So what exactly do you do after saving the world after a millennium of fear and despair? When Evil is vanquished, and the sunset has been ridden into, how do Our Heroes keep themselves occupied? After oodles of games in the Final Fantasy universe, Square Enix finally gives us a true sequel that answers that very question.
As the title suggests, Final Fantasy X-2 returns us to Spira, the world detailed in the 10th Final Fantasy title. Without giving too much away, the dreaded Sin, scourge of Spira, was defeated by High Summoner Yuna and her entourage of Guardians. A time of Calm settled across the land, and the people of Spira suddenly found themselves free from the shadow that had been covering them for generations. Fast forward two years, and Spira enters a time of rebuilding, trying to make sense of their new world. Out of a job as High Summoner, Yuna teams up with her old Guardian Rikku and a new friend, Paine. They become Sphere Hunters, tracking down the ancient recording devices spread throughout Spira, trying to learn some of the history of the world from a time before the coming of Sin. In their travels, the group finds a very interesting sphere which seems to show someone very dear to Yuna, imprisoned and in obvious trouble. And so Yuna and her gang take off to track down the origins of this mysterious sphere, and hopefully rescue their friend.
Veterans of Final Fantasy X will notice that, while there are plenty of similarities to the original, Final Fantasy X-2 makes a number of notable changes. Instead of the troop of playable characters, FFX-2 focuses entirely on just three characters, Yuna, Rikku and Paine. This isn’t nearly as limiting as it seems, however, due to the introduction (or re-introduction, for old school Final Fantasy players) of a job system for character development. Scattered throughout Spira are “Dressspheres”, special spheres that allow the characters to gain abilities of a particular class, from the familiar Thief, White Mage, or Warrior to the more exotic Songstress, Berserker, or Alchemist. Each Dresssphere has an assortment of abilities that can be learned by each character as they gain experience with that particular class. Since there are about a dozen Dressspheres to find, and given that each character needs to learn the abilities of each sphere individually, there is quite a surprising bit of room for customization. In addition to the “normal” Dressspheres, there are special “uber” Dresspheres for each of the characters, which act a bit like the Summons from the previous title. Of course, because this is a Final Fantasy title, there is even an “uber uber” Dresssphere for each of the girls, which takes quite a bit of extra work (and most likely the help of a walkthrough guide) to acquire. These jobs can be changed on the fly during combat, allowing for some complex battle strategies.
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