Final Fantasy X-2, developed by Square Enix for Sony PS2 in 2003, is a console RPG that follows the story of Yuna, the protagonist from Final Fantasy X. This sequel focuses on Yuna's efforts to resolve international political conflicts in the fantasy world of Spira in order to prevent a potential war.
This installment is the first in the Final Fantasy series to feature only three female playable characters with early access to key game locations. The class system has been varied, and multiple endings are available. Notably, the music is composed by Takahito Eguchi and Noriko Matsueda rather than the renowned Nobuo Uematsu. Two popular tracks include "1000 words" and "Real emotion," performed by Jade Villalon and Kumi Koda in their respective languages.
The game enjoyed commercial success, selling over a million copies in North America and totaling 4 million copies sold worldwide. Famitsu readers voted it the 32nd best game. Despite being a direct sequel to Final Fantasy X, it innovates on the gameplay and includes a faster-paced Active Time Battle (ATB) system, initially created by Hiroyuki Ito for FFIV. Players can now interrupt enemies while they prepare to take action, and attacks can be combined for increased damage.
Players can also explore any location in Spira via the Celsius airship, a departure from previous games where advanced transportation was only available later on. The story takes place two years after Final Fantasy X, with a dramatically different world setting. Yuna, now accompanied by her cousin Rikku and their companion Paine, make up the "YRP" trio and join the sphere-hunting crew Gullwings. Their adventures revolve around a new commodity in the world.
The plot is a deep political drama, contrasting with Final Fantasy X's focus on saving the world from Sin. It follows the rivalry between two powerful groups, New Yevon and The Youth League, as they compete for magical spheres, which could spark a war. The game balances serious themes with comedic moments and entertaining battles.
Final Fantasy X-2 has a menu-driven overworld map system similar to its predecessor, allowing players to visit any location whenever they want. The open-ended mission structure enables users to progress the story at their leisure. Each chapter offers over fifteen different cities to explore, along with bonus games and sub-quests for rewards and recognition. The game's graphics are striking, with realistic facial animations during cinematic cutscenes.
In summary, Final Fantasy X-2 is an exceptional RPG, offering top-notch production value, superb graphics and facial animations, crisp sound effects and music, and engaging gameplay lasting 60 to 80 hours. The open-ended mission structure sets it apart from previous installments, creating a unique experience for fans of the series.