Final Fantasy X-2 was surprisingly good.
I was not a big fan of Final Fantasy X's storyline, so I really didn't care for this universe. I've always had low expectations for this game, from everything I've read to everything I've seen, I just had no interest in this game. I must say though, Final Fantasy X-2 turned out alot better than those expectations. I really loved the battle system, I loved the job classes and learning new skills. The game was fairly easy and not very long, this is good because of the multiple endings and New Game+ you get at the end.
I wasn't to fond of the storyline, but it was better than I expected. The music videos were a big turnoff, but luckily there was only 2 of them in the entire game. The graphics seemed dumbed down a little from Final Fantasy X. The new characters didn't add much to the game. There was never a real sense of world destruction or anything. I guess that's unique, but for the most part I was just wondering where the storyline was taking me. It all clicks at the end though, so it's worth playing through.
Final Fantasy X-2 felt more like a side game rather than a real sequel to the series, but I can't say that's a bad thing. If you loved the Final Fantasy X universe, then you'll enjoy this. If you're turned off by the pop music and girls dancing, then look beyond that because you'll find a pretty decent RPG. Was this better than Final Fantasy X? In alot of ways, yes. The battle system was much faster, the game was much less linear, and the job classes added much needed depth.
Final Fantasy X-2 is a turn-based RPG. The turns are determined by the character or enemy with the highest speed. The game has a Active time system, much like Chrono Trigger. This means you can view the speed of your characters by a bar, and when that bar is finished loading, then you can pick your move. While you're picking your move the enemy can still attack you, so you have to pick quickly. Once you finally picked, then you have to sit through another bar that counts the time down for the move.
This game also includes a nice job class system, very similar to Final Fantasy III or V. You can be a Black Mage, White Mage, Dancer, Gunner, Knight, and so on. This balances the game out if you want a strong tank or a healer, the strategy is up to you. Each class starts off with a handful of basic moves, and some locked moves you can learn. You can only learn one move at a time. Each most costs points, and the way you gain points is to kill monsters. So let's say Fira costs 40 points, then your team will have to kill 40 monsters.
The game also has a "Dressphere" system. This system allows you to change job classes in the middle of a fight. This is kinda unique, but you lose a turn when switching. You can find a big variety of Dresspheres in the game. Each Dressphere can give you stat boosts or allow you to equip more job classes. Some Dresspheres can hold up to 2 jobs or 5 jobs, they're all different, so you can't change to any job during battle.
There's no weapons or armor in the game, but rather you only equip 2 Accessories. This is basic, but I dig it. There's a big variety of accessories, some will boost your defense, offense, or magic, others will grant you status effects, or grant you the ability to use spells. Unlike Final Fantasy X, your characters gain experience after killin monsters. After a predetermined amount of experience points your character will level up.
The game is full of weird minigames, and for the most part they're all horrible. Some dungeons are full of weird puzzles or tasks. There's also some terrible Zelda-ish platforming, and when I say terrible I mean it. You can't really jump, but when you get near an edge of a platform Yuna will "catch herself" from calling. If you get anywhere near this edge, she will do that, and you can't stand and jump, you have to run and jump. If you don't jump at the right moment, then Yuna will catch herself and you have to restart the jump, it's quite annoying actually.
----------Characters / Story----------
It's been 2 years since Yuna saved Spira from Sin. Since then the world has recessed into a "Calm". Summoners have become obsolete, so Yuna decided to become a world wide Pop star. On her offtime from being a superstar, she decided to become a member of the Gullwings, along with Rikku and newcomer Paine. The Gullwings are sphere hunters and fly around the world looking for new spheres to add to their collection.
The story was.. eh.. good enough? The game moves at your own pace, so if you want a deeper storyline, you'll have to do as many sidequests as possible. There's also multiple endings, so in the middle of the game you get a choice that will change the direction of the game too. It's kinda Chrono Triggerish in a way because of that.
There's not nearly as many full blown CGI cutscenes in this game as there was in Final Fantasy X, and the graphics just don't seen nearly as polished either. The three main characters, Yuna, Paine and Rikku look great, but the rest of the cast look underdeveloped and blocky. They reuse a few dungeons and towns with some tweaks but it's mostly the same stuff. There was only a few original areas in the game.
The sound is good. There's alot of reused songs from the original game, and the same voice cast. There's really no complaints really. I can't even complain about the dance/music video stuff either because there was only 2 songs, one at the beginning and middle of the game. It was never shoved down my throat, sure the music sucked but I was expecting the game to be full of this type of music.
The world map is near identical from Final Fantasy X. The only difference is the map is completely unlocked from the start of the game. This gives the game a non-linear feel. Each town and dungeon are listed on the map, and you can scroll through them with ease. Each town/dungeon have atleast one mission pre-chapter in the game. The main/storyline missions are marked with "Hotspot" icons, so if you don't want to sidequest, you can straight breeze through the game.
----------Time to Complete Game----------
Story Completed 64%
Played 1 Time(s)
Yuna - Lv. 59
Rikku - Lv. 61
Paine - Lv. 63
At the end of the game you unlock a New Game+ mode. This allows you to keep all the Dresspheres, items and abilities you gained in your first playthrough during your second playthrough.