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Final Fantasy X-2 is a console RPG game developed by Square Enix Corporation for Sony PS2 in the year 2003 as a sequel to its precursor Final Fantasy X. The story of the game is centered on the main protagonist Yuna, the same character from Final Fantasy X who seeks to settle the international political conflicts in the fantasy world of Spira, to prevent a possible war.

It is the first game in FF series that features only 3 playable characters and all main characters are female with early access to important game locations. Also, there is a variation of the class system of the characters and it presents multiple endings. It is the first game in the series without much musical contributions from Nobuo Uematsu, the renowned composer. Instead he was replaced by Takahito Eguchi and Noriko Matsueda who were popular composers of The Bouncer game for PS2. The most appreciated tracks of the game were 2 vocalized songs which were a slowly-paced ballad titled “1000 words” and J-pop style track titled “Real emotion”. Jade Villalon of Sweetbox fame performed the English versions of the song and Kumi Koda, famous Japanese music artist sung the Japanese versions of them who also gave back ground voice for the character “Lenne” in Japanese version of the game.

The game had positive reception and very successful in commercial terms. There ware more than million copies sold in North America alone with overall sale of 4 million copies. The Famitsu readers have voted this game as 32nd best game.

Though it is a direct sequel of Final Fantasy X, it does not duplicate the game play concepts of its precursor and has renovated the traditional elements. It has a faster paced adaptation of the traditional ATB (Active Time Battle) system of FF series that was actually created by Hiroyuki Ito and appeared first in FFIV. The ATB system is helpful during random encounters with enemies with which players can interrupt enemies while they prepare for taking action instead of waiting for the opponent’s turn to get completed before starting to attack. Also, attacks can be clubbed to increase the damage caused during battles.

The players can visit any place in Spira by flying through Celsius airship which deviates from earlier versions of the game in which players obtained sophisticated versions of transport only at later levels.

Final Fantasy X-2 presents the story line without opening too much above what happened in its precursor. The story takes place two years after Final Fantasy X, and the world is so different from its earlier versions making it entirely impossible to distinguish. The forefront of the plot is the return of Yuna, the high Summoner and central character of Final Fantasy X. The costumes of Yuna have been altered as she pairs up with Rikku, her cousin and Paine, their companion. These 3 people “Yuna”, “Rikku” and “Paine” are termed as “YRP” and they belong to Gullwings, a crew of sphere hunters. They set out on a range of adventures to spot out the hottest new commodity of their world.

Final Fantasy X-2 has an entirely different plot which is vastly intriguing and different from the previous epic of Final Fantasy X which is about saving the world from Sin. The plot is a deep political drama with an amazing subplot which is all about friendship and individuality. The New Yevon and The Youth League, the two powerful groups of Spira start to compete with each other for the magical spheres which could lead to a war. There is lot of comedy and hilarious punch lines which can cause genuine laughter and the adventurous quests of YRP through the fantasy virtual world of spira are supported by loose story telling and engaging combats.

Final Fantasy X-2 has menu-driven over world map system similar to FFX and players can go to any location on the map whenever they wish. The game has an open-ended mission structure and users can move the plot forward whenever they like. There are more than fifteen different cities to choose from in each chapter along with bonus games and myriad sub-quests to gain rewards and fame. The graphics of Final Fantasy X-2 is enticing with impressive visual productions and cinematic cut scenes. The facial animations of the characters are very expressive and realistic especially during the cut scenes.

Overall, Final Fantasy X-2 is an amazing RPG with top-notch production value, excellent facial animations and graphics, crystal clear sound effects and music along with an engaging game play of 60 to 80 hours featuring an open-ended mission structure different from earlier versions.

Gameplay 4 / 5
Soundtrack 3.5 / 5
Replay Value 3.5 / 5
Storyline 3.5 / 5
3.5 / 5 Average