Final Fantasy X-2 Reader Review
Basically it's Final Fantasy X, but it has added singing, dancing, and girlies playing 'dress-up' during combat. Except it isn't half as downbeat as FFX was. In fact, it's downright cheery is FFX-2.
See Yuna sing...
Playing as Final Fantasy X heroines Yuna and Rikku and new character Paine, you play through the usual sprawling RPG quest, but broken up into various 'missions' that take place in all the familiar locations from FFX, plus a few new locations on occasion. The story this time around being about Yuna becoming a 'sphere hunter' and travelling the world in search of spheres, hoping to find out what has become of FFX's hero Tidus (AKA 'he who must not be named').
The game does a good job of easing you into things right from the start, with it's new 'dress sphere' based combat system giving a variety of costumes that you can change into during the battles, each with their own unique powers and abilities, to acquire and master as the game progresses. It's all very easy to pick up, if perhaps a tad 'simple' compared to the 'sphere grid' character growth system from FFX. It does have the comfortably familiar experience points that were missing from FFX though and sees the return of the 'turn bar' that determines when you get your turn, which is a big plus in my book, as I liked it in older FF games.
See Yuna dance...
The most charming aspect of this game is its sense of fun. A lot of RPGs rely heavily on dark, brooding settings and angst ridden central characters with some kind of dark past they can't remember or some such variation on this theme, while FFX-2 has nothing of the sort. This is RPG at their most light-hearted. It starts out simple, it's fun, and while later in the game it does become slightly more serious, it still manages to stay light enough to retain that sense of fun that gives it its unique charm. Although, I can see how it might feel a bit 'girlie' for some folk.
It is very easy though, with the fights overall being very quick affairs and the bosses all being absolute pushovers. Only some of the optional sub-quests provide any real kind of challenge. The game does, however, encourage you to play through multiple times in order to see everything it has to offer, letting you carry over acquired items and dress spheres into a new game from the beginning upon completion, giving it a lot of longevity. So long as you're willing to put the time in obviously.
See Yuna jump around in her underpants.
The game does have some downsides to it, I will admit that, most noticeable being the expected horrible PAL conversion we always get from Square-Enix with the obligatory mammoth black borders. The game itself lacks the 'epic' feel that you get from other Final Fantasy games, it does still utilise the much reviled 'random battle' structure you get in just about every RPG going, plus you have to constantly revisit locations you had to constantly revisit in FFX, which can get repetitive, and it IS more camp than a bunch of WWE wrestlers pitching a row of tents in Graham Norton's back yard, but these things mean squat to me in all honesty. I know what I like.
I have been through this game a number of times now, and I still derive much pleasure from playing it. I've heard others pan it something rotten on more than one occasion, but they don't know what they're missing. I really love this game, I'm comfortable enough in my sexuality to admit that, and I would argue with anyone who has a go at it. Then again, I'll eat up any old JRPG pap that comes my way with glee, so long as it doesn't have 'Zoids' in its title that is. So my opinion may be somewhat biased. Doesn't make this any less a brilliant game though.
Its great fun, it's clean and inoffensive (Unless you're offended by scantily clad women and Yuna's cousin constantly making advances on her, of course), it's very easy to get into and play and it looks and sounds fantastic. This is the perfect game if you're getting tired of the 'by the numbers' nature of a lot of RPGs.
I'm not going to give this a rating, because numbers are not always the best measure of fun.