Few games in the video game world are certain. One of those is the mastery of the Final Fantasy series. No game could have captivated me the way Final Fantasy X did. It opened my eyes completely to the video game world. No game could have made me feel the way I did after watching the conclusion. It was honestly jaw dropping, I even videotaped it. Square finally gave us what we were craving for, a real conclusion to a story that captured our hearts, and even made us tear up a little?c
Square has always been dead on with the sound, and the trend doesn?ft stop here. They truly were able to capture the mood of what was going on, and never really got repetitive with the music from city to city. The speaking was matched up near perfectly with the movement of the characters mouths. As always, the sound was perfect during combat and matched each attack the way it should sound. The music from the temples has changed which is great because it portrayed a more somber mood in Final Fantasy X, but gives us a better feeling with music that makes you feel better, kind of techno-ish, but cool.
Where to start?cWell, lets me start with what I didn?ft like because what I did like greatly out numbers that. I didn?ft like how few and far between the CG scenes were. They honestly took the number they did in Final Fantasy X and cut it in half. When they did do them, they looked absolutely incredible. Also I didn?ft like how they re-used tons of graphics from Final Fantasy X, I think they could of taken the time to improve them even the slightest. Although, I talk about it like it?fs a bad thing, when it actually wasn?ft. All I was really disappointed with was when I thought I was going to see a CG scene, I got normal PS2 quality graphics, which isn?ft bad most of the time, but when you see them after you see a CG scene, you?fll be disappointed. When it came down to the ending I knew they wouldn?ft disappoint, graphics wise, and they didn?ft, it looked almost as incredible as the ending itself?cbut we?fll get to that later.
Has Square ever disappointed us in gameplay? Maybe in other games, but definitely not in the Final Fantasy series. There is really nothing to complain about, and actually there?fs few changes compared to Final Fantasy X. Yuna can now jump which probably doesn?ft sound all that exciting but Square has put a lot of jumping into this game, and it even allows you to reach levels you couldn?ft reach before when you return to those familiar lands. The biggest change is from turn-based, to active time battle. Personally, I didn?ft like this. Of course, I just recently went back and enjoyed the older Final Fantasy?fs and never really tried to appreciate the ATB system. I really felt like this wasn?ft necessary. The turn-based battle system was perfect because it required a lot of strategy and thinking before you move. The ATB, to me, feels sort of like button mashing. In some battles I found myself just rapidly tapping ?eX?f to get out of it. Battles are more frequent, but, often because of ATB, seem to go by a lot faster. Another change is obviously only having three characters in your party. Because of this, Square made some of the enemies weaker, because of the inability to switch to another character when HP is low. It?fs still sometimes a challenge though.
Another change is the dump of the Sphere Grid. This is both good and bad for certain reasons. I liked the sphere grid because it seemed like I was leveling up faster, and learning something new almost every time I moved a sphere. I didn?ft like it because I wasn?ft able to easily keep track of my characters progression. The new system, Garment Grids and Dress Spheres is fun though. You get them sometimes for completing certain missions and other times, just out of the generosity of others. The fun part is, trying to master every dress sphere, fun but also tough. The way I used each characters varied. I used Paine and Rikku to attack throughout the entire game, and used Yuna as a white mage the first 75% of the game. I then realized then when fighting bosses I was coming up short, and the maybe I should change Yuna, so I changed her to a warrior and she started to kick ass! It also helped the I had the ?gwhite ring?h accessory which allowed her to use White Mage abilities as a warrior. The reason I didn?ft give this a perfect score is because of a few Things Square decided to remove/replace. For the first time in the history of the series, there are no summons. I was shocked when I found this out and also disappointed. Square attempted to replace this with ?gSpecial Garment Grids?h which were utterly useless, and I rarely if ever used them. Also, no overdrives, which after the first few hours, I couldn?ft have cared less about. Other then that, Square was dead on as always.
This is where Final Fantasy X-2 thrives. Unlike the linear almost straightforward story line in Final Fantasy X, this is as open ended as a game comes. It is possible to complete the game with less then 75% completion but you would miss out on the ?gperfect ending.?h The first time I played through it I beat the final boss with 80% done. Then through a new feature, New Game Plus, which starts the game over but allows you to carry over everything you got (abilities, sphere grids, dress spheres etc.) and did so that it is easier to get 100% and see the final ending. Also, the Calm-Lands have turned into Mini Game Central, with a bunch of fun things to try. Blitzball is also back, and once again your forced to play it?c. well, sort of. This time you actually watch it, which is necessary to complete every mission on Luca. Although, Square upset a lot of people with one game. Whoever came up with the idea of Sphere Break should be looking for a new job about now. Honestly, who would have fun playing a math mini-game! Other then that, perfection.
At first, the only reason I wanted to play this game was to see what had happened with Tidus after the end of Final Fantasy X. After playing through the first half of the game, I was almost annoyed with the ?egirliness?f of what was going on. The game took on a much more serious role, which definitely made up for the girlish beginning. In the end I got what I wanted, an amazing conclusion to an amazing two game series. Final Fantasy fans, don?ft be embarrassed to pick this up because of the girls, it is honestly and amazing experience, and trust me, you will not be disappointed.