Cidolfas's RPG Reviews: Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2)
You Are: The Gullwings, a band of Sphere Hunters, consisting of: Yuna, newly empowered heroine from FFX; Rikku, her fairly bimbo-y cousin; and Paine, silent strong butch type girl.
Your Goal Is: To HAVE FUN! ...Well, saving the world comes into it eventually, of course, that goes without saying, but mainly having fun, mostly by hunting for spheres. Hence the term Sphere Hunters.
General System: Well, let's see... innovations on your generic RPG system: No equipment, for one thing. You can equip two accessories, but no weapons etc. There's some jumping and climbing, but only sort of (if you just hold down the O button you get everywhere you're going without a hitch). You can also collect Dresspheres (aka job classes), and Garment Grids to put them on. The Grids give different bonuses, like status protection or extra abilities. Like in FFX, there's no world map, just specific locations accessible via your airship. The actual gameplay (besides for the copious amounts of mini-games) is mission-based: rather than just going around exploring, you have specific "missions" to accomplish, usually involving beating things up (or wandering around a place where you have to beat things up anyway). There are five distinct "chapters", and every location usually involves one mission per chapter.
Battle System: Really quick for an FF game. The Active Time Battle is back, so you have to act quickly. Different jobs take longer between actions, and certain actions require either a big preparation time, a big recovery time, or both. You can also switch jobs right in the middle of battle (and in fact you have to do this to be able to use the super-special jobs). Then there's combos: doing multiple attacks (like the Gunner's rapid fire) adds up the damage. You gain Ability Points by using abilities, not just winning battles, so you can keep learning new abilities even within battle. Regular battles take only a few seconds, and boss battles can get pretty crazy.
Graphics: Exactly the same as FFX. I mean exactly.
Music: While playing, the music annoyed me to no end (there's lots of Spice Girl-style bubbly pop tunes, J-Pop stuff like the intro, etc.) However, upon later listening to it as a stand-alone, I found it to be pretty snazzy. Maybe it's just all that repetition that bothered me. In any case, the intro piano song is really great.
Story: Not much of one. Basically, you rehash your FFX pals following them around and seeing what they're up to. There's a bit too much estrogen in the main characters (Charlie's Angels, anyone?) and the mission-based stuff means there's very little real story to follow. They seem to be avoiding any kind of depth to the characters, so if you're looking for that kind of thing, look elsewhere.
Challenge: Easy/Medium... beating the secret dungeon is pretty much impossible without using a particular trick, but with the trick it's pretty darn easy, so I'll leave it as Easy/Medium.
Length: About 50 hours
My Thoughts: This isn't your usual Final Fantasy game. There's concerts and people acting crazy and quite a bit more humor than usual. The job system is a ton of fun (although as usual the mini-games leave a lot to be desired). I was kind of disappointed in the laziness of the programmers (there's a woman nine months pregnant still wearing corsets). They really could have done better story-wise. I was also getting sick of Spira after playing FFX three times. But I was having so much fun with the battles etc. that I still enjoyed it, enough to immediately play it through a second time. If you loved FFX and you think Yuna running around in hot pants is sacrilege, don't bother getting this game. But if you liked FFX and have an open mind to a fun, light-hearted take on it, this should be right up your alley.
Overall Rating: 7/10