Final Fantasy X-2

Final Fantasy X-2
FFX-2 box.jpg
North American box art depicting the main playable characters Rikku, Yuna and Paine
Developer(s)Square Product Development Division 1
Publisher(s)
Director(s)Motomu Toriyama
Producer(s)Yoshinori Kitase
Programmer(s)
  • Yukio Ishii
  • Masaki Kobayashi
Artist(s)Shintaro Takai
Writer(s)
Composer(s)
SeriesFinal Fantasy
Platform(s)PlayStation 2
Release
  • JP: March 13, 2003
  • NA: November 18, 2003
  • AU: February 19, 2004
  • EU: February 20, 2004
International + Final Mission
  • JP: February 19, 2004
Genre(s)Role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player

Final Fantasy X-2[a] is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation 2. As a direct sequel to 2001's Final Fantasy X, the story follows Yuna as she seeks for her lost love Tidus and tries to resolve political conflicts in Spira before it can lead to war.

Final Fantasy X-2 set several precedents in the Final Fantasy series aside from being the first direct sequel in video game form and the second sequel in the franchise, after the anime Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals. It was the first game in the series to feature only three player characters, an all-female main cast, and early access to most of the game's locations. Additionally, it featured a variation of the character classes system—one of the series' classic gameplay concepts—and is one of the few games in the series to feature multiple endings. Finally, it was the first numbered game in the series that did not have musical contributions from longtime composer Nobuo Uematsu.

The game was positively received by critics and was commercially successful, selling over 5.4 million copies and winning a number of awards, It was the final Final Fantasy game to be released by Square before merging with Enix in April 2003. The game was re-released as a high-definition remaster for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in 2013, together with Final Fantasy X, as Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster was later released for PlayStation 4 in 2015, Microsoft Windows in 2016 and for Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Gameplay

Though a direct sequel to Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2 does not duplicate its predecessor's gameplay; instead, it innovates on traditional elements. Like pre-Final Fantasy X installments, characters "level up" after a certain number of battles, by gaining pre-determined stat bonuses. The conditional turn-based battle system in Final Fantasy X has been replaced by a faster-paced variation of the Final Fantasy series' traditional active time battle (ATB) system, which was originally designed by Hiroyuki Ito and first featured in Final Fantasy IV. Whenever a random enemy is encountered, the ATB system is used. Under this enhanced version of the ATB, playable characters may interrupt an enemy while they are preparing to take action, instead of waiting for an enemy's turn to finish before attacking. Furthermore, it is possible for both characters and enemies to chain attacks together for greater damage.

Navigation and quests

Another departure from the gameplay of Final Fantasy X is in its world navigation system: players can visit almost every location in Spira from early in the game,[1] transported via the airship Celsius. This is a deviation from the overall Final Fantasy series, where the most efficient means of transportation is typically not obtained until late in the game.

An example of navigation on the field map

These two changes allow players to choose a less linear storyline. Unlike Final Fantasy X, in which a player's course through the game's world was largely straightforward, Final Fantasy X-2 is almost entirely free form. The game consists of five chapters, with each location featuring one scenario per chapter. Put together, the five scenarios in one locale form a subplot of the game, called an "Episode". Only a few scenarios per chapter are integral to the game's central plot, and are marked on the world navigation system as "Hotspots" ("Active Links" in the Japanese version).[1] By accessing only Hotspots, a player can quickly proceed through the game's story without participating in sidequests.

The game keeps track of the player's completed percentage of the storyline, increased by viewing the scenarios comprising each Episode. If 100% of the game is completed, an additional ending will be unlocked. The game features a fork in its plot, allowing the player to make a choice that changes what scenes they see and the number of percentage points they acquire afterward. It is impossible to see all of the game's content on a single playthrough, due to this fork in the storyline, although it is possible to achieve 100% storyline completion in a single playthrough. However, a 100% storyline completion can be achieved only through one of the two possible storylines. When the game is completed for the first time, it unlocks a New Game Plus option that allows the player to restart the game with all of the items, Garment Grids, dresspheres and storyline completion percentage achieved previously. However, all character levels are set back to one.

The field-map navigation system is largely unchanged from Final Fantasy X; it is still dominantly three dimensional with mostly continuous locations. A few upgrades have been implemented, providing the player with extended interaction with the environment through jumping, climbing and rotating camera angles.

The game's sidequests include minor tasks and quests, optional bosses and dungeons, and the most minigames of any Final Fantasy at the time of its release.[2] These minigames include Gunner's Gauntlet (a third-person/first-person shooter game) and Sphere Break (a mathematical coin game involving addition and multiplication), as well as the fictional underwater sport blitzball originally featured in Final Fantasy X with a different control scheme. Director Motomu Toriyama has explained that one of the concepts at issue during development was providing a large variety of minigames, such that "if you bought Final Fantasy X-2 you wouldn't need any other game".[2]

Dresspheres and the Garment Grid

A battle with an early boss, depicting the characters' default dresspheres

Final Fantasy X-2 reintroduces the series' classic character class system (seen previously in Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy Tactics) through the inclusion of dresspheres. Because the party never grows beyond three characters, switching characters during battle is unnecessary. Instead, the player can switch character classes, providing access to different abilities. The playable characters are allowed to equip one dressphere at a time, each providing different battle functions and abilities. Characters can learn new skills for each dressphere with the use of Ability Points (AP). AP is obtained by defeating enemies and by the use of items and abilities for that sphere. Abilities to be learned are chosen in the main menu. During battle, AP is given to that ability until it is learned. Each character can access as many as six dresspheres at a time, depending on the specific properties of the Garment Grid they are wearing. The Garment Grid is a placard featuring a geometric shape connected by nodes. These nodes are slots that can be filled with dresspheres, allowing characters to change character classes during their turn in battle. Most Garment Grids possess Gates that when passed through grant the user a complimentary buff.

As with equipped items, Garment Grids often provide characters with a variety of enhancements and extra abilities. The game features diverse Garment Grids and dresspheres which can be discovered as the game progresses. While normal dresspheres can be used by all three playable characters, each character can acquire a dressphere that only they can use. These dresspheres can be activated only after a character has changed into all of the classes designated to her Garment Grid in a single battle. When a character activates one of these dresspheres, the other characters are replaced by two controllable support units.

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