Here it is, another Re-release from Square Enix, but this time it’s a HD Remaster of both Final Fantasy 10 and 10 part 2, bundled with a short 15 minute in-game video linking the two games together entitled “Eternal Calm” and a dungeon crawler called “Last Mission”. 10 has been a long disputed champion amongst the series, as well as a much hated entry due to the voice acting and character designs but with change there is always a divide in the fan base. This HD Remaster seeks to improve on the old game with touch-ups to the gameplay, additional content and higher quality graphics, and I am here to test it all out.
This part of the review is for Final Fantasy X-2, find the first part for X here.
Following on just 2 years after the first game, X-2 tells the tale of Yuna, Rikku from the previous party with a new addition Paine. Joining together with Brother, YRP form the group Gullwings with their main objective of finding Spheres, reminiscent of Sky Pirates with a feminine touch. The whole journey was started by Yuna finding a sphere with a recording of someone who looked like Tidus from the previous game.
Following a chapter/mission structure the Gullwings will travel all around Spira again, helping people in need and hunting down spheres with their Airship. Along the way you will have to deal with a few puzzles, fight fiends from the previous games and rival sphere hunters, all the while taking on side missions from the inhabitants, some lasting the entire game. Besides the main story, which can feel very short, there are several side missions and stories to find merely by walking around, some including previous characters.
The main story will last around 30 hours, but with all he additional content that can shoot up quite a bit, since the game seems to lean on its side content a lot, up to around 100 hours. My playthrough took me around 41 hours, with some of the additional content done and a lot of side missions completed.
Switching back to an ATB style combat system, X-2 has much faster battles with active and wait options available again. Like X you can select offensive and defensive manoeuvres, from attacking, to using skills, spells and items. Instead of changing to different characters you swap dresspheres, which is a new take on the job system where you change your class, from a warrior to black mage for example, whenever it is that players turn. AP is now used for learning abilities from dresspheres and XP is granted to earn levels. Gil and items are also received from battle.
Battle has sped up in this release, getting rid of the turn order and having the charging gauge back again, but with the movement of X gone into with more depth, as several characters can attack at once or one after another and stun the enemies whilst building a chain up for more damage. There is a heavy emphasis on tactics and strategy in this battle system, with rapid fire weapons that can build a chain faster for higher damage attacks, to magic spells that put the battle into wait mode.
Besides fighting, Yuna can travel the world of Spira yet again, aided by her new Airship straight from the beginning that can drop her off at most save spheres in the world. As she explores the world she can talk to people in need or even have a mission begin as she enters the area, asking her to fight off a monster, get to the end of a zone or find a certain hidden item. All of these side missions add to the total game percentage. Side missions are set within each chapter, so if you miss one you will need to do a new playthrough to get them.
As the game goes on Yuna will have several choices to make, either siding with New Yevon or the Youth League, or deciding who will get an item or a path to walk along. These sometimes lead to changes in the story while others seem more like flavour events rather than important decisions. The get both sides of the story you will need last 2 playthroughs of the game, but with New Game+ this makes a second run a lot faster.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music in FFX-2 goes for more of an upbeat nature, fitting the energetic personalities of the characters on offer. With the shift in music and character choices this game can feel quite a bit more childish then the first one, but it can grow on you as you play. Most of the music fits in the scenes they play, especially during battle and bosses, but other times it can be a bit dethatching or melt into the background and become easy to ignore.
The additional game, Last Mission, is also a part of the collection but feels more suited to a handheld device in the way it is set up. You move on a square grid and shoot at nearby enemies, equip dresspheres from the previous game, level up and progress through the tower. There isn’t much story in this besides wanted to reach the top of the tower.
Overall I give Final Fantasy X-2 a 4/5, it continues on where X left off and ties some loose ends, but with the mission structure and character choices it doesn’t come as close to a high score like X did. Characters can be more annoying due to their upbeat and almost childlike nature, and the short story doesn’t leave much to the imagination. The levelling, collectables and hidden stuff is what gives this game such a high esteem. The tactics needed for some battles with switching you class is really unique and I wish they went a bit more in-depth with the system.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.