Final Fantasy X-2 Is All The Fun Of The Series Without The Self-Importance

Final Fantasy X has a happy ending, and it’s called Final Fantasy X-2. It’s a game that starts with a toe-tapping musical number and features a combat system built around magical girl-style outfit transformations. And yes, blonde rogue Rikku looks adorably ridiculous in it.

This week sees the release of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster for the Xbox One and Switch, giving the Nintendo and Xbox faithful their first taste of one of the most joyous games in the series. Final Fantasy X was all doom, gloom, fake sports and sacrifice, with a little horrifying forced levity mixed in for good measure.

Final Fantasy X-2, the first direct video game sequel in Final Fantasy history, teams up a trio of adventurous women and sends them on a treasure-hunting road trip across the world of Spira. What begins as Yuna and friends’ quest to hunt down memories of a certain boy who may or may not be real evolves into a mission to save the world from an evil villain with an incredibly familiar face.

In other, more vague terms, shit gets serious. But never serious enough to fully detract from the fun of taking Yuna, Rikku and Paine to dangerous places to find them killer outfits to wear.

Years before Noctis and the lads took a road trip in Final Fantasy XV, Y.R.P. (their stage name) were kicking arse and changing clothes mid-battle. Harnessing the spirit of the series’ job change system, Final Fantasy X-2’s heroes change character classes in dramatic fashion.

Over the course of their adventure the group collects dresspheres, bits of memory containing a job’s special skills and unique appearance. Once slotted onto a piece of equipment called a garment grid, these dresspheres can be swapped out during battles.

Say you’ve got Paine in the party as a Warrior. She’s got some strong physical attacks, but the enemy you’re facing is more susceptible to magic.

What you need is some sort of magic-user capable of casting black magic. Like a Black Mage, maybe. Thanks to the dressphere system, Paine has that power, and she looks fabulous to boot.

There are 16 different dresspheres to collect in Final Fantasy X-2, along with one special dressphere unique to each of the game’s three characters. That means that, despite having only three playable characters, X-2 has nearly endless party composition variety.

And since the latest versions are remastered from the extended Final Fantasy X-2 International release, originally exclusive to Japan, it also features the monster capture system, which allows players to capture and add some 150 different creatures and characters to their party. The possibilities are finite, but far too many for me to bother calculating.

It’s also so very Japanese. Final Fantasy X-2, with its transforming clothes and healthy sense of humour, gave Westerners a taste of Eastern silliness many of us hadn’t tasted back in 2003. Who knew Final Fantasy heroes could just kick back and have some fun, especially these particular heroes? To go from plodding across the land on a dire quest to hopping up and down towers and cliff sides in search of treasure was such a lovely change.

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is now playable on Xbox One and Switch, as well as the previously-released PlayStation 4 and PC versions. Play Final Fantasy X if you haven’t yet, and then strap in for a wild ride. It’s the most fun you can have with the series until Final Fantasy XV-2 comes out (please oh please).


Comments

    I wanted to like Final FanService X-2, I really did. It had all these things that in theory I should have enjoyed, but it was just a terrible terrible game. The combat system is straight up bad compared to X's and the entire experience was full of cringe. That added with SE's habit of only putting the true ending into the Japanese only release that came later made it a futile experience.

    With the HD re-release, the rest of the world finally got the true ending I believe... but I still could only put a couple of hours into it before putting it down. Maybe one day I'll suffer through the entire thing, but not today... not today.

      I don't know what true ending you mean, but I 100% the game after one new game + (95% on the first play through) when the game first came out. I saw the "cherish me, yuna" ending, which is apparently the perfect ending. Is there another that I am unfamiliar with?

        It was a roguelike dungeon called Last Mission that takes place after the main story, and was only released in Japan until the HD Remasters. Unlike with the base game, where the PAL regions had the Dark Aeons which NA didn't get, PAL didn't get the extra content on PS2.

        It was pretty typical of Square in the PS2 era, releasing a 'beta' version of the game worldwide, and then having the definitive edition be Japanese only. (See all the Kingdom Hearts games)

    The story is stupid, but the gameplay is SO much better than FF10's, especially the battle and levelling systems.

    I ended up passing it on to my partner to play but I did help her get a few of the endings, specifically the Tidus (perfect) ending which I kinda felt was something I had to see.

    This is one of the few games I have returned, after playing FFX I was so disappointed when I picked this game up and the levelling system was gone.

    I would have much preferred if the clothing systems just gave you abilities or buffs and you still had a full fledged RPG levelling system behind it.

    I got to the last boss and put it down. The game was so cringe that I couldn’t give AF by the end. The first FF I never completed (followed by Lightning Returns).

    This used to be my second-favourite Final Fantasy game. Then I played Final Fantasy IX and now it's my third-favourite Final Fantasy game.

    It really sucks that you can't buy it separately to the unrelenting shitfest that is Final Fantasy X, though. Gods I hate that game.

    I've tried to play this a few times. I just don't dig FFX's world that much and I simply didn't like Yuna. I was playing Tidus all through FFX (whom I also didn't dig) and being pushed towards Yuna romantically when Lulu was right there! Ain't nobody want a Yuna when they can see a Lulu at every turn of the game!
    I just didn't like Spira or it's citizens that much. Sin had the right idea all along.

    "YPR!"

    i almost cringed at how cutesy the game was....but i still enjoyed it!

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