game, you'll be playing the storyline immediately.

The most rewarding elements in this title were its new gameplay mechanics, freedom of travel, and new ability system. You'll start off the game with an airship, giving you the ability to visit any of the places from the FFX, any of which could contain a side quest or new info that'll help you on your main quest. Combat is similarly open, with a character acting instantly once you use their command, with a special bonus given if you can manage to attack opponents with multiple combo'd attacks.

As for the new abilities, they're somewhat like the job system from previous FF titles. You equip Dresspheres, putting your characters into different costumes, all of which vary their special abilities and actions. The songstress cannot use the attack command, but can bust out some hardcore magic, whereas the warrior has no innate dance abilities like the songstress. With garment grids adding another element, you can equip each character with a different grid, specializing them to your favorite style of combat. When you switch costuming on the garment grid (which can be done in the middle of combat, btw) you can pass through special areas of the grid that add certain benefits, like the ability to cast Cure, or a +5 to your Magic rating.

All in all, while FFX2 could've been better, as it does rely significantly on the design of FFX, it's still a top notch title. It can be a little too 'pop' music style, but once you get over that, it's just as dramatic as any other FF game.

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