We get an exclusive look at the US version of Square Enix's upcoming RPG.
Final Fantasy X-2 has taken longtime fans of Final Fantasy on an emotional rollercoaster since the game was first announced. Diehard fans of the franchise have always hoped to see developer Square Enix (the developer and publisher formerly known as SquareSoft) revisit some of the memorable characters from the various entries in its popular role-playing game franchise. When word of Final Fantasy X-2, a sequel to the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Final Fantasy X, started trickling out, there was much rejoicing in the virtual streets of the Internet as fans speculated on what the game would be about. The rejoicing changed to bewilderment as more information and assets appeared--assets that had Yuna kickin' it in a pair of hot pants and packin' a pair of pistols. The perceived defiling of such a beloved character stung many fans who were hoping for a more traditional sequel. Of course, that didn't stop anyone from buying the game when it was released in Japan earlier this year. We'll admit that, despite the initial shock at seeing the formerly nun-like Yuna apparently "ho-ing" up her look, we were quite pleased with the import game and looked forward to the US version. We finally got an exclusive look at a localized preview version of the game, and we are still taken with the game, as it has impressed us even more now that we can fully get a grip on the story.
For those unfamiliar with Final Fantasy X-2's plot, the game picks up some time after the close of Final Fantasy X, and follows Yuna, the young summoner who played a pivotal role in the final battle against Sin in FFX. But, as we mentioned, the Yuna you'll meet in FFX-2 is quite a different person from the last time you saw her. The young woman's quest to find her place in the world has led her to hook up with Rikku, the perky thief from FFX, and Paine, a quiet sword-wielding warrior. The trio are part of a "sphere" hunting clan known as the Gullwings. In the wake of the battle against Sin, clans of sphere hunters have risen up to look for these mystical items, which have been scattered throughout the world. Yuna's decision to join the clan was motivated by her discovery of a sphere that contained footage of an imprisoned man who looks suspiciously like Tidus, her protector from FFX. Eager to learn more about the imprisoned man, Yuna sets out with her clan aboard the Celsius, a swanky multilevel airship, complete with minibars and disco music pumping through its halls, to explore Spira. A bit of drama is injected into the story by the presence of a rival clan, led by the busty LeBlanc, a woman who clearly doesn't know the meaning of the word "modesty."
The quirky story, which appears to be an odd mix of serious and zany material in the import, is maintained in the US version, but some impressive tonal shifts in the narrative have been implemented as well. Over the course of the game we're privy to Yuna's thoughts as she comments on people and/or events as they happen. The internal dialogue takes the form of a direct address to Tidus as she fills him in as to what's going on in her life. The segments appear throughout the game and end up having a wistful air to them that's surprisingly effective. Nostalgia also plays a large part in the game's appeal as, over the course of her adventures, Yuna will revisit many of the locales from FFX-2--like Besaid Island, Zanarkand, and Mount Gagazet. In addition, you meet with old friends, like Wakka, Lulu, and Kimahri. The silliness is, of course, still there, albeit with some context, to provide some goofy fun. As you'd expect, the game's localization is on par with Square Enix's usual high standards.
- Release Date: TBA 2013 (JP)
- Release Date: Nov 18, 2003 (US)
- ESRB: TTitles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older.