Review by Shivan Reincarnated
"When Sin was defeated, Spira went straight to hell"
If this game were placed in the sand, the cats would bury it
This is the reason Square should not make sequels. Final Fantasy X-2 is a terrible game that is candy coated by three scantily clad animated girls. Scantily clad anime girls do not make a good RPG. Final Fantasy X was an excellent game and one of the more popular Final Fantasy titles. Then there was an announcement that there would be a sequel to Final Fantasy X. Everyone cheered but as more information was revealed, I began to develop a bad feeling about the game. I was discouraged to find that my gut was indeed correct. To this day, Final Fantasy X-2 may just be my worst video game investment. I spent fifty dollars on this. Final Fantasy X-2 is an overall uninspired game that's purpose seemed to be just to make money, not to entertain gamers. Unfortunately, Square can get away with this considering Final Fantasy X-2 sold extremely well. The masses will buy anything I the title has the name of a popular franchise in it. But this game was just another blemish by Square this generation. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles was not well received and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was no good either. Final Fantasy XI alienated several FF fans and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is essentially fan service.
Story: The game will focus around Yuna and Rikku, who you may remember from Final Fantasy X and the newcomer Paine. These will be the only characters you play the entire game so there's one strike. Final Fantasy or RPGs in general should have more playable characters. Three will simply not cut it. Especially when the three are annoying bimbos. Anyways, the gamer starts with an imposter Yuna singing on a stage in Luca. After a flashy battle, you soon are informed that there are two major groups in Spira, New Yevon and Youth League. You'll get your choice to aid one of these groups but the groups don't contribute anything good to the plot and seem to just be filler. Yuna is back and contradicts her character completely from Final Fantasy X. The personality change was far too extreme and didn't feel right at all. Rikku is back and annoying as ever. She's whored yourself out looking similar to a beach hooker. Paine is the new character and she wears a skull belt and black dominatrix attire. She's so badass! Well, not really. A few below average witty remarks to Rikku does no constitute as a badass. Furthermore, there is a poorly constructed attempt to give her some development but her history is overall a cesspool of trite cliches that don't exactly do much for her or for the story. Not to mention Paine is the stupidest name Square has thought up since X-Death. Old Final Fantasy X favorites like Wakka, Lulu and Kimahri make appearances but you can't play them. That really sucks. Anyways, Yuna receives a sphere where a guy that looks like Tidus, her laughing buddy and lover, is in trouble. She immediately embarks to find the truth behind this sphere and the story develops into a plot to save the world from Vegnagun, a machine whose design and purpose was obviously ripped off from Sin. The story is not linear, contrary to an arguable flaw of Final Fantasy X. However, Square doesn't seem to realize that when you make a game not linear, they don't have to be worthless fetch quests. I vehemently despise busy work that only serves as filler. Selling tickets is not fun and when the game is filled with these, it truly detracts from what little interest there was.
Now that the story has been established to be overall abominable, it's time to move into the game play. The game play is often called the saving grace to this game. The problem that most people fail to see is that the game play is actually mediocre, it just appears to be good in comparison to the rest of the aspects of this game which are quite frankly, below mediocre. The system Final Fantasy X-2 uses is the dressphere system. Dresspheres are small spheres that fit into the Garment Grid. This is somewhat similar to Final Fantasy X but will ultimately prove to be watered down from its predecessor. When a character equips a Garment Grid, she can then equip any of the dresspheres placed on the grid. They can also change during battle which is a plus I suppose. Each dressphere allows that specific character to play a different role in the party. Examples of this would be a Black Mage, White Mage, Gunner, Thief, Samurai, Dark Knight etc. Naturally, these are all different. A Black Mage would use; you guessed it, Black Magic. Each time a character does something on the battlefield, that character will learn Ability Points (AP) that accumulate toward learning a new ability for that specific job. For example, the Black Mage would save to learn Fire, White Mage would save to learn Cure etc. The three bimbos can also have their own unique special dresspheres. Like many RPGs, this game has Hit Points (HP) and Magic Points (MP) as well as the level system which I'm sure you all are aware about. I didn't find leveling up to be necessary but the main storyline was ridiculously easy. The battle system is fast paced which some people do like. If the battle system didn't revolve around dress-up, I would probably like it too. Unfortunately for the fast paced battle system, classes like the warrior or gunner can become a button mashing fest and classes like the Black Mage can't even attack. So if you're a Black Mage and you get into a battle with an easy enemy, all you can do is waste your precious MP. It's quite confounding that you can't attack but the whole battle system is a joke anyways. When you switch jobs in battle, it might be visually pretty the first time but it gets old and wastes time really quickly.
The music of this game is decent . compared to most video games. However, this is Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy is known for their legendary music. This game's soundtrack is completely forgettable. There are several decent themes and some cool J-Pop but it can't quite compare to the rest of the series and that is disappointing. The graphics are of course outstanding but the enemies are rehashed from Final Fantasy X. I realize that FFX-2 is on the same world as FFX so logically speaking, the monsters should be the same. But you know what, that's boring. Square tried to be creative by keeping the same monsters for the most part but giving them different names. Like the Flan enemies. What was once Flame Flan is now Flan Rojo. How creative. Even some of the bosses are the same. Chocobo Eater is back and the big robots are as well, but under a different name! FFX-2 isn't just satisfied with rehashing off of FFX. It actually rehashes itself. Le Blanc, Ormi and Logos, three people you meet early and fight often are well, fought against often. The problem is they aren't funny, cool or useful, they're just annoying. Annoying battles are the worst type of battles unless it involves strategy. Those goons can be killed with a warrior job and mashing X. If you thought the voice acting in Final Fantasy X was bad, this game is even worse. When Rikku uses the word disasterific in the most high pitched, whiny, annoying voice possible, it's a wonder why more people haven't thrown themselves out of a window. The scenery is still good, but we've already seen it in FFX so there really wasn't anything to gawk over. Unless you like to gawk over Nearly-Naked Rikku.
This game runs on a percentage system, the more side quests you do essentially, the better percentage you'll have. Your reward for 100%? Meandering melodrama in a cut scene. To the perfectionists who wish to get 100%, it is indeed possible, although you'll have to endure a gargantuan amount of busy work with a challenging boss and some cool battles thrown in. I personally think the percentage system was a rather fresh idea, it is a shame that the reward is bad. Is it game the worst game ever? No, not even close. But it is below average and it was not an enjoyable experience for me. Here's a quick breakdown:
Game Play: 5/10
Replay Value: 2/10
Overall: 19/50 = 38% = 3.8 (Rounds to 4)
Graphics are top notch
Scantily clad polygons for the desperate gamers
Scantily clad polygons for everyone else being a big focus
An uninspired, embarrassing storyline
Poor character development and contradiction of character from FFX
The game's enemies and bosses were, for the most part, rehashes and rip-offs
Spira hadn't changed much at all making the world of FFX-2 quite boring
A forgettable soundtrack
Awful voice acting
The battle system can be summed up as Dress-Up
In-Battle dress changes get old real quick
The battle system is often a button masher and the mages are hindered by being forced to use magic.
The cut scenes aren't good and are overdramatic tripe.
Only three characters were available to play as
Many of the side quests are annoying and unrewarding
Final Fantasy X-2. I had a feeling you'd disappoint. Sometimes it sucks being right.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 06/06/06, Updated 06/15/06
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